Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Perspective of Feminism and the Male Response

When we discussed feminism in class a couple of weeks ago in class I became extremely curious when we brought up why men would take a feminism class. I have been dwelling on why men are so hesitant to learn about the importance women have had on history, especially in America. I guess the stereotypical pro and con on a guy taking a course on feminism is that he'd be one of few guys surrounded by women and can work on his "game" while learning a thing or two on women's rites. A con is that maybe your one of the few lucky guys in a class surrounded by girls, but you learn they are outraged with their treatment from men over the years and will all hate you if you speak. I think both these stereotypes are false and that men don't always understand what role they can play in a feminist movement. There lies the big question men have about feminism, what could I learn by taking this class? What role could I possibly play in a dominantly female movement? I feel that we could learn a lot out of taking a course on feminism. I personally learned many interesting facts about feminism just reading "Feminism: A Very Short Introduction." I think if all men could gain a sense of the inspiration women have about not being seen as inferior, then we would be more understanding in some of the actions women take to prove they are just as important to this society as males. I think the main and true reason men are afraid to take a feminist class is that we would fear that we couldn't offer incite into a movement that revolves entirely on women. I think that men are more afraid that we are looked on so negatively in the past for a strong feminist that our input would be shut down. I personally think that for feminism to reach a new "wave" it would need to be one where men are educated on the importance of reaching equality. These are my thoughts on the topic, but I'd be curious to know what anyone else thought on this.


  1. Allen,
    I agree with your thought that men may not want to take a feminism class because they fear they may not have any insight. Perhaps some women feel the same way, but I think greatest impact men can have on the feminist movement is sharing insight that women would not typically see. Men and women generally see the world from different perspectives, and if men would join the feminist movement, they could convince other men to join. All we need are a few brave guys to start encouraging others to join in.

  2. I also think it is important to emphasize that feminism does not mean championing women at the expense of men, but rather calls for true equality of the sexes. This should be desirable for everyone, men and women, just as fighting for racial equality is for the good of everyone, not only the minorities. I think lots of civil rights causes should be grouped into some sort of pro-equality category. When feminism is framed in that way, maybe more men could be interested.

  3. I actually took an ENGLISH 190 course my first semester freshman year that centered around feminism. I was one of three other men in a fairly large class for Rhodes, and honestly I didn't feel like I had an issue contributing. What Margaux said above is relevant, because I felt like I was encouraged to contribute from a male perspective more often than not. Feminism need not shun men from the outset.

  4. (this is Cole not Will)
    I understand that feminism doesn't mean the championing of women at the expense of men and I agree that equality of the sexes should be desirable for everyone. Honestly though, this makes me support it but in no way compels me to take action. I apologize, but I am much more concerned about my rights than about someone else's and, taking a Nietzschian stance, I don't think you can fault me for this.