Monday, July 23, 2007

bring me your men-folk!

earlier today, a friend of yours and mine, and a frequent visitor to this blog, commented on the alleged 'harshness' of the ultimate frisbee post. b/c i was born w/ no capacity for patience and thus can not wait to hear what specifically he thinks is harsh, and because we lived together for a year so i can practically read his mind, i'm going to just assume that he felt the post contained a needlessly severe attack on straight men. i'll just address this right now in three easy pieces:

1. i like lots of hetero men. i have had lots of wonderful and well-loved straight male friends (like you, roomie!) and more-than-friends. nothing that will ever be written on this blog should be considered an attack on the straight male kind. in fact, there are no 'attacks' period - only calls to think for a few minutes in your day about how you are affected, for better or worse, by gender.

2. nonetheless, for reasons that exceed the time/space given to explain here, most of the people who benefit from and propagate patriarchy (now and historically) are straight men. that doesn't mean all straight men are patriarchs. and not all patriarchs are straight men either; there are plenty-o lady patriarchs, gay male patriarchs, even lesbian patriarchs. for the most part though, again, it's straight men who make patriarchy happen. a lot of women have known this for a long time and have been working to end it - and, i should add, are succeeding (you know, that little feminism thing). but i really, truly believe that there's lots of potential in straight men realizing how they've historically benefited from patriarchy, and coming to the movement, standing by friends in the movement, and just calling themselves feminists in their daily lives (or wearing "this is what a feminist looks like" t-shirts, because any man wearing one of those is damn sexy).

3. (this one's more general, not related to the 'harshness' comment) it irritates me to no end that i can't critique misogyny/sexism in the world w/o being accused of hating on straight men. there may be anger sometimes, or a piqued sense of "WTF?", but there's no hate here (see point 1). some things just have to be said, that's all.
i know it's problematic to 'compare oppressions', but this is an educational example, not a 'what's worse' comparison: people of racial minorities who critique racism (or islamophobia, or anti-semetism, etc.) are sometimes accused of racism themselves - often wrongly, because that's the exact system they're opposing. similarly, it's irritating (as well as a sign that so much has yet to be done) that the people who critique gender should be accused of a sort of 'gender-based hatred' because they call out certain heterosexual penis-bearing members of society for maintaining a system that's disproportionately good to heterosexual penis-bearing members of society. little do they know (though we are trying to get the word out) that the end of said system will be good for all members of society, of all genders and sexualities. for serious.

so, all you fellows out there, be you jock, nerd, stud, queer, straight, or all/none of the above: consider this your siren call. come to feminism... cooome to usss...


ps/ these were three easy - and short - pieces on this subject, and there's room for so much good discussion on this, here or elsewhere.

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