I've never lived in a haven of free thought, and gender issues are one of the greater problems I encounter. Although college has been better... at least, somewhat... I have one class that is distressing me. Just today they sidetracked on an offhand discussion (yes, even the teacher) about how long women take to get ready and blah blah blah.

Naturally, this makes me want to jump on the desks and hurl ninja stars at all of them. Luckily though I'll have the chance to take revenge when I speak on feminism (its a speaking class) and change all of their lives forever (any ideas?).

But, although I encounter this bullpoopy all the time, and many of us do... so do men. And maybe this is just me speaking, but it seems to me that when a female speaks of feminism and equality, at least in a true professional setting, that is acceptable. Yet I feel that if a man were to voice similar complaints, he would be laughed at and not taken seriously at all. Okay, so that happens to me too. But women seemed to have earned this "minority" status, and it's almost as if it's not acceptable for men to make the same complaints.

Women work all the time now. And if she chooses to live at home, that's fine. If the man does the same, he's a freeloading deadbeat.

I remember reading a story in the paper about two young men raped by a married woman-- oh wait, not rape. What did they call it? Inappropriate conduct, or something of the sort. We downplay the idea of forcing sex on a man. It's not as bad. Men don't have "feelings" after all. How could a man refute sex? That's silly!

The term "feminist" is female-centric but it made total sense at the time of the feminist movement. Women wanted equal rights to men. We still have to fight to be treated like equals-- and that's what feminism is about, is equality! But it's not just about women anymore.

As much as it pisses me off that women are supposed to wear dresses on formal occasions, men don't even have that choice if they want to be socially accepted. As angry as I am that I'm seen as being weaker, emotional, and naive, a man absolutely has to PROVE that he is not those things. He has to push the tears inside himself, he has to deny himself the right to feel anything and act like someone he's not until he knows nothing else but the stereotype that someone else coerced him into being. What he can express, is anger. That and lust, I think.

I don't think feminism is contrary to this at all. I think the ideas behind feminism are perfectly suited to both men and women. But I think that we don't push for male equality in the world today. Sometimes we say "women are equals" (which is true, but sounds like it applies strictly to women), when we mean to say "we are all equals". And like the speech I'm going to give, how do we convince a man that we're on his side too?

Am I just insane? I guess I just feel like feminism should seem like it's strictly a female thing. We believe in gender equality. That includes women. That includes men. Right?

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Replies to This Discussion

I don't think that feminism has much of a problem of cutting out men.  The men who want to support the idea that the long centuries of wrong done to women need to be redressed are always welcome.  Even occasional slides into male privilege are corrected but do not result in banning from feminist groups. 

When things go awry is when men feel the need to say that men suffer from sexism too.  Worrying about discrimination against men is a good and valid point.  But it is not the point of feminism.  This is not the venue to address those issues.

Feminist groups need to be free to work on the mechanisms to achieve fairness for women.  Since men and women have different amounts of resources, their mechanisms for fighting sexism are different.  The mechanisms used are also influenced by physiological differences.

Most importantly individuals have a limited amount of time and energy.  You have to pick your battles.  Feminists have specifically chosen to work on redressing centuries of wrongs done to women.  If men want to be a part of this and are willing to learn enough about feminism independently (Feminism 101) so as not to waste the group's time on educating them, they are more than welcome.  Men who aren't willing to do this should be cut out.



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