Friday, May 6, 2011

How To Be a Feminist Man

Here is a brilliant statement on the subject from Jonathan's blog:
Ok, that's a little too simplistic. What I mean is that feminism doesn't really need you if your main aim is to prove how feminist you are, to make a spectacle of your guilt or rectitude, or to make women like you or want to sleep with you. Feminists (the female type) don't really like having to placate or take care of the feelings of men who want to be feminists. (Or so I've been told.)  
Don't tell women how to be feminists, or that they are too feminist, or not feminists enough. Don't be condescending or dominating. Don't be a "concern troll," rolling out your alleged feminist bona fides in order to then make anti-feminist points. Don't speak for women and treat your contribution as special. Women, especially feminist women, really know how to speak for themselves exceptionally well.  
Don't write for other men telling them how to check out women without being too obnoxious. Don't go around trying to prove that there are "good men." Women (surprise!) already know this. 
Read the rest of the post here.


David Gendron said...

I disagree with that. Feminism is the radical concept that women are people with the same rights than men.

If you support this idea, you're a feminist, even if you're a men.

I support this concept, I'm a feminist.

Clarissa said...

That's great, David. If this is what your feminism is about, then I don't think anybody will dispute it.

David Gendron said...

Oh, and I'm not the type of guy that braggs about "look-how-i'm-a-great-feminist"!

Clarissa said...

Then I think we are in complete agreement here.

Tim said...

Don't write for other men telling them how to check out women without being too obnoxious. Don't go around trying to prove that there are "good men." Women (surprise!) already know this.

Wow, what a potshot :D

Anyway, you aren't the first one to tackle the feminist men. I think I have read at least one another blogpost about how a feminist man should act.

One thing that I have always noticed is that people seem to make a distinction between feminists and feminist men, as if they are something or should act fundamentally different from, well, 'normal' feminists. *

I mean technically, rules of what to do and what not should be exactly the same for all genders/race/etc. I mean if your gender makes a certain kind of behaviour acceptable, then that is a pretty good indicator that something is not very feminist.

* This obviously does not apply to the kind of feminism that believes that men can only be feminist allies or not feminist at all.

David Gendron said...


John M said...

It's an interesting post, but I think it points more toward ways that feminist men can avoid reproducing acts of patriarchy than to them not 'being' feminists at all.

(I've written about this on my own blog:

Keep it up, I enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

Good post. I can't comment on it there because now Google demands I have a blogspot blog both there and at Spanish Prof's. I had a hilarious story in my lost comment.

Most Xtreme sexism this week has been from Cajun men (2) and Spanish men (1). All of them claiming Xtreme feminism, of course.

Izgad said...

In an ideal world I would agree with you. As I know you recognize, the problem is that we are trying to overcome several thousand years of patriarchal society. This extends not just to political structures and laws, which haven proven relatively easy to overcome, but also to the way that both men and women subconsciously think about issues. Considering this there is a need for men to examine there thinking even as it reflects the language they use. It is not that men are more “guilty” in perpetuating patriarchy, women have also played their role, but men are less likely to directly feel the consequences of their actions.
I would add that men who are fathers of daughters have a particularly important role to play in serving as positive models as to how their daughters should expect to be treated by men.

Clarissa said...

Izgad: I agree with everything you say in this comment, so we are obviously not in disagreement here. Might feminism become the second topic where we agree? :-)