On Feminism by a heterosexual white male
Yup. That's what I am.
So feminism you say? Quite the hot topic with many people--identity markers always cause debate. That tag basically means to me that the person--male or female--thinks that gender inequalities must change. Women have been historically oppressed through a male patriarchical system. I can agree with that--but I think great strides and changes have been made say between the begining of the 20th century and today. But what do I know? According to Paulo Freire in "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," I will never know until I am oppressed. And through this I will never be able to truly enact change--I'll only be in false solidarity with my oppressed sisters.
So where does that leave the ol' fraternity of white heterosexual males eh? Or as I'll call it from now on--WHiM's.
If we can't fix it--then it's up to the oppressed to open eyes and become the change they truly want. Now enter feminist filmmakers...their creation of a new way to use a medium that has been established for nearly a century is a great start. A film that reverses the gaze, whether or not the director considers him or herself feminist, is a feminist film. Feminism is just a tag. You could call them Neo-filmists for all I care. Words will carry meaning and with time they always change.
A caution to all aspiring feminists out there--don't be a Mulvey. You don't win people over telling them that men endeavor to find the penis in women and that men think women are out to castrate them. Freud can take a hike on that one too. Pardon my English, but those ideas are a load of crap and I think that most people would tend to agree with me.
Also, men aren't meeting together in secret rooms to plot how to keep women down, "Oh man. Guys seriously if women find out about this heterosexual patriarchy thing--we're screwed. Let's keep 'em in the home." It's just the way society has developed. Maybe I grew up in a open minded home, maybe the fact that I have three sisters and no brother affects my denouncement of the ideas that basically call white heterosexual men the bane of our existance. But it's time to recognize that it's not a war. War denotes violence and violence begets violence. Education is the only way to change ideas and education first and foremost starts in the home. So start now--well maybe not your family, but your ideas of how society should be. Then when you have a family, teach them and show them how to act and think in society.
Oh and if you want a read that may get your blood boiling or reinforce your beliefs, check this essay out--
"What's Wrong with Women's Lib" by Phyllis Schlafly