Monday, 16 September 2013

On male feminists.

So this is entirely an opinion piece, though I make vague references I will not talk about any prominent ones specifically. I am not well informed enough nor was I directly affected. Those who were have written heart-wrenchingly and in great detail already.

This is just my current opinion, my opinions have been changing and growing a lot recently so they may of course change. I also mean no offence to the wonderful men in my life. Right disclaimers over!!!

Men can in theory be feminists, the problem is they're not very good in practice. I don't blame men entirely, we live in a society that gives prominence to men by luck of the draw at conception. Therefore I can understand that it can be difficult to take a step back. One argument I've heard is that if they take a step back then it can be seen as patronising "let the little lady talk" kind of way. I see this but I don't agree. That equality should be reached by any means or voices necessary, again I see this point but I don't agree. Equality (for want of a better word) won't happen if it's reached by male voices as it will mean that women still aren't equal. Just like any equality reached by only white, able bodied, middle-class, cis, straight women won't be equality either. Some might have it better yes but most still won't, this is not a feminism I want any part of.

I believe much of it is down to experience. Men can't experience what women go through on a daily basis just like I can't experience what WOC, disabled women, trans gender women or working class women experience. I've spent a lot of my life poor but I am and have always been middle class which means I had a leg up on working myself out of that poverty. All I can do is listen, learn and change my behaviour that hinders rather than helps. I can offer my voice in solidarity but I can never speak for anyone but myself.

If a man is truly feminist they don't spend their time explaining feminism to women. Instead they spend their time listening & learning. In an all male space I am grateful for those men who tell other men to change their behaviour rather than standing idly by as they harass or assault women. However if I am there, then I do not need you to speak for me. I am not interested in hearing about which women "do feminism right" and those who you believe alienate you. This is an instance where all I can think is "someone call the waahambulance". Nor do I appreciate being told how to present myself. If you think for one second I look the way I do for you then you are sorely mistaken.

Many of the men who want to be feminists are abusive. They have invaded a space and acted cruelly beyond belief. They have done more harm and caused more mistrust than I think many other men can fully understand. If men genuinely want to rebuild this they cannot play the "nice guy" card. There needs to be a fundamental understanding that women do not exist for the pleasure of men.

Patriarchy and kyriarchy hurts us all and I believe men are beginning to see this and how it effects them personally. This is an area where they can help make a change but only if they truly see the dominance which they hold in society. Only if they fight side by side not in front of us.

Remember this at all times men, I drink men's tears for breakfast, they make me beautiful & strong!

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