Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
— Margaret Atwood - The Penelopiad (via selfinspiration)
The thing is, I’m getting really, really tired of having to justify feminism by explaining how it also benefits men. And that, believe it or not, is the point of this article. What I’m angry about is not the genuine male enquirers who honestly wonder why ‘nobody complains about the stereotyping of men’ (and they do exist, I replied to several of them), it’s the anti-feminist men who attack us for daring to get involved in a movement which aims to improve the lives of women.
What this is really about is men accusing feminists of sexism and hypocrisy unless they can prove that they spend exactly half of their time, energy, and resources on campaigning on behalf of men. What this is really about is that if feminism only improves the lives of women, it has no value or importance. What this is really about is that feminism only has value if it works on behalf of men and improves the lives of men. What this is really about is anti-feminist men being threatened by women working for women. What they’re really saying is that to talk about women, to focus on women, to point out that something affects women badly; all of this is of no importance or value. It’s classic, really – because men are not always the focus of attention of feminism, these anti-feminists can’t stand it.
What this is about is that some men can’t stand not being the centre of attention
In social justice, there’s this absurd meme (that I’ve been guilty of myself) is that we are the “voice for the voiceless,” but that’s not right. The oppressed are not voiceless – they’re just not being listened to.
Mostly they think feminism is a bunch of angry women who want to be like men. They do not even think about feminism as being about rights - about women gaining equal rights. When I talk about the feminism I know - up close and personal - they willingly listen, although when our conversations end, they are quick to tell me I am different, not like the “real” feminists who hate men, who are angry. I assure them I am as a real and as radical a feminist as one can be, and if they dare to come closer to feminism they will see it is not how they have imagined it.
— Bell Hooks. Feminism Is For Everybody (via xosmitten)