“My liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as a woman.”

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10 Responses to “My liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as a woman.”

  1. Miguel Bloomfontosis says:

    Tony Porter certainly seems like a good man, and delivers an important message. What he’s saying needs to be said, and he says it well. Yet at the same time, I can’t help but notice that he’s a man who has, without a doubt, established his “masculine cred.” I say this not as a criticism directed toward Mr. Porter, but as an expression of concern about the way in which the feminist model for a “good man” seems to be that of a thoughtful, sensitive man… who has already established his masculine bona fides.
    That said, it was an inspiring speech. Kudos to Mr. Porter.

    • April says:

      That’s an interesting point. If he hadn’t established that “masculine cred,” I wonder if his talk would have been as respected and celebrated. If he was, say, a wiry, dorky kind of guy, would what he said hold as much weight? I’d venure to guess the answer would be “no.” But why that is is another question entirely. Who would take what he says less seriously, women or men? I have to imagine that the “masculine cred” is what gets the guys listening, but I wonder about women’s potential reaction if he wasn’t as stereotypically masculine.

    • April says:

      And by “the guys,” I don’t mean “every guy who watches,” but rather, the guys he is targeting with his talk in the first place, or the guys who are more prone to live their lives as the men they’re socialized to be and haven’t yet questioned it.

    • Danny says:

      My guess is that men who would not take him seriously (the types that would to call him a sissy and what not) would be more upfront about it while the women that wouldn’t (they types that would call him a sissy and whatnot) would not be as upfront and might even feign interest and agreement (as in cheering him on while knowing full well that they would not give such a man the time of day because such a man would be a punk).

  2. Cessen says:

    Or “Your liberation as a woman is tied to my liberation as a man.”

    But yeah… probably the way he said it was better for a talk at TED Women. 😉

    • Jim says:

      Gloria Steinem keeps getting quoted on this point, especially about men in child-rearing. She was arguing specifically against mommy-blocking, not about getting men to do more.

  3. davidk25 says:

    Great speech, and by a brilliant co-incidence, only this afternoon I heard Jonathan Israel gloss Mary Wollstonecraft’s attitude as “however brutal and oppressive men had been to women over the centuries… nevertheless it’s completely pointless talking about emancipating women if you don’t start be emancipating men first” http://tinyurl.com/28dxj6b
    Which of course has to be seen in the context of the 1790’s, but I liked the symmetry of it, and I think it’s true that the feminist project can’t be completed unless men change as well as women. In that context, I think it’s slightly disappointing that this was a talk at TED Women, rather than a main TED event.

    @Miguel + April – I wouldn’t say that Tony Porter goes out of his way to establish his “masculine cred” in anything he says – was there something he said, or did you just mean that he’s built?

    • April says:

      @Miguel + April – I wouldn’t say that Tony Porter goes out of his way to establish his “masculine cred” in anything he says – was there something he said, or did you just mean that he’s built?

      Maybe that has something to do with it, but the way I see it, he’s got a very masculine presence. It’s probably not intentional, and just the way he is, but I can’t necessarily see a less-masculine-presenting man making the same points and affecting as many people in the intended way.

  4. Danny says:

    While I like the fact that he made this speech I do have a small problem.

    It seems like his interest in helping men is limited by how said help benefits women. Don’t get me wrong I totally see his point of how the liberation of men and women are tied together. However while said liberations are tied together it seems to me as if there are lot of people who only bring this up with talking about liberating men (and in fact I’ll go as far as to say that bringing up liberation of men when talking about the liberation of women is a bit of a tabboo in a lot of spaces, “what about teh menz” and all that) . Also measuring a man in how he relates to women reminds me of chivalry.

  5. Nona Mills says:

    That’s an interesting point. If he hadn’t established that “masculine cred,” I wonder if his talk would have been as respected and celebrated. If he was, say, a wiry, dorky kind of guy, would what he said hold as much weight? I’d venure to guess the answer would be “no.” But why that is is another question entirely. Who would take what he says less seriously, women or men? I have to imagine that the “masculine cred” is what gets the guys listening, but I wonder about women’s potential reaction if he wasn’t as stereotypically masculine.

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