This comment by Reese was in response to “The Wrath of The Feminists: A Discussion of Masculinity, Gender, and Feminism”
What Tom came across to me as calling for in his article was space for men to be able to discuss their experiences as men. That seems to be the whole purpose of this site, or I thought it was at least. When Tom notes that most of the people that listen to his talks on manhood are women, or that women are the ones in the comments on his articles, or on Twitter, I think he is pointing out that feminists, mostly women, are dominating the discussion on *both* genders.
I don’t think Tom has anything against feminism. I would personally consider Tom a feminist-ally. What I think what Tom is trying to convey is a frustration with feminists who, intentionally or not, are demanding men “play be their rules” when it comes to discussing manhood. I think this comes from a suspicion that when men want to have an active voice and role in talking about gender, it is something regressive and anti-female.
The people attacking Tom want him first to acknowledge them as the gatekeepers: either you agree with them or your feelings and experiences are invalid. And in order for them to validate his feelings and experiences, he must accept their views.
What’s at issue is that Tom is talking about men discussing their thoughts and feelings in spaces for men. When men are sharing their stories, and making space for themselves to discuss manhood, it should be organic, on their own terms. Men should not have to check-in first with women/feminists in general to see if their feelings are valid. They are sharing something that is part of their daily existence – their own unique, valid experiences as men.
photo: DieselDemon / Flickr