Posts tagged men
Posts tagged men
it’s also funny how the only people missing the point on my post are men.
i feel like i’m explaining this to a baby but lemme just break that post down for y’all:
- women have been discussing their oppression for years
- now men come in and decide that being a feminist is the new cool thing
I just got back from Dayglow. Obviously a large part of the experience was sexual in a corporate sense, but what dismayed me was the incredibly sexist (and heteronormative too but that’s perhaps less horrifying) imagery that permeated it. Not only did the screens show images that were primarily…
(TW: Rape, violence, homophobia.)
THIS IS WHAT THE FUCK IS UP.
Writing on the back of picture reads, “MAS [Men Against Sexism] member Ed Mead + Danny Atteberry (misidentified as “lovers” in CM [“Concrete Mama”, a nickname for the prison]) walk the tier of Big Red, the isolation unit at Walla Walla State Pen. 77 or 78
Ed Mead was arrested relatively early in the Brigade’s trajectory, so he spent much of his organizing time behind bars. In his close to twenty-year sentence, Mead led work strikes, filed petitions, and generally did his best to fan the flames of discontent wherever he went. This made him something of a scourge to prison administrators, who bounced him through state and federal penal systems, moving him along whenever his organizing efforts began to bear fruit.
One of his more notable efforts was Men Against Sexism (MAS), a group of “tough faggots” who forcibly stopped the buying and selling of prisoners by prisoners for the purpose of sexual exploitation [violent pimping of weaker prisoners by stronger ones] in Walla Walla. During the group’s zenith in 1978, MAS proved so effective that a feminine male prisoner could wear a dress around without threat of violence. MAS backed up their work with homemade grenades, single-shot rifles, and a willingness to die to stop prisoner-on-prisoner rape. ”Of all the political work that I’ve done,” says Mead, Men Against Sexism is what I’m most proud of. (The group effectively disbanded after a foiled escape attempt in 1978 involving Mead, several other prisoners and an array of homemade weapons.)Yes, Mead and others actually had smuggled weapons into the prison, including a gun Mead was ready to use on at least one occasion. According to Burton-Rose, the two men you see below holding hands debated killing members of a prison gang who defied their ban on “owning”, selling, and raping other prisoners. Only under threat of death did the gang release an effeminate gay prisoner over whom they had claimed “ownership”.
Wow. These men have done phenomenal work. I am very sad that that group was disbanded. They are desperately needed. Hell, I would love to see advocacy groups like these around the US.
Kind of related: I hate when people make prison-rape jokes, as if rape is somehow funny if it is happening in prison.
No one deserves to be raped. Whether it be a short skirt or life sentence.
Benbow and Stanley found that within this talented pool, many more boys than girls scored at the highest level on the math SAT exam: a four-to-one ratio for scores above six hundred and a thirteen-to-one ratio for scores above seven hundred. But they made the bigger splash by speculating the high ratio was a consequence not of math education but of “endogenous” or innate, sex differences in mathematical talent. Newsweek seized upon their conclusion with the headline “Do Males Have a Math Gene?” while Time magazine declared, “a new study says that males may be naturally abler [in mathematics] than females.”
…. [T]he Benbow-Stanley study has been repeated since the early 1980s. The 2005 repetition found that there were 2.8 boys for each girl in the group which scored over seven hundred. Remember that the numbers were 13 boys to one girl in the early 1980s.
Innate sex differences have not changed in those fifteen-or-so intervening years. Instead, the smaller ratio of super-talented boys-to-girls must be caused by something environmental or cultural, and there is nothing to suggest that the most recent ratio is the lowest possible one.
It seems pretty clear to me that the male upper-tail advantage cannot be regarded as an innate explanation, given the above findings. Whatever may drive the observed gender differences has at least a sizable chunk of environmental causes.
i had to call security to ask someone to let me in to the office i work in. On the phone, i was called m’am and was upset. i’m 21, i should not be called m’am. Then when the security guard got there he called me “pumpkin.” Then i was more upset because that is just outright creepy and infantilizing. That security guard did not make me feel secure.
i also work in retail and after complaining to a (male) co-worker about how customers had been calling be honey/sweetie/sweetheart all day, he replied “well that’s why i always tell customers my name right away.” i highly doubt anyone called him any cutesy petnames (save for a little old lady). Also, is it really my responsibility to ask others to treat me with respect? Shouldn’t they just know not to be disrespectful?
So how do deal with this? It is usually men of all ages (i’ve had men close in age to me call me by cutesy petnames) or little old ladies. i’m less worried about little old ladies. They seem grandmotherly when they do it. Men seem creepy, paternalistic, and disrespectful. i want to be able to say “i would prefer it if you would refer to me as Lmonster or Miss. It feels disrespectful when you refer to me as sweetie/honey/darling etc.” It also feels rude to me to say that but there goes patriarchy again, making me feel like i always have to be polite even to people who are rude to me.
And what names should i expect? M’am makes me feel old. The only reason that is a bad thing is because of patriarchy, telling us that it is bad to be an older woman. Miss feels more respectful, but said the right way it can still feel patronizing. There is really nothing that feels like “sir” that can be applied to women, at least in my opinion.
How do y’all prefer to be addressed and how do y’all deal with being called cutesy petnames? How can we let folks (ie. patronizing men) know that being called sweetie is just as bad as being called a misogynistic slur?
This whole piece is amazing and totally rings true for me. Men generally tend to be intimidated and/or intrigued by my intelligence and education. They react either by not even attempting to ask me out or trying to somehow domesticate me, i.e. involving me in long, exhausting debates in order to prove that I’m not that smart.
What I’m actually used to men doing is attacking me once they start intellectual fights they can’t finish. I’m used to men putting me in the friend zone because they find my smarts intriguing but not sexy. I’m used to men straight up belittling and insulting me—calling me stupid, unattractive, or using “feminist” like an expletive—in order to get the upper hand when they feel intellectually outmatched.
I was recently reading a book for class in which the author stated “All white people are racist…because of the privilege white skin brings in our society”(‘Bridging the Class Divide, Linda Stout, Pg 88). Now this is something I have thought about before and I have said “Yes, I am racist. As a…
This post has created a lot of dialogue both on and off of tumblr. I really needed to have that. Through discussing men’s role as feminists, I gained some perspective and learned a lot about my own personal beliefs.
I’m upset about the changing dynamics in my feminist group. This is going to be an important learning experience for me. I’m not used to discussing social justice issues with men and this is going to force me to face the internalized oppression that I experience. It is bound to be difficult, but I’m sure I will be stronger because of it.
After I posted this, I began to think about my own identity as a woman with considerable privilege. I started to doubt my ability to make any sort of change. How could I be an ally if I am also an oppressor? Someone pointed out that this is dangerously close to playing oppression olympics. Yes, I have some privileged and some marginalized identities. I was born into these identities and I have to use my experiences as someone with privilege and someone with marginalization to add to the discourse around social justice. Everyone has valuable voices and we need these voices in order to reach everyone.
That being said, I still don’t think that men are necessary to feminism. I don’t think they are hurting by any means. I think that if men want to be involved they can, as long as their intentions are good. That doesn’t mean I won’t get annoyed when they say very privileged things. That doesn’t mean I won’t have trouble speaking up myself. That doesn’t mean that I will be able to trust men more quickly or completely. It also doesn’t rule out the need for women-only spaces.
I’m realizing that men can be valuable allies to women. I know I will waiver back and forth on this issue. I’m sure I will get really angry about men’s involvement again. When I realized how I would feel if I couldn’t fight heterosexism or poverty, I realized how the men who read this must have felt. So I might get angry again and that is ok. I just need to keep challenging myself and letting others challenge me. And so do men who are feminist allies.
I was recently reading a book for class in which the author stated “All white people are racist…because of the privilege white skin brings in our society”(‘Bridging the Class Divide, Linda Stout, Pg 88). Now this is something I have thought about before and I have said “Yes, I am racist. As a white person am very privileged and no matter how much I try to be anti-racist, it is inevitable that I will act on my white privilege.” So this got me thinking. Does this apply to other forms of privilege and oppression?
I want to believe that we can not be racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, cissexist, etc, even if we benefit from those privileges. But I’m starting to believe that that is impossible. Privilege is something other people give to us. If someone sees a person who is or appears to be a man, they make assumptions about that person and give that person privilege. We can’t escape how people view us and treat us. We can never escape our privilege.
This leads to my next thought: If all men are always acting on male privilege (even if they don’t want to be), does that mean that all men are sexist? It would make sense based on how I’ve been thinking about race. I’m beginning to feel that the words “anti-sexist” and “anti-racist” are misnomers. How can one be anti-sexist if he is benefitting from sexism.
Where does this leave men in the feminist movement? I don’t know if I believe that women need men in order to fight sexism. I don’t think that having men involved necessarily hurts the feminist cause, but I do think that we need to be careful when working with men.
Right now, I’m personally having a difficult time dealing with men in a feminist group. Up until now we have only ever had one man involved. This semester about six more men joined. It is changing the group dynamics and I’m not sure if I’m upset about the fact that they are there or the fact that there was change. It is definitely making things different. So this is where I’m coming from on this issue. I’m trying to deal with this change in an important part of my life.
As stated before, men have privilege and can never relinquish this privilege. They cna try to use this privilege for good, usually by educating other men. However, I can see where this kind of creates a boys’ club in a different sense. I have seen how that dynamic can turn into “look at how difficult our life is as oppressors” complaining session.
I also find that I don’t want to have to call people out on their privilege when I’m in a supposed safe space. I realize that this is hypocritical because I have a lot of privilege and I’m sure that people could be saying the same thing about me. At the same time I’m realizing that I have all this internalized oppression, so now I have to deal with that. That is certainly a good thing in the long run. It is, however, exhausting. Dealing with others’ privilege and our own internalized oppression can take time away from the time and energy we spend actually organizing. At the same time it is really important to be spending time talking about our identities with each other.
I personally feel that having male support can be helpful in certain situations, but that men should not be feminist leaders. I think that forces men to speak for women and their experiences which can be invalidating. I feel that as a white person I cannot speak for the experiences of people of color. It goes along with the same principle. It also takes away women’s abilities to speak for themselves and i feel that silence is one of the biggest problems that women face.
The questions that remain, I guess, are: Are all men (even those who are feminist identified) sexist? What, then, are men’s roles in the feminist movement? How do we, as women, navigate working with men?
First post from the Men’s Health Feminist blog:
Feminist is a loaded term. I’m well aware of this. Expressed ever so bluntly by a male friend, “You’re the Men’s Health Feminist? But—you’re not a bitch. I just don’t get it.”
Sigh. Turns out, I do not need to be a bitch to be a feminist. Similarly, I do not need burn bras, worship Hillary Clinton, and/or hate men. Truth is—my friend is part of the majority and, to my disappointment, even fellow women often deny the term.
If I tell you I’m feminist, what image comes to mind? Someone who doesn’t shave her legs? Someone who’s angry all of the time? Who wears Doc Martens? (Okay, I might be guilty of the last one.) But why can’t the term evoke an image of someone who wouldn’t appear in Girls Gone Wild for all of the money in the world? Someone who would go into credit card debt before trying to obtain free dinners from random guys? Aren’t those good things?
I’m here to challenge that image, to point out that sexism is intrinsically ingrained in our culture, and more importantly, to question ideas and practices that we usually accept without criticism (i.e. “cat-calling,” video vixens, the definition of rape, sexual politics, and so on.)
But we’ll get into all of that later. For now, forget what you think you know about the “F Word,” have an open mind, and get ready to talk sex, stereotypes, pop culture, and possibly definitely not bra burning.
I’m looking forward to seeing where she goes with this and what kind of reaction it gets…
I think that it is really interesting coming from Men’s Health. Part of me feels like this a great way to make feminism accessible to men. Part of me feels like whenever someone makes a “feminism is accessible” thing, it ends up not actually helping that much. Will this blog actually help men to recognize their privilege and their role in the oppression of women? Will it look at the intersection of race/class/gender/gender identity/sexual orientation? or will it be a shallow attempt to make men not say or do sexist things that they think?
I realize this sounds very mean, but i feel that just reading about sexism isn’t enough to make someone a feminist. it is a great first step. i also think that men have to work really hard to become feminists because of their role as oppressors.