On men and feminism 2

On men and feminism

What is feminism?

woman below the gaze
woman below the gaze

When I asked 7 men what comes to their mind when the word ‘feminism’ comes up, there were certain responses I expected. Chats about respectability politics, angry black women, feminazi (I absolutely detest that term. Who thought that comparing an angry group of people fighting for equality with a group of genocidal f***s was a good idea? Anyway, I digress), and the likes are not new to the conversation about feminism. (There were concerns mentioned, but none of the rhetoric I thought would be spewed.) What I did not anticipate, however, was an entire gender studies dissertation.

Enter Vikar Singh

Dear friends, this is part 2 of the question: “What is feminism?” by V. Singh

Feminism, to an extent, is being pro-women.
It is a term, or a movement, that recognizes that women, probably since the beginning of time, [have] been exploited, disadvantaged and abused.
And it seeks to recognize that women are equal…to men and should enjoy freedom of expression, enjoyment and – IN OUR TIME – the same opportunities as men.

Photo by Maryia Plashchynskaya on Pexels.com

But we can dissect feminism further.

The experiences of white women and women of colour are very different. White women still enjoy certain privileges, and the plight of the Black Feminism movement should therefore be highlighted.
We know that white women are more favoured, generally speaking. And it is a similar thing [with men]. As a man, I can recognize and admit that there are certain privileges I have, just by having a penis.

It is generational thinking and these are ways that have been passed down for generations.
It is so difficult to change because it is [systemic], in the way we have been [conditioned] to think.

‘The men of the house should sit down and eat first or should be served first in a household, or at a function.’ OR that women should take their husbands’ last names.
It is something that has been engraved in our way of life and infiltrates almost every aspect of our lives.

Recognizing privilege

When you read about white people saying “All lives matter” instead of “Black lives matter” [it is as though they are using their privilege to silence the voice of ‘the other’]. We must first recognize that there are some privileges that are just bestowed on specific people just because of their gender or the colour of their skin.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

And of course, don’t think the feminist movement is saying that women are superior, or do not recognize the role of men in our society. But it is about bringing women and their struggles to the forefront, because the male privilege will always be there (because, unfortunately, it is the way we have been programmed to think.)

Not just heterosexual cis-gender

And we should not forget that feminism does not only include XX women, but trans women, intersex [persons], non-binary feminine-appearing people. Their struggles are even worse.

Final word.

As Vikar alluded to, feminism is complex, it is inter-sectional, it is a movement that strives for the recognition of women as valuable members of society. It is about politics, finances, sexual agency, identity agency, and, above all, women being recognized as human beings. It is not without its issues, as was described in Part one, and the conversation is a long, non-linear one.

Let me know what you think about this conversation.

Published by blaqandgoldblog

Life seen through a black girl's lens

3 thoughts on “On men and feminism 2

  1. I really like this definition of feminism, I wish more people would actually take the time to understand why the movement is important. I tried having this conversation with a guy I know about feminism and in the end all he said was he was who he was and was entitled to his opinions 🤦🏽‍♀️ truly sad

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can relate. Many don’t take the time to really understand what it stands for. They are ready to be defensive and not willing to listen and unlearn. This here surprised me. So encompassing of what feminism is about.

      Like

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