For my project I am going to be investigating a topic that is very relevant to me and has been a question of mine since deciding to declare Women's Studies (here, adding the categories of Gender and Sexuality as well, since all seem to be intertwined) as my additional major. What place do men have in feminism/Feminism? Are men just "allies" to a movement or is the male feminist, the male activist feminist, and the Male Feminist equal players in their own right. How do these men, in particular white males of privilege, recognize their privilege power and do they attempt to rid themselves of this power, or "use it to an advantage" to try to "establish equality through the use of their privilege." If it is the latter, is such support even wanted?
Looking at the the history of male involvement in feminism in the early period (1920-1960s), then male involvement from the 1970s-1990s will be the start of my paper, trying to answer some of the questions outlined above. I'll then move into the male counter-feminism movements and also female feminists "against male involvement." I'd like to then conclude by looking at male feminist groups formed from 1990-2009, including campus groups, such as those formed by my friends in Duluth and end by tying everything together by "looking into the future" of the role of men in feminism, and determining in the future how gender roles will change. Somehow I'd like to tie the GLBTQ movement into this, but am unsure at this point how to go about doing so.
I intend to read about 5 books, by various female and male feminists who analyze quite thoroughly the roles men play in feminism overall. My goal is also to find early journals, diaries, or feminist publications and to search through them for references to men, and to power. I'm also going to reference active blogs and journals, interview two men in Duluth: one who formed a campus group and another who is the director of the Safe Haven Women's Shelter, and also try to interview Women's Studies and GWSS professors and ask about what role they think men have, and what they think of the field of "Men's Studies." The final product will be a 25-page research paper, but perhaps a 20 page paper with a 5-10 minute video.