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Wise Guys: What Do Most Guys Think of Feminism?

Tue, Jan 3, 2012

Advice, Wise Guys

Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: “What do most guys think of feminism: a successful movement that’s not needed any more, an eternal campaign of whiney man-haters, or a philosophy that makes the world a better place for both men and women?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Single Bisexual Guy (Jack): I grew up in a very matriarchal family, and I have always had female teachers, supervisors, even mentors. I directly credit one woman, in particular, for helping me to advance dramatically in my career. It’s always been a non-issue for me – women are just as intelligent, talented and productive as men, and can be as successful if given the same opportunities. I can’t speak for all guys, but I know for many guys my age and younger, it’s a non-issue. We believe in equality and we get the whole feminist viewpoint, and we even get that we’re going to continue to be blamed for being male just because men have been such morons for so many generations before us. I think it is a philosophy that is still needed because there are still a fair number of cavemen out there in government and business that we all have to contend with, and we still want the women in our lives to be able to be all they aspire to be.

Married Bisexual Guy (Bryan Sebeck): Whiney man-haters with penis envy, for sure. Though, not really. The problem with feminism is that, much like religion, it’s an umbrella term that refers to many different beliefs. It does no justice to feminists or anybody else to try and lump them all into the same category. Of course, there are some violent, man-hating, penis-envying feminists out there, but they’re few and far between. The problem is that they give all other feminists a bad name.

At its heart, feminism is about gender equality, which goes both ways. It’s about men being able to cook, clean, sew, spin yarn, knit, and the like just as much as it’s about women being able to turn wrenches, chop down trees, go off to war, and all of those other stereotypical guy things. Most men understand this and can get behind it.

On their surface, however, many men will completely deny this. Why? Because they have to maintain status in front of their “bros”. We can’t be seen as supporting women’s rights for fear of ((shudder)) being seen as gay. Seriously, there are a lot of guys who legitimately feel this way. Any man who’s worth keeping around for more than a night, however, will be completely honest and forward about it.

Single Straight Guy (Saad): Well, feminism has evolved. Roughly 100 years ago the focus was securing women’s right to vote; 40 or 50 years ago it was striving for equal footing in society, entering the workplace, being more than obedient housewives. We had to wait until 2009 for passage of the Lily Ledbetter Act helping ensure equal pay for equal work, and if feminism is around 50 years from now, chances are, some different set of issues will drive the movement. Even today we see ongoing discussions about household roles, birth control, and whether there could be a woman president. As far as what this guy thinks of feminism: it’s a good thing if my female friends, my past and future girlfriends, or my sister can decide for themselves what to study, where to work, whom to date, and how and when they decide to start a family — and have the men and wider society around them respect these decisions.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Married Bisexual Guy is Bryan Sebeck, a newlywed engineer and artist working in Detroit, MI who blogs at A Yooper Steampunk; our Single Bisexual Guy is Jack, a software consultant based in Phoenix, Arizona who blogs at Facets of Our Lives;; and our Single Straight Guy is  Saad Hasan, who works on nanotechnology with a team in Pennsylvania. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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3 Responses to “Wise Guys: What Do Most Guys Think of Feminism?”

  1. Johnny Says:

    I believe in fairness and equality in general. Like Jack said, gender is a non-issue for me. I grew up around women who treat gender as a non-issue. Women who roll their eyes and snicker when confronted with sexism, then ignore it and keep succeeding. Do they attempt to haul up every woman by the bra straps? No. They just do their best, and a damn good job they do at anything they undertake.

    Basically I have a problem with team mentality in general. I don’t like feminism, masculinism (oh wait – no such thing; when men defend our collective interests it’s a bad thing called sexism), organized religion, political parties, sports fandom, armies, etc.

    I can see the positive and negative aspects of all the things I listed above. My problem with actually joining any of those groups is that they all have ideological parameters that restrict one’s absolute freedom of thought and choice. At some point a member of any of those groups is going to be forced to choose between their conscience and their team. Usually they’ll go with the team, for better or worse. People are like that.

  2. Johnny Says:

    Another thing I’ll say about all ideology-based groups – not just feminists – is that their loudest voices come not from the best and brightest among that group, but from the angriest and most opinionated.

    Hence the negative connotation “Christian” has among atheists. Same reason “conservative” and “liberal” elicit strong negative reactions. We’re used to hearing from the Bible-thumping/flag-waving/flag-burning nut jobs. The ones who quietly live a good life according to their chosen ideology are seldom heard from.

  3. Diz Says:

    Well here here Jack! Bloody well put me old son! Emily Pankhurst would have been proud of you xxx


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