[My main Tumblr can be found over at myasphyxiatedmind]
If you want your ask replied to privately, just put '****' before you start typing.
My name is: Michelle, but most people call me Dark online.
My gender-pronouns are: They/them/their.
I am: 26 years old, a feminist, liberal, an atheist, an omnivore, and an ISFJ.
The Feminist: Intersectional, body positive, pro-choice, and sex positive.
My privileged identities include: Female assigned at birth (trans* privilege), white, able-bodied, allistic (?), dyadic, monogamous.
My non-privileged/oppressed identities include: Gender-fluid, fat, gray-a, neuroatypical, and gay.
I have: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder.
I like: Pets & animals, animal welfare, pet care & pet care education, ~*SCIENCE!*~, anatomy & physiology, roleplaying, anime/manga, computer & video games, rock & metal music.
As a cis woman, I believe that everyone, no matter their gender/sex, should be a feminist. A feminist is one who supports women’s rights; and trans*men probably have a more acute understanding than anyone towards the want for those rights as they faced them before and they face some of them now.
Many men, cis or no, do not actually know when they are being sexist. How are they meant to change their ways if they think they cannot be part of the movement that aims exactly that? I know many boys/men (teenage and in their 20s) who honestly believe in the equal rights of men and women, but (a) believe they have no power to influence the powers that be [which they don’t, but they still have influence over their peers] and (b) occasionally make sexist remarks without realising it, and are horrified when they are called out on it because they honestly didn’t know they were being sexist. How are men meant to know to stop being sexist when they can’t consider themselves to be part of the feminist movement? Only those who have been treated as women can understand what it’s like, but only men can change their ways.
All this, of course, ignores another serious point: men who are consciously oppressive because they do not believe in women’s rights are only going to listen to men. And if they listen to men who consider themselves feminists (“allies of feminism” somewhat invalidates feminism in the eyes of these people) then, and only then do we stand a chance of their changing their minds, which is, in the end, the way to achieve the goals of feminism.
Any person who sees and agrees with feminism for what it is: the want and movement towards women’s rights so that they are no longer “underneath” the status of men, should be supported, and not outcast as “not a feminist”.
How are they meant to change their ways if they think they cannot be part of the movement that aims exactly that?
Why does everyone seem to think it’s impossible for men to do this while being allies/supporters?
men who are consciously oppressive because they do not believe in women’s rights are only going to listen to men.
Again, why can’t this be done while being an ally/supporter? I doubt it’s going to invalidate anything in anyone’s eyes. And this feels like it’s creeping dangerous close to ‘let men talk over women’.
It feels to me like there’s this huge misunderstanding of what’s being discussed here, this massive disconnect between what each “side” is arguing.
Nobody is saying that men can’t speak out about gendered oppression, can’t work with other men to help them unlearn patriarchal behaviors, etc. We’re not saying men can’t help do some of the work of feminism (with the usual caveats about appropriate time and place and not speaking over, a la Hugo Schwyzer).
What we’re saying is men shouldn’t be calling themselves feminists. Because it’s not their movement. They are welcome to help and support, but they need to clearly and obviously stay in that supportive role. And many of us have seen all too often what happens when dudes step outside the support role, take the title and start feeling like they have a stake in the movement equal to the women to whom the movement belongs - they become Hugo Schwyzers. They become very loud voices talking about their all-important Manly Perspective to the point where they drown out the voices of the women trying to talk about our own experiences, often presuming to teach women about our own oppression and trying to “fix” what they see as flaws in the movement, without asking us how we feel about them co-opting our work.
Please, by all means, talk about feminism with your male friends. Take feminist perspectives into places it hasn’t been before and has a hard time going - my personal example would be Ozz (my cis male partner) subtly calling his guys at the machine shop where he worked out on their misogyny. There were no women who worked there, so he, as one of the guys, could use his access to that space to advance the feminist cause.
But for the love of all that is holy, remember that it’s NOT YOUR MOVEMENT. Feminism is not about men. Be a supporter, be an ally, but stop trying to claim ownership of a cause that doesn’t belong to you.
I mean, if we can all readily and easily understand that straight people who are for queer rights are allies and not members of the movement, why can’t we understand the same about men who are for women’s rights?
As for the original topic of discussion, I’m really not comfortable with trans men calling themselves feminists any more than I’m comfortable with cis men doing so. They may have experienced gendered oppression differently in the past in ways that semi-parallel the “female experience”, but they are not oppressed for their gender at the later point in time, therefore, still not their movement. Obviously they have a place in discussions of uterus-relevant reproductive rights, but that’s not synonymous with “being a feminist”. My basic rule would be, if you’re not oppressed for your gender - not your gender identity or trans/cisness, your gender alone - you are in the “ally” circle, not a member of the movement yourself. So, I’d have less issues with genderqueer people being feminists, though the more strongly you trend masculine the less comfortable I’d be with it, but if you identify as male, cis, trans, or otherwise, shoo. Out to the “ally” seats with you. Leave the space in the inner circle for women and other people who aren’t men.
The only question I still have is about trans men who don’t pass. They would still be viewed as women and possibly oppressed in that manner? Do they still have male privilege or not? Should they be welcomed as feminists or not?
Nah, definitely an anti-SJ.
If anyone doubted that anti-SJers Don’t Get It, here’s your proof.