should men call themselves feminists?

Submitted by Dumai in Feminism (edited )

as a man i kind of avoid doing so (or using any of the proposed alternatives like "feminist ally" or "pro-feminist") because i see enough men using these labels as social currency on twitter as it is, and enough of these dudes have turned out to be abusers or otherwise outrageous misogynists that this feels more like a strategy for occupying too much space than anything else. for the most part i really feel that feminism as a discourse really shouldn't be defined by men or it risks losing its critical power, and if i want to put my money where my mouth is i shouldn't be trying to colonise spaces that, after all, are not for me.


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sudo wrote

I see nothing wrong with calling yourself a feminist, as long as you aren't trying to use it as a social currency. You're right that feminism shouldn't be lead by men, but I don't think calling yourself a feminist is going to cause that. If you believe that all forms of gender inequality must be smashed, then you're a feminist.


glitter_v0id wrote

I've been told by women IRL that calling myself a feminist is inherently using the label to gain some sort of power, with the argument of how it doesn't directly affect me (false, fwiw) calling myself anything other than an ally is appropriating a label, using it to make yourself look better ("social currency") when it's intended to empower women.

I don't ..quite agree with this and it has some radfem undertones along with blatant trans and nonbinary erasure but it's a really well crafted argument to shut down the concept of men and masc presenting people from being feminist.


Dumai OP wrote

i'm kind of more specifically speaking here as a cis man i guess! i wouldn't really want to comment on transmasculine people calling themselves feminist, doesn't exactly feel like my place to.


glitter_v0id wrote (edited )

Its an interesting, complicated intersection on erasure, male privilege, and the argument if 'passing privilege' is a thing.

edit- if you're cis, please don't weigh in on that last point.


Catsforfun wrote

You can also call yourself an antisexist


Pop wrote

as with everything, I imagine men should call themselves feminists on a case-by-case basis depending on what they're trying to achieve as feminists

perhaps that's obvious but just in case people are leaning towards always not doing it, I'm sure for example that sometimes an important way to show support is through stating that you stand with feminists

generally I have a preference to explain what I believe instead of just give it a label, but that's not always an option, and sometimes adding a label to an explanation does good work also.

tl;dr depends on context, and it's more useful to try to explain which contexts are useful for which identifications perhaps


libre_dev wrote

I just make it clear sexism will not be tolerated when I'm around


georgia wrote

Can I just say that I appreciate all the men here who want to be good allies, but raddle is probably not the best place to solicit women's opinions on the matter considering the dearth of females here. But here we go!

No, men shouldn't call themselves feminists. Many feminists adhere to the quasi-tautological formula that men can't be feminists since feminists are women. IMO that's just semantics and the more relevant issue is the problematic tendency of men to call themselves "feminist" for woke points/virtue signalling, and for such "male feminists" to be creepers with a sense of entitlement to womens' appreciation for/validation of being one of the "good men".

The actual significance of "feminist" as a nominal self-descriptor is overstated anyway considering the neoliberal corporate bullshit that passes for "feminism" these days.


Dumai OP wrote

that's more or less my line of thinking yeah!