In March, I was fortunate enough to interview Catherine Mayer twice about her new book, Attack of the 50ft Women, once for “Talks at Google” (video coming soon, hopefully) and once at Waterstones in Reading.
While chatting before the first event, we got onto the subject of feminist men, and how few there are. This is clearly something that bothers Catherine (and me) – for example, she mentioned how several men at events had asked her to sign a copy of the book, which turned out to be for their wives rather than themselves. I think Catherine may have hoped I’d have some insight into the issue, as a man myself. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say I had “insight” but I’ve been giving it a bit of thought and reflecting on my own experiences.
Privilege and empathy
I’ve previously written about being (somewhat) aware that I’m privileged. That awareness came through a lot of reading and contemplation. To some extent, this was only possible because of the privilege I enjoy. I’m not working two jobs, I don’t face micro-aggressions when I walk down the street, I don’t have to deal with racist abuse, and so on. I have time and space to read and think in peace.
On the other hand, not having faced significant prejudice, whether blatant or subtle, I can’t look at the problems many others face through the lens of related experiences. My good intentions will always have an aspect of patronizing voluntourism – I don’t have skin in the game in an obvious way. That puts me at bigger risk of messing up in both thought and speech – it’s all too easy to try to read an article and think “What would I do in that situation?” rather than trying hard to understand the people who are in that situation. I’m not alone in this – the most common examples seem to be people telling others how they “should” behave or feel after being raped or finding themselves in an abusive relationship.
So we end up with yet another problem: those who are possibly in the best place to understand the inequality of privilege are those who face it every day, but they’re simultaneously those who don’t have the luxury of reflecting on it and trying to understand (and counter) aspects of privilege over others they may enjoy. Catherine talks about this in the first chapter of Attack of the 50ft Women from various perspectives, including the continuing efforts to ensure the Women’s Equality Party reflect diverse experiences rather than being a club for white middle-class feminist women.
In a nutshell: empathy is hard. But it’s that empathy that I think we’re so badly missing, and I don’t know what to do about it. It’s an issue that extends in multiple directions, and not always the ones that liberals are happy to think about. For example, I voted Remain in the UK EU referendum, and I still find it hard to empathize with those who voted Leave. It’s easy to pigeon-hole people and make lazy assumptions, but that just leads to divisions along different lines. When those assumptions are then given voice, the feeling of “us” and “them” intensifies even further. It’s hard to stand up for your own beliefs while trying to understand the motives of those who oppose those beliefs. I hope we’ll make progress on this front in the next decade, or I dread to think where politics will go.
Better for everyone?
Beyond not understanding the inequalities of others, there may be selfish reasons for not trying to counter them. If men are in a position of privilege, don’t they stand to lose by campaigning against that privilege?
The idea that gender inequality is a problem for everyone is baked into the heart of the Women’s Equality Party – the “about” page for the party is very clear:
Equality for women isn’t a women’s issue. When women fulfil their potential, everyone benefits.
I believe this, wholeheartedly – but I can see arguments against it. If you’re a man already struggling to keep up in an industry which is male-dominated, I think you have some immediate reasons to fear women being given equal opportunities. You may phrase this to yourself as disliking the idea of women being “boosted up the career ladder solely for political correctness” or similar terminology assuming you’ll be discriminated against, and we can disagree about that – but I can certainly agree that for women to take an equal share of political and industrial power, some men will lose out in that specific aspect. To give one practical example: a male MP campaigning for more equal political representation needs to understand that they may lose their job if they’re successful.
The moral counter-argument is that just because something works out well for you doesn’t make it fair. But that’s not the case the Women’s Equality Party is trying to make, and it’s not the case I want to make either. (Just to be absolutely clear on this, I’m an enthusiastic member of the party, but not a spokesperson. Please don’t attribute any of my badly-thought-out arguments as being WE arguments.) Appealing to fairness is laudable, but an appeal to self-interest is likely to be more effective.
So if I may find myself further down the career ladder in a fairer world, what’s in it for me? In a nutshell, I want to live in a world with a thriving economy, the best politicians making the best arguments, the best journalism, and so on. My personal position in society and industry is only one part of what contributes to my well-being. I’m affected by how society harnesses the skills of everyone else, in every aspect of life. When we discriminate against sections of society (not just by gender, of course) their skills aren’t used as effectively.
At a more personal, household level, it’s easy to see why men might not want to consciously acknowledge all the extra household work women typically do: the obvious next step is trying to share that work more equally. I’m hypocritical here. Holly still does the bulk of the housework, particularly cooking and childcare. (There are other aspects where I’m more involved, such as organizing our finances, driving kids around, and laundry – but they don’t add up to as much as Holly does.) Again though, I think there are plenty of benefits to more equal parenting and general housework-sharing. Better father-child relationships, better partner relationships, more time to enjoy together, etc. And yes, I need to walk the walk here.
So yes, I can see that addressing inequalities will lead to localized downsides for men, but against a bigger picture of generally increased prosperity. In short, I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game.
Feminism and happiness
This is a topic I’d meant to write about for a while, but I think it makes sense to include it here. When I read about other people’s experiences of becoming feminists, they often contain a mixture of the sadness of being more aware of the inequality of the world and a feeling of empowerment and self-worth. There’s also a sense of community, of sisterhood. That’s entirely natural when most of those accounts are written by women. (I briefly brought this up with Catherine before the interview at Google, and she mentioned that feminism doesn’t make as many women happy as she’d expect or want. I’d like to hear more about that, and what can be done about it.)
Being a feminist doesn’t make me happy. There’s the same sadness of being more aware of inequality, along with the horror at having been the benefactor of that inequality. There’s the concern about complicity in patriarchal structures. There’s a feeling of impotence as you try to empathize and know that you’ll never really “get it”, along with the “pushing a boulder up a large hill” feeling of trying to be a tiny part of changing things. I don’t expect to feel like part of the sisterhood, although I will say that I’ve been warmly welcomed in general.
As Aaminah Khan wrote:
And once you start doing this, you can’t just stop, because even if you want to, you won’t be able to shut your eyes to reality once you’ve had them opened.
So it’s not like I wish I were back in a bubble where inequality seemed more abstract, far removed and over-stated. I’m not calling for feminist cookies to try to appeal to more men. We (men) just need to accept that sometimes doing the right thing – even doing something that will ultimately be beneficial to us – may not feel fun or empowering.
(It’s also worth noting that although some trolls will attack male feminists online, it’s generally nothing compared with the abuse women receive for posting feminist views. Fear of being such attacks may be stated as a reason for not being a vocal male feminist, but I don’t think it’s a good one, personally.)
Feminism as a term with many meanings
For a while I rejected the word “feminist” as one I’d apply to myself. I preferred the term “equalist”. This was a long time before I started deliberately trying to find out what feminism really entailed. I know that others have suggested that the Women’s Equality Party shouldn’t be as explicitly about gender equality, and more about equality of all forms.
For some people, the word “feminist” will conjure images of women who would rather men didn’t exist at all, or believe that all men are inherently awful. I can see how if that’s your idea of feminism, you wouldn’t want to be part of it.
There are feminists who believe men simply can’t be feminists – being a woman is part of their definition of being a feminist. If that’s the definition you work with and you’re a man, being a feminist isn’t even an option.
Language is important, and has been used to devalue people for a long time, so the meaning of the word “feminism” is important too… but I’m personally comfortable with different people using it in different ways. If a consensus starts to coalesce around a meaning that either excludes me or that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with, I’ll stop referring to myself as a feminist. Until then, I’ll keep using it, aware that in some contexts some more clarification (or even different word) may be needed.
So to summarize a few reasons men might not declare themselves to be feminists:
- Lots of men don’t feel they have an easy life either, and they don’t want to “waste” their time learning about the inequalities women face. (If their societal experiences have all been around claiming how there are no such inequalities anyway, why would they bother to even try?)
Fear that it’s against our self-interest. I can understand that fear, because it’s easy to see small-picture, concrete downsides compared with big-picture, abstract promises of a better world. (Again, it’s easier for me to not worry too much about the downsides as part of a comfortably-off family.)
Seeing that it doesn’t give the same person empowerment or self-worth boost that it can give women. (This isn’t so much of a reason not to be a feminist as the lack of an enticing reason to be a feminist.)
Some men may understand the word “feminist” as having negative or exclusionary connotations for men. Unfortunately I suspect that in some cases that may be enough to stop them from finding out more.
This post has just looked at some simplified aspects of a complex topic. It’s very much “armchair quarterbacking” – for a more nuanced, thoroughly-researched set of thoughts, I’d recommend Nikki van der Gaag’s “Feminism and Men”.
Finally, when Catherine signed my copy of Attack of the 50ft Women, she ended with “Now can you do more?” I’m not sure whether Catherine deliberately loads each conversation full of challenge as well as food for much thought, but it seems to have been the case so far when I’ve talked with her. I’m sure my answer to her question is “yes” but that doesn’t mean I know what it’ll look like. Maybe it will be something to do with making more men aware of feminism and gender inequality – only time will tell. I promise I’ll try.
20 thoughts on “Why aren’t more men feminists?”
Is feminism tied to egalitarianism or us there room for complimentarianism in the definition?
At the end of the day the fact that feminism is not clearly defined IS a huge reason people not directly impacted dont and really cannot care.
There are female empowering issues i support whole heartedly and others i’ll stand against with my every breath. Im sure im not alone, as you said something similar in this post regarding calling yourself a feminist.
Finding a least common denominator is probably a good start. It seems that has yet to be done!
To echo much of what Heeger notes: I don’t wear the label “feminist” (although I’ve tried it on for size). That doesn’t say anything about my views on policies on issues affecting women or other gender issues, but: I try to evaluate each topic individually and look at the context and data available for each. In some ways, there are so many intertwined issues here that it is unhelpful to simply adopt an over-arching label, and if anything it shuts down your ability to critically assess each topic in turn because the “feminist position” (according to tribe “X”) is “Y”. The reality is that the label “feminism” is very ambiguously defined and means very different things to different camps withing feminism. It is not one unified voice, and the “that women are people” t-shirt strapline trivialises a complex issue by presenting just one perspective (one that doesn’t even really do a good job of representing what the fight is about – a pithy but disingenuous distraction). I strongly suspect that we have remarkably similar views to you on most of the issues relevant to the topic. I’d rather discuss individual topics than worry about who does/doesn’t wear a particular label.
I’m an egalitarian. I absolutely believe in equal opportunity for all, and if somebody is being mistreated I will do something about it. But I don’t identify as a feminist because there are so people who do identify as feminists that have done (and continue to do!) Very Bad Things. My feelings are pretty well explained by http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/01/01/untitled/ (not my article). I can’t identify with a movement responsible for so much abuse.
Self-described feminists and similar activists tend to use their vocabulary and concepts as weapons (see also http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/) rather than to actually make things better for people. So for now, I’ll stick to dealing with individual issues and standing up for people regardless of their status.
1) Feminism is an ideology nowadays IN THE WEST.
2) Woman actually seek dominant males (evolutionary?)
3) Feminism is about womans relative place compared to man. It’s about their interests.
4) Feminism stigmatizes men.
To eat it up:
I can just feel sorry for jon being a stigmatized feminist, enslaving himself to interests of a group he never counts to, while they don’t really want him, but rather a stronger dominant male.
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Needless to say, I completely disagree. I’m not enslaved, I’m not stigmatized, and I’ve been welcomed by feminists.
I have absolutely no desire to be “dominant”.
Two reasons: first, a lot of men don’t know the difference between “equity feminism” and “gender feminism” and second, women (feminists) will sacrifice innocent men to further their cause. That’s not “justice,” it’s tyranny. When tyranny is “legal,” then enemies are created. Just the cold hard truth.
Maybe if feminism was not conflicted in what it actually wants, equality, fairness or superiority for women, people could take a clear decision.
As a anti-feminist man, I sympathize a bit with the feminist men who regularly get insulted because they are not women and can never fully understand why women behave they way they do. Just read what was Patty Jenkins’ (director of Wonder Woman) response to James Cameron over his criticism of the Wonder Woman film. I feel that feminist men are, have always been and will always be second class citizens in the feminist movement who will always have to be apologetic for their gender, time and again, whenever they disagree with a feminist woman. They are perpetually walking on the knife’s edge. All their actions and words need to be certified of feminism by Huffington Post, prominent feminist overlords and other news channels.
You can be as feminist as possible throughout your life, still a moment might come when you will be shown your place in the feminist movement because of your gender.
Seeing all this, I am fine, actually feel great being an anti-feminist. I am all more true gender equality and fairness, but if you called me a feminist you can expect payback. You can call me misogynist, rapist, sexist, whatever you want, please don’t call me feminist.
On a side note, Jon Skeet.. What a legend. I could only wish to be a master of languages as you are.. I wish you were not a feminist, but it is OK. Your opinions don’t undermine your greatness.
Why Women Don’t Deserve Equal Pay for Equal Work
Does that title shock you? Good. Before explaining, let me tell you a short story:
As a young man I visited Eastern Europe under communism. Among the incessant whispered offers to exchange money on the black market, whispered conversations held in fear of being turned in to secret police, etc., I vividly remember being tired and famished from my travels and stopping at a hotel restaurant for lunch. As I waited two hours to be served, I realized that neither the waiters who stood around chatting with each nor the cooks in the kitchen had any particular incentive to serve anyone. Under that system, a cook gets a cook’s salary, a waiter gets a waiter’s. The innate human drive to earn reward with effort, to excel, to improve, to strive had been sucked out of the society. Overwhelmingly, people who have not actually experienced life under such ideals tend to be the ones enamored with Leftist ideas.
So what does this have to do with “Equal Pay for Equal Work?” That Leftist soundbite hides a false premise akin to “Have you stopped cheating on your taxes?” Such soundbites are crafted so that anyone who disagrees with them would seem to be in favor of kitten murder. They are contrived to convince the gullible that if you are not on board, you must be horrible human being. The lie is that there is no such thing as “equal work.” Forget women, forget ethnicity — no two white men automatically deserve equal pay based on a job label and years of experience. People are much more than mere labels; they differ in talent, in temperament, and in myriad other ways. White Man A may be more of a go-getter, offering ideas to improve the work environment, while White Man B does merely what he’s told. Or let’s say for the sake of argument that White Man A and White Man B are truly identical in all ways. One works for Company A and the other for Company B. Company A needs to fill another identical position — in fact the longer they don’t fill the position, the more money they are losing. So they offer a higher salary and a signing bonus to lure White Man B over to Company A. Now we have a situation that at Company A, the two mythical identical White Men are payed disparately even though they are identical even down to years of experience!
If Company A is at all desirable to work for, some Leftist rabble rousers may come knocking for statistics. In this case, no one will care because White Man A and White Man B are white. But what if Man A was black? Ah, then sinister things must be afoot! If there is no obvious reason for the statistics, then it must be — unconscious bias! Another Leftist meme actually discrited in the psychology literature, but don’t tell the public that, as it doesn’t fit the narrative. In either case this injustice must surely be rectified!
Actually no, it doesn’t — because it’s not an injustice — nor should it be rectified. What happens if we enforce that a Worker 5 position with X years of experience gets Y salary, so that no one feels upset? Well in this case, there would be no incentive for Worker B to leave Company B, Company A has a harder time filling their vacancy, wages will be depressed as competition is stifled, etc. The bottom line is that Leftist ideas sound good but are an abomination whenever implemented.
For example I read the link about “ally” vs “knight”, and that’s another load of well-intentioned garbage. Forcing men to be constantly in their heads about how to talk to women at work, how to interact with them in meetings, etc., will result in men just avoiding dealing with women in the office to the extent possible. Such well-intentioned ideas will backfire.
So then about women in tech specifically, here’s another story. My son has two friends who are brother and sister. The three of them went to a coding school to check it out. After a short time there, the girl turned to her mom and said, “Mom, I don’t like this place.” Computers just didn’t grab her attention. Meanwhile the two boys loved it and have been happily coding ever since. The school is overwhelmingly attended by white and Asian teenage boys — which happens to be the same demographic that really likes computers. Those teenagers will go on to study computer science in college while filling their spare time with even more computing in the form of videogames. That demographic will then become the hiring pool that tech companies draw from, which is exactly why one would then expect tech company software folks to skew heavily to white and Asian males. It is grossly unfair to shake down those companies based on demographic statistics, and it is also unfair to either expect or applaud them to take forceful action to “remedy” something that is not an injustice and something they had nothing do to with. They deserve the ability to hire the most qualified applicants, which are the kids who for whatever reason got completely hooked on computers and thus voluntarily spent the thousands of hours in front of said computers which are required to become good. If you can encourage young girls to be more interested in computing, fine, but good luck. They are not as interested as boys are, they never will be, and that’s no one’s fault. Your soul-crushing Leftist ideologies are not the solution; ironically they are anti-diversity in the real sense of taking a nuanced mix of many flavors and spices and rendering them a bland mush wherein nothing is allowed to stand out. Ruling by statistics is simply inhuman — we are much more than that.
I agree a lot with what you have to say, and even more so because such fundamental truths seem to be ignored by all the ‘bell-ringers’. This ignored truth causes a dishonesty to enter into the discussion. In fact, there are more basic truths that most feminists simply refuse to accept as reality no matter how true they are. I won’t bother to bring up those points, arguing with a fool only makes you look like a fool.
Anyway, my point is this: Sexism and more specifically favoritism exists everywhere, every century on earth. This basic force of humanity displays itself in racism and sexism, but is by no means limited to it. More could always be done to help improve the situation, but that comes from enlightenment not from laws. Enlightenment comes partially from education, but more importantly from building relationships. In all our testing in schools and drive for STEM and other scientific knowledge we have forgotten about humanity.
I used to be a male feminist. My mother cheated with multiple men on my cuck father who was out to sea on navy ship she manipulated him to go on. He didnt want to leave his child, but she wanted navy money, so he went. From 95 to 98 when i graduated high school. Had sex with 1 loose girl in 97 who did it to prove to her square boyfriend that she was an independent women. A week later he beat the shit out of me for helping her express her liberation while i loved her, and never even knew about him. Her name was Elizabeth and she loved, boys and girls. I joined ARMY in 2001 JANUARY. During AIT i helped a wife to a clueless cuck back home blindly supporting her 2 bastard children from another mans sperm. He was happy in his love while i had my first orgasm wearing a condom. That feminist rode me like a stolen horse. I really liked her, even before the sex. I found out later she was married to a school teacher and cheated in a hotel room with another guy that she was originally gonna cheat with (he paid for the room) but sent him on an errand before cheating with him so she could cheat with me first! I guess im special, or an appetizer to an opressed women. In 2008 i started a bachelor degree in social work because i was a feminist. I thought that even becuz the economy was garbage and that i as a white, heterosexual male(which i was brainwashed to belive was the problem) would be a shoo in into a predominantly gay and female profession. You know, for diversity, to make things equal….WRONG! My college social work colleague girlfriend by my junior year had 2 abortions by the time i met her in in her sophomore drop out year. Which i had never had unprotected sex becuz it wasnt smart. 6 months later, she was arrested for felony trafficking of cocaine, a drug as far as i knew she didnt do. She apparently lied to me about visiting her sick aunt and instead got caught with quarter once up her hoo ha. She claimed she did it for a jerk she was cheating on me with. That was 5 yrs ago…and she still shares a bed with him and yes he still beats her,, or somebody does cuz she’s always beat up.. I took a year off after that, of course i blamed myself because thats what male feminists do. We want to be heroes and help women but unless we love dick, we must blame ourselves for their plight. My last shot at love ended up being my math tutor. I was 32 yr old senior and a half and she was uber smart 21 yr old senior. We dated for 7 months. And all we did was suck face and id finger her. Thats 5 months of fingering btw. I would literally be dragging the penis across her slippery lips and upon insertion inside she would scream out no and push my erection away. So after 5 months of blue balls we took a break. I went home to the mountains of Appalachia and camped under the stars next to a river to better understand myself and my place as a gentle man in a harsh society that mistreats women. 6 days later, with open eyes and a full heart, i found out from a mentally challenged 42 year old man child that he had furious sex with my girlfriend in a hot tub after hours at campus ridge apts, literally 30 feet from my appt. So after bouncing his ass out of the parking lot, i called Alexandria and warned her about the crazy potential sexual offender that boasted of disgusting pornographicly plotted tales of him and her. I mean we both volunteered at the adult day center for adults at risk for abuse. Maybe one escaped! …. No. While i was scorning myself for 6 days over my white male privelege, she was riding retarded cock in a hot tub not 30 feet from my room. SO NO! There can be no males feminists, only self hating men that are are either ignorant or delusional into believing that women seek equality. WRONG. They want the power of alpha males. 97 percent of male feminists that ARE TRUE not secretly vieing for poon, are beta males. Despite ravings about wanting nice honest guys, desperately want to be mistreated by cavemen. …its so messed up but im naturally a nice guy. I want to make girls happy. So i have to study conferences on how to be a dick to women, how to be acontolling, selfish, alpha male. Its sickening but the more girls cant have u because of ur relationship status or the worse u treat them the more they want to have ur children. ILLOGICAL AND DEPRAVED are women. They don’t know what they want and will castrate you for trying to make them happy. Be like me. Be a confident dick. Get laid. MGTOW
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MGTOW here brother your post I resonate with
Wow, what a tale! But I would still put a note of caution on the ‘MGTOW’ thing. Yes, Tom Leykis is 100% correct, and if you are looking to get laid, that approach works by playing on female psychology. Only you can decide if it’s a satisfying approach to relationships. But I think the reason it works is that women like a man who is confident, and being a jerk implies confidence. But you can also be confident and independent without being a jerk, and it may select better women (i.e. with more self-esteem) and/or make for better experiences. As in all things, there is an optimum balance.
The truth is that men and women are very different. I’ve come to the conclusion that while women like to look down on men as immature (because we like things like Monty Python and XBox), the reality appears to be that their development stops in a rather child-like state, and real maturity is difficult for them to attain. As Chris Rock has observed, if you looked at a transcript of things his wife, daughter, or grandmother said, you wouldn’t be able to tell who said what. My hypothesis is that testosterone is responsible for continued brain maturity and levels of self-awareness and enlightenment that simply don’t come easily to women. Competitiveness — a male trait if ever there was one — extends to competing with oneself to improve mentally and spiritually, not just physically. So think of a woman as someone ruled by her inner 5 year old, whose thought process begins and mostly ends with “What do I want right now?” and some degree of foot-stamping when it doesn’t happen, and you’ll explain most female behavior. Of course there are exceptions, but reality is what it is despite the fantasies of leftists and feminists.
In any case, Mr. Skeet need look no further than the source of his own fame, StackOverflow. As an open community, there is no barrier to women, no “unconscious bias” or other nonsensical claims of exclusion, and what is the result? It overwhelmingly skews male. The only “female” I could find in the top 100 rankings is a transgender person named Amber — in other words a person possessing a male brain. The male brain is competitive and enjoys things like computer algorithms, and this same demographic would — and should — in a fair world be the same demographic at any top tech company. But the feministas shake down these companies or sucker leftist CEOs into believing it’s somehow their fault that the talent in this field skews heavily male. It’s not, and you can give all the toy trucks and robotic gadgets you want to your little daughters, and it will change nothing.
So I can hardly think of a bigger waste of time than being a male feminist, and in fact such ‘movements’ will invariably create backlash because they are power grabs based on falsehoods, parading around in their invisibly finery like the naked Emperor. This is something the Left in general doesn’t understand at all.
Needless to say, I completely disagree… I’ve kept your comment as it’s just short of being too offensive to publish, but the “inner 5 year old” part comes remarkably close.
As ever, the comments on any post on feminism show why feminism is so necessary…
Kudo’s to you for leaving up contrasting ideas. However, why do you only respond to the low hanging posts and ignore ones that try to actually come to a better definition of terms? It leaves me feeling that you enjoy being a male feminist in name and don’t want to truly address the concepts that define the problem which are needed for better communication of the core reality of the ideas swirling around this topic…
I posted other responses, but I have no clue what my other login is. Not trying to be duplicitous.
I have very limited time, and the point at which comments are posted is often not a time that I have to respond. If you choose to think that means I’m a feminist in name only, that’s your choice, and of course I disagree. I would reflect that comments on blog posts rarely change people’s minds, and often generate more heat than light.
The very label “feminism” needs to change to be more neutral and inclusive of EVERYONE.
Humans are not only feminine, we are BOTH feminine and masculine.
Feminism comes across as a very discriminatory, biased and one-sided movement and alienates the vast majority of people.
CHANGE begins with the individual and NOT the collective!
Jon, thank you for your wonderful article! People like you give me hope that some day I can stop hiding the fact that I’m a woman behind a neutral nickname on Stackoverflow without negative repercussions.
Let’s not kid ourselves – the world isn’t a fair place.
I often feel that being a “white male brit” puts me in a position of inequality and is a disadvantage.
Others around me but not in my position “socially” it seems are better heard when they have something to say, it’s that scenario you posit about women in technology (a male dominated industry) being pushed up the ladder for political correctness but applied to every day life.
I notice a general pattern for this type of thing … for example, if you point out that someone is black, as a white man you’re being racist but at any given point in a normal discussion a black person will just throw in the odd “is it because I am black?” … and i’m blown away by that thinking … “that hadn’t crossed my mind … but now that I think about it … a white person would have not even attempted to bring the social status quo in to the conversation”.
So I ask you …
Who’s really in an inequality situation today in our PC focused way of life where whole communities of our major cities are taken over by foreign nationals and we stand by and accept it for fear of being called “…ist” or “having an ism”?
I’d strongly suggest reading “Everyday Sexism” and “Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race”. Both address this sort of question pretty robustly, IMO – better than I could.