Some Feminists Are Men

To qualify as a card carrying Feminist all you need is an iron-clad belief that women must be afforded the same rights as men and are entitled to equal treatment under the law.  It's not complex, yet it arouses terrible backlash, especially among women.  As the father of a grown daughter, the product of an extraordinary mother, and the beneficiary of many friendships with women - I feel strongly about Feminism.  I am appalled by the way men regress when there are no women around, the jokes they tell, the opinions they voice.  I frequently listen to men weep and moan about their "love troubles," and patiently point out to them that they might do a bit better if they entertained the idea that women are actually human beings.  The concept is lost on them.  Men don't understand women, they fear them, they fear their power, and because they fear them - they abuse them.  John Lennon, a genius by any yardstick, once pointed out, "Woman is the n*gg*r of the world."  It's a shocking and shameful admission, but it's true - and it's been true throughout history.  Feminist women aren't looking for special breaks; they know they'll do just fine with a level playing field.  
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
32 Responses Aug 11, 2007

I truely appreciated and loved your story. This is why as a feminist I also engage in masculine thoery(-ies), because altought women have lots of work ahead to address things, men also have a long way. Hegemonically, we've all been sucked up into these social constructions and bainaries, which many forget affects both sides of the issues. Men may have more privilage, rights and power, however they have also been conditioned and emotionally starved. While we need respect, encouragement and support, they don't know how to provide them in the social context of how they've been taught the world works and how they will percived if they do provide them for women. It's a two way street.

A complicated two way street.

thanks for stating the obvious to other men. like any good feminist i'm not commenting to give you a cookie for doing so. this *should be* common knowledge to all men. it's just nice to see one of you get it. it's good to know some men can see me as human and equal first.

Don't hate men, pity them! Imagine being born with two heads and being so stupid you actually choose to have the smaller one do your thinking for you!

This discussion and ones like it make me start to hate men; although I know that's not the solution.

like hysterics....that is a derogatory term derived from something female.

Man, this "sanitation" software is out of control. I said that Huck Finn had been "sn*tch*d" out of public libraries for Pete's sake. (Hey, pal, you're the one with the dirty pictures.) Anyway, I think the history of American racism provides a very useful anaolgy because it is well-defined and understood - everyone agrees the enslavement of American blacks was evil and wrong. But the inequities are not so blatant when it comes to women - although even today it's not hard to find men who believe that, "If they didn't have *******s there'd be a bounty on 'em," - or - to quote Noel Coward - admittedly a mysoginist, "Women should be struck regularly - like a gong." In other words - only jarring, dramatic examples will lead us men-folk into considering just how deeply our sexism runs. For an interesting exercise, examine the English language itself and see how many pejorative terms are female - not to mention black. I'm not laughing.

I think it is funny, and I know it is probably just me, we still can't have a discussion about womens rights without including the rights of African Americans or whatever the correct PC term is today. I remember reading about the past that no one got on the side of the feminists, so they had to attach to slavery rights. That is why I had a little laugh.

Thanks for - what I believe is - an informed perspective. The word is not the guilty party here - any more than the $10,000 used to bribe a judge is the guilty party. The book many consider to be the greatest of all American novels - Huck Finn - has been ******** out of many libraries because it contains this word! Insane revisionist history. Removing the book from libraries doesn't make our collective, social guilt go away. I have heard upper crust types squeeze out the word "colored" sotto voce, as if it were too filthy to be said out loud - and found this far more offensive than when people used the N word. Motives matter.

Lagarto- I like what you said about context indicating motives. When I hear someone say "That N*gger did such and such..." it strikes a nerve, but when someone says "What's up, my N*gga?" I wouldn't think twice. I wouldn't get offended even if a white guy said "That's my N*gga!" Obviously, if the word is being used in a derogatory way it's offensive. Otherwise, it's become part of the black culture to use it as in the context of "guy" or "homeboy" and I don't feel it perpetuates racism at all when used that way.

Indeed. "Weaker" is a loaded word here. Muscle strength does not equal emotional strength, mental strength, or stength of character. I think you have to be pretty darn "strong" to work twice as hard, get half as much credit, and be polite about it. Fact is, not many of us work in coal mines anymore, physical strength just isn't the differentiator it once was.

Hi El, great discussion. If I may add my two cents… As long as women are socialized as the ‘weaker’ sex (yeah right!), there will be stereotypes of her inability to handle a “man’s” job (the definition of a ‘man’s’ job as defined by men that is).

When you are comfortable in your skin, you're happy when others excel, their success doesn't threaten you. It's only when your self-esteem must come at the expense of others that the trouble begins.

ElLagarto- I agree with your last comment. I would add that anyone who is comfortable and happy with who they are (male or female), confident, sure of themselves; are supportive of their partners and find these same qualities attractive.

Where you said "I am appalled by the way men regress when there are no women around, the jokes they tell, the opinions they voice..." I nodded, I mentioned this in my blog 'Thoughts on Sex and Society'. I will also say I am proud to be a feminist, but I don't want to hear no 'her-story' talk. Equal rights for all humans; beginning now.

Celainn: So nicely put, and so succinct as well. The "lesbian" tag comes up when men are threatened by strong women and want to kick dirt on their shoes. But I would maintain that strong, confident men are not only supportive of strong women, and look to them as peers, but find them attractive.

Indeed.

Don't let what has come before you, impede in any way on where you will head tomorrow. You are the creator of your reality. I believe if you send out positive energy, you are more likely to get positive energy in return.

The business I work in - advertising - was among the first corporate sectors to see a large influx of women. I've been working with women my entire career. Last year, more women graduated from Medical School in the U.S. than men. It very definitely is changing, and very rapidly. The challenge of balancing career with family is another matter.

LMAO. <br />
Call me pessimistic ("You pessimistic fool!") but I don't know how much change there's going to be any time soon. I don't know why, but my teachers are constantly telling us that though girls *tend* to outperform boys in terms of overall work, the boys will *tend* to be employed earlier and more easily than girls. Very disheartening, I think. :( It's all to do with the work force structures and preconceptions, they tell us with a shake of their head...

Hi Witty One: Well you've got a good point there. I've witnessed birth and all I can say is, "They don't call it hard labor for nothing." I remember there was a woman in the next room over, screaming at her husband, "You'll pay for doing this to me, you %&!!@##@!!!"

We are use to hard work, why do you think women birth babies? ;-)

Wow. Amen. At least here women have a fighting chance at equality. Of course they have to work twice as hard for half the credit - but they have a shot.

Very eloquently said by all. While women may not be seen as equals in the eyes of some men, I am so very grateful to live in this country and not a middle eastern country.

I agree. The word has so much history - (history this country resolutely refuses to confront) - that it's almost impossible to use without starting trouble. Of course, if Lennon had said, "Women are the second-class citizens of the world," it wouldn't have had the same jarring impact. Racism and sexism - all the "isms" - are endlessly fascinating to me. For the most part I believe they can only be cured on an individual basis, i.e., we are all in charge of eliminating our own prejudices. Maybe the "N" word really does need a rest. Maybe it's like yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater.

i'm with ya, El! in my own lil corner of the world i attempt daily to ease the pains of racism as i've been discriminated against by those i protect most and it hurts, it hurts deeply! nonethelss, i do all i can to halt the stupidity i see around me.<br />
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as for the 'community' take the 'N' word for themselves so as to remove the hatred associated with it ... there will always be stupid and ignorant people of other races who are going to think it's okay to repeat what they heard, thereby, this word is never going to be owned by any group and the negative stigmatism will not diminish either. it's sad...

Constant, as ever, right on point. John Lennon was fiercely anti-racist, as am I, he used the phrase to shock and draw attention to his point. He was angry. As to the word itself, it IS a can of worms, an interesting one. Today it's used by blacks more than whites. Some blacks believe it should be dropped from the language, others believe that by adopting it and turning it into a greeting or "code word" they claim ownership of it and consequently rob it of its hateful power. I fall in between. As is usually the case, context indicates motives.

not to open a can of worms, however, EL did not USE the 'N' word. he simply utilized a quote for emphasis in his story. <br />
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John Lennon was not a 'hater' or 'racist' either - not that i'm aware of. John Lennon utilized the 'N' word for emphasis as well. and he utilized it well - better than i've heard in any social circles or public format!<br />
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also ... since the 'funeral' i wonder and have been wondering if the black community is also going to stop utilizing their favorite word to referring to one another???

Ditto on Sharton and Jackson, but that's why I thought I'd through the word hate in to give the coffin some real weight.

Thanks for the clarification. I think I might have heard about that "cermony." Very funny! Burying a word. Must have been a light coffin! -- You'd have to travel a long way to find a white guy who loves black culture and black people more than I do - but you can have Jackson and Sharpton as far as I'm concerned. Jackson is a grandstanding opportunist, and Sharpton, well, he's just a joke.

El, no you were not melodramatic. A few weeks ago Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton actually held a ceremony and had a burial for that N word. So now no one can use that word even the Blacks, ae, meledromatics

Was I being melodramatic? I'm certainly capable of it - but maybe I'm not getting what you're saying. -- I think words are inherently innocent. What we don't like about the "N" word is the baggage and guilt and shame that come with it, ultimately it's just a word. This is part of my argument with "politically correct" speech. Calling a bat a dove doesn't make it prettier. Hate is a good old-fashioned word. If we didn't have it we couldn't point it out in a police line-up. It's good to have names for one's enemies.

Wow, how refreshing... Oh, by the way that word has been buried with a proper ceremony just in case you had not heard...I can think of alot of words that should go also, Hate is top on my list, but not so much melodramatics please.