Words, words, words, art.

The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

What can men who are Feminists do?

December17

There’s this dude who makes a living as a professional feminist, writing books and teaching and getting paid gigs writing articles/blog posts about feminism. His take on feminism discusses the following:

  • his boners
  • people he’s stuck his boners into
  • people he wants to stick his boners into
  • people he’s stuck his boners into when they didn’t want his boners in them but LOL WHOOPS sometimes you just can’t tell a woman doesn’t want sex!
  • that time he decided his girlfriend, who was passed out from drugs and had just been raped, needed to die (for her protection!) and he tried to kill her
  • how women need to shut up and let men ejaculate onto their faces because it’s good for men
  • how hard it is to be a man
  • how femninism is gross and hard and unpleasant, but a duty
  • how shitty people who aren’t white are, with their wacky names and terrible fashion sense and how LOUD they are
  • how slutty and gross women are
  • how important he is
  • how it’s totally cool for a dude in a position of authority to have sex with women much younger and less experienced than him, especially in a scholastic setting (teacher and students)

In other words, he goes into feminist spaces and turns them into spaces about him, about his needs, about men. Did you know it’s hard to be a man? Women are just so baffling! And weird! And hard to manage! Whew, thank goodness there’s men like him around to herd those sluts.

He’s also tried to get WOC feminist writers fired by going over their heads to the people who hired them. Truly, he is professional!

So, in addition to Not Being That Guy, what can men who really are feminists/feminist allies do? There’s a growing body of men speaking as feminists who enter feminist spaces and shit them up, some to the point of becoming staunch MRA/MRM (Men’s Rights Advocates/ Men’s Rights Movement) shills. In media coverage of politics and health care and legal decisions that affect women, men are FAR more likely to be interviewed or given talk time. The society we live in automatically gives mens’ words more weight than womens’ words. Stuff that dudes say is taken more seriously than stuff that chicks say. So it can be really harmful when men are given platforms to speak in feminist spaces, because it continues the idea that male words are important words, that male voices have authority. But men take part in society, and raise women, and love women, and work for and with women. Shouldn’t they have a voice as well? What’s the responsible thing to do to ensure that women’s voices and experiences are heard?

One thing that men can do, one very strong and vital thing that men can do, is make all spaces they inhabit feminist spaces.

Any space that you occupy, make it a feminist space.

I’m not saying wave your magic feminist wand and erase all inequality forever.

But I am saying that if you’re listening to the radio and the DJ makes a joke that’s sexist (or racist or transphobic or homophobic or ablist or whatever) then call and complain. Write a letter and complain. When you see a beer ad that’s sexist etc, write an email to the beer company complaining. When you see a trailer for a movie and all the characters that are in the movie are male, talk about that. When you watch a sitcom where all the women are super sexy and pretty dumb and have little in the way of character development or dialogue, stop watching the show and discuss why you don’t watch it. When people make sexist etc comments, call them on it. When someone posts an anti-woman screed online or talks about “having sex with” a woman who was drunk or asleep, call him on it. You don’t have to give a big speech, just say that it’s not appropriate. Take the space that you’re in and change it. Make it better. Do what you can.

A friend of mine said once that we’re not responsible for the past, just for fixing the present. We can all make changes. Men can lend their voices in support of women, and should. And that will make a better, healthier world for all of us.

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