Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dear Woman: An Apology & Pledge From ConsciousMen

Have y'all seen this yet...??

Cons/critiques: REALLY wish it had more a diverse representation of men. Like, really.
Sometimes i felt a little twingey about the essentialist declarations of what the "feminine" realm and ""masculine" realm are.
Although i *very* much value these men bringing spirit and psyche into the discussion... i fear that they will lose the men who really need to hear this message, that it will be discounted as hippie ramblings or something.
i don't agree that submitting this apology means that "the past should be forgotten".

Pros/critiques: Wow. Besides alla that, its kinda beautiful in a really powerful way. i am impressed by how thorough this MANifesto is. it covers commerce, trafficking, religion, government, war, spirit, the human psyche and soooo much more. clearly, a lot of thought and strong intention went into this. its pretty inspirational, and for all of my con/critiques, i am glad that something like this representing actively non-patriarchal men and masculinities is out there. my very good female friend who sent this to me said she was moved to tears, so just even the healing that happens there also means a lot.

what do you think?


Caroline said...

I just came across your blog and I LOVE it. I haven't met many male feminists, so I am totally intrigued about your opinions and interests. I totally agree with your comments about this video and love the way you present your critique (I admire that you make sure to point out the videos pros. And your honesty is brilliant!)

I especially agree with your comment about this video's emphasis on stereotypical and essentialist views of masculinity and femininity, implying that these are the only possible genders. The whole video seems to be organized around this idea, which is a bit odd. And, in doing so, I think it reinforces femininity as belonging to women only and masculinity as belonging to men only. Further, I also agree that a more diverse representation of men could be represented here... Nonetheless, I so appreciate the extent to which these men acknowledge men's oppression, exploitation, degradation, domination, policing, and objectification (among other things) of women.

I could say a lot more... but I'll save it! Check out my opinions at:

richard said...

@Caroline: hello! sorry for the delay, the world is becoming more and more complex everyday! an Occupy Oakland deelie is kickin off, modelled after Occupy Wall Street, and i've been doing my best to get involved. in any case, wow THANK YOU for your kind words and critiques. it seems we see pretty eye to eye on this! its a little disturbing and pretty awesome at the same time.

i also peeped your site, i didn't know about the Dove ads! i wonder who is on their marketing team. good point about the capitalist agenda... but some things you can almost forgive if it gets the good message out there! believe me, i sometimes wonder how to make male pro/feminism "cool", so that little boys are scrambling to be the next cool anti-patriarchal dude. and i don't mean diluted, problematic and shallow "cool" (a la just wear a Che tshirt for insta-revolutionary) but serious analysis and action cool. wonder how that would look for all modes of anti-oppression.

thanks again for your thoughts and words Caroline!

Dommebrarian said...

Hey, Richard, I had seen this earlier this past spring. The first couple times, I thought, "Oh, screw, these guys are just lookin' to get laid!" But it's growing on me. And I agree about the diversity. Mostly white guys and white teenagers, and LOTS of guys with ponytails. But still--the sincerity is there. . . . or at least it's trying to be.

richard said...

@Dommebrarian: sorry about the huge delay in response time!! my blog notifications started going into wrong filters. i hear you on the diversity and feelings about sincerity... lol @ ponytails... this clip brings up so much! i felt icky and happy all at once! thanks for your comment :)