ally

An open letter to men who discuss Feminism

Posted on

feminist-symbol-keylaThere’s nothing wrong in not knowing much about feminism. Everyone isn’t interested, I get that. But if you’re trying to come off as interested and/or knowing, and discuss feminism with other people, then not knowing what feminism is about becomes a problem.

Discussing with/against feminists with the result that these women have to explain feminism for you is just another way in which you exert your male privilege. Instead of learning more about feminism from the countless sources that are available to you, you just lean back and expect a woman to do the work for you.

And I’m tired of hearing how we as feminists are condescending and angry when discussing with you. We’re not here to make the world even softer for you. Being a feminist sadly means being called different derogatory words, having people trying to silence us, being threatened with rape and murder. So when one of you comes along with your preconceived notions about what feminism is, when you try to tell us how to do feminism, when you expect to have everything served or talk about how hard it is for you as men, how you are discriminated against because of being men – then we get really tired. And some of us (myself included) get condescending when you don’t think we see through your condescending attitude and acting as victims of discrimination.  Because part of our awakening as feminists mean we won’t take any more shit.

“But I’m genuinely interested and want to learn!” you say. Pick up a book, search the Internet, take a course. But Making_History_pink-300x246stop asking us to explain it for you – again. In doing so you’re asking us to give you of our time, our knowledge and our energy – totally free of charge! Because of your male prvilege (google it, but be critical of your sources), you’re expecting to have everything served. You’re expecting your voice to be worth more than mine.

“See, you won’t let us join in!” Sure we do. We think it’s great when men show an interest in feminism or proudly proclaim to be feminists. The more people who learn and enjoy feminism, the better a world this will be. But you won’t get applauded for joining simply because you’re a man. You won’t get special treatment or privileges because of it. You left all of that on the patriarchal side when you stepped trough our door.

You see, feminism is for you too. But it means that you have to give up the privileges you’ve enjoyed on the expense of women, non-white and queer people. There’s no fun in acknowledging our privileges, we know. We who enjoy them constantly have to work at being consious of and challenging them. But if  you’re not willing to get your hands dirty and get the job done, please don’t stand in the way of us who do.