Will The Real Feminist Please Stand Out?
S Lynn Knight
736

Great article S Lynn Knight. If I may, I want to offer a perspective on the idea of male feminists you alluded to. I love your suggestion of the spelling delineating gender. I think there will always be debates about male roles in the movement, just like the white people in anti-racism discussions, but I think that is a good thing. It makes us critically evaluate the whys and hows of our participation in movements that are, at their core, ones we cannot personally identify with.

While there are some people who get caught up in the use of the label, I tend to prefer the term that many men are already using to indicate ally-ship or solidarity : pro-feminist. Personally, I have identified as pro-feminist since my undergrad years. Why pro as opposed to simply feminist? I believe pro-feminist implies a level of thought has been given to the identity, not just one that has been unfairly appropriated from someone else’s struggle. Why is that important? There is a distinct difference between a male feminist and a female feminist. Only one can know and experience male applied oppression based on gender. And it ain’t the man! In my experience though, most women who are feminists don’t particularly care what we men call ourselves, so long as we back it up with relevant action in our daily life.

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