Year of questions: Are men “victims” of feminism?

I don’t think so.

But it seems to be something that a lot of men are saying, on and off-line.

Basically the idea goes that men (except for macho jerks) aren’t allowed to talk about what it means to be a man, unless it’s in relation to women’s issues/considerations.

I like to think more in terms of individual personhood, but acknowledge larger cultural norms and patterns. I don’t really see any good for anyone in victim status, because I believe that everyone benefits from engagement and empowerment if they are willing to allow others to do the same.


2 thoughts on “Year of questions: Are men “victims” of feminism?”

  1. Why did your third sentence piss me off? I don’t know either…perhaps because men have, for 1000 years, been able to know and do whatever it is to be a “man”. No one questions them or tells them they’re doing it wrong.
    For the last 50 years woman have been struggling to break the mold of what men think we should be. So no man gets to whine (yes i read your third sentence as all men collectively whining) about not being able to talk about what it is to be a man. There have been endless jokes and pictures making fun of men for being simple, easy, uncomplicated…they don’t talk, or share feelings, worries, hopes, concerns, etc- while women are the opposite. If men want a place to talk about themselves, we are ALL EARS! If we (women) can figure out what you want, what makes you happy, how to live peacefully and fulfilled with you….I’m sure the majority of us would love to hear it!

    1. Interesting response. I think there’s a lot of going on in your comment, which reflects the conversation on a larger level.

      I think women have been seriously pushing back on the mold for at least 100 years. If not longer, depending on how you understand the idea (yay Kiwis & Australians for pioneering women’s right to vote in 1890s!)

      I’m not sure women as a whole are all ears…..but that may be a question of different generations. A good chunk of younger women that I see often use phrases like “man up” and “he’s a sissy” or sometimes feminize (figuratively and literally) men and then disparage them for not being manly enough. I see this in both private and public forums. I think it’s safe to say (or not?) that both men and women often say things like “I’m going to listen to everything you have to say, non-judgmentally” but probably that’s not true.

      But I wouldn’t agree that no one has questioned or told men they’re doing it wrong for the last 1,000 years…..there were a lot of men who lost in that paradigm too.

      I’m not a fan of anything that involves telling people what they can or can’t do in relation to their emotional / spiritual self. But I do think you’re right that the caricatures of men haven’t been so great. Nor have the ones of women. I think we still accept too many things on face value when it comes to gender and power and social convention.

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