Can men be champions for women’s rights? Not according to feminists.
In the past, the American ideal for a man was a cowboy riding up to save the damsel in distress, but now everything is a bit more complicated. Women no longer want to be perceived as “damsels in distress,” and they aren’t looking for “saviors.” Heck they don’t even want you to hold open a door for them. So what is a man who wants to ally with women supposed to do?
Well, good luck asking perpetually bothered feminists for advice. BuzzFeed recently had an article called “17 Types of Male ‘Feminists’ That Need to Be Stopped. In that piece, feminists say that if you became a feminist because you just had a daughter…you’re not the kind of male feminist they’re looking for. Why? Because men should’ve already realized the importance of women before becoming fathers, obviously.
Um, okay. As a recent New York Times piece begins, “It’s a tough time to be a male feminist…” And it is full of pretty hilarious examples why:
Tal Peretz, an assistant professor at Auburn University who specializes in gender studies, sees the criticism of male feminists as an inevitable consequence of social progress. “More men are getting involved in the feminist and women’s rights movements, and I think that the learning curve for them is really steep and really long,” said Dr. Peretz, who is an author of “Some Men: Feminist Allies and the Movement to End Violence Against Women.” “Our bar for men in feminism is getting higher, too, and rightly so.”
Examples of these higher standards abound.
Critics of men who sport “The Future is Female” T-shirts also maintain that some are using the word “feminist” inappropriately. The preferred term, they argue, is “feminist allies.” The rationale is that white people who fight against racism wouldn’t call themselves “black,” just as straight people who rally for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights wouldn’t call themselves “transgender.”
Also, Dr. Peretz came up with a term called “the Pedestal Effect,” for men getting too much credit for performing basic acts of “gender equality.” Wow — these feminists are pretty nit-picky against people who are trying to be their co-belligerents in the culture war, aren’t they? Oh, did I just describe the strategic analysis of women as “nit-picky?” That disqualifies me from the “feminist label” for sure.
Good. Though I love and appreciate women — especially my wife and daughter — I’m not interested in earning these feminists’ respect or their label. Any movement that turns a blind eye to the sexual misdeeds of “feminists” like Woody Allen, Bill Clinton, and Joss Whedon doesn’t deserve respect anyway.
So, a quick note to you men trying to be feminists: good luck knowing all the rules. Is there some kind of online prep course for the exam?
Here’s a better idea. Men, you should stick to what you what you were born to do: be men.
Hat Tip: New York Times
Image Credit: Flickr