Dear Boys

Posted: August 17, 2010 in Feminism, Masculinities
Tags: ,

Dear Boys, (Or, Men, if you prefer)

This is a brief note to say Sorry. And also thank-you.

You all responded to my questions about ‘men and feminism’ so honestly and in such detail.  But as I was reading them, I heard about what actually happened at that UK Feminista summer school, which was much worse than even I had imagined it would be. Bidisha said feminism was all about being on ‘the girls’ team’. Julie Bindel said if she had one bullet she’d use it to shoot the academics who research into sex work.

And I myself lost the will to live. Not to live, but to think rationally and carefully about feminism, about men’s exclusion or otherwise from it.

Frankly I was amazed by your generosity to a movement, which, as far as I can see, ignores or vilifies you at every turn.

Andy V said I was not being ‘objective’ enough, by stating this belief before I had even asked the questions. I told him he was wrong. But I think he was right after all. I am still too upset and angry about feminism to write considered and, not objective, as I don’t believe in objectivity, but empathetic analysis of your words.

I am going to put this on hold until I have got some distance. Feminism will still be there, I am afraid when I come back, and, more pleasingly, so will men.

I really appreciate you making the effort to talk to me. Please feel free to come and reprimand me here for my failings!

It’s just sometimes it seems as though feminism thinks you are good for nothing whipping boys. And it makes me so unhappy.

xxx QRG

Comments
  1. AndyVGLNT says:

    I didn’t mean to challenge your objectivity, but rather the efficacy of biasing your data from the outset by disclosing your bias to respondents at the point of data collection.

  2. well whatever your misgivings, I think you had reason for your doubts about the ‘efficacy’ of my research… But I will finish writing it up when I have stepped back from the subject a little.

  3. Korhomme says:

    I answered the question about whether I am a feminist with a yes. And then I got to wondering. Can a man be a feminist; is this like asking a man are you a lesbian?

    Now, I might support feminism — or some parts of it — and I might support all sorts of equal opportunities, but is that enough to make me a feminist? Or am I simply playing at semantics?

    • I can’t answer your question, Korhomme without being rude about feminism myself. That’s the problem with my research: I am too pissed off with feminism.

      I wouldn’t worry about what you call yourself-just get on with being yourself and being a decent person as I am sure you are!

      Thanks for your comment.

  4. Alex says:

    @Korhomme

    I agree with QRG. It doesn’t matter really what you call yourself; ideological labels are bullshit unless you think and act according to the values that you have. I call myself a feminist (a male feminist, if there’s confusion in my neutral first name) because I believe that my values align with certain branches of feminism enough for me to consider it an appropriate label. But it’s my values that come first. If someone says or does someone which I see as wrong or makes me uncomfortable (that is somehow related to my feminist values), I pick them up on it because it conflicts with my values first and foremost and not just in spite of me being a feminist. Because there is lots of stuff that affiliates itself with feminism which I completely disagree with.

    There are plenty of waves to ride, but you don’t have to ride any at all if it doesn’t fit! (ho ho bad feminism joke)

    • Korhomme says:

      I guess I’m just being too literal. I’m very left-brained, though I don’t want to be, and old habits are very hard to eradicate. I’m not a lawyer, but the precision of meaning of words is important to me, and without the non-verbal interactions here (on the web in general), I’m sometimes confused by exactly what people mean.

  5. Jack of Kent says:

    Am a feminist?

    Well, is it for me to say?

    I am interested in gender and in power relationships; I am interested in equality and avoiding abuses of power; I am interested in ensuring that each person has the best possible chance of autonomy and self-realisation.

    I am sure a great deal of this accords with feminism; but, if it does not, then I prefer to be a liberal humanist anyway.

  6. Thanks Jack of Kent.

    I have just chatted to some feminists who are openly ‘separatist’ and want nothing to do with men altogether! So I don’t see how feminism can say ‘men should be feminists’…

  7. At first, thought this post was a joke. In any event, it’s damn funny!

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