Now, if you ask most people, especially most men, if it is possible to be a male feminist, they will say no. Some of them may assume you are gay. I am sure that most of them will not know what feminism is. They may think it means you hate men, want them to be subjugated by women. In fact I am pretty certain that they will think that – hence also the assumption that if you are a male feminist, then you are homosexual (the concept that you can be gay and not think ‘like a woman’ will most likely be lost on them). I know these statements may seem like I am pushing the lack of knowledge to an extreme, but I’m not really.
Take for example the recent Sky Sports issue, with Keys and Gray (in the interest of full disclosure, I cannot stand either of them) both ending up without a job because of their sexist remarks – incidentally, Sian Massey clearly knew the offside rule pretty damn well, since she got the decisions in the game right. They deserved to get fired. They did. Got what they had coming to them, and right now ought to stop trying to justify it, and just accept that they are wrong.
What has wound me up a bit more than that, however, are some of the responses. From Giles Coren and his ‘what about the men’ column, to the accusations that since Loose Women is ok, then misogyny is ok. If you want to read a pretty thorough trashing of that particularly moronic point of view, then this is top of the book list:
I was expecting arguments from male numbskulls that don’t get it. Lots of men don’t. I like to think that I do. What is even worse than that is the response from women. Here is an example, this stunningly bad piece of poetry from Kate Hopkins on Twitter (from the Apprentice apparently)”
“There once was a man Andy Gray. Who said what he thought every day. On one occasion [sic]. He caused an invasion. Of feminists who needed a lay!”
What particularly staggers me about this is that this woman was put in the eye of the media by appearing on a television show for people to try and get a job working for Alan Sugar, at what appears to be a reasonably high level. What Ms Hopkins has not gathered about these “feminists who needed a lay” is that without feminists, she would not be able to have applied for the job that got her on television, and made her name. Wouldn’t have happened. She would have ended up, at most, as a secretary or assistant. That is not to besmirch the hiring practices of any of Lord Sugar’s companies, but without feminists fighting for equal employment opportunities and similar equalities, this woman would not have been able to broadcast that incredibly closed minded piece of garbage to her, at time of writing, 1,485 followers.
The problem seems to be a pretty impressive lack of understanding about what feminism means. When I learned about the suffragettes at school it was about getting the vote for women, because they were subjects, and ought to have a say in who was running the country. I’m sure that, outside the hardcore sexist misogynist groups, no one will doubt that women ought to be able to vote. But what I would like those who get all upset that ‘feminists hate men and are out to get them’ to realise is that feminism is not about making women superior to men. It is about getting women to be equal to men.
This is from http://dictionary.reference.com/
1. The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. (Sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.”
“Rights of women equal to those of men”. That is it. Being a man doesn’t mean that you cannot want women to be equal with men. You may not believe it, but if you want women and men to be equal socially, politically, legally, then you are a feminist. Congratulations. It doesn’t in any way challenge your masculinity, or mean your dick will fall off. Some of your mates may laugh, some of them might agree. Those who laugh, challenge them on why. Expose the inherent sexism that we see all around us every day. If you make them defend an argument that says that women are in any way less than men, then if we are very lucky, they might hear what they are saying and realise how wrong they are. Or, at the very least, just like Keys and Gray, with their misogyny exposed, they might just shut up and leave the rest of us in peace.