michaelandjimi wrote:Now I have a personal question for Quixotess - I've noticed, from memory, that you seem to use the words "feminist" and "feminist ally" reasonably interchangably. Do you believe that male feminists should be able to co-opt the title of feminist?
Huh, do I do that? *checks*
Hm...I'm going to blather now, okay?
An ally can be just someone on your side. An ally can also be someone who supports you in your cause, but who does not suffer to the same degree as long as it is not won, nor triumph to the same degree if it succeeds.
My sig right now is from Sappho's plea to Aphrodite, to help Sappho's love life; to make Sappho's love love her. It's a call for allies in the latter capacity.
I don't like the idea of "co-opting the title of feminist" which sounds to me like you suggest doing it without the consent of the women feminists. I don't like the idea of me saying "yes, the men in the movement are feminists," and someone who sees that then going over to a feminist community where the men are referred to as allies, and disrespecting that community. I don't like the idea of saying "no, the men in the movement are allies" either. I think it's up each community, and men involved in the movement aren't really allies if they choose to ignore the rules of a community who prefers to designate them as allies.
A lot of the time, I think men in the movement are both feminists and allies; that is, I think there are things they can do in their capacity as feminists and things they can do in their capacity as allies. For example, men can as feminists rip the living daylights out of sexist morons on a discussion board or read feminist literature or vote with their wallets just the same way women can. And men can as allies talk about what the ally label means to them (hint, hint) or call out sexism in discussions where women aren't present or won't be heard, or be very, very careful about consent in their sexual relations.*
But then it's difficult to draw the distinction between what you can do because you're a man and what you're doing just as an androgynous feminist. Women, of course, are disproportionately poor
and kept out of positions of power,
so it's hard to look at any position where a man is in charge, and a feminist, and not think "he is helping me in his capacity as an ally" even when you know that a woman would have done the same thing in exactly the same way.
Being an ally is about, I think, accepting that you have a larger teaspoon and a longer booking on the stage - and no, you don't have to feel bad about that - and using that to draw attention to those who aren't so lucky. You simply have a fundamentally different angle from which to make your movement.
michaelandjimi wrote:Also, my post above wasn't rhetorical, though you may have just missed it.
I did miss it, sorry. Merge messiness.
michaelandjimi wrote:Is what I said about gender disparity, and the fixing of it making women treated equally to men, technically correct but worded incorrectly? Or is there something genuinely wrong?
Words aren't little things; they reflect how thoughts are framed in the mind.
Treated equally to which men? I don't want to be how men are today, with the stifling of emotions and the expectations to laugh off pain and the pressures to objectify, demean, and abuse women (and the depressingly frequent adherence to such pressures.) Or to today's men of color, with the strong likelihood of being subjected to violence and to abuse by authorities. Or to today's gay men, so often afraid of their own families. I want us all to be like what no one is like currently, so yes, "male" is a false standard and a male-centering patriarchal one.
It's long been observed that privileges are of two types. The first are privileges everyone should have but not everyone does; say, the feeling that being around police makes you safer. These I can sort of see where you're coming from, privileges that men have and women should have. The second are privileges that no one should have but some people do; say, relative immunity from punishment for rape. That's something that belonging to the male gender gets you, and it is not
a standard I'm interested in pursuing.
Equal pay isn't the half of it.
*thisa goes for men of all sexualities.
Raise up the torch and light the way.