America’s Next Bill Clinton!


What’s in a name? Pro-feminist males or simply feminists?

So, I wanted to write about the misogynistic and patriarchal idea of how some claim two people of different genders can’t “just be friends,” because there’d be too much sexual attractions, but instead, I’ll write about something a poster asked of me last night: why I call myself a pro-feminist male rather than a feminist.

The value of this post is not about activism, but rather, feminist theory. I’d like to know what you think on it.

 So, the following are the reasons I call myself a pro-feminist male.

1) The feminist movement has been and was created for and by women.  For me to call something that was created for the purpose of women’s rights my own is the very definition of patriarchy – and I have a big problem with that. While I can be an ally and a suppoter, I’ll never, ever truly know what the female plight is like. It seems if I were to call myself a feminist, it would trivialize the importance of women’s rights.

 2) To own and have possesion to something is to have power. Thus, the feminist movement empowers women. As pro-feminist males, we’re always encouraged to give up our male privileges (at least birth-right/unjustified privileges anyhow). By taking the feminist movement as our own, all we’re doing is holding on to those privileges, and gaining from them.

3) In the end, all of these are merely semantics, but I believe we must highlight the differences in privilege that we have. Even within the feminist movement, there are differences in class and privilege – often based on race, gender, age and areas of focus. While I might just be able to say that I am simply a feminist, I am not. I get more privilege as a male, no matter  how we slice it. To merely call myself a feminist would mean to reject that fact that I am still privileged for being male.

 Often times, those who are privileged don’t feel the need to recognize or acknowlege such differences, because they aren’t being treated any differently or aren’t losing perks because of the differences. But for me, as a pro-feminist male, to think that we are all one, and are treated the same, is to be irresponsible.

When I look in the mirror, I may see “just a person,” but women are still looked at as women, and with that, comes limitations cast on by society (whether we like it or not and how much we hate it, we are gendered by society because we’ve been trained to be that way.) This is merely a way to highlight and remember that, so we don’t lose sight of what feminism truly is about.
Thoughts?

Marc

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BITCH!
August 7, 2007, 5:07 pm
Filed under: bitch, Feminism, feminists, gender, gender roles, language, sex, women

Over the feministing.com Web-site there is a blog regarding the outlawing of the word “bitch” because it is demeaning. I am a fan of free speech and reshaping language. I believe “bitch” to be a good thing. And I think it’s helped with a few questions I’ve had!

The answer is this: there aren’t enough bitches in the world.

The question: every little nagging inquiry about my status and inability to maintain a relationship, often sparked by curious family members I see at Thanksgiving dinners and those who wonder why I manage to break morerelationships than I do wine glasses.

There you have it. There’s your answer: “there aren’t enough bitches in the world.”

Before you call the NOW police and report me to your local FMF chapter, to take my feminist card away from me, let us define what a “bitch” is. Although I guess those of you who have read “the Bitch Manifesto” know where I am going with this.

A woman is called bitch because she is strong, intelligent and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She’s called a bitch because she’s ambitious, outspoken and doesn’t let anything stop her from accomplishing her dreams. She’s a bitch, as defined by society, because she challenges what’s natural, does what makes her feel happy, and doesn’t accept society’s norms and rules – especially when said norms and rules are designed to keep her down.

She is strong, and speaks out when a situation makes her uncomfortable. But she doesn’t do it as a way to complain, but rather, to say, “Continue what you’re doing and I’ll kick your fucking ass!”

She fights for her fellow women, but not because they’re women. She fights for them because she sees them as human beings, just as she sees herself.

She doesn’t need a man or woman in her life, as she is a complete person. While a partner – of either sex, would enhance her life, it doesn’t define her life. Her happiness comes from her accomplishments and what she can do for the world and herself, not by virtue of her “womanhood.”

She’s happy with who she is, and doesn’t have to dress up or put on make-up to make anyone happy; if she so chooses to do that, it’s to make herself happy. She owns her body, and is willing to use it for her own pleasure and the pleasure of those she deems deserving, but dare pressure her into anything and she’ll kick your ass.

She loves her fellow human beings, to include children, but doesn’t necessarily think she has a maternal calling. While she’ll be happy with kids, having them doesn’t define her. They’re neither an extension of her nor are they the greatest things in her life. They are merely a part of her life, and she’ll do all she can to take care of them, but kids don’t dominate her life.

She is a woman, but she’s a human being first. She is defined by the fact that she walks and breaths, and not because she has a vagina.

Society is afraid of bitches because they’re not natural. They challenge the patriarchy, they make people uncomfortable in their own shoes. So, instead of worshipping bitches, they write them off, and they look at bitches as undesirable and lesbians and whatever you can think of.

But, me? I love bitches! I love each and everyone of them, and I don’t care what society says. Of my relationships, only one was with a bitch. It was good. I didn’t have to treat her like anything other than a human being. We respected each other, and loved each other, but knew we didn’t need each other. She did her things to change the world, and I did mine. For Christmas, she donated $100 to Planned Parenthood for me; and I donated $100 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation for her. She kicked ass.

She’s only one among many bitches out there.

Hillary Clinton = a total bitch.

Gloria Steinem = the bitch of bitches.

Lisa Simpson = a fictional bitch.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton = the foremothers of bitchery.

Angelina Jolie = the biggest bitch in Hollywood (although one would argue she’s a privileged white bitch, which makes the complexities of class, race and gender the moreso interesting.)

My future wife = better be a bitch.

My future daughter = will be raised to be the biggest 5-year-old bitch in pre-school.

The next time I am on a date and decide the girl is good enough for a second date, I’ll say with the utmost sincerity, “You’re the biggest bitch I’ve ever met.” I think I’d enjoy getting a black eye in a restaurant.

All of you who with whom I associate = total bitches – and if you’re a male, you’re an honorary bitch, and I love you all for it. In fact, I think there might be something wrong if, in the 21st Century, a woman isn’t a bitch.

One of my passions is changing language and gender. I’ll bet that if we can take the word “bitch” back and make it into something positive, as defined by so many feminist scholars, “bitch” then becomes a good word.

By the way, the BITCH Manifesto, one of my favorite feminist reads, can be found here.

http://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/bitch.htm

Thoughts?!?!?