No longer a member of Feminists Anonymous. Happy International Women’s Day.
Feminism is often equated with militant man hating, and I suspect that’s why it gets a bad rap and many women balk at the idea of referring to themselves as feminist.
But the feminist movement takes all types, and not everyone wants to refer to themselves as such. When a friend and I were talking a few years back, he described his expectations and desires that his daughter would have access to success, advancement, income, happiness etc irregardless of her gender—I let him in on the fact that he is, in actuality a feminist. It takes all types. Vancouver-based Lauren Bacon recently wrote for Quartz about the importance of pluralism in feminism and the feminist movement (and an additional, more personal, take on her own blog). Good reads.
I understand the aversion to the word itself. But the goals of the movement need support for all types, including men.
I was on a “meeting” last year (read: online dating first date) and I brought up feminism. Not a usual first date topic, but I specifically refer to being a feminist in my online profile, and in the back end of his profile he had indicated that his opinion of a person would go down if they identified as a feminist, so I was a bit confused as to why he has initiated communication. Let’s just say it led to a spirited conversation.
He talked about his hopes that the gender equality pendulum didn’t swing the other way, which would lead to “women biting men’s dicks off.” He equated my comment that policies intended to support certain disadvantaged demographics can’t take into account the situation of every single individual, and therefore yes, unfortunately sometimes individual white men who face barriers will get left behind—with Nazi social policies leading up to the Holocaust. There wasn’t a second date.
(Now that I think of it, I had coffee both with this guy and Lauren Bacon at the same cafe, same table even).
A few years earlier I told another guy after a first “meeting” that not all women like men to focus solely on women’s physical attributes. He told me to “get my head out of those feminist books.” There wasn’t a second date.
(Don’t worry, there are actually many enlightened, progressive men out there).
If the feminist movement takes all types, what type are you?