The only feminist blog I read that was written by (at least a few) cisgender men has now moved to the Good Men Project. I’m not linking to either one; you can figure it out.
I’ve unsubscribed from it because now my RSS reader only shows snippets and I have to go to the GMP to read, which is headache-inducing.
Does anyone have suggestions for feminist blogs written by men? They don’t need to be cisgender, or of any particular sexual orientation, etc. I just would like to hear from feminists who happen to be men.
1. Men are hurt by patriarchy, too.
2. Men can still be privileged in patriarchal societies qua being men.
The first claim generally has to do with how men are limited in their expression of masculinity due to stereotyped expectations (about emotional displays, gender roles, and so on). These things hurt guys and yes, deeply so. But….
That doesn’t mean that, structurally, the tradeoff for this individual pain isn’t still generally a position of power due to the privileging of the particular kind of gender role men are supposed to play. Not all men are privileged. Men of color, poor men, gay men, and etc. have ways in which, qua race/socioeconomic status/sexual orientation, they are disadvantaged.
While men’s experience is often the focus of conversation in society, and it shouldn’t necessarily the the primary reason we seek to make change, I think that there’s a place for feminists (men and women*) to affirm the difficulties of being a man in a patriarchal society. Because they do exist. However, playing the “who’s hurt more” game gets no one anywhere, and depending on the context, it’s often a way to avoid the uncomfortable truth that men, through no voluntary action of their own, are situated in a privileged manner.
I wish everyone paid more attention to context and to the distinction between individual voluntary acts and societal structures (even though it’s a tangled fucking mess). Anyway. All this ‘caus I can’t just put up memes and leave them uncommented upon.
*And those who are not binary-identified. I’m just primarily talking about these two particular gender identities here.
Hugo Schwyzer has an article about his history of attraction to lesbian women. My history is a little different, having identified as a lesbian myself for a while. However, I still find myself attracted to women who are queer or lesbian (Rachel Maddow makes my heart flutter and I know I’m not the only guy who feels that way!)
Lots of people have “types” to which they are consistently attracted. From the time pubescent hormones started surging through my body, I found that I was particularly drawn to female jocks. It’s not as if my attraction was limited to athletes alone; I was a horny teen boy who could be turned on by almost anything that moved. But I tended to get crushes on the same type of girl: the star basketball player, the soccer forward, the swimmer. Some were lesbians. Some weren’t.
In several classes during my junior year of high school, I sat next to “Kendall,” the statuesque multi-sport star. A year ahead of me, Kendall was nearly six feet tall, broad-shouldered, with a jawline that could cut glass. All-League in three sports, she wore her letterman’s jacket almost every day, and would often come to class with her short dark hair still wet from the post-workout shower. Her signature scent was chlorine with a hint of sweat.
Aside from the possibility of a statistical prevalence of certain physical and stylistic attributes that Schwyzer observes (jawlines and haircuts), I think there is probably another reason. Of the men I know who are attracted to Maddow, to use an example (and no, we’re not primarily attracted to her in her news anchor “drag”), we’re all strongly feminist and suspicious of fixed gender roles. It’s possible that women who share these characteristics (and reflect them in their attire and general attitude) are often either queer or lesbian.
Speculating about the cause in a chicken and egg style manner isn’t something I want to write about now, but it’s interesting to think about.
(Don’t get me wrong, I like straight women, too. And I have no desire to date a lesbian-identified woman in order to “convert” her, nor will I date a lesbian who makes an “exception” for me.)