Boys and Girls Come Out To Play

Over the past week or so there have been a couple of blog posts regarding Men and Feminism. The ball was kicked off by Zarathustra from The Not So Big Society in his article “Should Men Embrace Feminism” and then a couple of days later Mark Brown from One In Four continued his great Q&A session series at This World of Mentalists “5 – Feminism and Men”.

(Jesus how many links can I fit in one small paragraph.. no more .. I hope)

Anywho, this got me to thinking about my attitudes towards the subject. I tried to think how my actions over my life might have formed my almost mid life choices and opinions on the Women and Feminism. It got to the point where I realised that, I have never and could never see myself classing myself as a Feminist.

I was bought up by a very strong woman. I was bought up to have respect for others, not just for my elders and “betters” but for others. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t just go around throwing respect at every Tom, Dick and Harriet. For the most part, if you show me respect then you are going to get it back from me.

As I grew up and started to develop my own views on things through my teenage years I learnt what it was to have to earn respect and to expect to have the same in return, but not once did the other persons gender come into the equation. Everyone got that first “Fair Shake of The Stick.” I had my fingers burnt over the years by people who saw this basic view of life and thought they could take advantage and it’s only in my later years that I can look back and see that, at times, I was taken advantage of big time. My friendships were often based an very lopsided footings. My being the fat spotty kid I took friendships where ever I could get them and that led to some toxic relationships. I have, thankfully, moved on from that mindset these days and realise that “I” am the one who sets out what I want from a personal relationship with someone else.

Through all of this self discovery and realisations of who I am and the articles I have read By Zarathustra and Mark Brown I now know how to describe my philosophy regarding the opposite sex (and I believe this equates to both Men and Women EQUALLY)…

Just Don’t Be A Dick.

See it’s that simple. Treat the person your facing how you would want to be treated. You have probably heard the saying “Do Unto Other As You Would Have Others Do Unto You” (Wiki on The Golden Rule – An interesting read).

I purposely haven’t gone into the side of Feminism/and the Male equivalent that seems to me to be akin to a Fundamentalist Religion. That, to me, is just like politics and that is a place I have no skill or desire to get into.

Until Next Time…

 

2 comments

  1. If I recall correctly, the word “feminism” derives from a time (prior to the first wave) when women were completely derided as second class citizens to serve the will of men.

    Because until relatively recently only modest in-roads to equality had been achieved, the name has pretty much stuck.

    Its original meaning was simply as you describe: everyone’s equal, don’t be a tosser. In its purest form, this is still the definition of feminism, and the one to which I subscribe. You could call it “equalitism”, but for the historical reasons discussed, and probably also owing to the fact that in many regards females (and transgendered males and females at that) are still not afforded the same regard as some men, the word “feminism” has remained.

    Thanks to militants and radicals the meaning of the word in the popular consciousness has been twisted to effectively mean “misandry”. Misandry is every bit as vile as misogyny, and as you rightly note, fundamentalism of any description is dangerous.

    So I am a feminist, but merely believe (a) in the equality of the sexes and genders; and (b) the removal of heteronormativity from society (as in, I don’t want one’s gender to prescribe their ‘role’, interests, jobs etc). I think we’re all on the same wavelength here; as Zarathustra said on his post, I think most disagreement on feminism comes from its name rather than its core values. Different types – especially, as noted, radicals – do confuse the issue, but they tend to be in the minority.

    Anyway, sorry for blathering on – I wanted to give the context of the word but as usual got carried away 😉

    Hope you’re well, Paul.

    Take care

    Viv x