Are you a Masculinist by default if you are not a Feminist?

Let’s get real. Feminism is not very popular. Unlike the football tradition, no super bowl, let alone a whole television series or any news reports exists for enthusiastic feminists even though feminism has a long history in America. So what are you if you are not feminist?

Are you a masculinist if you celebrate American traditions and deny and reject the traditions of american feminisms? And if you claim to not be either feminist or masculinist, then exactly what do we call what you believe in? FemiMascilism?

Everyone today is living the traditions of feminisms and masculinisms by enforced laws.

The chaotic thoughts, contradictions and complexities around the issue of feminism are a part of our world. It’s a social struggle unresolved. Unsettled. Yet there appears to be strong organized anti-feminism and weak masculinism – by name, that is, while in action, there is strong behaviors enforcing masculinism consistently rejecting and reacting to feminism. We segregate feminism by labeling individual people and groups that claim a belief in Feminism. This doesn’t occur with any term like masculinism. The segregation is often real whether it is emotional/mental or physical. In other places, the issues are not discussed at all, and if the topic arises, conflicts are quick to surface and emotions right behind them. Opinions fly without much thought and without pause to reason with opposing, and often contradictory, beliefs. That behavior used to be called ‘dealing with a topic like a hot potato’.

So I feel the need to get a bit clearer and let the potato cool a bit.

Feminist is a rather dirty word in itself. Is it worse than being labeled a homosexual, a faggot? Are the very words, masculinism and feminism, sources of hate for some people? There are social circles where the word, feminism, will bring on an uncomfortable silence. Masculinism simply doesn’t have that same solid history. Wikipedia states masculinism really gained a social foothold in the 1990’s and this was a direct reaction of the advances of feminism values moving into the unnamed traditional spaces we often define as mainstream. Feminism can put gaps between people. Stereotypes arise. Is she a nazi feminist? A militant feminist? A socialist, liberal, conservative, not a radical, feminist? She hates men. Oh, a third wave feminist! What’s that? Who knows. The list of kinds of feminism is boggling and understandings as well are boggling to the mind. I see it similar to how denominations of christianity spread with the fall of the dominant Catholic church. Today even in the same church, opinions vary. This nice thing is that Christians actually have that space of freedom.

It’s clear that the dominance of men, in certain social places, has been disrupted. Trouble is too many people don’t know what they don’t know and there are too many differences. The woman-hater, a misogynist, is formed on the Greek word misogunes, from misein, meaning hate, misos, meaning hatred, and gune meaning woman. It first appeared in written English in 1620 (spelled misogenyst). (No accident there.) However, it was not until 1946, that misandry, meaning hatred of men, from the Greek andr, aner, meaning man entered the vocabulary, according to Jane Mill’s Womanwords: A Dictionary of Words about Women, 1989.

Maybe all this stuff from Greek, adopting their language, wasn’t a great thing and why does it exist for us?

Often too much of the history is unknown and must be sought out to overcome and gain any reasonable ground of fact in settling differences. Otherwise, there is simply too much fiction. The issue falls into a disagreement of stagnant beliefs as if a belief makes something real. Ironically, that has some truth, but also carries a lack of openness to investigate with an open mind to see and know more. Life experiences do impact people’s lives yet minds can stay closed. But this suggests that this is only about choosing beliefs rather than approaching the conflicts as a lack, not a choice, of understanding of, ironically, choices….. and a need to educate ourselves, learn more, about the relationships about men and women. Not seeking factual information to dispel conflicts actually flies against all the claims about facts about the sexes that circulate and that we already hear consistently which are the soil in which the beliefs are planted to begin with. It’s definitely a stance of contradiction – and unreasoning. But the real puzzle, that is a part of all the feminism carries this unnecessary mystery that holds the question, who are they opposing? Seriously, Whose the opposing group that remains anonymous, silent, unlabeled, untitled yet seemingly runs the discourse to oppose feminism – freely and openly spoken? Another contradiction.

There are virtually no known, acknowledged individual masculinists; no large masculinist groups. Masculinist is a word that is barely known. Never hear it on television or in the news. The arguments are stated but never categorized. It often gets incorrectly categorized as if all men are not feminists, and only women with the use of certain language and beliefs are feminists. It gets defined by labeling people as types of people rather than simply humans who differ in their beliefs and lifestyle choices. There are no signs or declarations when announcing one’s belief. I am a masculinist. No markers of behaviors or customs of required dress. Certainly is odd in a world that is filled with those types of indicators and labels that people feel trapped in.

Linguistically, masculinist seems the appropriate word as an opposite, an antonym, of feminist. But It’s not historically been defined that way. I have looked and haven’t found an opposite to feminism. As far as I can tell, none exists. One of the most popular claimed definitions of feminism, however, does exist, even in children’s dictionaries. It is defined as the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. So what is the word for the theory of political, economic, and social equality of men that defines 200 plus years of American history? It’s called freedom and the American Revolution. Sometimes called democracy. Women’s relationship to this men’s movement towards freedom has had the disadvantage of sitting on a fence ever since, sometimes falling into the movement with men and other times, being pushed outside of it, treated as if they don’t belong. And this social disagreement about women’s social place is still highly questioned. Men as a group never named themselves for their movements toward freedom against other men. We never hear the term men’s movement as a political movement towards freedom as we do, the women’s movement. The movement of Playboy which was an advancement of freedom for men is often positioned as entertainment rather than political freedom. This tends to give the impression that there has not been a men’s movement towards freedom although we’ve all been taught about it and live comfortably in those freedoms. The terms used always seem to define men, but not men as a sex group, but by terms characteristic of humans transcending the other classifications that define movements. It’s also odd that some men would actually be opposing their own rights as men, especially if they insist on maintaining the traditions of American freedom. No wonder we had a president that believes you can force a people into a life not of their choosing and still call it freedom. This could only happen if men consistently do not understand the 200 plus year old American men’s movement itself. The ideas of freedom lack understanding about our human relationships. It rests on myths as that morph from a history of facts that tell us we are all free and the Declaration of Independence was meant for all people. NOT.

But it certainly does not have to be this way. In fact, it doesn’t take much to clear up the brain fog. It’s obvious from these few facts that the issues of freedom could easily and more effectively be clarified. There’s room to settle some of this easily. And that as adults in this generation, we have a responsibility to future generations to not hand them a complicated mess of conflict, hate, confusion, fear and resentment filled with mythology for them to either pass on or clean up. It’s clear that we are capable of moving past this inheritance and resolve issues of freedom. But I don’t think that can happen until we fully understand what freedoms we have acquired and what we, and our children, stand to lose if we don’t adequately understand, let alone address the problem. A problem grows bigger if it’s not dealt with properly and we are all witnesses of that as we watch America morph into something very unsettling for us all.

I have serious doubts that the freedom and equal rights for men as the American Revolution and tradition began will ever be renamed as a masculinist movement, nor ever be considered part of the Feminist movement, either. However, Masculinism actually does exist but it’s existence is constantly in question and flat out denied. According to Webster’s older offline dictionaries, masculinism is the superiority and dominance of men. Webster’s dictionary online hasn’t brought that definition forward as a search brings 0 results, although masculinist is there defined as advocate for male superiority or dominance.

So, again linguistically, why then isn’t feminism the superiority and dominance of women? There is no word for that? I tried to find any word that would come close to it, but I couldn’t think of one. Amazonian, a legend of superior women? At times, there is an accusation that feminism is about the superiority and dominance of women but I found no dictionary has that definition. On the other hand, the political struggles today, upon observation, surely appear as if there is a battle going on for dominance, that is, to have laws that reflect ones beliefs as dominating over another’s beliefs. There is a void in the conceptions of how the world might look and operate if the laws reflected a freedom that embraced a world that allowed peaceful co-existence of differing beliefs in this area.

I shudder to think of the impact on children learning the term feminism while their opponent consistently remains vague with no name. What is it? How can a debate even exist if one side is somewhat of an aberration? Has no categorization or defining opposition? It’s invisibility and freedom of movement is it’s power of dominance.

Let me give an example of how this invisibility and dominance works. You know, on the internet every country has an address identified at the end by two letters, ie. UK for United Kingdom, or NZ for New Zealand, except the United States. We, citizens of the United States, don’t have to put our letters, US, there. Everyone knows who we are by the absence of the letters in our online addresses. So, we, the US, become invisible in a strange way even though it is clear we exist. This maybe the problem with feminism. Identification is very important and names are very important. Feminism remains wide open for unseen opposition and hits when the opposed are invisible. Who are they? Ordinary people? We all know that when there is a battle, those hidden have the advantage. Until the masculinist identifies himself, clarifies his position and until he can be spoken to directly, and speak straightforwardly in return, feminists are not facing issues straight on. It isn’t an option.  Rather it is being defeated because all moves, on the part of the feminists, are in the open. It’s like fighting a ghost or maybe a terrorist who strikes without warning and you don’t see coming. Think of the old Casper cartoons and that advantage of invisibility. Whoops. He’s here, then nope, he’s over here. And it’s not just movements, but the discussions also tend to contain this shifting of appearing and disappearing quality.

Webster’s online dictionary records 1895 as the earliest use of the word Feminism. That’s not that old. Yet it’s probably been that long since the term feminism became a stumbling block to any discussion or advances in freedoms for half the population. It may have served its purpose – as a tool for communication – at first. It identified something. It seems to serve as a bonding word between those connected to the causes, but many times it fails to serve as a tool in communication; in reaching connection and relatedness with others grounded in people’s lives with meaning. In fact, it has been used coopted as a weapon for those opposing it. It fails to even facilitate understanding of any feminist issues because of how it’s been used. I have decided to use it when it serves my goals in communicating as I use any words. I truly have visions of moving beyond all the current, worthless, ineffective, even backsliding struggles. Whatever moves me to the goal of freedom, I will use it. I don’t have time to waste. All around me I see a needed urgency to stop violating humans and stop the invasion of the freedoms that were once gained under worse conditions.

SO…. if you aren’t a feminist, perhaps you are an unnamed cultured masculinist? But hopefully, in reading this, you may consider better definitions for yourself. Masculinist. Feminist. I hate all the conflict. I hate the struggle. I mean I want harmony. I want to live in a harmonious culture. But you know, we can’t deny it. We all have a bit of masculinism and feminism in us. We were all born into it as it existed when we got here.

Year after year, it really hits children hard socially about the age of 10. It’s when they start comprehending and adjusting behaviors required to fit social laws and rules and resort to the taunting like…Oh, you are acting like a girl which defines so much of it. Everybody that is headed for adulthood bumps into that.

As far as feminism goes, there’s been some real change now, right? Right. Being a woman nowadays, theoretically allows you to do just about everything a man does – and you can feel very proud of the masculine activities as a woman. Forget you are really still a woman and what that means. I don’t know about how others think, but it seems to me that some of these feminists advances have always been riding on a bit of masculinism to me. Here are groups of women calling themselves feminists while giving up the world of being female to act like, dress like, work and play the same as men. Feminist masculinists? And this has very serious consequences for the future generations of children when imbalances due to opposite sex theory continue relentlessly actually completely destroyed whole segments of human existence.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to offend anyone. I do believe that women should be allowed total freedom to do whatever activity they want. The move is a good one. 150 years ago, I most likely couldn’t be writing my own thoughts publicly without hiding behind a man’s name and having no children. Women do have to do that at times – advance into the world of men. I totally support the advancement of women’s ability to read and write. I couldn’t have gone to college either. Being allowed to work for money, even if it is less pay, and actually keep your own money seem pretty important to having some authority over your own life and this is an issue of freedom. Owning property is nice and also allows a larger degree of freedom of space too.

But where’s the push for men to be like women and have honor and respect for it? ‘REAL’ feminism in bringing about the balance of respect for all. What I am looking for are actions that stop the embedded framework that still counts a certain way of being as superior, certain activities as superior and worthy of privilege and unlimited reward. In today’s world, that superior way of being once only defined as men’s, is now superior for women, boys and girls too. Other ways of being are still vastly considered inferior, along with all the punishments and rewards that define it so. For men, to freely dress as women, acting like women, working like women, thinking like women, playing like women, so we can all LIKE being….like a girl; I mean, for real. This has not advanced. Our society is in desperate need to bring about balances. There has not been a balancing of respect for all things. I know, at this point, those that do ‘girlie’, receive all kinds of names, starting with wimps and wuzzies to trans queers. These names still have their place in the hierarchy as the superiority and dominance of being like a man is the original gold standard against which all else is defined as different from. It’s simply not okay for men to be like women, sometimes women not to be like women, and anything that really is ‘other’ is not taken as sacred, respectfully, or seriously. Being different still falls into a prejudice that can kill, get categorized as weird and strange and worse, illegal. Not because it is so, but because it is different.

So much gets wiped out from one generation to the next, at times, you have to ask, is there really feminism? And only a shadow of the question remains, is there really masculinism? And isn’t what drives all this is not a discussion of differences, but a need to define what is right. And with that frame, right equals good, wrong equals bad and good equals better than bad, which then falls back to superior and inferior categories. So we better stop framing things as right and wrong, yes? Actually, that’s circular thinking, it brings you back where you started. It’s all a matter of what is correct in time and space and context….but with dominance there is no room for such advanced thinking. The system we have doesn’t give us that time. As numbers, as names, we humans become non-human.

Using the two words, feminism and masculinism, these two supposed polar opposites, are not exactly oppositely the same. If you know what I mean. So let’s get things clarified. Feminism has many different meanings, but essentially means the freedom of women to have the same rights and advantages as men. It’s very much a political term. Now men having the same rights as other men created the American Revolution, but didn’t have a name. Masculinism? No. Men fighting for the same rights as other men is not masculinism. As I stated, Webster defines masculinism as the superiority and dominance of men. So yes, in conclusion,  The American Revolution was about masculinism. That is, the fight of men against masculinism – the fight against the superiority and dominance of some men over other men. According to that framework, if we believe in America’s freedom, then we are not masculine masculinists. We do believe that all men are created equal.

Do we believe in the superiority of men over women? What about the superiority of men over children? Women over children? Where is childism? I am a childist who believes in childism and the rights of children not to be treated as property of parents or state – but as beings to be cared for first. Children are human beings too. There is no word childist in the dictionary, but I believe in it because I believe that children also suffer as a group from masculinism, and the inadequacies of feminism. There is no word that means the superiority and dominance of women. I assume that in Europe at one point there was no conception of the freedom of men to have equal rights either. The Fathers hierarchal system enforced by violence over women and children was all that was known.

Likewise, today,  It’s something to be created. How can I even talk about this adequately when the language isn’t developed, the concepts are unclear and not completely formed? When the very words we have to use are so imbalanced to one side?

Wouldn’t english class tell us that Feminism is the opposite of Masculinism? I’d say so, but No, not according to our definitions. I truly believe that once we acquire language that’s appropriately naming our physicalities we can begin to move out of some of the turmoil. Who said naming the problem correctly is the problem half solved?

And I have one last comment, our forefathers started something, and it’s up to us to finish it. I say freedom for us all. Let’s forget the words that hinder that process. Let’s move on to what’s better for everyone.

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7 thoughts on “Are you a Masculinist by default if you are not a Feminist?

  1. I wouldn’t claim to fully understand the totality of what you are saying, though I very much admire your writing.

    As a man it seems important to me that we men explore “masculinity” in ways that have rarely, if ever been explored. Much of traditional masculinity has been defined as being “not feminine”. The opposition to women and “feminized men” pushes us into competitive extremes where we are rarely, if ever, successes and even then, must face continued competition which involves class dominance in various further dimensions.

    A void seems to exist. As a White person, I rarely explore my race, except as I am challenged by my Black partner (and didn’t explore much before we were together). As men we may dabble a little into masculinity at moments in time, however we don’t dig in deeply and struggle unless we feel uncomfortable with our “male lives”.

    We need to struggle with masculinity in many ways – as sons and sometimes fathers, as heterosexual men (or not), as men with economic class privilege (or not), as White men (or not) in relation to People of Color as well as perhaps most importantly how we relate to the women and girls in our lives.

    On the internet I see a few serious efforts at moving with men in positive, affirming ways in addition to others confronting men and masculinity. Perhaps, not surprisingly these efforts seem to come nearly always from women, not men.

    Where men do seem focused on gender issues it seems to go in varying directions:
    1.) Anti-Feminist efforts – Mens/Father’s Rights efforts which to me seem to lack much struggle within as to developing a new, positive masculinity,
    2.) Finding Ourselves efforts – often very (upper-) class based most visibly through supporters of Robert Bly and similar,
    3.) Pro-Feminist efforts. The latter seem to most commonly either work as allies with women sometimes working to help feminist women or in a few cases to seriously work to help change men in positive ways.

    Pro-Feminist efforts over the last 35 or so years seem to have had little success – “helping women”. Until and unless we men begin to work primarily with men and recognize how men are Both those who oft times hurt others as well as being hurt by Misogyny – living shorter, less fulfilling lives than we otherwise might have, little is likely to change.

    Feminist (and non-Feminist in some cases) Women have done incredible things in recent decades. It is time that we Men do much, much more in positive, affirming ways. Thanks!

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    • Thanks so much, Geo, for sharing your views. I really appreciate it. I understand what you are saying and do believe what you are saying is accurate.
      I would just like to add to your comments that I have had the experience, not with any feminist groups, but with groups that have goals for improving
      relationships, ie. HAI – the Human Awareness Institute or just self improvement or relationship improvements groups where men do work on improving their behaviors.
      I have learned alot from these men that are willing to get honest with themselves and there sure is a difference. There really is so much activity out
      there so I’m always open to learning what is happening that I don’t know about. Again, thanks for responding! Come back again to my site!

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  2. Masculinist Is characterized by or denoting attitudes or values hled to be typical of men. It has nothing to do with fighting against femenist it has all the more to do with fighting for Males that are oppressed by gender roles. Just like feminist are oppressed by gender roles.

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    • From your comment, it seems to me that you may have jumped to conclusion reading a sentence or two and not read the rest, or you skimmed or missed
      what I was saying, somehow. For me, I am not in disagreement of what you wrote nor what I wrote. I think it is the same thing. Also, you do not deny
      what is historically issues of conflict if you are zoned in on the ‘fighting over the ‘issues of masculinists and feminists’? Often people weren’t
      named as feminist or masculinist in conflicts. If not, I think we agree. I would point out that the only thing you haven’t mentioned, that I mention is that – as a writer – I question the use of the terms and definitions within the context of the official English language and use.
      It’s one thing to ‘define’ words and ‘use’ them yourself as you feel you need to.
      It’s another to question what has been ‘official’ definitions, and that’s what I was doing. Have you questioned and
      do you know the source of what you believe and use yourself? Or do you feel you created it yourself -which I doubt since of the dates I mentioned?
      We probably have the same sources, too. Cheers…..and THANKS for responding.

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  3. I stopped reading when I saw you confusing masculinism and being masculine. They’re not the same thing, which means feminists surely can’t be a masculinist, even if they act like men.

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    • If you check definitions, masculine and masculinism are not the same thing. There are two different things. Your confusion or your projection of confusion is not mine. If you get past your own thoughts and read on, you learn what I think and not what you think I think. It’s tricky topic, for sure.

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