It would have looked like the MRM. It would have attacked toxic femininity – female hypoagency, imprisoning female privilege, female victimhood and dependency – as well as male hyperagency, male disposability and chivalry.
There was such a feminism in the early years, in the form of Women’s Liberation. Or maybe it was cultural feminism. Daisy can maybe help us on the historical details. Anyway the early slogans had to do with getting men to stop “pedestalizing women” and protecting them like they were made out of glass. There really was such a feminism. It was about equality and even if it was a little vague on the details and maybe not even clear on what that equality would look like, and even if its proponents might have balked at it if they had known, its intent was clear – real gender equality. That was before all that goddess feminism and the woo about women as natural nurturers. Now the only people talking about the pedestalization of women in the culture are MRAs.
And it was not just spoiled little fun feminists who clung to chivalrous assumptions and betrayed the revolution. Even those who imagined themselves real gender warriors, real revolutionaries, fell back into traditionalist assumptions and modes of behavior. It became a women’s advocacy movement, and started appealing to men’s chivalrous feelings of protectiveness, and acting like the censorious church ladies that arenow the face of feminism.
Commenter Astrokid quotes the RedStockings manifesto from 1969
“We do not need to change ourselves, but to change men.”
Good catch. This right here encapsulates the inherent traditionalism and patriarchalism of feminism, or that form of feminism, which is pretty damned dominant. Changing the man – how wifey is that? Woman as the moral paragon, the voice of conscience – how tradcon is that?
It just drips with the gynonormativity every little boy grows up drowning in. Yeah, that’s really the way forward. It just reinforces the traditional female role.
You know what would have been a truly radical feminism? Not the retreat in patriarchal gender assumptions we now call radical feminism, but a feminism that analyzed and attacked traditional toxic femininity with the same “sexist pig!!!” ferocity it went after traditional masculinity. Something like the MRM.
That assault on traditional femininity had been going on since at least 1900. In that era you had figures like Annie Oakley, who in an earlier time would have been the object of horror, not a cultural icon. It was all aspects of traditional femininity that were coming under scrutiny – there was a general repudiation of and anxiety over the privileging of refinement and delicacy, a reversal of a cultural trend toward refinement and delicacy that had been going since the Baroque period. You see this in pieces form the turn of the century moaning about the feminization of young men. You see this in the Teddy Roosevelt persona, all horses and guns and ten-gallon hats and going out West to make a name for himself.
When it came to femininity it translated to a crumbling of all the gender policing around being a lady. This process took decades. Eventually it got real – it got down to short hair and short skirts, and then women smoking – the horror!!! – and then the road was open. In essence the female role and femininity became infinitely expansible.
It’s time for the male role to do the same. And some of the most vociferous opposition is coming from women, in fact that’s where most of it is coming from. We have been seeing since the early 90s articles in popular magazines about men who won’t commit (to women), where are all the “good” men, articles mocking men’s recreational choices or failing that, decrying them, articles mocking men when they don’t settle down and make some woman happy and further articles mocking them when they do just to keep the pressure on. It is all about gender policing men and keeping them inside a narrowly defined gender role, and all for the benefit of you know who.
And it doesn’t matter where someone says they fall on the ideological spectrum – you see this coming out of all kinds of people.
And so an MRM that undermines all this, that criticizes male disposability and interrogates male hyperagency and the presumption of male guilt, that offers competition to women in the areas of vulnerability and victimhood and oppression, is a real deep threat, both ideologically for some and psychologically for all but a very few actual egalitarians. This MRM undermines female hypoagency and dependency because women will no longer have men to lean on and protect them, so they can be all frail and dainty. That will all be over.
What does the MRM offer women? It offers them real feminism, the feminism that calls itself a movement for gender equality.
It is a damning indictment of modern feminism that so many feminists fear and condemn this.
- The Woman Card - May 2, 2016
- Frat boy bachelorettes and the invasion of gay bars - April 15, 2016
- “Not my kid….” - February 22, 2016