I’ve posted before on how despite the best efforts of a lot of people on a lot of different sides there are barriers in place that really keep us from getting together on the same page and changing the system for the better for all people.
While I’m sure you can think of many barriers that are keeping you from getting along with other groups of people what I want to post about why some men have difficulty working with certain groups that are trying to achieve gender equality.
There is chance that as soon as you read that sentence above you went straight to the most selfish and hateful (and probably anti-woman) reason you can think of. That’s not always the case and you may want to pay attention if you did go there.
They seem to hope to get men to open up to groups that pretty much center (and sometimes name) themselves around the bad things that men do to women. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to say that those groups need to change their names and I’m not trying to say they don’t have good intentions (well I’m suspicious of XY Online but that’s another story) but I have to say that if I had been abused or otherwise mistreated by women I would have a hard time embracing a group that posts material almost exclusively about the bad things men do to women.
When it comes to overcoming the ways in which the system oppresses a person I’m pretty sure most folks here would think it unfair to expect anyone that is marginalized in any way to just magically “get over” what’s happened to them. But when I look at places like that (and I also get this feeling from some feminist sites as well) I think sometimes I sense an air of contradiction. Its like they want men to be able to open up and and speak their minds…but only about certain things.
And in the end I really think that groups and programs that use this approach are not going to do as much good as they hope to. By going about their activism like this I think they run the very real danger of alienating and pushing away some of the very people they claim to want to help.
So how about you? Are there any barriers (regardless of whether or not other people may agree on them being real or imagined) that you think need to come down for the greater good of all people?
(I’m hoping to avoid a simple shouting match of “You wouldn’t think there were barriers there if you weren’t so goddamn _____!” vs “Well maybe if you weren’t so goddamn ______ there wouldn’t be any barriers!” arguments but I think this is a discussion that really needs to take place.)