The roles of men with feminism

February 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

http://www.menandfeminism.org/index.html

The blog “Men and Feminism” describes itself as a venue for discussions on gendered experiences. The goal of its writers is to “promote discussion across sexes, genders, sexualities, classes, ethnicities, religions, abilities, and identities.” One Co-Managing Editor wrote his PhD on masculinity issues, the other completed his B.A. in Gender and Cultural studies and is the Senior Policy advisor for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. Its contributors have diverse experiences spanning from serving on the managing committee of NSW Rape Crisis Center to advocating HIV/STI-education and LGBT youth- concerns. The site features links to many Australian and international based aide organizations—a depression initiative, youth suicide prevention, intersex identities support, gay and lesbian counseling services, violence against women and sexual violence advocacy, and a GLBT health group.

Writing out of Sydney, Australia, many of the posts cover Australian politics, such as, the prime minister’s opposition to same-sex marriage and issues of racism towards aborigines. However, many of the articles portray a wider global scope of issues, such as, coverage of a global conference on femininity and masculinity, a call for solidarity against homophobia, recent Slutwalks, and a feature on homosexual men seeking asylum in African countries where homosexuality is illegal. The blog also features many conceptual musings on trends and rising debates—whether men can be feminist or pro-feminist, what it means to be a successful gay man in the public eye, the idea of the “modern family,” the rising numbers of women attending college, masculinity and manhood, and sexual harassment.

The intended audience of this blog is both national and international. Many articles feature national events, organizations, and movements in Australia, but this blog also includes more global discussions of feminism, masculinity, and LGBT identities. The site has a little bit of something for everyone. But, at times the view comes across as scattershot. The site doesn’t quite live up to its title, “Men and Feminism.” Rather than a concept site, it is more of a hodgepodge of views and issues.

Many intersections of gender and sexuality are features in this blog. But very little is dedicated to class and race issues. Discussions of masculinity never make distinctions between what masculinity means to men across race and class.

All in all I would recommend this blog—not as an authority but as a site that collectively raises and discusses current issues regarding gender, femininity and masculinity, feminism, and LGBT issues and identities. This site is plugged in to national and international organizations and communities, and could be a jumping point for many other discussions and issues.

One last comment—the most thought-provoking article I found was “Feminist Men: friends or foe?” This article details the experiences of men who identify themselves as feminist or pro-feminist. Through anecdotes of the men’s interactions with feminist women, this article gives the impression that many feminist women are hostile to men who call themselves feminist. One man describes being yelled at for wearing a “this is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt and for attending feminist gatherings. I’m not sure how to take the comments of the man. I think feminist women should be encouraging men who want to be involved in feminist issues. However, I also think that men who want to get involved should be aware that they may be met with hostilities. Rather than simply jumping in, they should ask the leaders and members of these groups how they can become involved or of use as a man.

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