Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘rights of women

Dude Feminism: A language? Mind your language?

The sort of language used to assert men’s dominance over women has a pretty recognizable pattern across the cultural landscape.
We frequently hear that Men are in charge of things because they have supposedly something women lack: physical strength, honor, higher cognitive facilities, or the mystique of the male organ itself.Women, “lacking” these qualities, need to be “protected” from the all-consuming lusts of strange men.

 posted on APRIL 24, 2014 (selected as one of the top posts)

The Language of Dude Feminism

This can be spun as noble chivalry, brutal domination, or a playful battle of the sexes, but at the root it’s the same: women are denied the freedoms that men take as a God-given right, assigned subordinate status, and coerced into performative gender roles.

In this dialectic, men’s protective abilities and ravaging urges come from the same place and are both aimed squarely at women.

Language did not create the patriarchy (not sure of that statement), but language is a powerful method of inscribing the possible, shaping how and what we think, and justifying the status quo.

Thus, perhaps it’s no surprise that feminist outreach towards the traditional opponents of women’s liberation – i.e., cis-gendered heterosexual men — utilizes the same language as that of domination.

justin-timberlake

Rather than attacking the institution of masculinity itself, several recent campaigns have attempted a sort of masculinity triage, trying to eliminate violence against women, while still flattering men with the label of protector.

These campaigns, such as “real men don’t buy girls,”“my strength isn’t for hurting,”are various incarnations of “how would you feel if someone said that to your mother /sister /girlfriend,”and have proven to be enormously popular, achieving prodigious re-blogs, conferences, and media airtime.

They are, by many metrics, successful, and have gotten institutions long silent on the rights of women to speak up. I believe we are the better for them, but I also believe that they do not go far enough, and we all must, as feminists, radicals and progressives, push against our comfort zones.

In these campaigns, the masculine mystique is still very present, albeit a kinder, gentler version.

By flattering men’s strength and asking them to use it to protect women, we once again place men in the driver’s seat of culture, asking for them to renounce violence and be less vile guardians.

Common to all these messages is that men CAN rape, hurt, buy women, catcall or what-have-you, but they SHOULDN’T.

Men, we are told, shouldn’t hurt women, not because of any intrinsic rights women may have, but because other men might do it to THEIR women, and that would be awful.

Male privilege is re-defined, but not negated, in a way that leaves masculinity unchallenged and still dominant.

The wonderful, complex, and multi-faceted language of generations of queer, trans, intersectionalist and sex-positive feminism and human-rights dialogues is thrown aside completely in favor of a request that straight, cis-gendered men join the rest of the world at the big-kids table.

Again, this isn’t to say that these campaigns haven’t done good, but rather, that they should go farther.

There is certainly something to be said about using the language of the patriarchy to subvert the patriarchy, or of using privilege to end privilege, but it’s not clear that’s what’s being done.

Rather, it looks as if men are given a privileged place in the feminist movement, one where they are praised for simply not being terrible and their much-vaunted power remains intact.

The bar for male allies has been set tremendously low.

In contrast to the sacrifices, acts of bravery and daily fights women and LGBTQ people are expected to take on to achieve equality and justice, men are asked simply not to buy people, physically abuse people, or rape.

The fact that this counts as progress is a sad indictment of how much work there is left to do, but that is all the more reason to not sugar-coat it or water down the message.

Feminism has made great strides against patriarchal oppression in much of the world, and perhaps to finish the job, to make a world of true equality, the message cannot be compromised or simplified.

Males in the movement should (and can) be challenged and encouraged to act not like a virtuous “real man,” but like (well-nurtured) humans.

Note: In human interactions and communication, it is not good enough to understand the notion: We need to have a “Feel” of the concept. Someone has to write a novel using Dude Feminism Language or provide a list of novels that come close to that language.

Creating critical new terms in Dude Feminism language is inevitable so that readers discriminate between the patriarchal implicit meaning from the explicit meaning in the Dude Feminism language. A novel is the best means to convey a feeling of the purpose.

 

johnAbout the author: J.A. McCarroll is a NYC-based writer, anthropologist, and baker. He works in reproductive rights and volunteers with Canimiz Sokakta and the Rules. Tweet @jamccarroll.

Do you think Feminism is Hurting Men? And how?

Ideas such as “women are people too” and “the dignity and rights of women are as important as those of men”.

Micah J. Murray posted this Nov. 12 2013

How Feminism Hurts Men

Yesterday somebody on Facebook told me that feminism elevates women at the expense of men, that its agenda to validate women emasculates us guys.

He was right.

For men, the rise of feminism has relegated us to second-class status. Inequality and discrimination have become part of our everyday lives.

Because of feminism, men can no longer walk down the street without fear of being catcalled, harassed, or even sexually assaulted by women. When he is assaulted, the man is blamed – the way he dressed he was “asking for it”.

Because of feminism, there are no major Christian conferences about how to act like men,  where thousands of men can celebrate their manliness and Jesus (and perhaps poke fun at female stereotypes).

Because of feminism, church stages and spotlights are often dominated by women. Men are encouraged to just serve in the nursery or kitchen. Sometimes men are even told to stay silent in church.

Because of feminism, women make more money than man in the same jobs.

Because of feminism, it’s hard to find a movie with a heroic male lead anymore. Most blockbusters feature a brave woman who saves the world and gets a token man as a trophy for her accomplishments.

Because of feminism, women’s professional sports are a massively profitable enterprise where women are globally idolized. Men only appear briefly, before commercial breaks, when they’re objectified for their bodies.

Because of feminism, all birth control is covered for women without question or debate, while men have to fight to get insurance companies to pay for their Viagra prescriptions. When men do speak up about this, leaders of the “family friendly” right wing labels them “sluts” and “whores”.

Because of feminism, the male body is constantly under public scrutiny. If a man appears topless on TV, it’s a national scandal resulting in huge fines and boycotts.

Bloggers regularly write about how we need to be more mindful of the ways our clothing choices tempt women to sin. Satirists insist that shorts “aren’t really pants” and then men should cover up because “nobody wants to see that”.

Because of feminism, men are not represented in the White House, and women hold over 80% of the seats in Congress. When a man runs for office, his physical appearance and clothing choices are discussed almost as much as his policies and ideas.

Because of feminism, men must fight for a voice in the public sphere.

In issues of theology, politics, science, and philosophy, the female perspective is often considered default, normal, and unbiased.

Male perspectives are dismissed for being too subjective or too emotional. When we speak up, we are often dismissed as angry, rebellious, subversive, or dangerous.

But stay strong, bros.

One day we’ll all be equal.

Whatever you do, don’t read Jesus Feminist.

– See more at: http://redemptionpictures.com/2013/11/12/how-feminism-hurts-men/#sthash.KyFViAo2.dpuft


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