By Alice Jardine
The 1st mammoth try and produce a discussion among feminists and their male allies, this number of essays assesses the advantages or hazards of male participation in feminism.
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Extra info for Men in Feminism
The question brings us back to the impossible relation of men to feminism, that relation only as a possible future, and to the recognition of male feminism as today a contradiction in terms, but then necessary as that, necessary for men to live as such. Perhaps in the end all one can say, 30 Men in Feminism indicating the core reality of male feminism, is what Irigaray says as so many others have said, part of the political consciousness of feminism: “I will never be in a man’s place, a man will never be in mine.
I think it is, and at best, despite the difficulties of the terms; not meaning by that to exclude shared actions and relations, simply saying that feminism has decentered men, something else they must learn, and that that means that there is no simple position, only a shifting marginalism, a new individualism in the sense that collective identity of men is no longer available (no longer available once you listen and respond to feminism). This, again, is not tragic (not to be lived as loss, along the “if-only-I-were-a-woman-I-would-have-an-authenticidentity” lines), just a fact of life (of life politically, listening and responding to feminism).
But generally, Alice’s statements appeared to me as a familiar, though kindly, representation of the sort of suspicion which female feminists often have of male feminists; thus they produced in me an overdetermined repetition of a fear—precisely, the fear of being excluded—and a desire to vindicate myself in relation to the other’s demands. Even though Alice speaks of me and other men as allies, we’re clearly not quite right as allies (or maybe not even the right allies); we’re not able to do quite the right thing.