3. Men's role in the struggle for women’s equality?

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    I believe that men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Men are seen as “leaders” in today’s world so it is hard to see or say that men have a role in women’s equality but since men seem to have the power and are sometimes seen as being more superior to women in a way we need them to be the start of the change we want to see. To see change we need the support of the patriarchy in this world, men. Woodman said himself that “It is to be a man and speak about the dominant culture.” Majority men stick together and will follow down a path that is “normal” for them, but in that rare case you will find men that sometimes go against that and will be on women’s side. You do sometimes see men willing to fight for women just as hard as a woman will fight for other women. This is not normally seen though, for a man to come out and call himself a feminist or to say that he is openly fighting for equality for all women. In a way other men see it as his “manliness or macho” is being downgraded. So it is not easy for a male to openly say that he plays this role in the world it is seen as a downgrading to his “man” title so a lot of men may not openly say it.


    1. Do you think that men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality; if so, what?

    Personally, I do believe that men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Men are half the percentage of the human population, so in order for the feminist movement to actually be progressed in society, it is vital that men join the movement as well. Therefore, I stress that men’s role in the struggle for women’s equality is to come to terms with feminism. In “What About Men?” the speaker discusses how many men are intimidated by the phrase “feminism” and even jokes about changing it to “feMANism.” This just demonstrates how taken aback many men are about the idea of women being equal and the changing of social constructs and microagressions. Many men even believe that feminism means making women “better” than men. Therefore, if men were to come to terms with this idea and become more educated as far as the struggle for women equality goes, then feminism as a whole would greatly progress.

    3. Do you think men can make feminist art? If so, please provide some examples. If not, why not?

    Yes, I strongly believe that men can make feminist art. This was clearly demonstrated during today’s class in the HUB-Robeson gallery. The exhibit was entitled “Birth of the Painted World: Jivya Mashe and the Warli Tradition of India” and showed how women’s roles in society are very important, as they literally bring forth life. This is definitely feminist art, as women are portrayed as royalty in the exhibit and men are portrayed on a much lesser level. Ultimately, I believe men can make feminist art, as one’s gender does not define their beliefs and what they choose to express in their artwork.


    Absolutely, men definitely have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Hell, they’re the dominant cause of why there is even a struggle at all! For some reason men have a feeling of entitlement and a feeling that they have power over us. I think it’s partially because it’s been like that from the beginning of time, but partially it’s because an abundance of women let it happen. I think women have just accepted that that’s how it is and that nothing is going to change it so why fight it. I understand that perspective but if enough of us stay together and stop “consuming the other” as Bell Hooks would say then maybe we’d have a fighting chance.


    Men can definitely make feminist art! The whole point of feminism is for genders to be equal, not for one to have privilege or power over the other, whether that one with privilege is women or not! Men can have feministic views and believe that we should have the same rights as them.

    I was not sure of any feminism art pieces made by males by myself, so I searched it on google and I have to say it is a lot harder and more rare to find than I thought. I saw some google images but nothing was cited and the websites I found with information were on Wikipedia. Although I still believe feminist art can be made by both men and women, after not easily being able to find it on the internet I realized maybe it isn’t so popular. How could men really understand the struggle of feminism when they aren’t women and they will never really know how it feels to be one? It’s nothing against them, but in reality they could never really put themselves in our shoes, because being a male, especially a white male comes with it’s own perks and privileges no matter what. So my answer is, yes I believe it is POSSIBLE for men to make feminist art, but no I don’t think it’s a complete accurate representation of the struggle of feminism itself.


    I do not think that men directly have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Women’s equality is about women, which men obviously are not. Men are not struggling to get power like women are, so they do not truly understand the struggle that women have. The only way I can see men having trouble with women’s equality is being judged for supporting it. Most men are power hungry and don’t care about women’s equality, so those who do care may be shunned for being different.


    In many cases, I think that men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. The sole purpose of feminism in the first place is because of the patriarchal world we live in. Women can fight for independence and equality but it is the male dominance that will leave the most impact. If female and male both work together then our society, as a whole will change for the better. Being a feminist does not mean you have to be a female either. Men who are feminist also struggle to fight for women’s equality. In the video portraying Judy Chicago’s work, men have always had a role in women’s lives. In previous centuries, women who were capable of doing the male duties as well as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of children were always considered below a male’s standard. Today, thanks to the fight from both male and female, women are much more involved and appreciated in many areas of society for their hard work. Women are now running major companies, earning the most income in the family, and taking on large leadership positions. Men play the role in accepting women in being equally applicable for male roles. Females may have paved a path in society to obtain power and privilege, but the fight for equality is still an ongoing issue that both men and women struggle with.


    Men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality because they are the main cause of the struggle. Throughout history men have been oppressing women, making women accept the fact that we live in a society dominated by males. Years ago that was the way of life but now women have choose to stand up for themselves which started the feminist movement. Yes as women we can fight and make a difference in the world we want to live in, but it will not truly be transformed unless we have a diversity of supporters, which include men. In the video we watched Judy Chicago’s husband was extremely supportive for his feminist wife and the feminist community. This really surprised me, which showed me how rare it is to find men that support feminism. Men are a huge key aspect in equal rights between men and women.


    Yes, I do think men have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. It is important for men to fight along side them, support them, and try to understand them. Men should recognize and praise the achievements of women and make sure they get the recognition from others they deserve. It is also important for men to teach other men the word “feminist” is not a dirty word. That “feminism is for everybody”, as we learned earlier this semester. Finally, I think men should listen to the struggles of women and focus on working with them to fix whatever the problems are. Because I see men and women as equals, I also think we can have an equal part in fighting for women’s rights.


    I feel men do have a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Men at certain points in time are the reason we lack equality. Men often see themselves as our superiors and everything a woman does is to serve a man, as if they are a “blessing” in OUR lives. According to the christian bible, woman was created from man. But isn’t new life created from a woman’s body? Yes, there are some things that are more suited for a man just as there are certain things better suited for a woman but that in no way means the gender roles can’t be reversed or shared. Men need to stop seeing themselves as the rulers and more as an equal. “Anything you can do, I can do”. Anything a man can do, so can a woman.


    I think men do play a role in the struggle for women’s equality. I feel like it is currently a stereotype that men are anti feminists, but that is not necessarily the case. Any male who supports women equality is effected when women struggle to achieve it. Although men do not directly experience it, they still experience it. Like I stated earlier, men may be looked at in a bad light because women do not have equality whether or not they are trying to do something about it.


    My definition of feminist art is one of social justice. As bell hooks articulates that “feminism is for everybody” (hooks, 2000) there is a foundation as human beings that feminism is the standing together against oppression towards any marginalized people. In this same thread, we may then also see that men are also oppressed through hyper-masculinized indoctrinations of cultural and societal norms. There should not be a hierarchy between gender roles and sexual orientation or race and ethnicity. Contrary to what we consume in a U.S. context, this is not a competition; one oppression does not ‘win’ over another. In working together, collaborative work (as Chicago advocates through studio work and pedagogical art process lens), and awareness, we are tearing down barriers between so many segregated spaces.


    I am curious what people think about as far as methods of intervening with domestic violence offenders or in toxic masculinities using art or art-based approaches?


    I think men have the opportunity for great impact toward gender equality by leveraging the power and privilege they receive by being men in a patriarchal society. In that, men can gave greater influence over other men than women might have due to the way women are made invisible in their experiences and perceptions by men who hold onto their entitlement and use it oppressively.


    First I will locate myself. My name is Charles Knight. I am 69 years old; a cisgendered male. Much of my life I have worked to counter the practice and structures of oppression, dominance and violence. During the last 35 years or so I have been increasing focused on how gender identity and performance reproduce dominance and violence. I presently curate an online magazine and blog called “Out of the Man Box” which seeks to encourage men to move beyond conventional masculinity. http://flip.it/2rpTm

    Regarding men’s role in the struggle for women’s equality: It is, of course, problematic given the patriarchial structures we live in. However, I have come to believe that if men wish to escape the oppressions from which the majority suffer (most often from other men) in the pervasive hierarchies of dominance and abuse, then they have common cause with women to seek relations of equality.

    I know from personal experience that effective common cause and solidarity take constant attention to make conscious men’s privileges, the making generous and humble adjustment to one’s performance of gender and constant learning about (and unlearning the harmful practice of) gender. Yet, the rewards of men in solidarity with women are more than sufficient to make this work worthwhile.

    Regarding the pedagogy of visual studio arts I know next to nothing, excepting to note that like most other institutional practice these spaces have long been dominated (and representations within controlled) by men. New attention to gender relations in the studio with a goal of equality and opening toward real learning from the experience and perspectives of all would seem to be a requirement (perhaps a curriculum requirement?) if progress is to be made.

    I am honored by Judy Chicago’s opening for dialogue in this space.

    Judy Chicago

    P.S. As someone who has spent 5 decades working for change in and out of the art institutions, I am discouraged by the fact that we seem to be moving backwards, especially in studio art which has been deeply affected by the market-driven art world. As a result, students are being encouraged to substitute form for content, instant gratification for deep discovery and trivial ideas for lasting one. As a student of women’s history, I realize that change takes a long time and that periods of progress are followed by a push-back by the culture which is what we are presently in. How I long for the revolutionary fervor of the 1970s. Judy Chicago

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