Friday, January 25, 2008

Feminism----- A perspective on men

Feminism.............. Wohhhhhh this word ticks off "many" people and I assume that the majority of those "many" would be men. Yes, this is true, but surprisingly in recent times there are lesser younger women who associate themselves with this term.

I am writing this blog as an offshoot to a discussion in class. My professor made a comment that "my husband is a feminist, he will not do the car oil change for me, he does dishes, and he cooks too".

I understood what she meant, " breaking away from traditional gender roles" is as simple as she described her husband's trait.

To me then, feminism works wonder for both men and women.

Why is that the word feminist arouses strong emotions and reactions. And please to all those reading, dont start cursing under your breath. And some how I do realize why many dislike the word.
I know many people perceive feminism to be equivalent to men bashing.

As a lay person, Feminism to me means providing equal opportunities to men and women and treating men and women alike. But definitely the feminist movement has been associated with more radical approaches, aggressive strategies, and somehow portraying that women are better than men.

However the discussion in class made me realize what feminism means for men.

  1. It means that men should not be so pressured to have a high-paying career or for that matter to have a job.
  2. It means that men should be given space to express themselves emotionally. We don't have to expect them to be super cool, brave etc. etc all the time.
  3. They are not our provider.
  4. There are many more.....
I also learnt that stress among men takes its toll physically, and shorter life span is one of the many outcomes.

When I asked my husband if he believes in this principle of gender-equality, he said he does.

So I said " Can I assume that you are a feminist".

He said " No"

"Why I said, you believe in the principle and you practice it too"

He said " the word feminism has its roots in femininity, and it appears to favor females over men, so I will not accept that I am not a feminist. "

And he added, "if a neutral word is coined to espouse the principles discussed above, I will be a member of that club".

I reclined once I realized that the discussion would soon turn into argument.

However I think I get his point. Some terminologies get so value-laden, full of judgment and prejudice, that it is difficult to go back to its roots.

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