"Should a man teach women about feminism?"(14 Posts)
Not if it's ^this^ man. He's not a feminist. On his Facebook page (linked in article) he admits contacting page members for sex, and in the article takes to mansplaining. Not good, IMO.
And no, I don't think any man should 'teach' women about feminism.
Moderator on feminism website bans dissenting commenters, news at 11.
In my humble opinion, men are better off sitting back, observing (if interested) and leaving the feminist movement to women. While this guy might have good intentions, there is too much scope for conflict.
I disagree. Take a professional discipline that is historically male-dominated. Say, 5% of the workforce is female. Somebody (male or female, probably both, since some men as well as some women do have eyes and brains) recognises that this is not a good state to be in. So active steps are to be taken. Taken by whom? Just the 5% women? If there is injustice it is up to all of us to take steps, independent of what genitalia you are born with.
But I speak in general. I've not looked at the FB link. There are already enough things making me angry.
In my experience, it is not possible to engage in feminist discussions as a man, unless you wish to do so without disagreement, dissent or questioning. Men can assist merely by not obstructing. The moment you get to a point where you say, 'hang on a minute, I think that's wrong...', you are screwed - the spear of privilege is aimed at your head, and you are skewered. All debate then becomes pointless.
I think that both men and women should talk and teach about feminism because feminism is not a women's issue - it is a human issue. When there is a lack of equality in society both women and men suffer as a result. To address the problem, it is essential that men see it as their issue too.
Unfortunately it is not just two points of view in feminism. There are men in favour of feminism, there are men in favour of some parts of feminism, men who are interested in mens rights and men that foam at the mouth if you mention anything that disagrees with their point of view. Then we have liberal feminists, fun feminists, radical feminist, women who are feminist but don't realise it, women who reject feminism and women who are more on board with male issues.
Thats a lot of different views as it is and groups are not going to fit everyone. Finger pointing, name calling and rants help no one and alienate most people. The thing is so long as all the groups are pushing against each other those with real privilege like Cameron and attacking small groups to empower those at the top. But none of us notice because we are too busy fighting and trolling with each other.
The internet has freed the nutters to preach their opinion and the world is big enough there will be those that think the same. Just a shame we are so busy preaching our beliefs we sometimes miss key points from others because they don't believe in the same as us.
ffs are attacking.... I want an edit facility
Men can assist merely by not obstructing.
So in my example of the 5% female and 95% male discipline, it would be common that most decisions are taken by men. What does "not obstructing" mean then? We will do what we have always done? We don't hate women, it is just that they don't apply for the jobs? We will carry on being nice to the women already here? If the women want change they should do something about it because we are powerless to do anything? What exactly does "not obstructing" mean? Is this good enough?
LordC, if we take your example, I mean that when a woman applies for that job, men do not obstruct her progression on the grounds that she is a woman. They don't tell her not to bother because she will probably want to leave and have kids. They don't dismiss her because she probably isn't tough, or hard-nosed enough. They look at her skills, personality and relevant experience - like they would with a male candidate.
In my experience (in a field that is very male-dominated) nobody ever explicitly discriminates against anybody. My colleagues are all supremely rational (male and female) and extremely nice and I love them. Yet the statistics remain. We are now actively considering ways to address the situation. We don't say "let's not do this or that", we think "what can we all do about it".
And we reasonable people (and I assume you, namechangeguy, are one) never consciously discriminate. We would be horrified if anyone accuses us of that. Yet how many of us can honestly say that we are immune to all the social conditioning that we are subjected to since we are born, that we do all things consciously and never think or feel or do anything irrationally? There are studies that show that sometimes we are the worst offenders. (Read Delusions of Gender for those.) So I take issue with "not obstructing", as if as long as we are not actively discriminating and presenting obstacles we are OK. We ought to be ^removing" obstacles.
Perhaps we do agree in principle. But words do mean things. And I will quarrel over words.
Upto if we take an extreme example.
You require a heart operation there are two doctors both with a 90% success rate. One has done 5000 operations and the other 2500. Instinctively most people would go with the one with the bigger sample.
If you bring this down to normal work when choosing people for a job should you choose the best person for the job or positively discriminate that the best person that fits the criteria of sex, race, age and disability? If people fit rotas for positive discrimination then every ism will want to be in on the criteria.
Personally just want the best person for the job. Especially if my children are relying on that person.
Positive action is not positive discrimination. Positive action removes obstacles that unfairly impede someone's progress for reasons not to do with competence. These obstacles would usually be things like past discrimination or disadvantages due to existing attitudes or social structure. It is not saying that you employ the woman because she's a woman. In fact positive discrimination is illegal in the UK.
The "best" person for the job is sometimes easy to choose, when the criteria is clear. However, in some cases things are not so clear cut. Studies (again Delusions of gender for references) show that, for example, if you have two identical CV, one with a male name on and one with a female name on, the CV with the male name will be chosen. The reasons given will be something like it's the best person for the job. But what is "best" will be different.
And sausage, in your example, is "instinct" correct? How will the person with less experience ever gain more experience? Is it his/her fault that he/she has less experience? When we worked the experienced doctor to death what will we do? Go for "second best"?
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