Good men calling for an end to sexism and the degradation of women

These good men are so inspiring and beautiful in their support of treating women with dignity and respect and their desire for fulfilling, loving relationships with women

http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm

MENININST: MEN SUPPORTING THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

Meninist is a global organization of men that believe in and support the feminist principles of women’s political, social and economic equality. The following represents the platform we believe in (but the need for equal rights for women should be self-evident in this day and age). This page hopes to convey that a growing movement of men recognize and support the women’s movement, for the benefit of women, men and all of humanity.

1) We are opposed to all forms of misogynist behavior and sexist attitudes; we respect all women.

2) We believe in a woman’s reproductive freedom and right to control her own body.

3) We oppose all forms of violence against women, including rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence, as well as all negative stereotypes and violence against women in film, television and advertising.

4) We understand the need for men to participate in the women’s movement and help end 2000 years of men’s patriarchy. We pledge to support women in every possible way we can, including sharing responsibilities around the house and in parenting.

5) We believe that women should be paid in parity to men for the same work done and women should be given the same opportunities in the work environment. We oppose the so-called “glass ceiling” (the oppression of women’s ability to advance at the workplace). We oppose the “Old Boy’s Network”:

We welcome all “meninist men” of like-minded feelings to submit their letters of support.   E-Mail us

Here are some excerpts from comments on the page to get you even more inspired, to read more go to http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm

The patriarchal system is at the core of most of the problems our society faces. Men were not born on Mars and women were not born on Venus. We were born on the same planet as equals. Although we have biological differences, 99% of all other differences are manufactured by societal stereotypes. If someone had asked me 10 years ago if I was a feminist, I probably would have said no. But if they had asked me if I thought men and women were equal and should be treated equally, I would have said yes. What’s the difference? As a heterosexual, Caucasian, man I benefit the most from this patriarchy. I get the good jobs, more money, more respect, and no discrimination. I was unknowingly taught at an early age to do my part to maintain the system that benefits “us”. As a result I acted macho, objectified women, and suppressed my feelings. Admitting to being a feminist would have been a sign of weakness on my part and given strength to a cause that would dismantle a system I benefit from. Men everyday claim to believe that women are their equal, but they don’t live it. They treat women as inferior, often without even realizing it.

I have two sons and I am very concerned about their happiness. I am concerned about their ability to have healthy relationships and healthy friendships. Something I have discovered about myself is that although I have benefited financially from this system it has not made me happier. It has made me a jealous, controlling, angry man. Self discovery has helped change that and now I want to see change in other men around me. Girls and boys need to be taught that boys too can be sensitive, caring, and loving and girls too can be strong, independent, and capable. Traditional gender roles need to be broken in order for all of us to have healthy relationships with our partners, kids, friends, parents, siblings, etc.

Violence is rooted in unresolved anger. Anger is unresolved because individuals, usually men, never learn the skills needed to process their feelings. Our patriarchal system teaches boys and men to suppress their feelings, leading to anger and then violence. It is a vicious cycle that will only end when the patriarchal system is dismantled and stereotypes are eliminated. Imagine a world without violence.

I’m glad the Meninist Organization exists. I hope more men will start to see the light.

– Kelly O’Donnell
Ottawa, Ontario

I spent a good time being a “passive” sexist. That is I contributed to sexism through my words and actions without consciously thinking about it. When I became the father of two daughters and started thinking about ways to raise them to be strong, I realized just how sexist and wrong I had been. Since then I’ve been trying to support feminism and supporting other men trying to do the same. I’ve started an e-mail discussion group to discuss issues relating to men supporting feminism.

-Jim Salisbury

Dear Meninist community,

I am so glad to find like minds out there countering the myths and slander to all men that come from the mouths of pimps and pornographers. It is exactly because men can choose to change who they are that men can and have been, graciously, held responsible for their actions by the feminist movement. The late Andrea Dworkin might smile to know some men understand how compassionate she and so many others really were and are when they demanded, even asked us to stop being oppressors. Though of course until the day without rape that she calls for in one of her speeches actually materializes, the man-made world has so far to go to undue itself.

There may be no longer-lasting nor more deeply ingrained notion than sex oppression, beginning from and undergirding the very differentiation between the sexes the way it exists worldwide today. That there are so many men out there who gladly give up their privilege, resting on the backs of women as it does, says so much about the humanity of men, that we really aren’t made to oppress and abuse and kill and subordinate as, in actuality, so few (if powerful) men proclaim. I so appreciate the collection of beautiful words on this page and add my own so as to make it clear that those who proclaim men’s superiority, women’s inferiority, or any denigrations on women disguised as sex “differences” that they do not speak for me. I own up to my identity as a male, not out of pride but so as to stand as an ally. My love for women, men, and myself demands nothing less.

May this meninist movement shake the foundations of the sexual order, letting it be seen for once as the pernicious absurdity that it is; let this movement in love mark the beginning of the end of the precedent set by the founders of the male dominated world.

All my hopes,
– James French
Brooklyn, NY

My name is Ian Young, I am an 18 year old University Student up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and for me, feminism means more than helping out our women, or lending a hand to a worthy cause. I am pro-feminist because living with such an unjust set of publicly accepted beliefs and boundaries, limits not only how we succeed as individuals, but as a society as well. When we bring people into this world that begins their lives at a disadvantage, we are doing them no favors; we are setting them up for an unnecessarily difficult existence. Feminism is not what I believe in, simply a title given to a process which I believe strongly in, that process being the institution of equality. Equity, for me, is not a notion that should even be challenged, is there a doubt that we are all born equal? Is there a doubt that we should be allowed to lead equal lives? Should we not all be free to live the way in which we desire? We are all raised to “be fair”, so why should these questions even be relevant to the world. I am a pro-feminist male because I strongly support bridging the gap of equity between the sexes.

I am pro-feminist because women’s liberation is necessary if we are to build a just world free from sexism, racism and homophobia. I am pro-feminist because women are partners in the struggle to end
militarism, imperialism and colonialism. I am pro-feminist because women deserve the right to live their lives free from male violence and oppression. I am pro-feminist because I can see no other way to live my life with dignity and pride. I am pro-feminist because if over 50% of the world’s population are not free none of us are truly free. I am pro-feminist because it is right and just.

Peace,

Tim Looney
Chicago

I consider myself profeminist for a number of reasons.

First of all, because I believe that women deserve all the respect, dignity and honour that men do — what women have his-torically been systematically denied.

Secondly, I am profeminist becuase I recognize that there are both institutions of sexism racism, homophobia and classism that hurt women as a class and individual women — and that there are ways that I as a male benefit from these same institutions. The ways that I benefit, without challenging those insittutions or those benefits, are the ways taht I parparticipate in the institutionalization of sexism.

Thirdly, I recognize that I also act in sexist ways that I need to be accountable for.

Finally, I’m profeminist because I believe that feminism has much to offer men. As we come to a better understanding of being able to stand on our own 2 feet, without being on the backs of women, we realize our own sense of selfhood, and true empowerment (as opposed to powerover).

Rus Ervin Funk
Washington, DC Co-founder – DC Men Against Rape – Founder Men for Gender Justice – Author “Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men”

I am a 30 year old physician in Los Angeles Area in California, in USA. I was born and raised for 15 years in Iran, a country not known particularly for its social and sexual justice, to make an understatement.

I think that empowerment for women is empowerment for men. It is empowerment for people. True and basic self respect and self esteem cannot coexist with a belief in superiority of men over women, because the concept of superiority is wrong to begin with. The man who believes he is superior to another, also can believe that another is superior to him. So, besides all the practical benefits mentioned by all the other members of your organization in their support letters, there are fundamental, ideological and psychological aspects to being a man who is profeminist.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to feminist studies in college and to take a few classes in the subject. The company of women in feminism is stimulating. They are intelligent, just, kind, wise people. So, if for no other reason, just interacting with women in feminism is an experience that uplifts us and adds to us.

I appreciate my inclusion as a member in your group.
Pedram Majidishad, M.D.

Blessings to these beautiful men

To write your own letters of support and find out more about Meninists go to –

http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm          http://www.feminist.com

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