Feminism Friday: Men and feminism


I mentioned this in my first Feminism Friday post, but I’m always so surprised when women think feminism is about man-hating and I just wanted to say a bit more about that.

Actually, I’m just going to share some links to people expressing it much better than I could, but first I do just want to say that having sons has made me more feminist because I see how society limits boys as well as girls. Yes, more of my focus is on women because – and I’m talking about society, not individual experience – things are so much worse for women and girls, but patriarchy is bad for boys too.

I love the Gloria Steinem quote “We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.” I want my boys to be whoever they want to be and not be limited by society’s expectations of masculinity and those expectations are formed by patriarchy.

So. I love this post by Feminist Aspie. Favourite bit (in case you’re too busy/lazy to read it all):

As for the idea that feminists want special treatment for women – as I’ve already said, that’s not how it works. Contrary to what the media would have you believe, women and men are not two alien tribes who constantly play tug-of-war to see who’s better. However, many aspects of society gives special treatment to men; how many all-male speaking panels do you see or hear about compared to all-female panels? All-male bands and all-female bands? How many films and TV shows pass the Bechedel Test, and how many would do so if the sexes were reversed? It’s gone on for so long that most people, regardless of gender, just don’t notice anymore. This is the norm. So, when any attempt at equality is made, or at least campaigned for, suddenly it’s SPECIAL TREATMENT and WHAT ABOUT THE MEN and MISANDRY and all sorts of myths about feminism.

This post by Lindy West pretty much explains everything you need to know, so I really hope you read it, but in case you don’t:

Feminism isn’t about striving for individual fairness, on a life-by-life basis—it’s about fighting against a systematic removal of opportunity that infringes on women’s basic freedoms. If a woman and a man have equal potential in a field, they should have an equal opportunity to achieve success in that field. It’s not that we want the least qualified women to be handed everything just because they’re women. It’s that we want all women to have the same opportunities as all men to fulfill (or fail to fulfill, on their own inherent merits) their potential. If a particular woman is underqualified for a particular job, fine. That isn’t sexism. But she shouldn’t have to be systematically set up, from birth, to be underqualified for all jobs (except for jobs that reinforce traditional femininity, obv).

also please at least scroll down to Part Four: A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On for an excellent list of how patriarchy directly impacts men.

Image via Men and Feminism (thanks to Susan for sending it to me)