Mittwoch, Mai 21, 2008

Wendy McElroy: Bekannte Feministin plädiert für Männerrechte

Transcription of a speech delivered before a man's rights group.

It has become commonplace to hear that feminism is dead. I don't know if that's true but I do know that feminism's best hope...maybe its only hope of becoming relevant again...lies in listening to the voices of men demanding justice, the sort of men you'll hear speaking this afternoon.

When they speak, their voices sound similar to those of women in the 60's when the feminist movement, called Second Wave feminism, swept through our culture like a force of nature and left it changed forever. The women demanded of men, "Give us equal rights, give us respect." Forty years later -- two generations later -- the situation has been reversed. It is now men, not women, who are protesting against systematic discrimination against their sex. Even the issues around which the complaints gather are similar to those raised in the '60s. (…)

But, in general, what men are calling for is nothing less than what women demanded and received from men decades ago -- equality under reasonable laws...and a little bit of respect.

'60s feminism was a cultural revolution. And it is no exaggeration to say that another revolution is in progress -- this time led by men. It is not headed by elite voices or promoted through tax-funded organizations. It is a grassroots movement, consisting of individuals who have been battered so badly by the system that they are now committing a large of portion of their lives to say "no! (…)

The typical women who speaks out for men's rights does so out a commitment to fairness and a concern for the overwhelming majority men in our lives who are decent human beings...our fathers, brothers, sons...our friends. I speak out also from political concern. The last decades of the 20th century redefined women's relationship to society and to men. The first decades of the 21st century will redefine men's relationship. And, as a woman and a feminist, I want to be in on that process because I think "Justice for Men" is the most important battle within our society today. (…)

This must occur for the good of women as well as men. I say "for the good of women" for several reasons.

There can be no peace or goodwill in our society as long as the law treats categories of people differently, as long as 50% of the population -- men -- are second class citizens.

As well, women must stop relying upon a paternalistic state and privileging laws. We've got to stand on our own feet.

Equally, I don't believe it is ever in the best interests of anyone to oppress another. The anti-slavery advocates of the early 1800s used to argue that slavery damaged the slave-owned psychologically as much as it did the slave. And I think there is a great deal of truth to that.

Finally, the men who will benefit from true equality are friends and family -- people whose wellbeing sometimes mean as much to us as our own. You don't do a woman any favor when you pass laws that privilege her daughter at the expense of her son. (…)

What are the specifics of that change. Well...I don't speak for the Men's Movement but I do have an opinion on how genuine equality can be achieved. Eliminate all mandatory affirmative action laws and programs, and remove the issue from the court system. Do the same with sexual harassment. Introduce the rebuttable presumption of joint custody into the family court system. Recognize male victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, and treat them in same manner as female victims. Refuse to accept the bias against boys in public schools or other tax-funded agencies...perhaps even by refusing to pay the taxes that victimize males. These changes would be a good start. And I know that the speakers who come after me will expand more on the specifics of change that must occur...

In concluding my talk today, I must express a fear. I pointed to "telling stories" as something valuable that the Men's Movement could learn from feminism. Now I would like to provide a cautionary tale. The evolution of feminism from the '60s to present day is a cautionary tale on how a political movement can become dominated by rage and lose the voice of reason. I dread the possibility that men I know and respect may someday look at me as "the enemy" simply because I am a woman. And I'll do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen. Because that's how we got into this mess in the first place...

Feminism must extend a hand of goodwill toward men who are being destroyed by gender bias in the system. Women must stand up and call for the elimination of all law and all application of law that discriminates on the basis of gender, whether or not the discrimination supposedly benefits women. Because it doesn't. It can't possibly.

Women are individuals and anything that weakens individual rights based on a shared humanity harms women as much as men.

Hier findet man den kompletten Redetext.

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