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I am of the opinion that men can never be true feminists (I use ‘feminist’ to describe true feminism not libfeminists).

I’m curious to know what other’s perspectives are on this site. Drop a comment below if you want

I am of the opinion that men can never be true feminists (I use ‘feminist’ to describe true feminism not libfeminists). I’m curious to know what other’s perspectives are on this site. Drop a comment below if you want

41 comments

[–] hiddenGO 37 points (+37|-0)

When I was younger I didn't have any problem with men calling themselves feminists, or going to feminist events, but now I have. In my experience, men who insist they are feminist are not feminist, they only want to be the center of attention, and the same goes for men who assist feminist events. The ones I consider more pro feminist are usually quiet and listening, not claiming to be super feminist or super allys.

[–] La 6 points (+6|-0)

They could watch their kids, or their sister’s kids, so a woman can attend. That’s close

[–] llkit 24 points (+24|-0) Edited

I'm of the view men can be feminist aligned, but not feminists. I've seen way too many of them use it as a chat up line or to present as non threatening. Usually they've done fuck all research and thinking.

A male aligned feminist, in my view, would be working to dismantle the patriarchy, but doing so by getting into the problems of masculinity. Bar a handful of researchers men never usually do this as they're too scared of other men.

Until they stop being scared of other men and their some action, I consider them part of the problem.

[–] How 24 points (+24|-0)

Men can understand and support feminism. They can help us by doing tasks and amplifying a message under direction and supervision. They can't take initiative or take the lead. They can present ideas to a woman who can decide how best to proceed. They can't be feminists.

[–] KissMyOvaries 1 points (+1|-0)

I don’t think a man can understand feminism because he is not a woman.

This is the same reason why I say nobody can understand PTSD unless they have PTSD. You can accept, you can support....but you will never understand.

[–] Verdandi 0 points (+0|-0) Edited

Pretty much. It's definitely like how people who didn't have PTSD decided what it felt like based on what they saw, aka "crazy" and "unstable". So all of their solutions come from that premise and it's impossible to tell them differently because it doesn't jive with what they're seeing.

So instead of proper therapy it's a cocktail of antipsychotics and a nice relaxing stay in the asylum!

[–] Laurel 19 points (+19|-0)

I never see the words "male feminist" without my brain substituting the words "Hugo Schwyzer."

As Ilkit said, a male feminist ally/feminist aligned male would be a man withe the guts to take his thoughts about feminism and the patriarchy to other males where they belong. To do the right thing when no woman he wants to impress is looking. At the very least, to refrain from attempting to kill his girlfriend and expecting praise for that after writing about it in near-pornographic detail years later.

(I fucking hate Hugo Schwyzer.)

[–] shewolfoffrance 10 points (+10|-0)

This guy is the worst. This is why I don't trust self-declared "male feminists." I've known conservative, religious men who were vastly more respectful.

[–] goneharolding 14 points (+16|-2)

I like the idea of winning over at least some of the other half of the human race, so I’m probably biased, but my idea of a feminist is someone who believes women are whole human beings and backs that up with action.

I like it bc it’s simple, action-oriented and one-size-fits-all.

But do they need to be in leadership of the Women’s Movement? Of course not, that’s absurd lol But yes I absolutely think males can be educated, and we need to start as young as possible, as any good social system knows.

I want to agree. I also feel like the entire point of feminism is that, one day, it will no longer be needed: feminism is about dismantling the oppressive structures that keep women sub-human and afraid. I live for a day where we can look around us, and realize all those structures - big and small - are gone. I know it will never be in my lifetime, but I can dream.

[–] goneharolding 5 points (+6|-1)

Right there with you. Also, I think people sometimes lose track of feminist identity vs. feminist action. Taking on a feminist identity is not interesting to me if you don’t do anything with it. I have been in more heated debates with women who do nothing but that, when they’re not hiding from life in one kind of escapism or another. And, I get it, 90% of our culture is escapism rn, but we have got to get inventive and do more than debate at science fiction conventions or btw plays over nachos.

At the end of the day, you’re either on board with women’s liberation or you’re not. As you say, we have some very big fish to fry, and I’m pretty tired of debating who ‘gets’ to be a feminist.

[–] SarahSaysSure 1 points (+2|-1)

I think of feminism purely as a philosophy, mode of thinking, ideology—however you want to call it—so I think that men can theoretically be feminists via meeting the same ideological criteria as female feminists. Trying to take ownership of feminism shows that a man likely isn’t a feminist, though, and I’ll admit that the number of men who actually support women’s (adult female humans’) liberation might be very, very low; perhaps erasable in a rounding error. I extend this sort of thinking to other social justice movements: members of the oppressor class can believe that the marginalized class should be free and find this important enough to take action on it (with these attributes sufficient to render them an “activist” for that group), though they’ll often simply hide from the fray in their privilege.

So, to sum it up: in my formulation, a feminist would basically be anyone who’s an ally of women, whether they themselves are female or not.

[–] goneharolding -1 points (+0|-1)

Your formulation makes perfect sense. You took the time to think your position through so, even if I disagreed with you, I would respect that. So many I talk with don't seem to bother a lot of the time, I think they must be crazy not to see that mindlessly following along in civic life in favor of focusing free time on escapism eventually turns you into an ignorant zombie.

[–] endthewoo 10 points (+10|-0)

The word has lost all meaning, given that so many women who call themselves "feminist" (never mind the men) are working to shore up male supremacy and against women's liberation.

There's also far too many people who still see feminism or being "gender critical" or even being "radical feminist" as a club/tribe/identity rather than a political stance that comes with action - the fight against male supremacy and for women's liberation.

[–] tervacious 9 points (+9|-0) Edited

No. What this usually means is a man lecturing women about women for fawning points. There's no shortage of men wanting to chime in about gender and women to a rapt audience of women who are like "omg, he thinks we're people! We're so lucky to have him here!"

I'll believe it when these dudes take their woman-championing views to men in their workplaces, online forums, fantasy football leagues etc. Where they will be mocked and seen as emasculated and then ignored and ostracized. They will never, ever do this. I think there were some first wave era dudes who really did walk the walk, like taking their wives' names, but you can count them on one hand. Especially these days men call themselves feminists so they can say some shit like sex work is work because they respect women who provide their porn and other dumb shit that is self-serving, male-centering and makes no sense.

[–] Verdandi 3 points (+3|-0)

I'll believe it when these dudes take their woman-championing views to men in their workplaces, online forums, fantasy football leagues etc. Where they will be mocked and seen as emasculated and then ignored and ostracized. They will never, ever do this.

YEP. I seriously have yet to see this happen even once.

[–] Calico 8 points (+8|-0)

Nope, never. No exceptions. We need to draw a firm boundary against the “feminism is for everyone” bullshit or we get nothing but the useless man-pleasing pseudo-feminism we all know and loathe that currently dominates lefty politics.

At best men make shitty, lazy “feminist activists” who are more of a burden than a help to the women around them. They never put half in the work that women do but feel entitled to praise and whine if they get even gently criticized. At worst they are trying to infiltrate feminist circles and cause harm for some predatory or ideological motivation.

That, and just their presence will make some women behave differently because gender socialization will always facilitate some gross unconscious power dynamics. It doesn’t matter how much an individual man might be going in with good intentions, he can’t do much to mitigate it. Why even bother having to make women in feminist spaces waste their time and energy doing all that extra emotional labor to work around the inherent problems caused by some stupid man?

IMHO feminism doesn’t achieve much unless we limit male influence as much as humanly possible. Men inherently hold us back even if some have good intentions, and to the libfems who might be reading this that don’t agree — you’ll come around with enough experience.

Men can help and support feminists with practical, helpful things if they truly care. Women don’t need shallow virtue signaling from “allies” on social media, we need you to hold other men accountable, donate financially/materially, and vote in the interests of women’s rights. The key word here is support. Men should not be leading, and certainly not backseat driving.

I agree with you, feminism is certainly not “for everyone” yet unfortunately it seems to have become so :(

[–] Verdandi 2 points (+2|-0)

Men inherently hold us back even if some have good intentions

They require an endless amount of hand-holding and attention when in our spaces. They need to be accepted, liked, and "special" from the other guys. It's exhausting.

[–] lucrecia 8 points (+8|-0)

I think they can be in spirit, but the ones who do think in a feminist way aren't the ones loudly calling themselves feminists. And I've never met a man who'd be willing to support complete female separatism if women wanted that, because men who like women don't want to be stuck with just other men. So in that sense, they'd put their own interests ahead of women as a class. I can't hold it against them since I wouldn't want to be stuck with all men all the time either; I'd feel the same if our positions were reversed. But that's pretty out there as thought-experiments go, anyway.

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