Home › Forums › Dialogue Portal › Dialogue Portal: Part 3 › 3. Men's role in the struggle for women’s equality?
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- This topic has 55 replies, 53 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 1 month ago by Kerry R.
October 11, 2015 at 11:38 pm #4636cdunneParticipant
If we look at the definition of feminism as equality across genders, then yes, men can make feminist art that depicts their own struggles and attempts for equality. However, while looking at feminist art from the perspective of the movement for women, then I believe that while men may actively support and interpret feminist art, it takes experience to actually create it. Men do not have that specific insight that a woman has into what it is like to be a woman in the feminist art movement or a woman in the art world (which is predominantly dominated by men) in general. Art is indeed freedom of expression. And the stance of a man in the feminist art movement can be powerfully and beautifully put into art. The validity that some people qualify as experience, however may be lacking.October 12, 2015 at 9:28 am #4638hpk5058Participant
Men are crucial to feminism. In order to abolish the patriarchy and create an equal society, women need the support of men. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a catch-22. Many women want to be independent of men, but in order to achieve equality on a large scale, we need their help. Men are dominant in this country. Marginalized groups like women can keep pushing and fighting, but if the privileged group refuses to listen, no progress will be made. Men need to acknowledge that there is a problem with inequality in our society in order for women to take back the power we deserve.October 12, 2015 at 10:32 am #4640JuanitaParticipant
I believe that men do play a role in women’s equality because we live in a patriarchal society where men run everything. Because men run everything, they have the power to change certain beliefs that “people” have about women in society. I believe that women also influence our equality because women have to stand up for something in order for their to be a change.October 12, 2015 at 10:33 am #4641jmd5898Participant
Yes, men absolutely have a role in the struggle for women equality. In our society at large the male persepective is the main perspective so if we don’t include them and educate them about the struggle it will never fully come into our society at large. I do believe that men can become feminists because feminism is just the belief of gender equality with a focus on women. The reason that men should be feminists and not humanists is that the language and perspective about women need to change because it is hurting all genders. If we are able to change the language and the perspective on gender and accept that it can mean so many different things we learn that stereotypes that are set in place harm everyone involved. When we educate men about feminism we are helping ourselves and them learn from a new and different perspective that breaks those stereotypes allowing people to become more humanized. Because our culture is so centered around the mistreatment of women it has become normalized and it has also allowed men and women to think that that normalization is alright. Men can help in the struggle by becoming educated and help change the perspective by talking and thinking of equal rights and society in a more holistic which will lead to being able to understand each other better than before.October 12, 2015 at 11:00 am #4643cgonza1ezParticipant
I certainly believe that men do in fact play a big part in women’s struggle for equality. When it comes to a group of people being discriminated against or being suppressed there is always two roles that need to be filled, the one who is suppressing and the one who is being suppressed. Women have obviously been the ones who have been suppressed because they have always been looked at as less. Always paid less, no voting rights until the 20th century, automatically being handed domestic duties. Men have been the ones who have been directly suppressing women by imputing the power they give themselves upon us.October 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm #4648ddf5093Participant
Yes, because I think men can see women for who they actually are. The reality of women because women mainly express themselves from emotion. Which is not always the truth. For instance- when you are in a relationship your spouse see things in you that you’ll never see (women/men). So he is able to give you a better description off your flaws etc. Women see the what ifs and men see the actual picture. Another example; although women see the beauty in ourselves , men see the potential in a women before they do. A woman learning to love herself is often caused my a man. Rather is genuine love or heartbreak. If there is a man who is in to feminism he would create beautiful work.October 12, 2015 at 2:03 pm #4649halliedufour11Participant
In “What about men”, Judy Chicago’s husband mentions that men are the holders of the power in the world, in the patriarchy and need to break out of that mindset of that being their role instead of women’s; men need to allow women to show their voice too, without permission, without asking for it as if men are their masters and rule over their actions and decisions. Without men, making these changes and supporting women in the fight for equality, nothing can fully change. The patriarchy will continue to exist. Men also need to be understanding of this struggle and supportive because without that, making others understand and support would be harder. When men accept and support women in this struggle, it allows a whole new perspective/ outlook on the entire movement.October 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm #4651rlk5228Participant
Do you think that men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality; if so, what?
I think that men do have a role in the struggle for women’s equality but I am not positive on what I think that role should be. Men are directly responsible for the inequality in the first place so it’s only fair that they should be held responsible for helping to fix the problem. Without their cooperation, based on the extreme hold on positions of power in today’s society, the struggle for equality will be very hard. Should we ignore the help of powerful men like the president or even celebrities out of unwillingness to include men into the discussion? The role they play should be a small one. I think that if too many men enter into feminist discussion they may not truly understand the problem at hand. They do not have the same life experiences that women have, they’ll never understand or comprehend what it is like to be a woman. I think that a lot of feminist/women only spaces are seen as a safe-haven for many women. If men are included in these situations for the sake of including everyone, is their presence going to be damaging or in any way uncomfortable for the women who may seek solace in female only spaces? At the same time, the patriarchy hurts men – not as much as it hurts women but it is still hurting them. Men are forced to comply with patriarchal stereotypes that may cause long-term damage.
While many men have supported women’s struggle for equality, there is a lack of education about men active in feminist activism. Why do you think this is?
While there may have been men that have played a large role in the fight for women’s equality I think that there are many valid reasons why there are not always included in women’s studies classes (or other classes/spaces of that nature). As college students we learn about the achievements of men and their successes all the time – it’s practically all we learn about. In every Art History class I’ve ever taken we’ve focused so hard on the male artists and every once and a while a female artist may be mentioned. Taking a women’s studies class is a very different experience. It’s one time that we can focus our attention solely on women. What are women doing in this field? How are women contributing to this area of academia? Men are celebrated and learned about in academia, university and all levels of education constantly. In order to move away from the single story idea we learned about in class we need to take advantage of the opportunities to talk about women, and only talk about women. These classes may be the only time that you ever learn about a certain woman – why take time away from that experience to discuss how a man helped the solve the problem that they are a part of creating? That’s not to say we should never discuss men and the fight for equality, take this piece on Donald Woodman as an example. Do I feel like a more well rounded feminist after watching this video? Yes – but at the same time this is the perfect amount of inclusion of men in the feminist discussion. Any more effort would seem counterproductive.October 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm #4652cml5787Participant
I definitely believe that men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. We live in such a patriarchal society that nothing is going to change no matter how many women are on board, without the help of the male role. It is male dominance and male privilege that take over, and without seeing other males helping out women trying to get full equality, then yes it is going to be harder for men to call themselves a feminist, even though feminism truly is for everyone, man and woman. Males currently are the dominant leaders and to help change that we need more male figures on the women side to help speak up and reach out to those other males in order to get them more educated. Had I not taken a class on Feminist Art I truly would not have grasped the idea of feminism and what it truly stands for. If more males were educated on that, I believe that more would be willing and more confident to in fact call themselves that crazy word, “feminist.” The gap in education really has a big influence on the roles of women in our society and it is really important for more people to become greater accountable for the struggle of women’s equality and how us women are going to achieve the highest state of equality we can get to.October 12, 2015 at 2:46 pm #4653bmm5771Participant
Yes, I believe that men too have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Being a woman in the fight is hard because there has always been this strive to “keep up with men” and work hard enough to finally be seen as equal to them, even if women are trying harder. However, men who are in support of equal rights as well struggle because they are sometimes seen as supporting against the role of a male. Of course, this issue just prove how important of a problem this unequal society is, but for men, it is just as hard to admit one is a feminist compared to a women.Basically when a man categorizes himself as a feminist, he is “stepping down” to the level of a women. This is a generalization, but the movement of feminism is such a dangerous and unwelcoming organization that most people, both men and women, stray away without even understanding the importance and the history. Thus, when a male, who has no rights to fight for, actually realizes the lack of equality women are granted with, they almost become a threat to the rest of the male population and in some cases women are not so welcoming to the men if they are rooting for them or not. Therefore, when a man joins the fight for women’s equality, he is struggling too, maybe not in the same way as a women, but it does not come with ease.October 12, 2015 at 4:22 pm #4658bmk5442Participant
I believe that men do have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. When a male is in support of gender equality he is essentially stepping down from his higher rank and will often times be judged by the other men. Often times voicing you are a feminist can be challenging however, being a male and admitting you are a feminist is almost more challenging. By being a male and a feminist you are accepting that your gender will no longer have more power and most people wouldn’t understand why you would want this. While males do not necessarily have to fight to get the same rights as the other males they do have to assume the position of the “typical” male. There are still jobs males must perform such as be the bread giver of the family. Some men may struggle with keeping this position and so they are struggling as well. If gender equality was accepted then men would no longer have to worry about keeping this role and they could even be stay at home dads if that is what they wanted. So, while I believe that women definitely have the hardest struggle in the fight for gender equality I do believe that some males do also assume a role and struggle for women’s equality as well.October 12, 2015 at 6:13 pm #4662maf5815Participant
I think they have a much bigger role then we’d like to think. We actually need them in this process to make things better. They need to be on our side and understand where exactly we are coming from as a whole. It is essential for us to have that.October 12, 2015 at 6:56 pm #4663andrea_evansParticipant
Men definitely have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Men hold all the power in this world and without their support, women will never be able to have complete equality. Unfortunately men do not realize all the time that they do hold a great majority of this power. Once men are able to realize their role in society and be part of the movement, then women can continue towards equality. Although women do not want to admit that men have this larger power, we need their help or nothing is going to get resolved. Women need a bigger voice in society and in order to accomplish this, they need to speak out to men and ask for their support.October 12, 2015 at 8:44 pm #4667abigailjoyceParticipant
Yes, I do believe men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Like Donald Woodman stated, “It’s hard to be a man and speak about the dominant culture.” Often times we see so many men fall to this obstacle. It’s easy for many men to lean towards a path that favors their gender, whether they are aware of their wrongdoing or not. There are many men in the world that believe they are superior to women. There are also many men that do not believe this standard. However, the latter of the male population may be too shy to speak up or have a neutral viewpoint. Regardless of their stance, without the effort from all individuals, women’s equality will be at a standstill. If the patriarchal cultures we live in continue to benefit the men over the women as they do, there will be less of a drive to help the women who are not being treated equally.October 12, 2015 at 9:14 pm #4670Morisa YoungParticipant
I believe that men do have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. They have a negative role in the way that they are part of the reasons such a patriarchal society exists. Men create a barrier for women because they believe that they are better and superior. They belittle women and place them in a submissive position, thinking that women aren’t capable. It creates a struggle for women to achieve equality because men put them down. These men are only looking out for themselves, and don’t care who they push down in the process. However, there are some men that have a positive role in women’s struggles by helping them overcome the struggle. They treat them as equals and don’t interfere with women’s success. These men don’t attempt to sabotage or prevent women from achieving their goals, and will do what they can to help. Whether it’s just being a voice of encouragement, or helping hands-on with a project, some men want to help women. They play a role in the struggle for equality by either making the line thinner or thicker; the line that establishes rights for men and women, and what they can and can’t do. Men play a huge role in the struggle for women’s equality in both helpful and hurtful ways.
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