Thursday, January 5, 2012

Androfeminism. What is it?

Forthcoming...the main idea is that we need a new category of feminism that explores how men can learn from and contribute to the liberation of women, and in the process free themselves from the oppressive and constraining features of contemporary masculinity. A separate category is necessary because of the tendency of men to dominate - even the most learned and sensitive men are fighting against a lifetime of privilege. As I see it, androfeminism would be a safe place for men, in interaction with the feminist community, to unlearn sexism but in the context of co-creating a feminist world.

Some may object that we already have terminology like "male feminist" or "pro-feminist", but these categories to me are deficient. A "male feminist" risks mistaking his thoughts and actions, however well-intentioned, as equivalent to "female feminists". Gender distinctions will still be with us for a very long time. "Pro-feminist" is better terminology for men who wish to change patriarchy, but sounds to me more appropriate for men standing on the sidelines cheering feminists on. We need a category that suggests more activity for men, changing themselves as well as patriarchal structures of power.

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