Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Can (Black) Men REALLY Be Feminists?

"The black men who contributed to this book overwhelmingly concur that feminism provides benefits in their lives that make them better people. The way they behave now, in private and in public, suggests that they really are feminists. Most of us can gain insights into alternative ways of being through their stories of challenge and change.

As we saw from the narratives of participants in this study, popular notions of masculinity set men against one another and against women, which inevitably leads to conflict and, all too often, violence. Almost any man can identify with the emotionally, spiritually, and even physically crippling effects of that kind of masculinity. Indeed, a system based on male domination is problematic, divisive, and self-destructive for those who seek social justice on behalf of African Americans, and for the good of society as a whole. The experiences these men recount are not entirely confined to African Americans--they occur to men in any patriarchal society, regardless of race, sexuality, or class."

--Aaronette M. White, "Can Black Men Really Be Feminists?"
Ain't I a Feminist?:
African American Men Speak Out

on Fatherhood, Friendship, Forgiveness, and Freedom, page 192.
(HT Samhita Mukhopadhyay, at feministing.com)

"Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definition of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago [in 1985]. It was my hope that at that time that it would become a common definition everyone would use. I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy."
--bell hooks, "Feminist Politics: Where We Stand"
Feminism is For Everyone: Passionate Politics, page 1.

"So for the record, I am a feminist. My daughter is, too."
--Leonard Pitts Jr., "Prepare yourselves, readers, for liberal use of the 'F' word"
The Miami Herald
(also linked here)

No comments: