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dany masado

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Is there room for men in the feminist agenda? How do men feel about the rise of female empowerment?

I have always considered myself to be a passionate advocate for women empowerment and gender equality. however as of late, I have begun to notice that in the fight to declare women as equals of men, we are actively participating in the demise of men. It is seems like it is much more of a competition than it is a fight for mutual respect. There are statements such as women are better leaders, or there would be no wars if women ran the world. What is also really alarming is that we seem to ignore issues faced by men (body image and media representation for example), by stating that "they just don't have it as bad as we do".

I have been castigating by my peers for pointing out flaws in the feminist agenda and demanding a re-assessment of the cause to make sure that the rise of women does not engender the downfall of men. Is is irrational to want true equality which means addressing issues faced by BOTH genders?

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    Dec 14 2011: My one liner tends to be "Corporations used feminism, wage stagnation, and inflation, to force both parents to work, for the same standard of living one used to have, and we need to fight against that"
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    Dec 14 2011: As a male, I would say that there is definitely room for us in the feminist "agenda" (although I massively contest the use of that word)! I don't think that female empowerment has to equate with male dis-empowerment. And the reason I think this is because most feminists are compassionate towards men. I haven't seen it in a while, but I remember Eve Ensler's talk about the "girl-cell" and in that she mentions about how we, as a society, are even harsher towards men when it comes to destroying the ability to feel deeply, to admit vulnerability, to sympathise and feel empathy. And it's true. I think most feminist recognise that feminism isn't a case of women vs. men, but rather, everyone trying to bring around a shift in consciousness.

    And I don't think any real feminists are of the opinion that women should rule the world. I believe the idea is that there should be equal representation (and not just of men and women, but rather of different races, religions, sexualities, abilities etc.) and through that, hopefully, all voices can be heard and considered, and patriarchy shall exist no more etc. etc.

    You're right, men do have their issues...but I hardly think our body image issues quite amount to women being raped daily, women being sold into prostitution, pornography, female genital mutilation, their oppression through religion, their rights of choice (abortion), their high immigration rates in comparison to men (the list goes on...)
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      Dec 14 2011: I agree with you that feminism is not about male dis-empowerment. I may have expressed myself in the wrong way if my argument came out as the idea that feminists actively seek the downfall of men. What I am trying to say is that my idea of gender equality is to cater to the needs of all people regardless of their gender, not a competition as to who hold the monopoly of oppression. the point I am trying to make is, feminists often make the argument that if women ruled the world things would be much better than they are right now. White house press secretary once said that "If we were in charge, things might actually change. Instead of posturing, we’d have cooperation. Instead of gridlock, we’d have progress. Instead of a shouting match, we’d have a conversation". This in my opinion suggests that women have some kind of moral superiority to men.
      another example of feminism at the expense of men is recent campaign to encourage fathers to be excited about having a girl. these ads had sayings such as "76% of boys are more likely to set something you love on fire" or girls are better because they are loyal and compassionate and live longer than boys. see (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/161/ads-that-rebrand-baby-girls). These ads can be seen as innocuous, but I think they should be taken seriously if we are outraged at JcPenney shirts which say "Allergic to Algebra". Why do we have to wait for it gets bad enough before we decide to address the problem?
      The point that I want to make is that certainly feminism is essential to the betterment of women around the world, but there is nothing wrong with admitting that there are certain flaws in the cause that need to be addressed. In my opinion, pointing out flaws in the movement does not take away from it, it strengthens it.
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    Dec 16 2011: Greetings Dany, I think you are right. Women's empowerment threatens the male stature because of anger that exists within the body of women, and I can't blame them. The subjugation has left them bitter, rightfully so. The movement has to be gradual to allow their authority not to backlash in anger. That being said; I think women were intended to reside as the custodian of authority, and men were positioned to create a safe enviroment for their authority to reign without fear of opposition. I do not think any creator would design an entity to encompass authority and power, this provides no check and balance, which seems not only natural to decision making, but necessary. My second point, Women are naturally less selfish, they are more willing to go hungry before allowing their children or men to hunger, (I am speaking in general terms here, we all know many exceptions) They accept the children's behavior because of their concern for the children's overall self esteem and try not to damage, ridicule or hurt the children when men sometimes act to quickly, harshly, and usually because our power has been questioned. Women are less likely to declare war, and they mature much sooner with a more formidable internal constitution. I am not criticising the men. They were designed correctly and it is for the survivial of the species, as well. I believe the intuition of women is divine and should be obeyed. Women seem to have a better connection to the divine. Men are primarily responsible to provide shelter, protection, and the seed of procreation. Another point I question: How is it that women are entrusted to the delicate, demanding and most important responsibility of all..raising great children, yet, we don't trust them with the check book!?! What's up with that? I am not type-casting women, not all need to have children, not all men are impatient with children. Anthropology is being revised. Women rule! I'm with you. I know I'm out on a limb here...
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    Dec 15 2011: We all must find power and then let it go.
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    Dec 14 2011: In the words of Julie Delpie in "Before Sunrise", "Sometimes I think feminism was secretly created by a man... Free your mind... Free your body... Baby, sleep with me".

    So, I would actually argue, that there is no room for women in the feminist agenda... and since women are pretty much the only thing men care about... It's not good for us either. I think traditional feminism basically trashed both the "parent" and the "provider" roll, and decided they were both bs male oppression. I think it lowered overall respect for humanity.

    That said, many steps were necessary. Women needed the right to vote, divorce, and throw men in jail for abuse... but, what about life for the 70% of women who's husbands didn't beat them? What about life for the men who worked in a mine 60 hours a week, but got to come home to a nice meal, and a wife who had actually spent the day parenting their child? Basically every human being who lived a respectable life, was punished by feminism.

    Women were taught that being a housewife, mother, and parent, was a form of oppression by their husband, and somehow that lead them to the conclusion that corporations would treat them better. So, now we don't have parents. Basically, mom works just as hard as dad, everyones miserable, and the kids are running wild in the streets.

    In the words of Daniel Tosh "Feminism is just a temporary adjustment until women figure out that being equals sucks". We used to live in a matriarchal society, where men were forced to go work jobs they hated, to buy their wifes things they didn't need. Feminism turned us into a patriarchal society, where men make more than women, and that's all that matters, because women don't have cultural roles raising children, or connecting men (who typically don't like people, or work well with one another) to their community. I think the solution is a gender neutral return to the parent and provider roles, through single parent incomes for all laborers.
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      Dec 14 2011: you know, you make a great point that I think is often overlooked. the fight for women's liberation and freedom of choice has inevitably led to a degradation of other roles that were traditionally held by women. In fact I recently read on a feminist blog that women who chose to stay at home and raise their kids were a waste of potential because they were not making use of the rights past feminists fought to have, amongst which was the right to work outside of the home. It seems the new age woman is now free to do whatever she pleases, as long as it is not adopt traditional roles that have now been labeled as a symbol of male oppression.
      I must say however that the return to a single parent income model may not be the best idea because if this parent loses his/her job, it would be harder for the family to cope than in cases where both parents worked and only one lost their job. This is another debate that is certainly worthy of discussion.
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        Dec 14 2011: I understand your criticism of the gender neutral single parent income model... but I think it would work well with a bit of a feminist edge... I think it should be thought of as a bit of a competition, where the wife and husband are both earning skills, and when one loses their job, either is competent to step in, and they can fight over who will make more money... and switch roles if necessary.

        Equal Opportunity for education... There's an endless list of phenomenal things feminism did, and continues to fight for... but I think they're all leading up to a fair competition between men and women over the provider role. I think people who work really hard... want to come home and feel supported, and I think women are coming to the reallization, that supporting a great man, might be better than working alongside an average one, best might be, being great, and getting pampered.

        I also see a future where the "parent role" is still aided by school, and technology. So the parent will still have a few hours to themselves each day, and it will still be legal, and encouraged for them to work, if they want to. I'm thinking about 3d printers, silk screening machines, portable distilleries... Lots of small means of production technology, is hitting home if our economy doesn't collapse... and I know there's a part of you that's probably thinking "You can stay at home and sew!"...

        I have to admit, that at times I worry that's a fair critique... but as a modern man, there's a part of me that want's to say "Who wouldn't want that? Who wouldn't love to sit at home, and work on their own project or hobby 3 hours a day? Who wouldn't like to not have a job, and learn to cook a home cooked meal every day? Who wouldn't like to take their providers money and go to the museum, or the art gallery with the kids a couple times a week? ". It'll bruise my ego as a man a bit, but if I meet a doctor... Sign me up! I'll make her feel special, and take care of her kids, that sounds like fun.