ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

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feminism: a new wave

These can be frustrating and disillusioning times for feminists and other people focused on social liberation and progressiveness in social issues across the board, but especially group and identity issues along the lines of sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism, straightism, etc. I see all of these issues as being tightly linked: they all take very similar shapes, and people who fall into more than one marked category feel the hit from each one.

Anyway, I've been super excited to see a couple of Ted talks in the past couple of years that are men talking about the importance of feminism, recognizing that feminism is a movement that seeks to improve society for all members*, not just women, despite the name. I've linked to Tony Porter's talk in the past, but it pairs so wonderfully with the more recent talk by Jackson Katz that I wanted to include both.

Porter really focuses on the damage the patriarchy does to boys and men, how constraining the notion of masculinity is, and how harmful.

Katz delves beautifully into some of the complexities of groupism and discusses some of the psychology and group training that causes men to tune out conversations that they perceive as "women's issues", acknowledges the way that men get more credit, attention, and acclaim than women, and gives a brief overview of what he calls the bystander approach, whereby members of the unmarked group (in this case, men) raise the bar of expectations for all members by not letting problematic comments slide. He sees this as an issue of leadership and frames it fantastically well.

All told, these videos will take about 30 minutes of your time to watch or listen to, and I think they're completely worth it. In fact, I've watched them both multiple times, and I normally time out after about 3 minutes. Please share them far and wide; I'd love to see them get some play outside of The Bubble.

Violence & Silence: Jackson Katz

A Call to Men: Tony Porter

*Recognizing, of course, that many branches of feminism don't go a great job of being inclusive across other categories like race, class, etc, but I do see a general trend of increasing awareness in lots of those branches, over time.
Tags: activism, awesome people, feminism, life, men, people, recs, yes

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