Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feminist Men

Over at the Good Men Project, Emily Heist Moss writes about how men belong in the feminist movement, not merely to bolster the women and show solidarity, but to speak for their own interests and desires that feminism can address. To Moss, feminism is a movement that can help men, who according to her while "not oppressed" are "restricted."

My feminism (and like I said, it's a big tent and I don't speak for anyone but myself) is about abolishing heteronormative and sexist gender assumptions to allow people to reach their full potential, both inside and outside the workplace, as diversely talented, multi-faceted human beings. By my definition, men and women can both benefit from a feminist agenda.

Last week, I wrote something similar over at The Anti-Girlfriend in a post about my attempts to learn how to dance salsa and be led. 

But there's a freedom to having an independent woman afoot. If you constantly have to be strong for a woman then you aren't really given the opportunity to ever be vulnerable. Just as women have the desire to be strong and powerful, men also sometimes want to be able to let their guards down, to know the next turn to make on a car trip or the next step to take in a dance class. Or perhaps I'm reading too far into this.

I also embedded this clip of Joss Whedon expressing this sentiment much more eloquently (relevant part starts around 5:25 but the whole thing is really good). 

Though right now the front lines have been fighting the battle for our bodies and reproductive rights, which are a cornerstone to feminism (if we don't have ownership over those factors then all of the other dreams of feminism fall apart), it is important to also emphasize that men should be merely more than allies--they, too, benefit from being part of a society that includes emancipated, full actualized women.

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