“Male feminists” have been taking it on the chin lately.
They get no respect, not even from female feminists, who view them variously as (a) insincere sheep in wolves clothing, dressing up in feminist garb to score with the ladies, or (b) sincere, but incapable of divesting themselves of all vestiges of the patriarchy no matter how hard they try.
In category no. 1, insincerity, there was the column in The Guardian in October which caused quite a stir, Why I won’t date another ‘male feminist’:
…. men looking for feminist-sanctioned romance tend to fall in to one of two categories: those who use our attraction as a sign of approval and seek out trophy feminists to clear their conscience of any inherent patriarchal wrong-doing, and outright predators who employ a bare-bones knowledge of feminist discourse to target any young woman whose politics so much as graze the notion of sex-positivity….
It’s not that I don’t think men can be feminists. There are several men in my life who have approached feminism with respect and considerate thought, who have used feminism to examine their own privilege and experiences within the world and have become better people for it.
But these men are in a disappointing minority compared to the rest of the male feminists I, and many other women, have encountered: men who use the term “feminist” as either bait or an alter-ego, assuming that their opt-in respect for women will entitle them to legions of adoring lovers – really the most anti-feminist act of all.
Similarly, in I’m Suspicious of Male “Feminists” — And You Should Be Too the author questioned the motives of male feminists:
If you’re a dude reading this, and you consider yourself a feminist, then I just have a few questions for you:
Are you more likely to stop supporting the porn industry because it brutally exploits and abuses women — or because you’ve watched too much porn and now your dick won’t work properly? 🙁
… Did you start calling yourself a feminist because you have a genuine desire to surrender the ways you benefit from patriarchy — or because you thought women would find you more attractive if you appropriated their label?
In category no. 2, we have the sincere but insufficiently feminist male feminists, as epitomized by this graphic circulated on December 23, 2015 by Planned Parenthood and currently a topic of much mockery on Twitter:
The graphic is from the Feminisiting website, and on close inspection is quite disrespectful to men trying their best to be good feminist allies. Here’s the whole thing, click to enlarge even more:
The Featured Image is my favorite panel in the graphic. The male Women’s Studies Professor.
Andrew Klavan seems to think the next panne is pretty smart.
— Andrew Klavan (@andrewklavan) December 26, 2015
The mockery on Twitter both of the graphic and Planned Parenthood spreading it is pretty brutal.
But not everyone is amused.
— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) December 26, 2015
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