Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Male Feminists

I consider myself a feminist, which means I think women should have the same rights and responsibilities as men. It also means that I believe we live in a patriarchal society, and that the system has been rigged against women for years and years, and that there's a lot of--mainly sociological--work to be done to right these wrongs.

I encourage my fellow men to adopt this position, and to publicly advocate for it, and am glad when I see men standing up for feminist ideas.

On the other hand, I have to admit, I am always a little cynical about the motives of men when they advocate loudly for equality, or talk too much about 'the patriarchy' and stuff like that. There is a part of me that always thinks, 'well, haven't you found a clever way to get laid?'

I ask that question about myself too. Even though I'm happily married, I love women. I have always clicked better with women than with men. I like to have plenty of beautiful, intelligent, funny women in any environment I inhabit. The idea of the 'boy's night' has always seemed kind of absurd to me: what's the point?  I like to connect with women. So although I do believe in equality and feminism, and social justice, there is always some voice in the back of my mind asking 'how much of what you are talking about is conviction, and how much is game?'

There was a meme on tumblr recently that featured some doe-eyed jack ass with stars in the background holding a sign that read something like 'girls, you don't have to wear make-up and pretty clothes. You're all beautiful as you are', or some bullshit like that. One woman responded with a photo of herself holding a sign that said 'dear boy in space: don't tell me what to do.'

And then several men got in on the action, chastising their fellow men for patronizing women with various levels of cleverness. My first thought when I saw this was 'I bet when they thought of this idea, they were like, 'the ladies are gonna love this!'.

I could be wrong. I could just be more of a tree-dweller than many of my fellow enlightened males; I'm sure they'd be the first to tell me so, and probably in the most public forum possible.

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