Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Men included

“Healthy masculinity is  a collective journey.” “Men are human first.” We need to foster an environment wherein we all hold society and the people who create it accountable for a narrative in which men are “secure enough to make a mistake, courageous enough to be compassionate, fiercely egalitarian, powerful enough to empower others, strong enough to acknowledge that real strength comes from holding others up rather than pushing them down and that real freedom is not to be found in the loneliness of the log cabin but in the daily compromises of life in a community.”

We need to do this, not only because it is the right thing to do. It absolutely is the right thing to do -- we cannot leave such a huge portion of the population outside the scope of feminism. But there is a reason that is even more important, more compelling, than mere justice that mandates the inclusion of men within the mantle of feminism: humanity. Men are human, and if we don’t include their needs along the collective road to crafting a society that has love and compassion for all, then we aren’t really creating a loving supportive society for all, but only for most, or some, or those who have suffered enough, those who we deem worthy of being included. And that’s just not what feminism is about. Gender equality is about equality. And it’s available to everyone, all the time. It doesn’t have to be earned, and can’t be lost. That is the message, and we need to send it out into the universe with all the power we can muster, every day and in every action, in every room we inhabit, in every interaction from the laundry to the lunch counter. Men included.

Steven Botkin, “ Healthy Masculinity is a Collective Journey,” in Okun, Robert, ed. Voice Male, (Northampton: Interlink Books), 2014, p. 371, emphasis added.

Robert Jensen, “ Men Are Human First,” in Okun, Robert, ed. Voice Male, (Northampton: Interlink Books), 2014, p. 365, emphasis added.
Michael Kimmel, “ Democratic Manhood,” in Okun, Robert, ed. Voice Male, (Northampton: Interlink Books), 2014, p. 365.