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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 4,035

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On allies and male feminists

I know that the question of whether men can be feminists or can only be allies is a hotly debated topic, but that isn't what I'd like to discuss. Instead, I want to expand on something I wrote on another thread - the thread "Dear DU Woman - stop throwing back shots of Rum and you won't be raped..."

I wrote:

As it is, I expect better of men. I expect men to change masculine culture to make it ok to say to buddies, "Hey, don't reduce that women to just a body part, she's a whole woman" when they indicate a woman's breasts or bottom and go "Hur-Hur, I'd like to tap dat." I expect men to change masculine culture to make it a cool thing to tell a buddy, "I don't think she's sober, don't have sex with her." I expect men to change masculine culture to make it ok to listen to - and actually HEAR - women when they talk about their experiences and how they experience the world.

It seems to me that too many men who are not themselves misogynists do not feel that the above is their duty. They think that as long as they themselves do not make rape jokes, or make it difficult for women in the work place, or expect women to "put out" on the first date, they've done their part, and feel proud of themselves.

However, to me that is not enough. If any man is to get any cred for not being a misogynist, let alone being an ally, the least he must do is start helping to dismantle the toxic view of masculinity in our culture. We have examples of men doing exactly that here in HoF, and on DU in general, but far too many men still think equality is women's business, if it's something they think is valuable at all. It is not the latter group I seek to challenge, but the former - the men who are decent, yet passive.

Is that not the least we can ask of men?
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