Hey. It’s been a while.
I like what you wrote, and I agree with most of what you are saying. The views I expressed earlier stem from my own idealism. I’m more undecided on the subject lately. You ask a few questions. I’m really not that interested in reading our whole discussion again to figure out what I thought at the time. I hope that’s okay. I suspect the questions where rhetorical anyway.
I’ve recently had a discussion with some friends, it was quite interesting to see how people reacted. One group strongly defended the idea that generalising about gender is necessary in order to fight inequality. The other group saw this as problematic because it creates a gap between feminists of different genders, which is inherently unfeministic, i.e. if you’re against sexism, don’t practice it.
It left me with a lot to think about, and the more I think about gender the more depressing it gets, really. I’ve taken the time to express my frustrations on the matter. It’s my personal experience and not meant to fuel a disagreement. You may not like it, it has some perspectives that could be considered “equalitarian”. If you know you will feel an urge to strongly disagree, is suggest you just skip it and go do something fun instead. If you feel genuinely interesed in my perspective, it’s all here.
Although I understand the motivations for the strong segregation of “male” and “female” people as expressed by many feminists, I feel that it is problematic.
Example: normally I wouldn’t think about the gender of the person I’m holding the door for, but since it’s a form of chivalry, I have to consider if it might be problematic if the person I’m holding the door for is a woman: she might feel oppressed because she doesn’t need any man to hold the door. Had I had breasts, I would have been free to hold the door for anybody, but I haven’t any breasts, so I can’t safely hold the door for my fellow human, because my body is male—and I don’t even strongly identify with any gender. By living this way, we are still letting gender roles dictate our actions.
I believe that the actions on an individual make all the difference. It’s like voting: representing the world you believe in is an effective way of enforcing your vision. To me, gender is nothing more that a social construct that will disappear if we collectively ignore it, so my natural reaction is to just treat people as people and leave it at that. And I know that this approach is problematic. Because most people are sexist and many societies are oppressive, and i’m not doing people a service by ignoring their problems: I have to play my part in making things better. I know this, and I’m conflicted, because I’d rather unify people than segregate them, and I think treating people differently based on their gender is inherently problematic.
I’m working on this.
I have a problem with certain feminist habits. These are things that are making me and other men feel unwelcome in the feminist debate. It’s a damn shame, because we all want the same. You may have heard this before, so trigger warning.
All over the feminist debate, we are attacking people on your own front. It’s hard to sympathise with people who keep saying “men are oppressive” paired with “you are a man”. The “not all men” movement gets a lot of hate, but maybe it’s a sign that feminism should consider the impact of its language on men who are not “part of the problem”. Gender-role-enforcing people, regardless of their gender, are problematic, as are so-called “feminists” who judge men.
Blaming men for their privilege is like blaming the anteaters at your local zoo for having lager cages than the alpacas: they didn’t ask to be put it the cage in the first place. Men and women are both trapped in these gender cages. It sucks. The system sucks. And people of all genders sustain the sucky system, not “men”. Even if the people sustaining the system were just men, being above the gender discimination means talking about these people as what they are: problematic people. Wether they are men or not should not matter unless you want to fuel the sex war.
If you’ve made it this far, I’m proud of you. I am working on #1 and I really do feel like #2 needs to be addressed. But that’s my opinion.
That’s all for now. Peace.