This started off as response to another post, but it got long, so I decided to post it as new.
I used to call myself a radical feminist, but I guess if Dworkin and McKinnon are radicals, I'll just call myself a sex positive feminist, since they seem to fear and loathe hetero sex.
Mary Daly doesn't think men can be feminists, since we're part of the great Conspiracy to keep women down.
I've consistently seen a blurring of the lines of the system of beliefs and behavior called patriarchy, supported by just as many women as men (I can back this up, but won't now), and the collection of people called men.
Patriarchy is a belief system. It puts men in a superior position to women based mainly on tradition and misunderstood biology.
Men are roughly half of the human population. Most men buy into the system of patriarchy. From a selfish standpoint, to do otherwise is to shoot oneself in the foot.
On closer inspection, however, the patterns of patriarchy are damaging to men as well as women. We're prescribed rigid roles that we are forbidden to alter. To do so means we're no longer men. For example, boys are told not to cry, to "be a man".
When you're not acting in accordance with these rules you might become a woman, illustrated with the insult, "stop being a pussy".
Suppression of emotional responses is very harmful to men. It creates lots of stress, makes us poor communicators and companions. After some practice most men are often unaware of their emotions, or they mistake them for anger, an approved emotion.
i was just looking through this community and thought i would comment.
i agree, the patriarchy is harmful to men. but in the context of the means being achieved- submission over women, they are not harmed in any sense. the emotions and actions societally accepted for a man to emote and do are all for the means of dominance.
you did not make this argument, but i've heard some views that men can be oppressed as well, and this harms them. yet, (one of my favorite authors) marilyn frye beautifully points out that this is simply not the case. she also points out the danger in stating males are oppressed, becuase once the definition of oppression extends in this way, the meaning is lost.
Oppressed? No. I would use the word suppressed. We are discouraged from traditionally feminine roles, like child raising. People think there's something wrong when a man chooses to be a daycare worker, or a stay at home dad.
I think some parents are leery of me, the only male clerk at a pediatric practice. Must be something wrong with me to be working with a bunch of women.