I've been given the benefit of the doubt for my white dudeness, as well as spurned unfairly by folks whom I've admired for the very same - beyond my control - fact of nature which is my bein' a boy. And an essentially sexually straight one at that! Intellectual confusion arises from, among other incidentals, my being raised in a modern Liberal Roman Catholic household, and being exposed by family, friends and educators to both unconscious racism and sexism and a still heartfelt and honest desire for egalite.
Emotionally ... well, lemme just say that such is where I start to get all ver klempt and start looking to others who might be able to describe what Feminism means to me, without getting all caught up in my own silly, and oh so personal, humanity.
Thus I present to you: A modern feminist's take on Our Gender Differences.
[Snippet]The good Sistah's exemplary essay does truly do much towards helping me intellectually clarify the path of humanism upon which I myself am traveling. The search goes on, thank goodness! For, were it over, 'twould unquestionably mean I's be dead.
Problematically, while we never seem to suffer from a lack of people willing to critique, from every conceivable angle and spanning the spectrum from fair to absurd, how women’s sex-specific qualities manifest themselves, what they mean for policy, and how they affect women and men, there is much less exploration of men’s sex-specific qualities and how they function in a changing culture. Critiques of the patriarchy (which is a crap paradigm for most men, too—especially not-rich ones) or sexism are not the same as redefining manhood, the women’s equivalent of which is rooted in the feminist movement, of which there is no male-centered counterpart. Certainly feminism is about achieving equality for women, but it is also about womanhood, which is both biological and cultural.
The lack of such an equivalent framework for men is part of what (makes) discerning biological difference versus cultural difference within themselves a dubious proposition for many men. As we see with women who reject feminism, they are keen to believe that what are easily identified cultural imperatives are really biological ones. For straight men, who exist in a culture largely structured to accommodate male primacy, pulling apart the intrinsic nature of men from the socialization borne of a society that reinforces the privilege of maleness, is exponentially more difficult.
[Oh! So much more and all so very very worth the read!]