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Men in Feminism (and their lack thereof)

(67 Posts)
chris71 Sun 14-Jun-15 17:59:14

My wife and I being very expressive feminists always wonder why there are not as many men who are feminists. Though we know a lot of guys who are but we believe the lack of them is because they perceive it as a threat to their male self. Not being able to convince a lot of males to be a part of the movement, like most feminists, we work on 'empowering' women instead of persuading men to participate.
What steps do you think can be taken to have more participation by the male species?

cadno Wed 17-Jun-15 13:49:09

Hi Chris

What leads you to think this lack of engagement is due to men feeling a threat to their 'male self'. I only put that into quote marks, as I don't know what you mean be the phrase.

Look forward to hearing from you. Cadno.

chris71 Wed 17-Jun-15 16:04:11

Hey Cadno, in our experience, we have found out that most men internally feel that supporting anything against patriarchy will have a bad effect on them. And no one wants to give away control. Hence the thought. Please feel free to add your own thoughts to this smile

ShipShapeAhoy Wed 24-Jun-15 20:28:48

I think some men (and women) think either that feminists want men to be treated as second class citizens, or they deny there is a need for feminism in the first place, or both.

I think the word 'feminism' actually puts some men off as it's a female centred word and that's why you hear "I'm not a feminist, I believe in equality/I am a humanitarian. " In the past I felt more sympathetic to that view, but I gave it some thought and did some reading and thought well, feminism is a movement created for and by women to fight against male oppression, so why on earth should the name be changed to be more inclusive of men? (I'm not asking just explaining my thought process).

There seems to be a lot of misinformation about what feminism stands for too and sometimes this is being spread intentionally.

Disregarder Thu 20-Aug-15 12:22:33

I'm not a feminist because I see no need for it now that we have equality. Yes there are still some people continuing to push the debunked idea that we don't, but it's quite easy to spot them and they are generally people with their own agenda trying to cause arguments where there don't need to be any, and they are best ignored.

BreakingDad77 Thu 20-Aug-15 17:21:09

"I'm not a feminist, I believe in equality/I am a humanitarian. "

I used to think that, we have the equality act etc whats the problem, especially as I work in a male dominated workplace, they dont want to get there hands dirty etc I would think.

Then after maturing, dating, reading enough of everydaysexism, peoples responses to ched evans, and reading lots of shitty treatment of women in the workplace. Dont get me wrong men suffer too with hazings and initiations but who instigates these - men.

IrenetheQuaint Thu 20-Aug-15 17:29:32

Yes, feminism does require men to give up male privilege, which obviously is not appealing to many men. However, it also seeks to knock down ridiculous gender stereotypes which damage both sexes.

I'm sure there are lots of men who are beginning to understand why feminism is necessary from the injustices all around us and the increasing number of people (of both sexes) who draw attention to them.

Plus, the more sexism becomes socially unacceptable, the more men will try (or at least make a vague effort) not to be sexist.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 21-Aug-15 08:34:08

I'm surprised that you've registered on MN to post solely in the feminist section then, dis.

If you believe we already have equality (a) you are wrong and (b) feminism doesn't need you as an ally. Not sure why you are here being unpleasant, particularly on the thread where you are defending someone talking about punching women to the ground.

"generally people with their own agenda trying to cause arguments where there don't need to be any, and they are best ignored."

Mmm hmm. Good description.

HouseMouseQueen Sat 22-Aug-15 23:24:48

The reason why there's hardly any men in feminism is because it challenges their power. This is why you constantly see backlash movements, like the current 'men's rights' movement whereby the only goal they have is to 'Fk their Sh up.' I'm serious. That's the logo. These men want women back into the 1950's. I get rape and death threats constantly for exposing the fact that these online groups target and harm women. I can't tell you how many emails I get from women who are trying to leave an MRA and they have kids.

It's one of the reasons I started an account on mumsnet. So I could help women navigate the online and offline world of misogyny.

Men are scared of losing their violent control over women. In fact in 2013 there was a global research effort to statistically see how many women suffer from male violence. The numbers are shocking.

womenlogic Fri 04-Sep-15 14:51:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 04-Sep-15 14:57:24

Lol @ "submissive lady men" what a turn off phrase!

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Fri 04-Sep-15 14:57:53

Turn of phrase that should be


LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 04-Sep-15 15:01:36

Sorry women you lost me at Princess Diana being a role model...

A role model for what, exactly? I mean, she broke up her marriage, got the children, got the money, never had to do a day's work again... isn't that what you're against?

womenlogic Fri 04-Sep-15 15:06:11

Thanks for your response Lonny. I should have stated it clearer.
I meant role model in terms of how she used her social status and wealth, to actively get out there, in the real world, and help everyone she could. There may be better role models than Her Royal Highness, Princess Diana, but whoever, will surely be more adequate than Beyonces half naked butt twerking but not doing anything.

AllThePrettySeahorses Fri 04-Sep-15 15:09:42

Oh, I dunno ... Diana spearheaded campaigns against landmines, was revolutionary in changing attitudes towards people with HIV/AIDS and probably some other things.

How many women rape men?
Out of the many men (still far fewer than women) who have been victims of DV, are there any figures as to how many suffered because of their father or other older male in the household?
How does feminism teach women "to stay a victim and be inferior for the rest of their life" when it has also resulted in "Women have equal pay, social status, votes, own property etc?"

am I feeding the T word?

MephistophelesApprentice Fri 04-Sep-15 15:09:42

I support the existence of feminism as the dictionary definition is an inarguable necessity.

Adopting the label would put me next to people who's beliefs I do not share and they might actually think I support them, or others would.

It's like the thread the other day where someone wanted signatures on a petition to prevent a public awareness campaign singling men out in domestic violence awareness. I didn't sign the petition as it was an irrelevant complaint. I couldn't sit on the 'no bench' as all the scars on my face and my negative psychological reactions were created by women. Beyond my personal issues, my education in psychology and sociology has led me to points of disagreement with feminist motivations, even though I pursue the same objectives.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 04-Sep-15 15:44:40

Given the deletion All, mibbie?

womenlogic2 Fri 04-Sep-15 16:01:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MephistophelesApprentice Fri 04-Sep-15 16:04:31


The ideology is relevant. Examples of bad practice should be specifically targetted, or you're sinking to 'their' level by claiming collective responsibility.

If NAMALT is true, so is NAFALT and actions should be undertaken accordingly.

womenlogic2 Fri 04-Sep-15 16:06:14

NAMALT behavior is targeted and dealt with (like my post), NAFALT behavior gets away with it.

MephistophelesApprentice Fri 04-Sep-15 16:17:13

Yes, but this is where the opportunity arises to take the moral high ground. The belief in collective responsibility has lead to hideous crimes throughout history and that is one criticism that can be levelled at the ideology - but to consider feminists to have collective responsibility is retributive justice. This is the excuse that some feminists have used to justify the closure of male domestic/sexual violence shelters and support the Duluth model of domestic abuse and it cannot be regarded as morally right.

The only way to demonstrate the moral inferiority of such behaviour is to model good behaviour - to address specific feminists who you regard as poisoning gender issues and target their specific actions for condemnation. Otherwise 'feminists - don't hate' becomes little better than 'men - don't rape'. You know how that makes you feel - imagine it the other way.

The way to win the argument is with greater empathy - eventually, I promise you, even those who feel the most hatred can be shamed by a surfeit of acceptance and tolerance.

MephistophelesApprentice Fri 04-Sep-15 16:18:32

I promise you, even those who feel the most hatred can be shamed by a surfeit of acceptance and tolerance.

In civilised society, that is. Don't try it with ISIS.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 16:34:23

"This is the excuse that some feminists have used to justify the closure of male domestic/sexual violence shelters "

Was it feminists who got them closed, Meph? That's surprising.

Chriscloyd Fri 18-Sep-15 01:08:07

I got a male feminist for a teacher and we fight all the time. Mostly because of this essay I wrote on Robert Jensen about masculinity.

VestalVirgin Sat 07-Nov-15 20:04:38

The lack of men in feminism is because men don't want to give up male privilege.

I don't think that can be changed. It's simple selfishness. If you have a method to cure selfishness, I'd be interested in how it works.

What I am certain will not work is trying to make feminism more appealing to males. That will only destroy feminism.

Let's be real here; men know in which ways they are harmed by patriarchy. They know that the violence done to men is overwhelmingly done BY men.
Those men who do don't want to abolish patriarchy just decided that having all the privilege is better than the safety from violence that they could achieve by siding with feminism.

Men are more likely to be raped than to be falsely accused of rape. Now, ask yourself, what are most men more worried about?

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