We hear this all of the time.
Why aren’t men feminists? Are men really so shallow minded as to think that the stereotypes are true, that all feminists are man-haters? Are they scared that their patriarchy is being threatened? Do men not understand that feminism can help them too?
Of course, it can’t be that simple: many men do understand. But the moment they say that they disagree with feminism, they face a problem. They are told that, despite maybe having been the victim of gender discrimination themselves or having felt the pain of women close to them, they can only be ‘allies’. They are told that they can’t call themselves feminists without being approved by a woman. They are silenced whenever they have an original opinion, simply because they are men - they are ‘mansplainers’ and ‘privileged’, and therefore can have no valid contribution. They certainly aren’t allowed to take a leading position, even if they stick to the mainstream line - suddenly we’re talking about a ‘woman’s movement’.
Feminism appears to be a reverse Tardis: smaller and more excluding on the inside.
If feminists want to exclude men, that’s problematic for a gender equality movement (surely it’s better to have everybody on board if we are ever going to have progress? surely it’s better to preach inclusion and love instead, and actually practice that? surely, even if men are the sole oppressors, it is useful to hear their opinions to know how best to change them?). But I suppose we could accept it, and simply not call ourselves feminists. Many men do that, seemingly rejecting feminism; though of course, it was feminism who rejected them.
These men can then tackle their own issues. Masculism is growing to fill the void left by the women-dominated feminism, and it has a number of problems to deal with. Unfortunately, feminism has become one of them.
Masculism is naturally not in opposition to feminism. It isn’t an alternative to feminism. It is a complimentary movement, and no feminist is complete without also being a masculist - and vice versa. It is acceptable to specialise in one gender’s issues, but they are interlinked to the extent that you really have to care about both to call yourself a true gender egalitarian.
So why do we see conflict? It turns out that feminists think masculism is unnecessary. Some will say that it is impossible for men to suffer, as women have a monopoly on victimhood. They are a privilege-denying problem in themselves. But masculism is also suppressed by those feminists who accept that men can be victims to some extent, and they tell the same old lies to do it: feminism tackles men’s issues too. You don’t need your own movement, we do it for you.
Earlier we saw that this simply isn’t true, and the proposal of women who don’t understand men’s suffering dictating men’s rights and whether male experiences are invalid… doesn’t that sound just a little hypocritical considering that men aren’t even allowed to doubt a woman’s voice in feminism (or even agree with it, in some circumstances)? Feminists shouldn’t be trying to engulf men’s rights whilst not allowing the men to follow, even if they adequately dealt with the issues - which they don’t.
Anti-feminists frequently complain that feminism doesn’t focus on men enough, and they are told that feminism is a woman’s movement that shouldn’t have to focus on men. But when men try to start a men’s movement, or simply declare themselves not feminism, they are heavily criticised by a feminism which suddenly claims to accommodate both genders perfectly.
You can have it one way, and that is problematic. You can have it the other way. But you can’t have the best of both, because that’s the worst of both for men: you have an enforced monopoly here, and we have laws against them for a reason. If there was only one food store in my country, I would have to buy my food from you. If you were biased against me, I wouldn’t be able to. My only option would be to source the food myself… but of course, your legal protected monopoly prevents me from doing that. I would starve, just as you’re starving those men who are truly passionate about gender equality.
You can discriminate against us (for whatever justifications) and be a woman’s movement in a free market where there are allowed to be men’s movements. Or you can be the monopoly, but ensure that you are open minded and tolerate everybody on an equal basis. But you can’t be both, because that just isn’t right.
For the record, I’m a man and a feminist. Like a minority of men, I still have hope for feminism, and I support it; even if that involves asking it to change. It’s about time that relationship was reciprocated.
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