Woman is to feminism as man is to __________?

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I'm a young, childless widow who is trying to figure out the best way to deal with the world in light of my late husband's suicide. It's harder than I ever imagined it would be, but somehow at the same time I am still alive and even happy sometimes.

13 thoughts on “Question”

  1. Since patriarchal societies are kind of (to way, way generalize) the default of most human civilizations in most of recorded history, it doesn’t really need a name … Though I think “feminism” implies an egalitarianism between m/w that the Patriarchy doesn’t. I know so many male feminists, anyway, that I think — now that I’m thinking about it — “Woman is to feminism as man is to feminism.” Both men and women can believe in equal honor & opportunity for women. By celebrating others as our equals, we’re celebrating ourselves, too. VOTES FOR WOMEN!!!


    1. Yeah, I know that patriarchy has been the norm, and that feminism came from women not wanting to put up with that BS anymore. BUT I think that in the interest of equal human rights, isn’t it kind of sexist for there to be a word for women’s rights, but not one for men’s? Because it frankly annoys me that there’s such a focus on WOMEN’s equal rights – shouldn’t we be focused on EVERYone having equal rights? Obviously men can and should be feminists, but women also can and should be supporters of men’s rights as much as they support ours.

      Just saying. Yes, men have traditionally been more oppressors than oppressed (when you break people down into two genders). But it seems that society’s definition of “man” can be just as screwed up and hard to emulate for men as society’s definition of “woman” is for women. If that makes any sense.

      It just seems to me that it’s easy to get all huffy about women’s rights, but it’s still almost taboo and weird for men to be effeminate and anything other than the masculine stereotype they’re told that they’re supposed to be.


  2. Yeah, I guess I was trying to say that feminism is about everybody’s rights being equal, not about women’s rights being awesomer than men’s rights. Since men’s rights in general aren’t that threatened, feminism is about bringing women’s up there with everyone else’s. Same for gay rights & the rights of the disabled, etc. I don’t think any one category of “______ rights” is exclusively about that group getting any “better” rights than any other group.

    It’s easy to get huffy about women’s rights probably because they’ve been around for a comparatively short time & are trickling into some subcultures really slowly (and still don’t exist in lots of places), but men have had the freedom to be (almost) anything they want to be for way longer. Gayness an obvious exception. Totally a reason to celebrate burgeoning gay/queer/trans visibility & rights.

    Am I just typing a bunch of stuff everybody already knows? Or am I disagreeing with anyone? Not sure.

    So you’re wondering about a term to celebrate masculine stereotype-busting. (Rather than rights/civil liberties/whatever.) That is a great question. You could make one up: New Masculinity. I would be one.


  3. Just realized, here, that “machismo” is the set term, while “masculinity” is the fluid one, like “femininity”—always changing. “ the change you wish to see in the world.”


    1. Hm, good point there.

      Funny thing – I find that I can generally agree with lots of what people say as long as we can go back and carefully define every term. 🙂 Which is to say, seems like a ton of disagreements come from poorly defined terms and bad communication.


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