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28.15 Feminist Men's Movement:


This article is from the Feminism References FAQ, by Cindy Tittle Moore tittle@netcom.com with numerous contributions by others.

28.15 Feminist Men's Movement:

These groups are closely aligned ideologically with the feminist
movement. They believe that we live in a patriarchal system in
which men are the oppressors of women, and that the men's movement
should identify this oppression and work against it. Most of the
[City-name] Men Against Rape groups fall under this category. The
largest feminist men's group is the National Organization for Men
Against Sexism (Formerly the National Organization for Changing
Men). Some publications from this viewpoint are "Changing Men,"
the journal of NOMAS, and the following books: "The Liberated Man"
by Warren Farrell, "The Male Machine" by Marc Feigen Fasteau, "The 49%
Majority" ed. by Deborah David & Robert Brannon, and "Refusing to Be a
Man" by John Stoltenberg.

"For these men," according to James Doyle ("Sex & Gender" p. 341),
"the question of unfair divorce settlements, child-custody cases,
and the like are a ruse used by some men who favor perpetuating
their own dominant status in society." This perhaps is a little
harsh, but many in the feminist men's movement are suspicious of
those who would work for men's political concerns without first
relinquishing the patriarchal reins of political power.

"They may feel only a vague pricking of conscience about their own
complicity in the imbalance," writes Anthony Astrachan of the
feminist wing of the movement (How Men Feel, p. 302), "or they may
openly acknowledge that men as a class (which does not mean all
men) oppress women as a class (which does not mean all women). In
either case, what they feel is guilt." (Astrachan dismisses what
I will call the Men's Liberation movement as "the no-guilt wing.")

As can be expected, there is much debate among feminists, women,
and other men about the validity or real intentions of such
groups. The entire question of "feminist men," especially ones
that disagree with aspects of "conventional feminism" sparks much
debate. Some accuse them of pandering to the feminist movement,
others of having a hidden agenda that's really against feminism.
Female feminists disagree wither men can be feminist, some arguing
that there is nothing to prevent men from being feminists, and
others arguing that you have to know what it is like to be a woman
-- or even BE a woman -- to be a feminist. [CTM]


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