This was posted by Exposing Feminism at antimisandry.com. I responded to it there, but felt the need to address it further.
A sincere apology …
January 18, 2008, 8:54 pm
I know I said I won’t be posting much, but the fact is that I need to apologize. It’s been less than a week since school is back in session, and I’ve already been challenged to look at my world from a different lense. For that, I am thankful. The apology note is below.
I feel the need to apologize to all who’ve been on this blog during the past few months. It’s all my fault.
I am not making any excuses for it, but I will say this: I failed to see things from your perspetives and paradigms, and I am wrong for it. I wasn’t wrong because I didn’t see it, but because I refused to take the time to see it.
Instead of being critical at myself and my own belief systems, I became critical of the knowlege and claims of radical feminism. I held my “truth” and “values” as the only ones that could be correct, and as a privileged male, doing so only furthered my patriarchy. I took the advice to ”listen to women” as meaning “submit to women,” while all along, it simply means to learn from women’s voices and experiences.
In doing so, I leaned further to the other side of the line - the one that I’d been a part of all my life. In doing so, I moved further from feminism, and deeper into the patriarchy. For that, I apologize.
The words I use and the jobs I take, while I can justify them with the way I view the world, take on a whole different meaning for women. Rather than trying to see things from women’s perspectives, I was defiant and defended my own perspective. My shots at radical feminism was based on my lack of understanding of untapped knowlege and experiences. My attack on radical feminsm was based on on the male lense, the lense of the oppressor, rather than the oppressed.
From my vantage point, I don’t see everything. I see very little because in belonging to the class that rules, rather than the one being subjugated, I DID NOT need to see a lot. I was wrong.
To truly be effective in feminism, I must not only have the values and the convictions, but also the knowlege of women’s experiences. Too often, I’ve neglected those stories and experiences when they are told to me, because in my world, individual stories are written off as meaningless. They are written off as being useless in the fight for power and control.
Know that while my convictions and values were there, my practice was not, and most of the time, it was an unconscious decision. Most of the time, it was based on my “intuition” and “instincts,” the majority of which was socially constructed based on male power.
As such, I strive to do better in the future …to share less and listen more. The paths to social activism starts with the values and convictions that all are equal, but without the knowlege of what or how to best serve women, then said values and convictions are useless.
I am working on that knowlege and I will continue to do so. Sometimes, all I need is a dose of reality - a talking-to by a feminist mentor, for me to see what I’ve done wrong.
Perhaps that’s what scares me the most …what the hell do I do when I am out of college and there are no professors for me to call and ask the critical questions? What the hell do I do when I don’t know what’s best for women? Do my professors hold all the answers, or do individual experiences of individual women matter more? Those are the questions I am still trying to answer, and in coming back to the women’s studies program this semester, I hope to answer those questions.
PFM has, on the occasion, dared to question the all-encompassing suffering endured by women. At some point, he disagreed on one level or another with the alleged perpetual victimization of women at the hands of men. Needless to say, this didn't sit well with the radical feminists and now he's seeking to make amends for his audacity (which can surely be blamed on those evil man genes of his).
Obviously, Mr. Profeministmale is of the 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' persuasion. Reading this, one has to ask, but at what cost? Apparently, one's dignity is sacrificed, and the casual observer would think that surely an admission such as we see above would earn PFM a position of respect amongst the feminists. Not so. Observe the response by one of his feminist readers,
1. Since you saw “listening to women” as meaning “submiting to women” and in light of your other comments, you are clearly not a pro-feminist male. Perhaps one day you will become one, but you are not one now. You may consider the appropriateness of referring to yourself with that label.
2. Don’t worry about deciding “what is best for women.” We do not need our oppressors deciding what is best for us, lest of all a member of the oppressor class who is still so committed to furthering patriarchy.
3. If you are upset that I am not giving you a cookie for apologizing, then you are advised to read your post again and consider what may be fueling your reaction.
Sorry, buddy. Simply by being a man, you're relegated to the position of oppressor. Maybe you didn't read that in the fine print when you decided to side with the feminists. Maybe, when you decided to sacrifice your sense of dignity and self-worth, they should have told you that it would never be enough, that YOU would never be enough. Unless you can somehow become a woman, you will always be part of the patriarchy.
I imagine our aspiring feminist friend is a nice guy. I'm sure he thought he was doing a great and noble thing, trying to empathize with the plight of women and all they've suffered at the hands of his horrible gender. What he doesn't realize is that A)it's largely based on lies and half truths and B) they will never accept him. To the radical feminists he seeks to befriend, he will always be a potential rapist, a potential abuser, molester, cheater....in short, he will always be a man.
I honestly couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor guy. He was obviously completely deluded and brain-washed. I wanted to somehow get through to him that he shouldn't have to spend the rest of his life trying to make amends for nothing more than being born a man, so I posted the following comment on his blog,
Do you really believe what you just wrote? Women are subjugated? Men are vile oppressors? You and every other man out there are not responsible for the bad actions of a few. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life trying to make amends for crimes you didn’t commit and things you didn’t do.
You’ve obviously spent too much time listening to the radical feminists because they’ve got you convinced that by virtue of your gender you are responsible for this terrible “oppression” women are supposed to be under.
Western women are not oppressed. They are the opposite of oppressed. All of society bends over backwards to appease, empower and make excuses for them.
If you’re interested in being a kind, compassionate individual, get out there and help those truly oppressed and in need, like the homeless, the destitute, those that are sick, old and alone. Your time would be far better served than wasting it apologizing for things you didn’t do to people who judge you, not by the caliber of your character or merits of your actions, but by your gender.
You might have noticed if you clicked on the link above that my comment is missing. Yes, PFM deleted my comment. Comments are not moderated, so it isn't that he just didn't approve it, he actually went in and deleted it. It seems ridiculous to me, after all, I wasn't rude or verbally abusive. I didn't yell or scream or lodge personal attacks. What I did was I stated the truth...and for people immersed in lies and perversion of truth, there are few things worse to hear then the truth. For feminists, the truth destroys the entire foundation their beliefs are based on, which is why they do everything they can not to have to face it.
I'm sure PFM believes himself to be an enlightened man, but that's really a commentary on today's society. I can think of few things more telling then when ignorance and perversion of truth are perceived as forward thinking and enlightenment.