I started talking, and it got, well… long winded. (What? Me? Never!) So, without further ado, here’s the gargantuan beastie in full. Enjoy.
While I was reading this post, my brain got all clever on me and came up with a slogany-sounding phrase:
It’s called ‘feminism’ because ‘humanism’ was already taken.
Sounds good, feels right, needs examination and discussion. ^^
but mainstream feminism is still not the ‘gender egalitarian’ feminism that you paint it as and which I embrace. It is, by and large a ‘women’s perspectives only’ feminism where the gender oppression of men is minimized, ignored, or denied.
But what do you define as ‘mainstream feminism’? Which feminists bring that phrase to your mind? What sources? Which sites? Knowing the frame of reference here would make replying to your comment much more accurate and applicable.
The feminist blogs I’ve read (if you’re referring to blogs as well, which I’d guess; examples to follow) do limit the male perspective because the female perspective doesn’t get near as much airtime elsewhere. They are intended to serve as a safe place for women/people of color/homosexual/the transgendered.
What I have seen emphasized there is not “women’s perspectives only” but “women’s perspectives respected”. So often the response to a person’s experience of being on the receiving end of sexism/racism/other bigotry is met with statements that serve only to minimize, ignore, and deny that experience. Restricting the most trollish of these responses maintains the safety of the space.
This is getting unwieldy, so look for the rest on https://nightgigjo.wordpress.com/
Privilege isn’t something we’re responsible for taking up, but it happens to us automatically simply because we’re white/male/hetero/cisgendered or any other attribute considered ‘normal’. Realizing this really helps to not take it personally when a forum is designated for the voice of a minority group of which I am not a part.
This most definitely applies to me: the only privileged group I’m *not* a part of is the male gender, so I have much more listening than talking to do on these sites which are exploring and promoting a gender/race/sexuality/ability egalitarian society. In fact, I don’t realize the full extent of my privileged position until I’ve listened, attentively and non-judgmentally, to the perspectives of those folks who don’t enjoy that privilege. It’s not going to hurt me to listen: either it applies to me and I learn something about myself, or it doesn’t apply to me and I don’t have to worry about it.
I don’t have to fight to prove I’m not a racist/homophobe/sexist: in fact, the more I fight, the more I prove it. I was raised in this sexist/racist/homophobic/bigoted society, and I learned many things well. I don’t have to be outrageously sexist/racist/etc. to still be sexist/racist/etc. I don’t call people the N-word, but I have a moment’s judgment-filled hesitation when I see an interracial couple. I grew up in the South where there was a significant stigma attached to ‘the mixing of the races’, so I have this knee-jerk reaction when I see two people of difference ‘races’ together in a relationship setting. I *hate* this, and I’m fighting it by reading and listening, thinking and writing.