Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Sept. 15, 2017
Preface: This article was partly inspired by a harrowing series of stories told to me by a homeless woman. I’ll respect her privacy, of course, by not divulging any specifics. However, a particularly upsetting aspect of her history was how quickly and dangerously a man can revert back to his most maliciously violent self.
Over the summer, I was at an event where the host (a woman) talked about how/if men can fit into feminism. She quoted a male friend of hers on the topic: “Men can’t be feminists but they can and must become recovering misogynists.”
The host disagreed. And so did I. She disagreed because she believes “male feminist” is definitely a thing. I disagreed because I believe “recovering misogynist” doesn’t go far enough.
To me, “recovering misogynist” sounds almost like a destination or goal. But I suggest that the line between recovering misogynist and male predator is mighty thin. We men are so heavily conditioned and we so readily embrace/exploit our power/privilege that to be at least a non-predator (never mind male “ally” or “accomplice”) calls for 24/7 commitment and evolution. To help illustrate this reality, I’ll liken it to the level of focus and effort required for anyone to stay remotely fit and healthy on a toxic planet.
No matter how hard you trained, how healthy your food choices were, or how much you attended to your flexibility, balance, and stress management today… you start all over when you wake up tomorrow. If you’ve been doing this a while, you won’t have to start completely from scratch. But it’s still not really an issue of building up collateral or credibility.
Taking responsibility for your health is about commitment, consistency, and constant reevaluation.
The same basic tenet holds for “recovering misogynists.”
Let’s say you encounter a woman you perceive as attractive and you commit any one of 100,000 possible transgressions in deciding to display this attraction. It matters not to that woman how well you’ve behaved in the past week, month, or year. She’s not impressed with the articles about rape culture you’ve read or the radical social media accounts you follow. She’s definitely not giving you a pass due to your perceived record of basic decency. In fact, she might justifiably assume decency is not even part of your nature.
If you realize your offense and never commit it again, that woman probably still wouldn’t care. Within the window of time in which she crossed paths with you, she witnessed the behavior of a typical male. To her (and probably many, many other females) you’re not a “recovering misogynist” let alone a “feminist.” You’re just another dude. Translation: A disrespectful, delusional, manipulative, and perhaps predatory asshole.
Suggestion: Ditch the counterproductive labels and commit to the perpetual process of being an imperfect but decent man -- one day, one hour, one minute at a time.
Mickey Z. is the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!
No such thing as a male feminist by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://worldnewstrust.com/no-such-thing-as-a-male-feminist-mickey-z.