I’ve discussed this a lot during summer. I believe that every human being have equal rights. I’m against opression on all grounds, including gender and sex. I find conservative gender-roles repulsive. But I do not want to call myself a feminist. Feminism is a set of theories of what is wrong with the world and what to do about it. So of course men can be feminists.
And still I don’t label myself a feminist. Cheerful Megalomaniac has a very good answer. If someone think that men cannot be feminists, then I put my gender identity first and refuse to call myself a feminist. Pick your fights. This is just not my fight. I believe in diversity among human beings, across the borders of gender. And although some feminists agree with me, there is a lot of so called feminism around that I don’t like:
- The idea that your gender = your sex, that gendered socialization or biology is destiny.
- The focus on so called «female values», that women are more caring and would never start a war.
- The focus on women as victims. Although it is important to recognize opression, I don’t think all women are victims or that all men are rapists or supporting rape. I believe that such a world-view is potentially dangerous.
- The idea of sisterhood. I know I left that behind and I’m not sorry. Stereotypical feminity makes me puke, and the idea of sisterhood implies that one should tolerate stupidity just because it comes from a woman, who is opressed and can’t help it.
I know that these ideas don’t represent feminism as a total, but I find them so disturbing that I want to distance myself from them.
I like the way you’ve thought about this. I guess I can relate, since I don’t feel like the «race» battle is my battle, nor do I feel any more victimized than anyone else (despite what people may say).
There are definitely threads in feminist philosophy that take into account the sort of complaints you have, but it is also hard for them to get distance from the silly sort of «female values» you’ve mentioned.
Thanks for this.
I think you’re putting feminism in a box based on what some feminists believe.
By the logic of «some of this group espouse something I don’t believe in, so I don’t identify with this group,» you’d be hard-pressed to find any group to identify with.
There isn’t a «feminism as a whole» that I’ve seen.
To quote the article:
«I know that these ideas don’t represent feminism as a total, but I find them so disturbing that I want to distance myself from them.»
Most feminists don’t believe that guys like Tarald and myself can identify as feminists anyway, but the minute we say ‘We are not feminists because:’ a bunch of you pop out of the woodwork to tell us that we are putting feminism in a box, and we are wrong about it.
Tarald: Nice post. I totally agree. Especially about putting my gender identity before the concept of sisterhood. The ‘sisterhood’ turns on itself all the time. You only have to look as far as Twisty’s blog, or Michfest to see that.
I think it’s important to realize that there is diversity among feminists, too.
indeed, a common criticism of feminism is that there is nothing BUT diversity among those that identify as feminists. i take your point but please realize that by disavowing the ‘feminist’ label, you are reinforcing its stigma as a dirty word among women today, thereby doing more harm than good for women. why not just say you’re a feminist who believes [insert your belief here]? there’s plenty of room for all opinions! this inclusiveness/ rejection of formulaic thinking is one of the most beautiful things about feminism!
He doesn’t say that he’s «…a feminist who believes [insert your belief here]…» because he chooses not to be a feminist.
I realize that feminism as an ideology/label is open, but I am tired of fighting for my space within it. And I am not that open myself. I disagree so heavily with some of the feminisms that I find it har to use the same label on me.
I don’t think this is my fight anymore.
Tilbaketråkk: Jeg var en gang… radikalfeminist | Tarald Stein