Monday, 8 February 2010

Men's rights

From what I understand, the Superbowl was plagued with commercials aimed at supporting men in a time when emasculation has become rampant.  I haven't seen any of these and welcome links pointing to them!

One of my favourite responses to the argument that men are being emasculated by Feminism came from the Daily Show last week.  It had me snorting with laughter.  You won't be able to see it in the UK or Europe (though it was obviously broadcast here), but it's here for those of you elsewhere:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Male Inequality
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About 30 years ago, French feminism predicted that if Feminism took an equality to approach to rectifying the unequal status of women in society, a war of the sexes would break out.  America seems to currently be proving the French right.  Have a look at this website:

Their mission statement is:

Manhood 101 is a completely FREE resource. We are a growing community of men dedicated to reestablishing male authority and defending the male identity against the emasculating culture of Feminism.
By teaching men how to improve their social skills, establish relationships, properly care for women and defend their masculine role in society, we hope to change men's lives around the world.

What is fascinating here is that they have picked up on something that has inevitably been a basic trend when humans come to live together in large cities: the feminization of culture.  The fact is that the larger our cities get, the closer we are forced to live together. This proximity requires traits that are seen as 'feminine' such as cooperation, intuition about others, respect of others, quietness, etc rather than  'masculine' traits such as loudness, selfishness, individuality, etc.  This basic trend is not the result of Feminism, but is in fact a necessary shift if we are to go on living together in closer and closer proximity. The closer we get, the more 'feminine' traits are valued.

I'm all for men getting in touch with their maleness.  I fully support them finding ways of being together in the world beyond the sporting, drinking events that they seem limited to.  In fact, I think it would be fascinating to hear about any original takes on maleness they come up with, for, I agree, it's a state-of-being that is very, very prescribed.

I hope that at some level these men recognise the irony of their meetings. Remember it was women who got together in 'consciousness raising groups' in the 70s in order to figure out what it meant to be a woman.  Feminism made that happen for those women in exactly the same way that Feminism is making it happen for these men now.  The only difference being that men are doing it to re-establish their authority over the other, over women, whereas women were looking for self-understanding.

The day that men realise their maleness is not threatened by the feminine, but is threatened by a certain way of thinking that defines maleness in opposition to femaleness, is the day we will begin to learn something more about the being that is male.  I look forward to it!

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