Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gender stereotypes hurt men too

Dave Hill has an article up at Comment Is Free about how feminism is a good thing for men as well as for women:

Men should embrace these principles too, not only for women's sake but also for their own. All else being equal, to be born male is to inherit legacies of entitlement that continue to outweigh those bestowed on those born female. Yet the state of maleness carries its own burden of expectations and constraints. Contemporary studies of boyhood shed light on what we've always known – what I still remember vividly from my own boyhood – about the disabling and limiting influence of male behaviour conventions, homophobia and general "gender policing" on men in the making and the huge anxieties that inform them.

All in all, it's a good article for a general-public audience.

The comments are fairly predictable and often infuriating. At first glance, it seems pretty evenly split between supporters and detractors, but that could change as more blogs link to the article.

The complaints mostly boil down to the following types of statements:
  • "This article was unnecessary."
  • "Women feminists don't care about the issues men face!"
  • "Feminism is about female supremacy, not equality!"
  • "Women (and, by extension, women feminists) want to pick and choose between patriarchy and feminism as benefits them most!"
  • "Feminists are trying to emasculate men."
  • "Women aren't attracted to feminist men."
  • "The strong, silent warrior/provider type isn't altogether a bad thing, so what's wrong with demanding all men fit that role?"
Additional discussion can be found at Feministing.

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