This gets back, though, to definitions of feminism. To some feminists, we will never be welcome, because we’re not women.
And I’m not sure how to feel about that. Do I have any say in whether or not I have a voice in a movement that claims to be working toward my betterment? I’d hope so. And yet, the notion that it’s a movement for women is sort of baked in, isn’t it? As an example, this piece at Everyday Feminism insists that, no, a man may not label himself a feminist. And while they have an inclusive definition, the TERFs believe every bit as strongly that they’re the real feminists.
To me, then, this is where I have a hangup: if a movement claims that it represents not just women but all marginalized people, who the hell are they to say that, yes, while we’re fighting for you, Mr. Young Black Gay Teenager, you can’t be part of our club unless we say? Someone please tell me how it’s not gatekeeping to say, well, we represent you, but we decide if you belong. Especially when mainstream feminism has, in recent years, chosen to get involved in issues like gay men’s behavior toward one another.
Not to mention that when dudebros go after feminism, they hold up the TERFiest of the radfems as “OMG look at how horrible feminists are”.
I guess that’s a long winded way of saying, hey, I don’t want to identify as a feminist because I’m a man and I know it’s a sticky issue. But because it is a sticky issue, I also don’t really want feminism to be the movement championing my right to be who I want to be outside the constraints of gender norms. And so on. Sadly, the guys who claim to fight for things like being a stay-at-home-dad without judgment tend to be hyper-douchey anti-feminist morons.
And boy howdy, the handwringing over fauxmanism is going to be fun, since it could be anything from a straight cishet woman reading Cosmo for sex tips, to Lena Dunham not casting enough nonwhite and/or noncis actors, to whatever.