Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: “Do most guys you know consider themselves feminists? Why or why not?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.
Straight Married Guy (David Jacobs): No, most of my friends are sexist, racist, classist pigs. What can I say? They’re just more fun!
Actually, no is probably right, but not for those reasons. I like to think the folks whose company I enjoy would have been feminists, at least to some degree, just like I like to think they would have been abolitionists and supported the suffragette movement. But those were different times, as was the era of feminism — at least as I understand it (poorly, no doubt). That is, at least in the West, feminism’s goals of equality before the law, equality in the workforce, an end to glass ceilings and the straitjacket of traditional domestic roles, etc., have mostly been met.
Which is not to say women aren’t still just as fucked up as men, but at least now the wounds are mostly self-inflicted. Will I be annoyed if my one year-old girl hits her teens (or tweens or whatever) and starts reading stupid women’s magazines that rattle her self-image, or starts warping her personality in a way she thinks will please boys? Of course, I’ll probably kill her. But I won’t blame it on the “male establishment.” She’d just be following in the footsteps of millions of other insecure women, just like my three-year-old son, should he someday succumb to all the stupid macho influences of adolescence, would merely be behaving like so many other neanderthals out there, not the victim of some female cabal.
Of course witnessing women’s treatment in many other parts of the world often still raises my ire — that’s right, I’m not only not a feminist per se, but also a cultural imperialist! — and I imagine most of my friends are in the same boat. So I’m not sure where that leaves the grimy lot of us…
Straight Single Guy (Mark Luczak): Well, quickly refreshing, even just for my own reference, on a generic definition…feminism basically refers to movements aimed at establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. In this day and age, I like to think we’ve come far enough that a majority, even among males, would endorse such equality in those realms, even without the overt activism that the word “feminist” might connote to some. Either way, what would the opposite be, male chauvinism? I feel like I rarely witness that in my life anymore, and I hope that it’s duly becoming continually passe universally. Still, I don’t know that any guys I know would identify themselves explicitly as feminists, but that may speak as much again to just how much the notion has become a norm.
Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Frankly, I think most guys think feminists are exclusively women. So in other words, most are not.
Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Straight Married Guy is David Jacobs, a NYC-based photographer; our Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; and our Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Mellon University. To ask the guys your own question, click here.