ahunter3 (ahunter3) wrote,

Feminist Says Men's Plight Isn't Feminists' Responsibility

There's a feminist group where the prevailing attitude isn't too enthusiastic about transgender women and their politics.

I had said something there about perhaps viewing sexual transitioning as male people's grapping with the "man" identity that is imposed on us and thinking about it that way. "It's not up to women to save men from themselves, whether they identify as trans or not", she replied.

That's worth a reply.

I'm reminded of what Robin Morgan once wrote about "feminism for the sake of women" -- she said that if equality and simple justice for women "... were the sole reasons for and goals of the movement and consciousness we call feminism, they would be quite sufficient...nor is it necessary to apologize for feminism's concerning itself 'merely' with women, or to justify feminism on the 'please, may I' ground that it's good for men too."

(from The Anatomy of Freedom)

Morgan, however, was in the process of noting that nevertheless, it is of benefit to males as well. Patriarchy, and its rigid gender roles, is not good for us, any of us, and feminism, in moving against that, represents the possibility of our freedom from that.

One thing this means is that as feminist activity over the last few decades has moved some social pieces around and freed up some possibilities, it is inevitable that some males will take any opportunity that this motion generates, to move towards their own freedom.

Look... there cannot be a feminist success without the males changing. We can't remain in the same patterns, exhibiting the same behaviors, clinging to the same values, if feminists are to succeed at what they're doing. You know that very well. Demanding change from us has been central to your social demands. So, my feminist comrades... how did you picture that change taking place, may I ask? Did you envision us kicking and screaming and resisting the whole way? Surely you know better!

So some of the changes, as they actually occur among the males, will be more optimal from your vantage point than others.

You're right, it isn't your responsibility to lead our changes. It also isn't your authority. (Or if you claim authority, with that comes responsibility. You can't have it both ways).

But either way, it doesn't mean feminists have no vested interest in our processes.

If you never took some time to wonder exactly what you would do if you had been born male, how you personally would steer a life that would honor your self authentically yet not violate feminist principles, then I suggest you do so. Otherwise, how would you ever look upon any of us and recognize whether or not we're doing what you would?


Do you counsel young people trying to sort out their gender identity? You should read my book! It's going to add a new entry to your map of possibilities when you interact with your clients!

My book, GenderQueer: A Story From a Different Closet, has been published by Sunstone Press. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and ebook, and as ebook only from Apple, Kobo, and directly from Sunstone Press themselves.

My second book, That Guy in Our Women's Studies Class, is also being published by Sunstone Press. It's a sequel to GenderQueer. It's expected to be released in late 2021. Stay tuned for further details.

Links to published reviews and comments are listed on my Home Page


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Tags: amazon's brother, communication, feminism, feminist theory, identity politics, oppression, patriarchy

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