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Feminism

Is there a place for men to contribute to the women's movement?

 

Yes, there are many ways in which men can contribute to the women's movement--and many examples of ways in which men have already contributed to the women's movement.

As a white person, I know it is more effective for me to say "that's racist" or "that's not funny." Many people wrongly assume that because you are white you won't be offended or affected by racism. Similarly, it is more effective for me to say "that's sexist" or "I notice that you don't have many women in high level positions in your company." So this constant consciousness raising is a very important way for all of us to help those who are still not equal.

I also feel that the women's movement is "halfway there" (maybe not quite). While we have many examples of what 'women can do', we don't have many examples of 'what men can do'-- and women are still 'doing it all.' A few women are earning what men earn -- however, the majority of those who earn the least are still women. Women are working in almost every field, but we still see too few full-time fathers and male social workers. As with race and class, we also leave out the gender adjective when it's a man (or white or heterosexual) assuming that is the norm -- i.e. female writer; astronaut; black attorney; gay friend--you name it.

Besides the above more "general contributions" that need to be made to the women's movement, there are also specific groups that are the result of men organizing for change. Most of these groups work around the issue of violence. As good as all the work has been around domestic violence - setting up hotlines; shelters; booklets on knowing how to identify it; lobbying Congress for legislation to protect those who are abused -- the reality is that men are 90% of the abusers and in addition to helping the "abused" we need to let the "abusers" know that their behavior isn't right. Most of these groups are listed at FEMINIST.COM at our section of Pro-feminist Men's Groups.

I hope that the above helps and knowing that men care enough to contribute gives me hope that we will reach our goal of equality. Thanks again for your note and for your help.

Amy

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