Our friend Hugo Schwyzer has ignited quite the little debate with his departure from internet feminism, and the mantle of Numero Uno Male Feminist is now up for grabs! Surely there are some ambitious lads here who might want to take a shot at the Crown?
Meghan Murphy at xoJane has laid out for you just how to go about it. Ready?
Feminism is for everyone, but why does it seem as though those who insist they are “good guys” or self-identify as feminist grate on me?
First up, you need to understand that no matter what you do, you are going to irritate the shit out of all the ladies who call themselves feminists. You will grate. Once you understand that little chestnut, you will be much more likely to succeed as a Male Feminist.
Repeat after me: No matter what you do, you are wrong. And irritating.
Meghan: It’s not that I don’t think men can be feminist. I know many men who clearly align themselves with the feminist movement. The problem seems to be with men who self-identify as “feminist” as a means of gaining credibility or avoiding accountability. The problem is that many men who claim to be “good men” or to respect women, don’t actually… well… respect women.
You hear that? It’s not enough to just claim the word. You are going to need to be credible and accountable. Those are important virtues to feminists.
We’ll keep that in mind.
Meghan: After his video “Blurred Lines,” was called misogynist and “rapey,” Robin Thicke responded by arguing that OH BUT it’s ok for him to objectify women because he respects them so much! “We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this,” Thicke said. Because HAHA you guys! Isn’t misogyny hilarious?
“Blurred Lines” was called misogynist and rapey by whom, Meghan? Oh, some whiny feminists, who don’t like the line “I know you want it”.
Okay, let’s put our credibility on the line and look at the lyrics, and not just one line.
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me
Hmmm. She’s not plastic. A good girl acting bad. What is Robin to do? Ooh, then SHE grabs HIM. My, my, my. She wants to get nasty, apparently. Now what does Robin do?
He invites her to make the next move. Go ahead, get at me.
Yep, pretty rapey.
Credibility score: 0
“When we made the song, we had nothing but the most respect for women,” he said on The Today Show. He even went so far as to say the song is a “feminist movement in itself.”
Well, as long as if by feminist you mean that women have the right to grab men on the dance floor, I guess it IS a feminist song. I wonder what the response would be if it were Robin grabbing the women? Isn’t that technically assault?
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign after it was revealed that he’d been buying sex from prostitutes. Yet he insists he’s actually a feminist.
Let’s see. Spitzer believes that women have the right to control their own sexuality, the right to determine how their bodies will be used, the right to attach commercial value to themselves, and he paid women fair market value for their services.
Prostitution is incompatible with feminism because women CANNOT possibly understand the implications of attaching commercial value to their bodies. Unless they are soccer players. Or models. Or anything other than prostitutes. Silly women. It’s only your body and your choice when it comes to killing babies.
Accountability score: 0
Meghan: The deal is, apparently, that you can behave however you like so long as you plead feminism. “But you abuse women, sir…” “Impossible! I love women!” I’ve heard it time and time again in my own life. Men believe they love women and that that simple belief or declaration erases their sexist behaviour.
I can only assume Meghan is referring to her previous paragraphs as examples of abuse and or/sexist behavior? Not quite certain, but let’s go with that. Letting sexually aggressive women decide how far they would like to take their actions and allowing women to determine how they will use their bodies is abusing women/behaving in a sexist manner.
Credibility: still 0
Meghan: Walter Madison, lawyer for the young men convicted in the Steubenville rape trial, painted the victim as “a party girl” and essentially accused her of being “embarrassed;” choosing to claim rape in order to avoid being labeled a “slut.” Despite his victim-blamey arguments, he told Ariel Levy that he considers himself “very much a feminist.”
A lawyer suggests that a young woman might try to avoid being held accountable for her behavior by casting the blame on the men. I wonder if the “victim” would have liked Robin’s song? Something tells me yes.
Proposing that perhaps women are in some teeny, tiny way responsible for their own actions is clearly sexist.
Accountability: still 0
Meghan: And then, of course, there’s Hugo Schwyzer, who recently left the internet due to not only personal struggles but, according to an interview in New York magazine, because of vitriol from the feminist internet.
Schwyzer is clearly struggling with some very serious mental health issues and has a lot of personal work to do away from the feminist internet. But you’d think a self-described male feminist would know better than to blame “women’s anger” for his troubles. “Men are afraid of women’s anger,” he said. Hmm mmm. Women and their scary, scary feelings and opinions. Note all the men of the world cowering in the corner because women *gasp* feel angry. Man, I wish that worked.
Pay attention here, men. Women’s anger is equivalent to feelings and opinions. When you hear “I feel” or “I think”, and it is coming from the mouth of a woman, you can take that to mean “I’m angry”. That’s a key element of how to communicate with feminists.
Assume they are all angry bitches. Meghan says they are!
And keep in mind that she would really love it if men would cower in the corner when faced with women’s anger. She wishes that would happen.
You can make it happen! But be aware, that won’t make her any happier. She will still be angry.
Now, no fistfights over who gets to take on this job.
Meghan: The interviewer said: “One reason you became a punching bag is that there just are not many men writing feminist columns online,” prompting Schwyzer to complain: “If you look at the men who are writing about feminism, they toe the line very carefully. It’s almost like they take their cues from the women around them.”
Toe the line – carefully! Take your cues from women. And only women.
Meghan: Well yes. That’s the idea. While feminism is a movement that can include and benefit men and women alike, at the end of the day it’s also a movement to end patriarchy and has always been led by women. To say that “It’s very hard for men to stand up to women’s anger” is to imply that, somehow, white men in feminist spaces are being persecuted or silenced.
Your persecution complex will have to go, gents. It’s true that feminists want you to cower in the corner, toe that line carefully and prepare to be led by and take your cues from angry women, but there is NO PERSECUTION INVOLVED IN THAT.
Just shut up already.
Credibility? Crap. Still 0.
Meghan: Women have long been silenced by being told they are hysterical or aggressive or out of control or “too angry” when they stand up for themselves or speak out. To call in such a sexist stereotype in order to gain sympathy displays the same kind of entitlement expressed by all these baffled men who say “But, but… I RESPECT WOMEN” when called out on their anti-feminist behaviour.
Wait. I’m confused. Meghan just SAID that when feminists think or feel, it’s the same as anger. But no calling them angry! And no being baffled!
Meghan: “I’m a feminist,” when coming from a man, always feels to me like demanding a pat on the head. “I love my mother,” they say, puffing out their chests, as though it excuses their visit to the strip club the previous night.
What the hell does loving your mother have to do with making sure strippers can put food on the table? I’m not sure, but I think you either have to hate your mother or let those bitches dancing in clubs starve.
Accountability? Hovering right at 0.
Meghan: An evil man I was in a relationship with once told me I was being “cunty.” I looked at him with shock and disgust. “You realize it’s not ok to call women ‘cunts’ or ‘bitches’ or ‘sluts’ or any of those other gendered words used to degrade women, right?” I responded. “Oh, well some women I know say it and they think it’s fine,” he mansplained. “It isn’t. Especially when it’s coming from a man. Especially when you’re saying it as an insult,” I said. (As though being called “cunty” could be anything but insulting). CONTEXT PLEASE. This man insisted he was both progressive and feminist. He, therefore, was free to use sexist language against women. It wasn’t sexist when he said it!
It’s perfectly acceptable to call men evil, and you should probably prepare to have that accusation lobbed at you, kind sir applying as Male Feminist, but do NOT refer to any woman as “cunt”, “bitch” or “slut”.
Even if the woman really IS “cunty”. Which Meghan definitely IS.
Meghan: “Oh do I seem mad? Too bad. You still can’t call me ‘cunty’”
The point here is that women, and only women will define what terms are and are NOT acceptable and you will toe the fucking line, you evil creep!
Meghan: Similarly, Thicke tries to pin his creepshow video on women. Supposedly he preferred the clothed version of the video, but then said: “I showed it to my wife and all of her friends and everyone’s immediate response seemed to be ‘This is amazing. You have to put this out.’”
That’s like saying: “But that feminist just called herself a slut! Therefore, it’s ok for me to call my girlfriend a slut.” Or, like: “But all those women are posting porny photos on Instagram! So it’s ok for me to creep their accounts.” Nope! Or, I suppose you can but don’t do it while simultaneously pretending to be feminist. Pro tip: We can all see when you “like” those #sxy #babe #hot #girls #asss shots on Instagram and we are all judging you.
Women: yes, you CAN post porny ass shots on Instagram. You may NOT sell that ass for actual cash (see above) and you may not shake that ass on a stage (see above). You may call yourself a “slut” or any other word you prefer.
Men: you will not look at Instagram or use the same language as women.
Didn’t we just cover this?
WOMEN DEFINE THE TERMS OF DEBATE, TOE THE LINE, FUCKER!
Meghan: “I don’t want to be sleazy, I’m a gentleman,” Robin Thicke insisted on BBC’s Radio 1. Well, too bad bud. If you don’t want to be “sleazy” then don’t make a video that’s essentially a celebration of male power and rape culture.
Oh, oops. My bad. I thought feminists just defined the actual language as acceptable or not. Turns out they will also be in charge of policing music and videos, too.
This is looking like a lot of fun!
Meghan: Men who insist they are the “good guys” without actually changing their behavior or interrogating their beliefs about women and what gender equality really means do more harm than good. It’s manipulative more than supportive. It’s silencing. And if you’re silencing feminists or objectifying women while claiming to respect us, you’re doing it wrong.
I think it will take duct tape and possibly several tubes of crazy glue and probably some well-placed sutures to silence Meghan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least TRY, guys. You will NOT be considered a “good guy” until you have ceded all language and music to feminist determination, until you pick up that line and toe it, subject yourself to interrogation about gender and equality, and while you’re at it, would you mind cowering in the corner?
Thanks ever so much.
Credibility: I think we’re gonna have go with negative integers at this point. -1
Meghan: Men need to do much more than call themselves “feminist” in order to be allies, which is why, generally, when men claim the label “feminist” I feel more irritated than elated.
Yes, honey, we know. You’re angry and irritated all the time.
Meghan: I want men in this movement and there are men in this movement. But the men who I see doing the work and changing their own behavior both in their personal and public lives to support women aren’t going around advertising their feminist status and demanding we all recognize. They’re just doing it.
So, addendum to toe the line: TOE THE LINE SILENTLY
And don’t silence anyone else with your silency silence.
Credibility just took a severe nosedive. -20
Meghan: So you want to be one of the good guys. You want to join team feminism. You want to respect women and be an ally. Awesome. Now stop telling everybody how much of a feminist you are and start acting like one.
I’ll recap what that requires just in case you got lost:
- You are grating
- You are irritating
- You must be credible
- You must be accountable
- Women are allowed to grab you
- You are a rapey rapist under all conditions
- Women are not accountable for their behavior and you will not expect them to be
- When feminists think or feel, it means they are angry. Deal with it.
- You will cower in the corner
- You will toe the line
- You will be led by women
- You will take your cues from women
- You will accept persecution without any stupid complex
- You will not call women angry
- You will not be baffled
- No baffling!
- If you love your mother, you can’t help strippers feed their kids
- If you hate your mother, go ahead
- You are evil and creepy
- You will not use language that has not been approved by feminists
- You will not look at asses on Instagram. Twitter might be okay. I’ll have to get back to you.
- You will be interrogated
- You will shut up
All righty then! Taking applications for Male Feminist in three – two – one ……..
Guys? Hey guys? Where did you go?
Oh right. You’re cowering in the corner, holding fast to your line, and being silent. Awwww. Good dog! Here’s a cookie.
See? Sometimes, feminists LOVE cookies!
And obviously, they love men.
Lots of love,
Editor’s note: this post was originally published on JudgyBitch.com here.