Thoughtful Woman To Create Male Feminist Calendar Of Dudes You Should Obviously Avoid
Male feminists — not for everybody! Thankfully, there’s a Kickstarter to help you identify which men are poised and ready to share their graduate school thesis on Shulamith Firestone’s impact on second-wave feminism. The proposed 2016 “Male Feminists Of New York” calendar — started by a woman, with proceeds benefitting a reproductive rights organization — will highlight 12 “fabulous, feminist-identified” men, allowing them yet another platform from which to share their sensitively crafted stories about just how much they support gender equality. Modeling itself after “Humans Of New York” (oh boy), the calendar will let the men speak for themselves, in their own words, allowing them the space they so desperately need to freely share their opinions.
In theory, I have nothing against male feminists. If a man feels like gender disparity and inequality is unfair, good! That’s recognizing their privilege and, hopefully, behaving in a way that is mindful of how it impacts the less privileged. But being a male ally to feminism means getting the fuck out of the way sometimes. Co-opting someone else’s struggle doesn’t help anyone, and will most likely infuriate the people in the trenches, experiencing the injustices every day. It’s real cute to gaze from your tower of privilege and try to butt in where you can, but sometimes the best way to be an ally to the cause — any cause — is to listen first. As someone who was once snootily told by a man that “feminism is not just a scarf you throw on,” I can say with full confidence to the men of this world: Fall. Back.
So, what we have here is a calendar, full of men, ready to pull out their tattered NOW shirts and gamely dominate a conversation about the wage gap whenever they feel like it. A collection of dudes to potentially avoid getting into conversations with, because you will surely be mansplained to death. Yikes. Look — it’s great if a man believes in gender equality, but that is not an act that should be worthy of a reward. Anyone who is compassionate, kind and understanding should believe in gender equality. Women, naturally, have more of a leg to stand on, because the discrimination and oppression that feminism is actively working to counteract directly impacts. Men can empathize, sure, but they will never understand, no matter how many Indigo Girls songs they have committed to memory.
Men: do feminism by being supportive, by listening, by calling out other men when they do sexist shit, by staying in your lane. Do not insert yourself in spaces that do not belong to you. And don’t expect to get accolades or an entire month in your own very special calendar just for being a decent human. Thanks!
[h/t The Cut]
Image via Kickstarter