Sunday, December 09, 2007

The People's Front of Judea lives!

This is why I can never find any time to blog about the serious issues of the day:

Laban led me to Stroppy's, where (via this recommendation) I discovered the London Pro-Feminist Men's Group blog.

There isn't a great deal on there yet, but the minutes of the group's second meeting on 15th November (present: Daniel, David and Jon) whetted my appetite for more:

Why use the term pro-feminist?

We discussed the idea of feminism as a movement of women to emancipate women from patriarchy and that men who support this should call themselves pro-feminist not feminist as they cannot know what it is to be an embodied socialised woman fighting against sexism. The alternative viewpoint argues that anyone who is against patriarchy (which includes people of all genders) should call themselves feminist. One person suggested that regardless of which you thought was the correct approach, calling ourselves pro-feminists has the advantage that it is less likely to antagonise existing feminists against us. None of us had a problem with the term pro-feminist and there was broad agreement with the first of these two basic ideas about using the term pro-feminist rather than feminist man or male feminist.
Phew. At least they got that settled. Now onto the difficult stuff:
We agreed that the group is undoubtedly going to be in tricky territory when it comes to discussing men and gender and there’s a strong temptation to pick our way carefully through this terrain in an intellectual way.
I'm just guessing here, but I'd venture to suggest that a surfeit of intellect will be the least of their problems.
We agreed that it’s important to develop a level of trust between group members so we can talk about how we feel about these issues and say things that might be controversial or sound silly and feel safe doing so.
Well, if they are worried about sounding silly, they're probably not best advised to publish their ruminations on the web...
We mentioned the fact that a small group isn’t such a bad thing but that 3 people was probably too few.
Or three too many?
We discussed the possibility of trying to attract more men through some kind of social event, possibly a film and discussion or something.
Aha! This is how they suck you in: they lure you along to a free showing of Die Hard, and then brainwash you into believing that it is a manifestation of patriarchal cultural imperialism. Cunning.

Next up is the agenda for the next meeting:
... a general discussion on the topic of fathers.
Now I'm interested...
Some of the questions we might talk about include: did you have a father? - if not, what was that like? What was your relationship with your father, what did they teach you about how to be, as a man? How did patriarchy and sexism operate in your family? What is your relationship with your father now? What did you learn from him, what would you like to teach/give him? If you are a father, in your own parenting what are the mistakes he made that you're avoiding, which ones are you repeating? What are the challenges for fathers now, and the obstacles to sharing parenting and housework equally? How can non-fathers support fathers, and mothers?
So many questions, yet no mention of disenfranchised dads like myself?

Somehow, I suspect I'd be about as welcome as a tramp at a garden party; but I might be tempted to go along just for the entertainment value.

Actually, no: I'd sooner stay at home and drink my own whiz than endure the company of these feeble-minded guilt-trippers.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I think you should go along and then tell us about it!

Deadbeat Dad said...

Not even in the cause of entertaining you, Welshcakes! Life is just too short.

Besides, I had enough of this kind of thing when I was in higher education.