‘Män, deras rätt och ingenting mer! Kvinnor, deras rätt och ingenting mindre!’…

August 11, 2017 § 5 Comments

angry-white-men.jpg

s 133 i boken “Angry White Men” eller “Arga vita män”, kapitlet “Why Men’s Rights Is Wrong (For the Right Reason)” eller ungefär “Varför mansrätt är fel (av de riktiga anledningarna)” skriver Kimmel:

“… jag tror att det är viktigt att erkänna smärtan och kvalen, som driver deras missriktade empiriska analyser, som äkta [apropå kapitlet innan om mansrättstudier]. Den är verklig och viktig.”

Ja, det tror jag med.

“Många män mår inte bra i/med sina liv. De söker efter någon att klandra, en förklaring till sina kval, sin förvirring, sitt missmod/missnöje.” 

Men de söker den på fel ställe och försöker lösa den på fel sätt.

“På ett sätt tror jag att en del av den ursprungliga mansbefrielseideologin slår huvudet på spiken närmare.

Traditionell maskulinitet kan vara onödig, en ansträngning att leva upp till normer som andra satt, vilka lämnar dig med känslor av tomhet, utan vänner, en Willy Loman omgiven av [en massa] Mitt Romneys – ytliga, lyckliga seriefigurer [inte riktiga människor, med riktiga behov och känslor, som är både lyckliga och olyckliga, och det som är ett riktigt liv?].

De känner sig som de ‘ihåliga männen’ i T. S. Eliots poem** [Eliot doig 1965!] De är rädda att deras liv ska vara värda lite [kanske intet och det är en hemsk känsla].

Missmodet är verkligt och viktigt – och möjligt att manipuleras politiskt, samt mobiliseras.”

Och det är detta som Donald Trump och såna som SD spelar på och i förstnämnda fallet kommit till makten på. 😦 Trump kom där som en Frälsare, som ska göra “America Great Again.”

“Underlåtenheten att höra smärtan betyder att rationella uppskattningar av dessa mäns nöd aldrig kommer att höras.”

Detta borde politiker vara medvetna om. Vissa är det mer eller mindre och spelar, som sagt, på det, destruktivt för oss alla och inte minst för dessa män. De kommer aldrig att bli lyckligare eller mer tillfreds, varken i samhället, på arbetsplatsen, i socialt liv, i familjeliv med en Donald Trump som president eller SD och liknande partier, vid makten.

De kommer bara tillfälligtvis få avlösning och utlopp för sin frustration och sina aggressioner. Frustration och aggression kommer att finnas kvar och poppa upp och på nytt kräva avlösning och förmodligen utlösning på syndabockar som är tillgängliga och det sorgliga är att de kommer aldrig att få den anknytning som de troligen längtar efter nånstans långt, långt inne.

Detta borde både politiker, samt även terapeuter m.fl. vara medvetna om (om de inte redan är det) och inte t.ex. ge råd om självhävdelse till en man, utan hjälpa honom att hitta andra lösningar, ifrågasätta roller osv.

the revolution2.jpg

Kimmel skriver vidare s 134:

“När landet [USA] grundades såg Thomas Jefferson för sig en mix av rättigheter och skyldigheter – rätten vilken vi givits av vår skapare – sätts alltid mot skyldigheterna mot samhällsgruppen/samhället, mot de andras möjlighet att följa samma rättigheter med samma friheter. 

Fokus bara på skyldigheter enbart upplöser helt enkelt individen till en drönare, ett arbetsbi, del av massan, omöjlig att särskilja från resten [osynliggjord].

Men ett fokus enbart på rättigheter, som i mansrättsretoriken, upphöjs till narcissistisk solipsism*, en tävlingslysten jag-förstism som bara kan TA utan att ge något tillbaka.

1884, nästan ett århundrade efter nationen tog emot Jeffersons vision, insåg amerikanska kvinnor att de, ‘sort of’, lämnats utanför ‘livet i frihet och utövandet av lycka’-ekvationen’.

De hade få rättigheter och dem de hade uteslöt dem fortfarande från att ha en offentlig röst eller närvaro. 

Mottot för den kvinnliga suffragettrörelsen, proklamerad av Susan B. Anthony, i en slogan som utgjorde rubriken på rörelsens tidning, the Revolution, var enkel:

‘Män, deras rätt och ingenting mer! Kvinnor, deras rätt och ingenting mindre!’

Fortfarande lämpligt att ramas in.”

Dvs de här suffragetterna såg inte bara till sitt!

Överhuvudtaget borde det vara balans mellan rättigheter och skyldigheter mellan alla människor i samhället och världen. Och denna balans kan bli ÄNNU bättre, till gagn för alla! Män skulle förmodligen må mycket bättre om det fortsatt var mer jämlikt. De skulle slippa en massa stress och press osv.

*)”…det enda som existerar är den egna upplevelsen, utan några bakomliggande orsaker.”

“1. Philosophy. the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.

2. Extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.”
**)

“Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy

I
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

III
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

V
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”

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§ 5 Responses to ‘Män, deras rätt och ingenting mer! Kvinnor, deras rätt och ingenting mindre!’…

  • k says:

    Undrar vad han skulle tycka om hon kritiserade honom och talade om för honom hur han borde svara och uttrycka sig som han gör med henne? Han skulle bli rosenrasande arg? Så mycket för den gyllene regeln… 😦

    • k says:

      Och det här stämmer :
      ”…det enda som existerar är den egna upplevelsen, utan några bakomliggande orsaker.”

      “1. Philosophy. the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.

      2. Extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.”

      Man kan hävda sig själv och föra sin egen talan utan att vara blind och döv för den andra parten!!! Och det är så det borde vara, om man inte har att göra med en riktig galning. Då gäller det bara att skydda sig och det kanske snabbt som ögat?

      • k says:

        Sån skulle jag vilja påstå att han är!!! Vadå hennes känslor osv? Hennes rättigheter och behov? Nej, jag det är honom det är synd om!!! 😦 Inte henne ett dugg, aldrig nånsin. Sårat berättigat.

  • k says:

    Om arga, vita mäns längtan tillbaka till det förgångna skriver Kimmel s 112 i sin bok:

    “Men känner sig de här männen, som ser världen som ett globalt nollsummespel, förbittrade, förvirrade och arga? Som Sarah Palin skulle ha sagt, ‘Det kan du lita på!’

    Politiskt har har sån förbittring och vrede eldat på ett nytt könsgap, av övervägande medelklass, medelålders, straighta vita män som nu konstant listar sig till höger.

    Uppfostrade att själva känna sig ‘berättigade’, hyste de ovilja mot rättighetsprogram som gav något till någon annan. ‘Om jag inte får det jag är berättigad till,’ verkade de säga, ‘då får inte du det heller’ – en ny tvist på den gamla utestängande bekännelseformeln som använts för att få tillbaka en känsla av mandom [destruktivt berättigande skulle Ronald Levant kalla detta]. 

    En skribent rasade att han ‘inte kommer att ta något nonsens om förtryckta och offrade kvinnor; inget ansvar för kvinnors förhållanden, vad än detta förhållande kunde vara; inget av den skuld eller självvämjelse som traditionellt används för att hålla män i schack/tyglade och selade.’

    Och en annan skrev att kvinnor ‘alltid dominerat mig, talat om för mig vad jag ska göra, förödmjukat mig, lastat mig med skuld, ibland inspirerat mig, ofta utnyttjat och skämt ut mig.’

    Sån känslosamhet av berättigande avslöjar besynnerliga kännetecken på dessa nya skaror av arga vita män: fastän vita män fortfarande har den mesta makten och kontrollen i världen, känner sig dessa speciella vita män som offer. 

    Dessa idéer reflekterar också en tämligen nostalgisk längtan efter den forna världen, när män trodde att de helt enkelt kunde ta sin plats bland nationens elit, bara genom att arbeta hårt och verkligen anstränga sig.

    Ack, en sån värld existerade aldrig: ekonomiska eliter har alltid lyckats reproducera sig själva trots idealen om meritokrati. Men det har inte stoppat män från att tro på dessa. Det är Den Amerikanska Drömmen. 

    Och när män misslyckas, blir de förödmjukade, utan nånstans att rikta vreden. Några försöker hitta svar; och några vill få betalning tillbaka. På det sättet är mansrättsaktivister sanna troende [deras tro liknar religion] – men de tror på en värld som var spektakulärt ojämlik.”

    Kimmel skriver på s 113 om de…

    “…sorgsna och arga vita medelklasskillarna, som klagar över hur hårt de har det. Dock, tre sociala förändringar slungade iväg rörelsen i en ännu argare och mer skränande samling av missnöjda/otillfredsställda män.

    Först kommer de jordbävningsliknande ekonomiska skiftena som ändrade Amerika, på bara en generation, från, låt oss säga, 1980 till nu, från en nation med medelklasspresterare, med en liten övre och lägre klass, till en tvådelad nation av superrika och så alla andra. 

    Dramatisk ekonomisk ojämlikhet och en omfördelning av välstånd uppåt har dragit undan mattan från tidigare trygga, komfortabla medelklassmän, vars identitet har varit bunden till att vara kompetenta försörjare av sina familjer, med möjlighet till rörlighet uppåt i ett mer öppet samhälle. 

    Eliminationen av de mittersta pinnarna på den ekonomiska stegen har lämnat en oöverbryggbar avgrund mellan inhägnade och bevakade bostadsområden och lägenheterna med galler för fönstren, något som faktiskt drabbat vita medelklassmän hårt. 

    De har känt sig berättigade att grabba tag i kretsloppet i karusellen. De kanske inte skulle ha nått ända dit upp, men de trodde på systemet tillräckligt mycket för att försöka. 

    Många av de här medelklasskillarna – outsorceade, downsized, med bortskurna förmåner – är till att börja med bittra och arga.”

    Men, skriver Kimmel, de klandrar inte de män som otsourceade, donwsized, skar ner på förmåner och överförde välstånd till VD:ar osv.

    Frank Bruni skriver i “Manhood in the Age of Trump”:

    “When does Trump feel the most manly? That’s pretty obvious: when he’s salivating over women and styling himself some conquistador of the flesh, as he did repeatedly with Howard Stern and on one infamous occasion with Billy Bush.

    When he’s belittling and emasculating [=förvekligande] rivals (‘Liddle Marco,’ ‘low-energy Jeb’), as he did throughout his campaign. When he’s vowing vengeance against the House Freedom Caucus, as he did last week.

    When he’s surrounding himself with generals. When he’s pledging huge increases in military spending while moving to starve wonky research and the arts.

    There are ways in which his life, and his political career in particular, are a burlesque of manhood, ‘so craven and desperately needy that it has an air of danger and pathos,’ said Michael Kimmel, a Stony Brook University sociologist and the author of ‘Angry White Men,’ a 2013 book that will soon be reissued with a new preface that takes Trump into account.

    I think Trump protests too much, distracting us from other traits. He abhors handshakes: all those icky germs! He gilds and swirls his hair. Those white crescent moons under his eyes suggest time spent wearing goggles during artificial tanning sessions. The Marlboro Man got his sun on the range, not in the salon.

    But Kimmel said that such signals have begun to diversify somewhat. He noted that Axe, which makes men’s grooming products, used to be famous for ads that equated using Axe with getting laid, but it unveiled a new one last year that showed one man in a wheelchair, another with cats, another at a chalkboard, another in drag. ‘Find your magic’ was the tagline, and that magic didn’t boil down to sweat, swagger or a sheaf of condoms.

    Axe, as it happens, sponsored the Promundo study, which concluded that men who registered narrow, clichéd instructions about manhood were more likely to act out in self-destructive ways, such as substance abuse, and in outwardly destructive ones, such as online bullying.

    Online bullying? That brings to mind a certain tweeter in chief, and so does the argument that when you feel compelled to project an unforgiving kind of masculine strength, you end up in a twisted, tortured place. You can call it the Man Box. Or, these days, the Oval Office.”

    Se också “A father and son talk: What does it mean to be a man?”:

    “Is a private Facebook group the 2017 version of the all-men’s golf getaway? What’s the difference between being “a good man” and “a real man”? In an honest and eye-opening conversation, Baby Boomer Michael Kimmel and his Generation Z son, Zachary, share their experiences of masculinity.

    Michael Kimmel (TED Talk: Why gender equality is good for everyone) is a sociology professor at Stony Brook University in New York and the founder of its Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities. Yes, you read that right — masculinities, plural. He believes there is no one masculinity in society today but a number of masculinities, shaped by the intersection of gender and influences like race, class and sexuality. Age is also an important factor, and in June, Kimmel, 66, and his 18-year-old son, Zachary, discussed how their respective generations — Baby Boomer and Gen Z — understand and experience masculinity. (Editor’s note: the following conversation was edited for clarity and length.)

    Michael Kimmel: Let me start by asking you, What do you think are the differences between being a man today as you experience it and what you perceive in previous generations?

    Zachary Kimmel: While my experience might not represent the totality of all men’s experiences, one noticeable and important change to me is the balance of work and family. I think there’s an expectation for men of my generation that both work and family will be shared between the spouses/partners, and I can imagine that wasn’t always the case for you.

    Michael: That was a real issue for my generation. I remember my father telling me that when he was in college, he and his friends would ask each other, “Are you going to let your wife work?” And they said, “No, that’s my responsibility. I take care of supporting the family. She should stay home with the kids.”

    Zachary: Another important shift that’s happened between our generations is the acceptability of cross-gender friendships. For men now, it’s far more acceptable to have females as friends, not only as romantic partners.

    Michael: Yes. I go to a lot of campuses to speak, and when I started doing it 25 years ago, I’d walk into a class and ask, “How many of you have a good friend of the opposite sex?” Like ten percent of the class raised their hands. Now I could walk into any college classroom and ask, “Is there anybody here who doesn’t have a good friend of the opposite sex?” I’d never see a hand.

    Zachary: Absolutely.

    Michael: You’ve painted a pretty happy picture of your generation. At the same time, every day there seems to be a steady parade of young men behaving badly. For example, there was the Facebook page that the Marines had which shared nude photos of female service members and condoned violence against women, and the private Facebook group in which recently admitted students to Harvard said all kinds of bad things. Tell me a little bit about that side.

    Zachary: Obviously, we haven’t fully overcome the tendency for men, particularly in all-male groups, to degrade women and engage in activities like hazing or sexual assault. I think there might be a correlation between women becoming more integrated into the workforce and public sphere and some men retreating into insular, all-male groups — the fraternity, sports team and the online Facebook chat — to keep up that traditional understanding of masculinity.

    Michael: Once upon a time, the whole world was a locker room — the corporate boardroom was a locker room, the faculty meeting was a locker room, and of course, the locker room was a locker room. Now there’s women everywhere. I’d imagine this has affected my generation more than yours because it’s new to us, we weren’t prepared. We expected locker rooms everywhere. I hear men my age say things like, “Where can a guy go where he can just relax, say stupid stuff, and not get policed all the time?” Do you hear that from guys your age?

    Zachary: Absolutely. The generational difference may be in the location of those conversations. Your generation invested in the man cave or the weekend golfing trip; we went online. We make Facebook groups, group chats, use all forms of social media to talk between men. Last year, sports teams from elite institutions — Harvard men’s soccer, Princeton men’s swimming and diving, Columbia wrestling — all got in trouble with their universities for their all-male team chats, group messages and texts. We’ve retreated to our online spaces.

    Michael: My generation grew up with the expectation that our world would be pretty much like Don Draper’s in Mad Men. My dad’s world looked like that, and I expected my world to look like that. I feel like my generation has this sense of loss because we expected something we didn’t get. You didn’t expect it, so you aren’t angry. That thwarted sense of entitlement fuels a lot of the angry men I’ve written about. But I want to switch topics. When we’ve talked before, you’ve used the word “toxic” to describe masculinity.

    Zachary: Yes.

    Michael: What about masculinity would you say is toxic or poisonous?

    Zachary: Masculinity in its rigid, norm-driven form can harm men. It can cause physical harm when it’s pressuring men to binge-drink or submit to hazing rituals to get into a group. It can also lead to an emotional shut-down in which men are discouraged from having women as friends or pursuing activities because they’re worried about social consequences.

    Michael: What you’re saying is this traditional, inherited idea of masculinity is a recipe for loneliness, emptiness, a lack of connection and a suppression of compassion, empathy, etc. I take your point. But what I see in you and in many of your guy friends and in my generation are men facing tension in their notions of masculinity. Let me ask you, What does it mean to you to be a good man?

    Zachary: Responsible, honorable, does the right thing, protector, provider, honest — all those words come to mind.

    Michael: OK. Now tell me if those same ideas come up when I say, “Man up, dude! Be a real man.”

    Zachary: I get all kinds of other ideas — show no weakness, show no pain, real men don’t cry, they get rich, they get laid, show no emotions.

    Michael: That’s pretty different.

    Zachary: Vastly different.

    Michael: Where do you learn those ideas?

    Zachary: Other men, particularly older men, coaches or the captains on the sports teams when I played sports, media, music — a variety of sources.

    Michael: I’ve been asking this question a lot, and most guys say pretty much what you said. They list, in this order, my dad, my coach, my guy friends, my older brother. I don’t want to say it’s about toxic masculinity vs. healthy masculinity. I think every one of us knows what it means to be a good man and we want to live up to those ideals. Yet sometimes in the name of proving we’re real men, we’re asked to betray our values. Don’t you think there were guys on the Harvard soccer team who were not down with what was going on?

    Zachary: Absolutely.

    Michael: But they can’t say it because there’s a tremendous amount of gender policing that goes on among guys. How do you deal when you’re in a group and some guy makes a sexist comment?

    Zachary: When I was younger and still learning how to engage in this stuff, I’d react in a didactic, holier-than-thou, “Don’t say that, that is wrong” approach.

    Michael: You’d police them back.

    Zachary: I’d also get emotionally riled up and angry. Since I’ve had struggles and failures, I’ve taken on new strategies. Instead of saying “Hey, don’t say that word,” I say, “Hey, man, please don’t say that around me.” It’s a little declaration that this is not cool with me. I think you bring up an interesting point about that tension between what I feel like I should be doing versus what I feel like I need to do to fit in, and how lonely that can feel. If you’re in a situation and something is being done or said that doesn’t fly with you and you say something, you almost hope or assume there will be somebody else in the group who agrees. You hope he has the courage and strength to stand with you. Once you have another person, it’s far easier.

    Michael: So how do you raise a boy to navigate this world between good and real? What advice would you give to parents on raising a good man?

    Zachary: The first thing I’d say is beware of the birthday party effect. That’s the name that some psychologists have given to the phenomenon in which as kids get older, particularly when they hit puberty, parents and kids subconsciously begin to narrow the people invited to their children’s birthday party, by race and by gender.

    Michael: Up until fourth grade, there’s a rule you have to invite the entire class.

    Zachary: Encourage boys to cultivate cross-gender friendships — these friendships are so valuable. The second thing I’d say is, Don’t push your child into an activity that is stereotypically associated with their gender. If your son doesn’t want to play football, allow them the space and give them the confidence and trust to find their own path. If it’s ballet or tap dancing, I hope you’re as equally loving and involved a parent as if they were playing quarterback. The third thing I’d say has to do with role modeling. In our family, we never spoke about gender roles when I was younger because I grew up in a house where it was likely that I’d come home from school and see you doing laundry or the dishes.

    Michael: And I’m the family cook.

    Zachary: Because of the depth of love and respect between you and Mom, and the egalitarian nature of your relationship, we never needed to have a conversation about what men are expected to do or what women are expected to do. It’s just what I saw — my father is involved with me, he loves me, my mom has a career, she cares about work but she’s involved with me as well.

    Michael: So what would you say to men who are resistant to the idea that masculinity should change? How would you get them on board?

    Zachary: That’s the big question behind your work, and to a lesser extent, it’s my work as well. Your thesis is that a more holistic understanding of masculinity and a rejection of rigid, toxic masculinity — to use that term — is good for men. It helps in all facets of our lives and allows men to live the lives they really want to live.

    Michael: I couldn’t agree more. Look, men should support gender equality because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think it’s minimizing the moral imperative to say, “It’s also in your interest.” But I don’t think it’s easy to tell men we need to change masculinity, because men will experience this as if you’re saying, “Give up what has worked for you.”

    Zachary: Power, privilege, everything.

    Michael: It’s asking too much. Instead, you have to say, “You already are doing it; you just aren’t recognizing it.” Every single man is genetically connected to a woman. They know what it feels like to love a woman and want them to thrive. They’re fathers, sons, brothers, partners, lovers, friends, husbands. We need support from other men to act. When a guy says “I’m going to take parental leave,” his colleagues shouldn’t say, “I guess you’re not committed to your career, are you?” but “Good for you, man. You have your priorities straight.”

    Zachary: So much of it is about men holding our fellow men accountable. There was a football team in which a few players were accused of rape and the university said, “You can’t play in your bowl game.” Rather than support the woman or condemn their teammates, the rest of the team said, “We’re going to support the guys accused of rape.” Too often, we get caught up in notions of brotherhood or solidarity that are harmful to each other and harmful to ourselves.

    Michael: I want to push back a bit, because there are positive things about brotherhood.

    Zachary: I agree.

    Michael: Those brotherhoods in which you’re defending the wrong behavior — those are inauthentic. They ask you to put your own self aside in order to be a brother. I don’t think that’s being a good brother at all.

    Zachary: If you really are a brother, you have to say, “Hey man, this is not good for you. I wouldn’t do this.” You have to protect him.

    Michael: That’s right. A real brother says, “Dude, I love you, you are my brother. I’m not going to let you do this.” The close guy friends you have, the fact that they don’t compromise, they don’t ask you to compromise your friendships with girls, that’s great. This is a place where we older men can learn. Too often on college campuses at homecoming, I hear old grads say to the young guys, “You’re not hazing them hard enough! We made them do all this horrible stuff. You guys are wusses.” And the guys are like, “We’ve got to ramp it up here.” The dads should just let them find their own way.

    Zachary: I agree.

    Michael: I think this is a good place for us to end. Zack, any last words?

    Zachary: I wanted to say again that so many of the problems we see with men today can be solved by men holding their fellow men more accountable. Be the kind of brother who looks out for your fellow man.

    Michael: I want to add one piece to that. It’s not only about holding each other accountable; it’s about being willing to be held accountable ourselves. I’ve grown most from the challenges I’ve gotten from other men and from feminist women friends who said, “We need to talk about this.”

    Se vidare “Professor Amy Aronson Makes Strides with Emma Watson in Gender Equality.”

    Samt “‘Privilege is invisible to those who have it’: engaging men in workplace equality

    Too many men see ‘gender’ as synonymous with ‘women’ and this lack of interest is preventing workplace equality, says Prof Michael Kimmel.”

    “Turn up to any meeting on gender equality and the room will be full of women. Women talking to women about women.

    When it comes to advancing women in the workplace, one of the biggest hurdles is men’s lack of interest. According to American sociologist, Prof Michael Kimmel, men can’t see what the issue is. They don’t see the advantages conferred by their Y chromosome.

    ‘Privilege is invisible to those who have it.’

    Kimmel, author and distinguished professor of sociology and gender studies at New York’s Stony Brook University, was in Sydney recently to talk about how to engage more men in the discussion around gender equality at work.

    Privilege comes in a myriad of forms, including race, gender, wealth, physical fitness, safety, and educational attainment and indeed height. However, the people who have those things are usually unaware of their power and influence.

    ‘I am the generic person. I am a middle class white man. I have no race, no class, no gender. I am universally generalisable,’ says Kimmel.

    While white, middle class men may be oblivious to their inherited advantages, those who differ from the norm are always being made aware of their difference, whether it is because of the street harassment endured by young women or the fact that people with foreign-sounding names have to lodge more than 60% more applications to get hired as their Anglo-Celtic rivals.

    This obliviousness is often why men don’t turn up to workshops on gender equality and why there is such resistance to corrective mechanisms such as gender targets at work. Too many men still believe in the myth of the level playing field and that the word “gender” is another synonym for “women”.

    Kimmel, who has spent his career studying men and masculinity, says the absence of men in gender discussions is a problem.

    ‘We cannot fully empower women and girls without engaging boys and men. We know this to be true. The question is then, how do we get men engaged in this conversation?’, asks Kimmel.

    Make gender visible

    Obliviousness to gender is the first obstacle to recruiting men to the cause of gender equality, he says. “We have to make men aware that gender is as important to us as it is to women.”

    Men start comprehending the issues when they see women and girls that they love facing discrimination. When men become fathers of girls, they often become instant feminists, says Kimmel. And research suggests male CEOs with daughters run more socially responsible firms.

    Tackle resistance

    The second obstacle is men’s sense of entitlement, which leads to the resistance from those who believe handing over power means they lose, says Kimmel.

    “Without confronting men’s sense of entitlement, we will never understand why so many men resist gender equality. [It is] because we grew up thinking this is a level playing field and any policy that tilts it a little bit, we think it is reverse discrimination against us.

    “Let me be really clear. White men in Australia, North America and Europe are the beneficiaries of the single greatest affirmative action program in the history of the world. It is called the history of the world.”

    “These are all easily calculable labour costs,” he says. “What we know is not only is gender equality right and fair and just, but we also know that it is smart. That it is good business.”

    Men need to understand that gender equality does not mean they “get less of the pie”, but that the pie gets bigger. “It is not a zero sum game,” said Kimmel.

    Make it personal

    Men need convincing that gender equality is good for them on an individual level – and that can start with their home life.

    Kimmel points to research that shows when men share housework and childcare, their children do better at school, they have higher rates of achievement, lower rates of absenteeism, are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and childhood depression, less likely to see therapists and to be put on medication.

    At the same time, their wives are happier, healthier, less likely to go to a therapist or be put on prescription medication, less likely to be diagnosed with depression, more likely to go the gym and they report higher levels of marital satisfaction.

    When they do their fair share at home, men themselves are also happier and healthier. “They smoke less, they drink less, they take recreational drugs less often, they are more likely to go to doctors for routine screenings, but they are less likely to go to the emergency room, go to a therapist, take medication.”

    Focusing on the benefits of equality at home, says Kimmel, can be the start of changing attitudes to gender equality in the workplace, and everywhere else.”

  • k says:

    “Raising Feminist Sons: A Conversation With Michael And Zachary Kimmel”:

    Hugo Schwyzer spoke with legendary sociologist and author of the Guy’s Guide To Feminism, Michael Kimmel, and his son, Zachary, about being a male feminist, and how parents today can raise their sons to not fall victim to outdated gender stereotypes.

    It’s a scary time to raise a son. Even if one suspects (as I do) that the End of Men trope is heavily oversold, there’s no question that at least academically, boys today are falling behind relative to their female peers. Even as they struggle to keep up in school, guys are both more likely to be both the victims and perpetrators of most violent crimes. For those dads who remember our own troubled youths, the thought that our boys will go through what we went through makes us shudder. As I wrote this spring following the birth of my son, my great fear is that my “sweet little David will grow up to repeat his father’s cruelest—and most gendered—mistakes.”

    A few weeks after I wrote that column, I read this striking piece at Spark Summit by 13-year-old Zachary Kimmel. His was a name I instantly recognized. Zach’s father is Michael Kimmel, the legendary sociologist largely responsibility for developing the field of masculinity studies. Kimmel’s many books (his recent publications include the indispensable Guyland and the Guy’s Guide to Feminism) have influenced two generations of scholars and activists; I’ve often assigned his work in my own classes. Over the years, Michael has become a mentor to me as well, someone I’ve often turned to for professional advice.

    Zach’s article at Spark Summit was a powerful, honest look at the impact that images of sexualized perfection have had upon him and his peers. I was struck by the younger Kimmel’s articulate passion—and by his evident egalitarian commitments. As a feminist father newly faced with the overwhelming responsibility of raising a son, I wanted to hear from Michael about how he raised this remarkable young man. I also wanted to hear from Zach about what it was like to grow up as the son of one of America’s best-known male feminist activists.

    Given three hectic schedules, it took some time to arrange an interview. This past Sunday afternoon, I at last spoke to both Kimmels over Skype. I started by asking Michael about how he’d felt when he’d learned that he was going to have a son. The senior Kimmel noted that before he and his wife had learned that she was carrying a boy, they both hoped they’d have a girl. “In this culture, it’s a lot easier to raise a girl to be strong and confident than to raise a boy to be generous and loving,” he noted. Once they knew they were having a son, of course, they embraced the challenge with love and without regret.

    When Zach was born, Michael had the same experience I’ve had with the birth of each of my children. Friends and family, knowing our views and what we do for a living, repeatedly told us both that “now you’ll see that biology really is destiny.” Kimmel noted that people tend to presume expertise resting solely on their own experience, issuing sweeping generalizations about gender roles “based on a sample size of one or two.”

    Though the Kimmels never foisted feminist activism onto their son, since hitting his teens, Zach has increasingly embraced gender justice as part of his calling. Though he admitted that a lot of his eighth-grade peers don’t really understand feminism, Zach said they do mostly understand the problems of sexualization and perfectionism he wrote about in his Spark Summit piece. Michael pointed out that Zach also lives out his feminism in a less obvious way. Since he first started school, he’s had friends of both sexes. Even now, well into puberty, Zach maintains close friendships with girls as well as boys. “It’s difficult to dehumanize or objectify someone you know and like,” Michael argues, a point with which his son vigorously agrees. By consciously pushing back against the socialized mystification of the opposite sex, Zach is bridging the artificial but rigid gender divide. “It’s a lot easier for me to be friends with girls than it is for most of my friends,” the younger Kimmel says, lamenting the unnecessary “drama” and “misunderstanding” that characterizes too many cross-sex friendships in his middle school.

    When I asked about how things had changed for teen guys since Michael was his son’s age, the elder Kimmel brought up his son’s yearbook. In addition to several good female friends, Zach also has several wonderful male buddies. Last spring, one of the best of these signed Zach’s yearbook with an entirely un-ironic “I love you.” Michael and I laughed ruefully about how dangerous it would have been for any boy to have written that in another guy’s yearbook when we were 13; Zach averred that these displays of masculine devotion are “normal and accepted” in his school. As his father put it (echoing the recent excellent work of C.J. Pascoe), male homophobia has “disappeared so fast, it’s like it’s fallen off a cliff” within just the past decade.

    Zach pointed out that while boys his age have more freedom to show affection than his father and I did when we were young, guys today face pressures that were utterly foreign to those of us who came of age in the 1960s and ‘70s. As he wrote in his piece for Spark Summit, Zach and his peers are deeply impacted by our increasingly unrealistic beauty standards. It’s not just that young guys want girls who look like models, he says, it’s that girls expect guys to be dissatisfied with anything less than a physically perfect girlfriend. That breeds misunderstanding between the sexes, making the kind of cross-sex friendships that Zach considers so precious all the more challenging to maintain.

    We chatted too about the rapid drop in young men’s body image. When Michael and I were boys, the teenage male body was valued for its strength and its athletic ability. What mattered was how well you could throw a baseball or how fast you could run; whether you had a six-pack was utterly irrelevant. We envied jocks for what they could do rather than for their appearance. By contrast, Zach talked about his anxiety after seeing Taylor Lautner’s ripped torso in Twilight; the evening he came home from seeing the film, he did 100 rapid sit-ups. “My stomach hurt a lot the next day,” he admitted.

    When I asked Michael what made him proudest about Zach, he named his compassion, his happiness, and his strong conscience. He pointed out that he and his wife hadn’t raised their son to be a feminist advocate. “We wanted him to find his own interests,” Michael says, “but we also wanted him to have a strong moral compass.” The Kimmels are secular Jews; “we don’t have the religious faith that serves as a quick shorthand to determine right and wrong.” But feminism has served as part of that moral compass for Michael, and it increasingly informs how his son sees the world. “That wasn’t something we foisted on him,” Michael notes, “he’s chosen this for himself.”

    When I reversed the question, Zach volunteered that he admires his father’s ability to stand up to relentless criticism. “Hate mail motivates him…it’s amazing how he stands up it. It actually makes him work harder.”  Michael and I both chuckled when we heard this. In January, facing my own onslaught of hate mail in the midst of a controversy that promised to transform my career, I reached out to Michael for advice. (Not for the first time.) We’ve both been on the receiving end of criticism from men’s rights activists and, less often, from women in the feminist movement who worry that we’re “hogging the spotlight.” During the interview, Michael told Zach what he’d told me earlier: the kind of hate that gets directed at men like us is “the equivalent of a hangnail” compared to what women in the movement get on a far more consistent basis.

    As we wrapped up the interview, I took the opportunity to tell Zach how much his father’s support had meant to me recently. With Zach listening, Michael reiterated what he’d said to me in January about the role of feminism in men’s lives. While urging me to continue to teach women’s studies, he pointed out one of the many benefits that feminism provides to men is, as he put it, “a lens through which to look at past behavior.” Feminism, the elder Kimmel explains, offers men a unique opportunity to “re-theorize their past behavior,” seeing (often for the first time) how they’ve taken advantage of privilege in ways that were both sexist and abusive.  Returning to his theme of feminism as a secular moral system, Kimmel reminded both Zach and me that “forgiveness and redemption have to be part of the feminist process.” When it comes to dealing with the issue of troubled pasts, feminists should be “wary but ultimately accepting” of men who are doing this work.

    As fathers to sons, Michael and I are at least as concerned with prevention as with redemption. By encouraging our boys to understand that they are as capable of emotional depth and kindness as girls, by showing them by our actions that their male biology is not an impediment to empathy, we can raise up a generation of young men who won’t make the same kind of sexist and destructive mistakes for which so many in their fathers’ generation need to atone. That’s not just wishful thinking; it’s what Michael and Zach Kimmel are living out. As a dad to my beautiful four-month-old David, their example fills me with tremendous hope.”

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You are currently reading ‘Män, deras rätt och ingenting mer! Kvinnor, deras rätt och ingenting mindre!’… at reflektioner och speglingar - Alice Miller II....

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