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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?

Zanymummy Wed 13-Dec-17 14:42:23

Part of the problem with a lack of men within feminism is perception. We all hear about male privilege but the privilege lies with that privileged minority bunch of males in upper management who make the decisions that affect us such as lower pay in some industries and lip service to family friendly hours etc, and the spineless M.P's who empower them.
Lets challenge the perception get our partners on board with feminism as we all know what hurts us hurts the family unit.
Of course even among the ordinary men their are the old dinosaurs who need to get a grip. i'm just speaking from experience in my old job where we were all treated the same ie badly regardless of gender.

Vegeetas Thu 22-Feb-18 17:07:06

Feminism would be a lot more palatable for male folk in general (not me I hasten to add, I think you rock) if it wasn't being screamed by women with green hair who hate men. They are the vocal minority but they are so loud they drown out never reasonable point anyone else has.

KnittyNatter Sun 25-Feb-18 01:33:48

Lolz, sorry we do not conform to your norms of how girlies should behave.

Vegeetas Tue 27-Feb-18 06:45:34

Pretty sure that isn't what I said but ok 😉

donquixotedelamancha Wed 23-May-18 22:27:47

What steps do you think can be taken to have more participation by the male species?

Do women want men in Feminism? Even on issues like self-ID, which have broad reaching consequences, you constantly see posters saying they don't want to hear male voices because it gets in the way of women being able to discuss amongst themselves.

While this remains the case, men should perhaps be concentrating on their own, separate campaigns.

Personally it make me a bit sad- many of my reasons for specifically supporting feminist ideas (as opposed to generalised equal rights) are my two young girls.- but perhaps that's the way it needs to be.

Vicky1990 Sun 27-May-18 22:04:42

Get rid of the term feminist as this is associated with some very nasty anti men attitude by some women.
Most men I know are very supportive of equility, but it does work both ways.
There are lots of ways that men are disadvantaged and discriminated against, but you never hear mentioned.

ABJ1 Mon 28-May-18 18:51:32

Long time lurker of other topics just in case I'm accused of signing up just to post in the feminism sub section... wink

Why aren't there any men?

....as a man you firmly believes in equality, because no space is made for men, widespread use of the word 'mansplaining' and 'white male privilege' have been used to shut me down on numerous occasions. If we are to make the world better for both genders, we need a discussion, a social contract between the genders, because it is not just women who suffer because of the patriarchy as defined. It's just my feeling but my take is that some discussions on gender feel zero sum, as in taking power from men rather than how we make thing better for both parties... Little paternity pay, working long hours, little chance of promotion to the top of the ladder because there are old men sitting in positions of power, isn't the patriarchy great. confused I'd much rather have greater flexibility and more time with my future children...

Leading on from that I someone on here makes an interesting point on class/ the intersection of age. I believe there are a lot of powerful men out there, white, white hair but their time is almost over. Women & girls are demonstrating higher attainment at university and school, and more women than apply to go to university, the change is coming.

There is also so much noise out there on the subject of gender that its not always the most sensible viewpoints on both sides that are heard. In trying to understand the issues I have done quite a bit of reading, its so easy to find comments such as the 'cismale is the enemy' to reinforce the opposition between men and women, or twitter feeds such as everydayfeminism that in some (not all) cases are the most trivial acts which are experienced by both genders on a regular basis and ignore the real issues while at the same time making the movement look infantile. Of course, some bad apple's don't tar a whole movement/gender right...

Personally I haven't got to grasp with what feminisms end goal is? There appear to be contradictions and ambiguities. Maybe a trivial example but I know ardent feminists who still expect men to act out their traditional male gender roles. In which case isn't that just a power grab for privileged positions held by men within the patriarchy rather than true equality? Why should I support feminism in that sense just so that alpha females can get on the board of a FTSE 100 company or that a female BBC presenter can earn £750K rather than £500K, that is not the reality for most people, help me get greater paternity leave, greater support for mental health and we all benefit.

Just read that back and apologies if it jumps around; as a married man to a wonderful wife and brother to an equally wonderful sister who finds sexism abhorrent I am a little tired of feeling under attack as a result of acts of other men. Last thing to say is that if I have children if I could choose I would choose to have a girl... that shouldn't be the case.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 30-May-18 20:01:19

"I am a little tired of feeling under attack as a result of acts of other men."

Yeah... so are women.

Anyway, why don't you concentrate on what you personally can do to be a useful ally to feminism. So I'm sure you are actively lobbying for greater paternity leave and pay, and looking to work somewhere that offers a better deal. Similarly regarding long working hours and flexitime.

FYI, "everyday feminism" is not representative of feminism, so don't take it seriously. It's eaten itself with its "woke" nonsense.

ABJ1 Wed 30-May-18 20:55:36

The last thing we need is a contest on who’s the biggest victim...

I was answering the question posed by the OP how I choose to spend my efforts outside of that is not of consequence

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 30-May-18 21:15:54

Good job that's not what I was suggesting.

So keen to fight sexism for your potential future daughters, that you won't even discuss what you personally might do. Ok then.

ABJ1 Wed 30-May-18 21:45:50

Why do you feel the need to make this about me and deflect from real issues? Seems rather typical - if we can’t have an adult conversation kind of sums up the issue

CardsforKittens Thu 31-May-18 20:59:07

I'm not sure I want more men in feminism. Most of them don't know enough to be useful and it's generally a waste of time engaging with them. So I'm happy enough for my feminist activism to be women-only, although I'm prepared to welcome men who have done the research and who stay relatively quiet.

ABJ1 Thu 31-May-18 21:23:25

So what your saying is men should know their place.. oh the irony

Vicky1990 Thu 31-May-18 21:35:07

A good place to go to find out why men may not engage with feminist views is woman's hour on radio 4.
Listen to the two feminist presenters and the open hostility towards men men that they spout, if that is what feminism is all about then no man would want to support it.

Missingstreetlife Wed 06-Jun-18 21:02:21

Feminism just means believing in equality for women. It will benefit everyone.
How can ppl think these royal women are feminist, holding up institutions of privilege and knowing their place? Yes even royal women can have difficult relationships but still have it easy.
Some of them do 'good works' but please be aware Diana left not one penny, that's not one penny, to her causes and charities. All left in trust so her kids can avoid tax. The young royals wear their hearts on their sleeves and drum up business for Samaritans and mental health groups. All good, but they too have not put a hand in their pocket.

internetprawn Wed 20-Jun-18 04:10:02

An acquaintance of mine, who calls himself a 'feminist', rocks up at a 'womens' book group and starts making lots of noise on behalf of his transgendered friends (who are not there), starts 'debating' (or maybe that should read baiting?) issues with the assembled gang of bright-eyed predominately white, lower-middle class student feminists who've come to talk about this frikkin' work of fiction they all loved, and boom, no book club no more: the young women involved were too scared the TRA's would rock up and chaos would ensue and they didn't have the stones to deal with a gang of aggressive, older, white men threatening to bash them for being cis-terf-scum. And I don't blame them. It was a book group. For women. Derailed by an allegedly 'woke' 50 year old man who was supposedly an 'ally'.

Cheers, 'Bro'.

So, no. I don't want men in feminism. Let men do their own, manly thing. On their own. Far, far away from the women, and when they're really 'woke up' to what's going down, then they need to come back and have a cup of tea with the women and realise that the problems both groups suffer with and from and under are the result of long-standing structural and systemic inequalities created by a minority elite who have long since morphed into respectability but who intentionally seek to maintain those inequalities so they can maintain their own elevated statuses, and the wheel keeps spinning because the engine of commerce need it to.

If all men were created equal, so too would baked beans. There would be no need for fifteen brands of baked beans and six different price points. All baked beans would taste more or less the same, and cost more or less the same. But, Asda Smart-Price tinned baked beans and Marks and Spencer's 'luxury' 'fresh' baked beans in a plastic pot with a fancy label will never co-exist in the same pan, my friends. This is a truth. Both are haricot beans in a tomato based sauce, of course, but if your Mum had two pans of beans, and one was Smartprice and the other was M&S, you'd still feel cheated if your Mum gave your brother the M&S beans and you know it. You'd be giving him the side-eye as he scarfed those beans, and you know he'd be laughing at you as he watched you try to swallow those inferior beanios while luxury bean juice dripped down his own overly-entitled chin.

the average woman's enemy isn't the average man, and the average man's enemy isn't the average woman. Our shared enemy is inequality, is lack of opportunity, is discrimination based on social class and the name of the beast who devours our children is capitalism.

you had unions, lads. To organise within, to fight for your rights, to provide you with educational options, but nah, politics wasn't cool. Instead you faux-collectivized with your football scarves, pretending this gaggle of blind men was a 'team', that football meant something, but you've been priced out of the football, and now you watch it in the pub instead.

And then the lads start noticing that there's all these others, blacks, gays, women, and they all have more rights than you 'highly prized' white men. So you run off to the right, to make noise and reclaim your birth-right, as men, but gee, the people on the right are not your friends either, lads. You noticed, yeah? They'll just use you for scut-work too. It's your defined role in society, lads, but your land is shrinking under your feet.

Average guys are bummed now they realise they're not really needed. Now they feel like nobody wants them, that nobody respects their ability to shovel shit and die in a trench now we've got machines for all that low-brow stuff. Soon we won't need soldiers or white van man, we wont need 'blokes' to drop off the new washing machine. We won't need taxi drivers, or lorry drivers, or well, poor white men in general, really. No wonder the poor blighters feel like they've got no voice, no place beyond selling drugs to escape the shitty sink estate, the army, or slumming it in Povvo-land and they feel cheated.

And rightfully so, lads. You have been cheated. White working class lads are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to educational attainment, social mobility, but they come top of the class when it comes to suicide. These lads were bred to be cannon fodder and do the donkey work, and well, sorry, but we have no use for that kind of man now, so abortion for all! Finally! Hurrah!

Thankfully, the guys are waking up. They've finally realised they're being shafted too, by the same system that kept women 'in their place' for centuries, and these men have started asking for 'more'. More freedom, more choice, more equality and equity and that isn't a bad thing, however clumsy and misogynistic their collectivizing sometimes appears: they too, like women, need to find their feet in this brave new world we're all creating.

just like how feminism went through it's 'men are cunts, let's cut off their cocks' phase, maybe men's rights need to go through their 'let's rape them in the fanny' stage before their discourse becomes more politically nuanced?

Of course, NAMALT.

More guys are accepting their responsibilities, they want to be good dads, they want to be good husbands, they want to be decent colleagues and friends and lovers, but they too, like women, are still shackled to these 'notions' we have about what men and women are, how they differ, and what that looks like. Lads have been left in limbo as the lies they were encouraged to believe fall away, but feminism isn't where they'll find succour.

Men don't need feminism. Men need their own version, a masculism, where their rights and health and reproductive and employment and other issues are considered from a purely male vantage point. Oh, but we have that already: and we call it... the patriarchy. But the patriarchy doesn't look after you either lads, does it? Not if you're a white working class lad it doesn't. All they bred YOU for was factory work and the army, and you're no longer relevant in today's society.

But, shucks. Instead of giving these poor fellas a break, we malign them and their toxic masculinity. We talk about their 'white male privileges' and 'rape culture', but most of these pasty faced kids don't have privilege, they just get the blame...

time to start organizing, dudes. marching. waving banners. that sort of thing.

Ereshkigal Sun 24-Jun-18 10:18:01

What a massive entitled prick internetprawn. angry

thebewilderness Tue 10-Jul-18 04:37:45

Feminism is the political movement for the liberation of women.
It is the only political movement that is expected to serve everyone.
We know why.

Dottierichardson Wed 11-Jul-18 17:35:22

InternetPrawn white working-class boys do indeed fare badly in school, but doesn't make them the bottom of the heap. After school white working-class boys do better in work than their Asian Muslim and black counterparts.

www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-muslims-and-black-people-do-better-in-school-worse-in-work

Dottierichardson Wed 11-Jul-18 17:36:29

InternetPrawn wonder why that might be? O I know institutional and social racism perhaps?

Dottierichardson Wed 11-Jul-18 17:37:43

Internet Prawn and guess which group of Asian Muslims fare worst? Girls.

CocoFlannel9 Fri 20-Jul-18 14:38:38

I can easily understand why most blokes turn their backs on feminism.

As other posters have mentioned, the average guy does not represent either the small % of white males who dominate at the top, nor the equally small % at the bottom who commit VAWG, and they don't want to be lumped into a pigeonhole and be lectures about the above.. As the recent thread on here demonstrated, most posters who drone on about two women a week being killed by men don't even realise that 84 men a week commit suicide and that many feminists have successfully campaigned against events intended to address this issue - like feminists successfully getting IMD cancelled at York University.

I also think that some elements of the toxic masculinity argument can be perceived as an attack on general 'maleness'. I know plenty of men who are competitive, 'masculine', etc by nature and who wouldn't want to redefine themselves to the feminist notion of 'what a man should be'.

Derwini123 Thu 23-Aug-18 17:40:10

@HouseMousQueen Your view on the Men's Rights movement is very worrying. It's purpose isn't to throw women back to the 50's. It's purpose is to help men with suicide issues and fight against the overwhelmingly large disparity between men and women in divorce settlements. Women twice more likely to get the kids in a divorce and men are three times more likely to succeed in committing suicide. I suggest you read up on the group's origin and purpose before making up your own view about them.

Derwini123 Thu 23-Aug-18 17:45:28

@chris71 The reason a lot of men do not opt into the feminism movement is because it is not relevant to them. Women already have equality and have done since the feminist movement of the suffragettes and so on. Right now feminists spout dishonest statements about a gender pay gap and manipulated statistics about domestic abuse. A lot of people see the new feminist movement for what it really is, a nasty movement seeped in misandry/man hating ideals. This is why in the UK less than HALF of women describe themselves as feminists and men even less so. If you believe in equality of the sexes that's fine but what feminism has become these days is much more malicious.

AngelsAckiz Wed 19-Sep-18 13:43:58

My DP is as fierce as I am but he is firmly in the ally position. He supports me, helps me and makes his space feminist.
He doesn't feel he has the right to speak on behalf of me.
He's there in the background, always learning. Reading blogs, watching YouTube videos like Magdalen Verbs, Peachy Yogurt, Posie Parker.

He engages men but he doesn't talk on female threads.

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