Advocating for Ourselves
Zara Everly wrote an excellent piece on men and their compulsion to raise their own issues on posts about women’s issues, particularly safety. In it she says:
“Men need to stop complaining and start advocating for themselves and stop expecting women to”
And I started to think about all the different ways we have tried to do that and our varying success rates.
So first, we have the incels/MRA/MGTOW/red pill types. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t like to be all lumped together but I can’t see a distinguishable ideological difference. Some just seem to have some luck dating and others do not. I’ll not waste battery power talking about why this isn’t a great example of men advocating for themselves. However, they provide a stereotype for “men’s groups’” in the eyes of many.
You have things like the Mankind Project and a bunch of similar schemes which genuinely hope to make men better themselves in ways most would agree with. This is a good thing. Yet I’ve heard it dismissed it as a cult or a MRA initiative. I’ve seen people pick out quotes from their websites and advertisements and mock the idea of men needing such a group. These aren’t “pick me’s” (a really disgusting term btw). These are the progressive feminists!
We try to keep exclusive social areas where we can revel in our gay male culture. These should always be inclusive of all masc presenting people but I’m aware they’re not. But even when they are, we are told that isn’t good enough. It needs to be inclusive of women. A place where a cis woman could feel welcome.
We try to tailor exclusive therapeutic places for men (all men)to discuss trauma. Again, the lack of inclusion put paid to those ideas one way or another, usually through a withdrawal of support from funding committees.
Sure, as the power group we are, cis gay men, particularly cis gay white men, could put money together and fund our own initiatives which focus on gay men’s issues. But then that would mean withdrawing the (relatively little) we do for the wider queer community (as well as gender and race equality) to prioritize ourselves. We’re already criticized for that.
So I think, do people really want us to “advocate for ourselves”? Because society is sending us mixed messages.