The blog formerly known as Shakespeare’s Sister has an interesting post from Mr Shakes on why men should get over the idea that feminism constitutes a threat to them, and embrace it as, well, just humanism.
If men were smart, they wouldnât fight against feminism. They would embrace it for what it really is: Humanism. (And stop fretting over whether the term âfeminismâ? is exclusory; its principles arenât.) They would incorporate the principles of all civil rights movements and collaborate with their proponents on the genesis of a vast humanist movement. Instead of feeling threatened by or put upon by these movements, instead of feeling they somehow denigrate straight, white menâs lives or their ability to be who they are, men would apply these ideas in an effort to improve their own lives, along with everyone elseâs. What we need to do is confer all the rights and privileges that these men have traditionally enjoyed upon everyone else, and then, once weâve done that, we can start thinking about what new rights, obligations, responsibilities we can confer on everyone, in order to make our society a more egalitarian and fair place to live.
Men need to get it through their heads that they, too, are under the heel of power structures that have no interest in promoting their welfare. They must understand that the rights and privileges that they have hitherto been enjoying fall far short of the privileges they could enjoy were they to try and achieve them. The internecine warfare that occurs between women and men, people of color and white people, straights and gays, as they all squabble like schoolchildren in an attempt to gain or deny rights, is exactly what those in power want. They promote it, they foment it, they do everything they can to aggravate it, because they know that if we were all ever to get our fucking shit together, and demand that the society we all live in and contribute to should be fair and decent to everyone, then the egregious wealth and power that they enjoy would finally meet its end.
I could quibble with this argument, a little, but I’m not inclined to. One thing I was reflecting on with regard to tigtog’s two posts on cyberbullying and Jill Filipovic was the masculinism a number of commenters (rightly, on the whole, I think) observed shapes blogosphere norms. Could one useful way of countering this be for pro-feminist male bloggers to, as it were, out themselves?
Update: Amanda’s take on Mr Shakes’ post from Pandagon.