Friday, March 21, 2008

Hijacking feminism

I've often felt that the men's and fathers' rights movements have a lot they can learn from feminism. Today, I ran across this line, in a feminist context: "Here's to good women: may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them." Hmm, OK, 'sounds good to me. Then I thought, in which case then why not:
"Here's to good men: may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them."?
Yes, that sounds about right, don't you think? So, with an evil twinkle in my eye, I started switching genders in a few feminist quotes. It didn't always work, some classic feminist quotes are just too sexist (here's a good list) for any sort of intelligent discourse, but surprisingly many produced decidedly thought-provoking results. Some are just plain sensible:
"The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of males begins when the doctor says, 'It's a boy.'" (c/f Shirley Chisholm).
"Women, their rights, and nothing more; men, their rights, and nothing less." ~ c/f Susan B. Anthony
"Men are not inherently violent or aggressive. We're not inherently anything but human." ~ c/f Robin Morgan
"Whether men are better than women I cannot say - but I can say they are certainly no worse." ~ c/f Golda Meir
Others apply equally well without gender specification:
"Never let the hand you hold, hold you down. " Author Unknown
"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got." —Janis Joplin
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." —Margaret Mead
"Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." —Eleanor Roosevel
Some expose their general silliness by applying equally falsely to either gender:
"Men are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors." ~ c/f Evelyn Cunningham
"Men who seek to be equal with women lack ambition." ~ c/f Timothy Leary
"A man reading Cosmo feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual." ~ c/f Gloria Steinem (original referred to Playboy)
Then there's good, healthy tit-for-tat:
"You don't have to be anti-woman to be pro-man." ~ c/f Jane Galvin Lewis
"One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a woman, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a woman." ~ c/f Marlo Thomas
And many hold more truth than some might find comfortable:
"Most men are one woman away from child support." ~ c/f Gloria Steinem
"Women will often admit other men are oppressed but not you." ~ c/f Sheila Rowbotham
"Not only is men's work never done, the definition keeps changing." ~ c/f Bill Copeland
"Any intelligent man who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences." ~ c/f Isadora Duncan
"In my heart, I think a man has two choices: either he's a masculist or a masochist." — c/f Gloria Steinem
And finally, my personal favorite:
"A man needs a woman like a bicycle needs a fish" - c/f Irina Dunn
Damned silly, no matter how you write it.

Happy Easter, everyone.


Anonymous said...

Pretty cool post.

I am a victim of PAS.

Not very nice.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

You are awesome, and your post has changed my way of thinking. I just had to make sure you knew this. I found you on reddit if you're curious.