Friday, October 30, 2009

What has feminism ever done for men?

The F-word
Written by Tuval Dinner
Tuesday, September 29 2009 18:35

"Last week I was hanging out downtown with my baby when a group of young women approached me and asked if they could interview me for a class assignment. First they asked me what my definition of feminism* is and then they followed up with a whole series of questions relating to feminism. The whole thing caught me off guard; I usually don't hear the word feminism in public nevermind being probed on the subject by a group of strangers. But their final question was the most surprising and interesting of all. They asked me, "what has feminism done for you?"

My immediate reaction was to say that feminism is the reason the government allows me to take paid time off of work to be with my newborn son (in Canada men can take parental leave). I didn't get past that comment before the students were off and searching for the next stranger to interview. But the question really stuck with me and I've been thinking a lot about what feminism has done for me and for men in general.

Usually, when people talk about feminism in relation to men it is in a very negative way. There are organizations (particularly in the USA) of men and women dedicated to the opposition of feminism and its perceived negative impact on society. In my mind feminism has only had positive impacts on my life. To me gender equity is a win-win scenario not one in which men lose and women win.

I would love to hear from men what they think feminism has done for them..."


Please write and tell him.

5 comments:

fifthflavorquark said...

Ugh, the website, masc, is not one that I would voluntarily visit twice. It is pro-feminist and very predictably so. I appreciate that they want to speak their minds and that is all the good I can say of it.

Davout said...

One senses that a politically incorrect comment made there would cause all the regulars at that website to cry uncontrollably.

Heretic said...

All the more reason to post, surely?

masc said...

Hey guys,
thanks for posting this article from masc and for directing people to comment on the site.
There seems to be an assertion that we will cry if we receive negative comments from your readers and that, perhaps, that would be a good thing.
Obviously, there are a lot of assumptions made about who we are, what kind of men we are and that you readers might enjoy attempting to upset us in some way.
I'm not sure what these assumptions are based on but I will say that we really appreciate honest, genuine and meaningful inquiry and critique that attempts to further the dialogue on how to improve men's lives.

Davout said...

There seems to be an assertion that we will cry if we receive negative comments from your readers and that, perhaps, that would be a good thing.

masc,

I posted a comment over at your website which I hope you haven't deleted. It wasn't incendiary or offensive but consisted of a few facts that you might not know about...certainly nothing to cry over.

"Obviously, there are a lot of assumptions made about who we are, what kind of men we are and that you readers might enjoy attempting to upset us in some way."

Assumptions are made by and about everyone, not just you. Those opposed to feminism are blackballed by feminists as misogynists, as you will have observed at several feminist websites. The real question is: are the assumptions true?

These assumptions are based on my observations of male feminists and of what I read of and about them and their articles/comments on their own websites, which dovetails well with my observations.

"...we really appreciate honest, genuine and meaningful inquiry and critique that attempts to further the dialogue on how to improve men's lives."

Would you be able to handle such a critique from a non-feminist perspective?