Thursday, 3 February 2011

Why men scoff

Last week my boyfriend resentfully said that he should have stayed in bed instead of getting up to go to his 9 am lecture because it was on 'gender.' I pressed him further. It seems ever more common that the teaching of gender studies or feminism decides to focus solely on women without any regard for what patriarchal systems have thrust upon men as well. Or, as the #4 essay question for my War & Security studies module prompts "'Gender is not a synonym for women.'Discuss."

Ask most men today what feminism means to them and, undoubtedly, it is something radically anti-male. "Feminist movement was from the outset presented to most males via mass media as antimale. Truthfully, there was a serious antimale faction in contemporary feminist movement. And even though the man-hating women were a small minority of women's libbers, they received the most attention."(bell hooks) So, can we really blame the men, AGAIN?

It seems that most men would be quite happy to jump on board with feminism if it was somehow made relevant to them, and not in the way it currently is, by telling them that they're vicious wife-beaters. While it is easy to see why the 'woman' aspect of gender studies and feminism is given most of the focus, it is also the most repetitive. We've all heard it before. In fact we've heard about men being absolute pigs again, and again, and AGAIN. Now, find me a university lecture on feminism and/or gender studies that focuses on what patriarchy means for males and maybe they will scoff no longer.

One of the first things I learned in my AP English Language course in high school was to KNOW. YOUR. AUDIENCE. It was the second most phrase that was drilled into us (right behind EVERYTHING IS AN ARGUMENT!). With that in mind, let's get some lectures reflecting the other half of the room. Additionally,..."there is no body of recent feminist writing addressing men that is accessible, clear, and concise." (bell hooks) And, maybe some new literature as well...



Anonymous said...

Here's an excellent treatise on feminism:

A said...

I totally agree.
Thanks for sharing!

A said...

This in part has inspired Why Men Scoff Part 2.