Michael Kimmel writes books about men. He is a sociologist who has accounting about the history and accumulation of adulthood in American society. I’ve apprehend two of his books, Manhood in America and Affronted White Men. In AWM he draws a distinction: The acrimony of abounding white men in a America is real, but it is not true. Many men in our association are angry, and those animosity of acrimony are real. But, says Kimmel, the acrimony is not “true,” i.e., not justified.
HOW MEN ARE (AND ARE NOT) OPPRESSED
For example, back some men angrily affirmation that, as a aftereffect of feminism, men are now actuality discriminated against, taken for granted, or contrarily victimized, those animosity are absolute but unjustified. Simply put, women do not accept the amusing ability to oppress, subordinate, or discriminate adjoin men. Gender is a ability relation. Consult our nation’s history and see who has (and has had) the political, economic, legal, and cultural power. And reflect on the afterward (from Politics of Reality, by Marilyn Frye):
In my experience, men generally accept able opinions about “feminism” alike back they arise never to accept apprehend annihilation accounting by a feminist. But how can you adios or get affronted about article you haven’t accomplished yourself about, abnormally back that “something” is abundantly diverse? (There are abounding varieties of feminism.) If you appetite your assessment to count, abnormally about article like ism or racism, brainwash yourself instead of reflexively clutching at cliches, stereotypes, harbinger (wo)men and non sequiturs.
SOCIAL (OR GROUP) AND INDIVIDUAL (OR PERSONAL) EXPERIENCE
But “not all men do it!” “I accept suffered too — I accept been victimized.” That’s like a white bondservant buyer cogent a atramentous bondservant in 1830: “Quit complaining! My wife had an activity aftermost year and now we’re accepting divorced. Things are boxy all over!” You may suffer. But unless your adversity is systematic, affiliated to amusing institutions and laws, and aggregate by men as men, it is not oppression, and not accidentally “reverse-ism.” We should analyze amid misogyny (which is attitudinal) and patriarchy (which is structural). A man can ster patriarchy (which is systemic and intersubjective) after accepting abhorrent animosity or behavior (subjective attitudes) about women. Consider the afterward quotations; the aboriginal from MLK (“Letter from a Birmingham Jail”) and the additional from Paolo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed):
A “fish out of water” is awkward; it flounders and suffers. A affiliate of a ascendant amusing accumulation — a absolute person, me or you — beggared of a alone affected alms (respect; authority; paternalistic interference) is like that fish. When so deprived, or back that alms is challenged, it hurts. I accept that is what MLK was accepting at, at atomic in part. As an individual, you may be (hopefully you are) about abashed by rape, all rape; yet as a man, you may still get abrupt or affronted back a woman says article that sounds “feministy.” (“Get off my back! Not all guys…”) When women affirmation buying of their own experience, men do lose article — that’s true; article is “threatened” — but it was article that was never appropriately ours in the aboriginal place. When women accretion absolute adequation and independence, they can angle afar from men and men’s projects, from a man’s faculty of who-he-is. If we men are honest, that itself is threatening.
SO WHAT A PO’ BOY TO DO?
Not cool, adolescent brogressives. An another (an another to accusing the afflicted of actuality an oppressor) is to accept and to anticipate adamantine about what you hear. Sometimes we alone apprentice article by de-centering ourselves and giving up article we already believe. If that “something” involves my faculty of self, how I appearance myself as a amusing and moral agent, it’s painful. It is. And that’s why, sometimes, bodies charge to boost us, “sting” us, or appeal that we try harder to “get it.” But you can afflict Socrates (i.e., ladyfolk), or account him (them) for allowance you apprentice article about yourself. I apperceive that if I were a woman in this society, I’d be pissed. Mad Men, if you’re affronted at or about women, aloof brainstorm how pissed you’d be at men if you were a woman (!).
I’ll achieve (abruptly, I know) with a arresting access from The Allowance of Fear, by Gavin de Becker:
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