After men like Louis C.K. and Joss Whedon turned out to not be the feminist allies they claimed to be, I started to get a little bit gun shy of any man who talks too much about feminism. I believe there are real male feminists out there, you for one, but I'm a lot more leery about it these days. There most definitely is a certain kind of guy who uses professed feminism as a cover to get himself more of what he wants in the same old entitled way. For the most part, I think it's largely subconscious, because as you said, they haven't allowed themselves to really do the work to deprogram from the system they've been steeped in.

Around the time of the George Floyd protests, I heard a lot of progressive white men complaining about all the attention that was being payed to the BLM movement, not because they are overtly racists - many see themselves as allies there as well, but because they are still strongly subconsciously plugged into the belief that the world should revolve around them. When called on this unbecomming jealousy that someone else's needs were finally starting to be considered and even acted upon, many of them lashed out. A bunch of my female friends noted and experieced this.

This is the same patriarchal, white supremacists, imperialist, capitalist mindset (what I refer to as the dominance hierarchy) that makes for faux male feminists. They want to be progressive, they want to be on the right side of history, but they are still deeply bought into the notion that if someone else gains, that means they have to lose something (which is what the dominance hierarchy has taught them). Doing the vulnerable work to confront all of this internally is difficult, which is why most of them don't actually really do it. I applaud you for undertaking it!

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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