Interesting Take on Gender and Feminism

I came across this untitled post in the feminist_rage LJ about anti-feminist misconceptions about feminism (the OP specifically addresses a white, heterosexual male that she is aquainted with for her rage). One commenter’s words just sort of jumped out at me as interesting [emphasis mine]:

“All feminists really want to do these days is make women into men.”

Oh, wow, that’s hilarious! They just don’t get it, do they? Feminism is about making it okay to NOT be a man. It’s about saying, ‘oh, you’re not a man? Well that’s okay, because you’re still a person.’

[From a post in feminist_rage, comment by nonahs]

I’ve looked at the gender democracy angle from several points of view, but this kind was fresh to me. I’m not sure it would be a useful discourse against an actual anti-feminist, but it’s something to think about at the very least.

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4 Responses to Interesting Take on Gender and Feminism

  1. Darth Sidhe says:

    …oh, you’re not a man? Well that’s okay, because you’re still a person.

    The main thing wrong with that is that it’s the sort of thing someone who’s always thought, until now, that non-men were inferior would say. It’s like Seinfeld‘s “nNt that there’s anything wrong with that,” only less revolutionary, less funny, and sadder.

  2. tekanji says:

    I think that was perhaps the poster’s point, because anti-feminists don’t think that women are people.

    I do agree with you that it’s not the best tactic to use on anti-/non-feminists, or even the most useful to think about on its own, but I think the approach has a place as one avenue we can use to look at gender caste and gender democracy.

  3. Darth Sidhe says:

    No, I mean…it’s like saying, for instance, “Oh, you’re not a member of MENSA? Well, that’s okay, because you’re still a person.” It’s hard to explain. It’s condescending. It divides the world into two groups: MENSA members and non-MENSA members, and since the MENSA members get the privilege of their own special label, that gives them a special importance; anyone outside the group, for whatever reason, is lumped into one mass.

    Am I making any sense here? It’s like…”Quebec and the rest of Canada.”

  4. tekanji says:

    I totally hear you, and yeah, what you’re saying makes total sense. I’m pretty sure the OP didn’t mean it that way, but I agree it’s phrased in a way that would come across as you said.

    I guess the approach that I’m taking on this is to see the whole condescension and men being a privileged label things as part of the cultural critique. I think it highlights that, as far as we’ve come, we still haven’t achieved the same level as each other (ie. gender democracy). Men are still “MENSA members” – to use your analogy – and non-men (women and transmen) are just people. It is, I think, an intrinsic part of the gender caste system we live in.

    If I’m making sense, that is LOL

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