Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Men Are an Essential Component of the Equality Equation?

I encourage each of our readers to visit this link to read this author's take about how important men are in the quest for equality.

It's an important thing to keep in mind. I know that as I went through college that despite the very best and most ardent efforts of the Women's Center and the Women and Gender Studies Program that all their events, especially their informational events, attracted a distinctly female crowd. I loved that certain events were tailored to women. It's wonderful for women to have a safe space, and for many, because of past experiences or because of preference, that safe space only includes women.

But what I really like to see are programs that try to pull men in to make them a part of a solution rather than seeing them as a problem to be overcome through women's solidarity. That's why I like to see OU's White Ribbon Campaign because it is a visual indicator of a principled stance for justice.

As long as feminism remains something about which we talk to our daughters, mothers, and nieces and not our husbands, sons, and nephews, our movement will lack the inclusion and effectiveness that most of us want to see.

I'd love, though, to get some feedback. Do you prefer to see a movement nearly completely represented by those fighting for the cause? It's inspiring to see events to empower women designed and lead by women with the end result of shattering that glass ceiling and all other barriers that persist in society for women. But does that alienate? Does that give the feminist movement a bad name and leave a nasty taste for men? Maybe it's an important lesson in the nature of exclusion. If any readers have an opinion, I'd love to hear it!

1 comment:

The Imp of the Perverse said...

I completely agree that such an endeavour to form groups led by and created for women, exclusively, to be... well... exclusive, to a negative degree. I'm always puzzled by the odd looks I get when I declare that I'm a feminist, being male, and I'm surprised more and more often by students and peers (outside of my own academic circle) who are hesitant about labeling themselves feminists even though they claim to advocate equal rights and antidiscrimination practices. Men would benefit highly from a more thorough education on feminism - the word has come to be stigmatized heavily in the society of "manly men," as the blog's author names them. We need to expand beyond the very understanding of feminism as women only - perhaps this is where transgender and queer studies is stepping in?

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