Masculism

20 Aug

As a self-defined feminist, I am interested in all gender issues and how societal norms affect both men and women. While I have mostly focused my attention on women’s issues, it is naive to think that men aren’t also harmed by gender stereotypes. This is why I loved this picture, posted by the True Lebanese Feminist on Facebook, and shared by my cousin.

Then, an old friend from high school posted the following comment: “Masculism is a counterpart and a natural extension of feminism.” I had never heard of masculism before, so I was intrigued.

A quick Google search gave me a few different views and definitions of masculism. The Wikipedia page gave a generic definition and not much else: “Masculism is the advocacy of the rights or needs of men and the adherence to or promotion of opinions, values, etc., regarded as typical of men.” Masculism.ca‘s mission gave a little more insight into the movement, and highlighted the importance of respecting women’s rights, but seemed to misunderstand the goals of feminism. The second result on Google was a website called Gender Liberation Beyond Feminism had me intrigued, but then I started reading the article… I’ll let you follow the think and read it yourself, but here is one excerpt: “But what feminists forget to mention is that a prerequisite to be part of the feminist movement is that you accept the ideology that men as a group systematically oppress women as a group, and that women’s issues always take precedence over men’s issues.” Obviously I disagree with the author’s definition of feminism.

Then I found the blog Who Needs Masculism? and I found a definition that I could get behind: “Masculism is the controversial idea that just because one half of society has substantial problems one doesn’t have to ignore the problems of the other half. Unlike first-wave feminism, masculism doesn’t arise as a response to wide-spread institutionalized mistreatment. Instead, like the secondary and tertiary waves of feminism, it is a lens through which we can observe and hopefully rectify societal problems from the perspective of average men of no great faculty or status.” And I love the answer to the blog’s title: “We all do. True masculism needs feminism. True feminism needs masculism. For either one to deny the necessity of the other abdicates the common goals of both: Equality regardless of gender or sex, and dissolution of the patriarchy.”

So, my dear readers: have you heard of masculism before today? How would you define it? Would you agree that masculism and feminism are natural counterparts and need each other to truly fulfill their goals? Or could it be a dangerous ideology that some people use to act against feminism? I’m still very new to this particular topic, so I am interested to hear some opinions!

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