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Do men call themselves 'a feminist'?

(12 Posts)
Nospringflower Mon 01-Aug-11 16:05:26

Argument with friend. I say most men would say they support feminism / feminists etc rather than call themselves feminist but she says a mam would say 'i am a feminist'. What do you think?

Sarsaparilllla Mon 01-Aug-11 16:06:59

I don't think it matters what they label themselves, if they support equal opportunities etc I think they believe in feminist ideas but does it matter how that is labelled?

MrsReasonable Mon 01-Aug-11 16:30:53

I think it depends on one's own definition of 'feminist' - personally, I define it as 'a person who supports equal rights and opportunities for women. I know others with the same definition, but change out 'person' for 'woman'. I know others who add various other bits on about challenging, or being active, or being against X or Y, and so on. Long story short, they can label themselves however they want and still be correct.

As to what most men would say, I think the majority would say they 'support/agree with feminism', rather than 'I'm a feminist', but only because all the 'famous' feminists have been women, and they haven't realised that it isn't necessarily a gendered word.

confidence Mon 01-Aug-11 21:55:06

I'm a man. I support equal rights and opportunities absolutely, but I don't call myself a feminist.

I think I find the idea of men calling themselves feminists a bit patronising, or like they're trying to get cred by jumping on a bandwagon. There's a difference between looking objectively at society and saying "those people there are fighting for a better deal, and I think they're justified in doing so and agree with what they're saying", and actually BEING one of those people. There is a particular experience connected with being oppressed, or being part of a group that is oppressed automatically before your qualities as an individual can be fully valued.

I suspect some men like the idea of identifying with that experience, because it's cool to be the underdog or somehow outside of the dominant power structure. Like the way a lot of white middle class kids in the 70s and 80s tried to identify with being black.

Personally, I'm not afraid to admit that I'm lucky to have been born such that I'm not part of any oppressed group. It seems more respectful of those groups that are oppressed to do so.

jennyvstheworld Mon 01-Aug-11 22:13:27

Firstly, (in this country at least) most people take it for granted that discrimination on the basis of race, gender etc etc is a BAD THING. Therefore to say that one is in favour of equal opportunities for women (EOFW) is akin to saying that one is opposed to the slave trade.

Secondly, classifying yourself as a feminist is often to infer that you conform to an ideology that extends beyond EOFW and involves getting very angry about 'the patriarchy' whilst, curiously, often being completely blase about wider issues (such as ranting about use of the word 'girl' but having no opinion at all about, say, NATO operations in Afghanistan, Greek debt, NHS reform, the rise of the far-right in Europe, piracy, deforestation, university fees, Syrian protests, public-sector pension reform, peak-oil, Fairtrade etc etc etc.)

joaninha Mon 01-Aug-11 23:41:37

But Jenny, why does being a feminist "infer" all those things? Who decided that it did and is everyone so eager to believe that?

And why are annoyance at the use of the word "girl" and a concern with world issues mutually exclusive? Why would anyone assume that they are?

joaninha Tue 02-Aug-11 00:04:26

Also Jenny, to pick up on your first point. While a lot of people may state a belief in equal opportunities for women they often follow it up with a "but" statement like: "but they need to be able to hack it in the real world" or "but things have gone too far" or "but there are just some things a woman can't do" and then launch into a long list of heavy lifting occupations. All this betrays a thinly veiled resistance to equality and/or a real ignorance of the way forces in society combine to keep things very unequal in terms of opportunity or money.

jennyvstheworld Tue 02-Aug-11 00:07:03

1. Read these threads; no one decided, it's demonstrated in most posts on these pages.

2. I didn't say they were mutually exclusive - quite the opposite, in fact, as I suggested that if one was exercised by semantics (for example) one should surely be extremely engaged with rather more pressing issues. What I did point out, however, was that this seems rarely to be the case (as indeed it is with many entrenched activists).

PatRiarchy Thu 04-Aug-11 04:43:52

No. Most men are anti feminist because most men are just and say that people should be treated equally irrespective of sex, ethnicity, religion, etc. whereas feminist believe in sexism and treating people unequally. The feminist credo seems to be like the book Animal Farm. All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. Example, in 1985 feminists insisted the education system should be changed to hamper boys so that there could be equal numbers of females matching the boys' achievements. Now that females enter and complete university degrees twice as much as men there is no need to do anything.
Now, if there were a Titanic disaster today would females be insisting that half the places on the boats should go to men because men are equal? Would females insist on being killed in equal numbers? I think not since feminists think there should be quotas on executive positions but see no need to have equal numbers of females in dangerous occupations so that there is an equal number of dead females and dead men each year.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 04-Aug-11 17:35:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Butterbur Thu 04-Aug-11 18:12:30

Strange, Pat, that you call men "men" in your post, but women get called "females". What's wrong with "women"?

holyShmoley Thu 04-Aug-11 19:19:36

ha ha ha Pat, have you been on the sauce again!

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