(this was written very quickly – albeit after I calmed down because this has me very agitated – and I will probably come back to revisit grammar and spelling and rhetoric, but I felt compelled to post it, imperfect as it may be)
“Iceland Announces men-only UN conference on women, gender equality”
When I posted this on my Facebook page I did so because I thought this was wonderful news.
Men wanting to talk about gender equality is, to me, a clear sign of commitment to seeing gender as an issue that transcends male and female. It is, after all, a human rights issue, which it makes it an issue whether there is a woman in the room or not.
However, gender equality effects men and women differently. And, it DOES effect men. Sadly, many men are not aware that it does. Societies that are more equal are not only coincidentally also more stable and wealthier. Countries that have lower rates of violence against women have over all lower rates of violence.
Perhaps if men in positions of influence sit together and talk they can share how it effects men and come to understand why it is so important for men to work toward constructive change in the way that gender is dealt with in our societies. They can discuss how dimorphic gender roles harm men as much as they harm women. The best person to demonstrate that fact to a man is another man.
When I saw this article I was encouraged that these men wanted to band together and talk about how they can be my ally, and about how they can walk beside me in a way that only a man can – and let’s be clear AGAIN, men and women will be addressing the issue from different vantage points.
I was glad to see the battle for equality will be fought on two fronts. I was glad that these men were going to gather and talk about how, in their male relationships, they can work toward the same goal I am working toward. We need men to model positive male behavior to other men.
I want them to meet. I want them to talk. It is wrong to not allow them the space to do that.
No one has any logical reason or moral right to object to or to be offended by or to mock manhood’s sincere attempt from a uniquely male perspective to come to terms with an issue they are expected to help solve.
This is why my boys roll their eyes when they hear the word feminist. Because they are being told they must join a group for women, driven by women on women’s terms. It doesn’t accommodate their maleness. Feminism isn’t just for women and a man cannot experience it on a woman’s terms. It’s for humanity, and men must come to understand it on their own terms before we can have equality.
We need a feminist re-brand because the ideology has gotten off course, steered by people who are NOT thinking critically before they react and collectively all need a smack upside the head.