Hello, My name is Bobby Church; a 22 year old transfer student here at Westfield State University. My blog that I am now writing is entitled “Revolution to Re-define: Because Masculinity Does Not Mean Misogyny” which will be about being a male feminist in a patriarchal society. Now I would imagine that would probably stir some curiosity as to why someone would choose such a topic to write about for a blog, so therefore I’ll explain. A patriarchy, in perhaps it’s simplest definition, is a society ruled by a social organization created and led by men. However given this simple definition of what a patriarchy is, it perhaps prompts another question: Why would a male choose to define himself as a feminist and be against this form of social order if it’s his sex that benefits the most from it?
I choose to define myself that way because I believe that in order to maintain a patriarchy, both sexes, girls and boys, men and women, have to conform to certain social roles and characteristics. Women and girls must be submissive and obedient (especially to males) must be constantly striving to achieve a certain body shape to be sexually appealing to men, must always be self conscious of the way the look, and so fourth. In other words, they must conform to characteristics that we have come to define as being properly feminine. Boys and men must always be controlling and dominant, must be insensitive to all issues that don’t directly concern them (especially not to the issues that primarily concern women) must always objectify women for the way they look, and so fourth. In other words just like girls and women, we too must conform to characteristics that we have come to define as being properly masculine. To put it into even simpler terms, a real man is a misogynist and a real women is anything but a feminist.
All my life I’ve never been able to conform to such characteristics that we have come to define as being properly masculine. I’ve never had any desire to be in control or dominate over anyone else, I’ve never objectified a girl or been attracted to a girl simply because of the way she looked (I always considered personality to be the most important trait, not necessarily looks) and as many times as I have tried to ignore it, I’ve never been able be ignore my concern about the various issues faced by girls and women, even though as a male they shouldn’t even concern me at all.
However I’m quite alright with this, because to say that these characteristics of what’s supposed to be properly “masculine” and what’s supposed to be properly “feminine” that boys and girls are being pressured into conforming to isn’t having any serious consequences in society I think is just plain ignorance. With issues such as domestic violence and rape culture to eating disorders and body shaming increasingly on the rise, it’s undeniable that to say that these characteristics of what’s “masculine” and what’s “feminine” are having an effect on these issues and so much more.
Now of course I alone probably can’t do much to overcome these issues in a such a society as large as ours. I alone am simply a 22 year old college student with only about $400 in his bank account. It may not seem like much of a match between me and the various social forces that uphold the patriarchy and the characteristics of what’s supposed to be properly “masculine” and properly “feminine” Perhaps the best that I can do is follow the advice of Mahatma Gandhi and be the change that I wish to see in the world. As I am a male I must make make my best attempt to be a living example of what it’s like to live outside of of socially constructed ideals about masculinity and in that sense re-define what masculinity means hopefully in the minds of those who read this blog. I hope that through my writing masculinity will no longer be associated with misogyny, and that instead rather masculinity in minds of others will instead mean to be sensitive to the issues of all regardless of whether it concerns them or not, and also to appreciate girls and women and all others for everything that they are and not just their looks.
What I intend to write about in this blog is personal experiences in challenging misogyny, my beliefs on what’s influencing misogyny among boys and men these days, and also news being made in the feminist community. I am hoping to attract the attention of other feminists both male and female, and also hopefully an audience of a similar age group as mine and possibly even younger to teach them that they don’t have to conform to certain ideals about masculinity or femininity if it makes them feel uncomfortable and that there’s nothing wrong with them if they do. If I should continue this blog throughout the rest of the year (which I’m actually hoping to do) then I hope I will make an impact in the feminist community as well as inspire others to take action as well. Though these may seem like rather distant goals and the moment, I am very determined to stick with it because I know all this writing won’t be in vain if it can at least influence the mind of at least one person.