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View Diary: How to be a Male Ally (59 comments)

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  •  It's just a response to what the diarist wrote: (1+ / 0-)
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    He said, "We should be listening."  So I asked, okay, who are you listening to?  It's not a rebuke, it's a challenge.

    Some context, because there's been a lot of discussion over this since Hugo Schwyzer's high-profile meltdown.  Meghan Murphy at XOJane wrote a long and scathing piece about male feminism, , Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote a comprehensive run-down at Salon, and a lot of other writers, including men like Noah Berlatsky at Slate, have also weighed in.  This topic is really big right now, and there are a lot of questions about the role of men in the feminist movement.  Most people agree that men should (and need to) take a productive role, but the contours of that role disagree.  

    Personally, I side with the diarist: I think it's a good idea for men to actively engage with feminism, but especially as listeners.  Amy McCarthy had a nice piece at PolicyMic that summed this up well:

    If you're a man, you're probably guilty of mansplaining. That doesn't mean that you're a bad person or a bad feminist, just privileged. That privilege isn't erasable and you shouldn't ignore it. You should check it at the door and listen when feminists talk. You don't have to agree with them. You don't have to think that their words are gospel, but you should respect them. [...]

    Feminists are not always right, but neither are you. Mansplaining is a scourge in academia, online activism, and the blogosphere that discourages women from participating in the dialogue. If you consider yourself a true feminist ally, stop doing it. Most importantly, back up women when they call it out.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:09:47 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  So... (0+ / 0-)

      What does it accomplish to "engage as a listener"?  Who am I helping when I do that?  Aren't my efforts better focused somewhere that I can participate actively without causing a disruption?

      •  Who says those things are exclusive to each other? (2+ / 0-)
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        undercovercalico, churchylafemme

        Being a better listener doesn't preclude you from being an active participant.  In the case of feminism, it's just a suggestion that you're really not a position of expertise over women, and that requires you to take cues instead of just asserting your ground.  If it's important for you to be able to assert your position over someone, then yeah, you need to find somewhere you're more comfortable.  But I think that's a problem.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:51:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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