This comment was from Justin Cascio, responding to Danny and other commenters on his post “5 Ways Feminism Helps Men.”
For the purposes of this article, I’m talking about the social effects of a movement. It’s a huge movement and it contains internal contradictions and it has evolved over decades. I could write a similar one about, say, Christianity, that allows for how a large movement that contradicts itself (there are gay affirming churches, and there’s Fred Phelps and his family, for one example) can still have a coherent meaning, identity, and discernible effect on mainstream society. The points I made about the effects of feminism are not traced to one distinct school of feminist thought, and they don’t deny the existence of SCUM Manifestos, lesbian separatists, or the prejudices of leadership at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival against trans women. The ideals that I have drawn from feminism can be applied to men’s lives. There are also people out there who call themselves feminists, who are hateful toward men, or indifferent, or ignorant. But they don’t get to define all of feminism, any more than Amanda Marcotte gets to decide what all MRAs are like. The total of people who speak out and call themselves feminists get to define what feminism is. I especially don’t accept the definitions of men who don’t identify themselves as feminists. It would be just as inappropriate for me to tell Christians what they believe.
photo: shankbone / flickr