Are you a cisgendered man who has only recently learned about the systemic nature of sexism, and by extension, the existence of systemic male privilege (of which you possess an individual share)? Are you looking for ways to avoid your responsibilities to confront, challenge, and resist sexism? Boy, are you lucky you found this blog post! I have a whole slew of tips for you!
Completely Ignore Racism, Colonialism, & Misogynoir
White women are so obviously the objective standard by which to measure all women, because they’ve been doing All The Feminism for the longest, right? I mean, it’s kind of like they invented it or something. It’s almost like they give you their explicit permission, as a male feminist ally, to completely ignore the way that colonialism intersects with gender inequality for women of colour—especially Black women and indigenous women. The only reasonable explanation for this is to free you up from all that extra work so you can become an example for other feminists. It’s a wonder feminists of colour just don’t seem to get that, and chronically air their grievances about it instead, as if it’s all your fault and somehow mainstream feminism doesn’t do enough (or anything at all, really) to address their needs as women of colour! You’re just the new guy around here! They should stop being so divisive! All the more reason to ignore them while you keep taking the lead from white feminists and setting the exact same example for other people, amirite? Take your lessons in being feminist from the textbooks. No one’s ever gone wrong with that approach!
Treat It Like A Competition
It’s a scientifically proven fact that people need incentive to become allies to feminism, even though it’s totally not. Better treat feminism like it’s a competition to see who can win the most allies. That way, if any feminist ever questions your loyalties, you can show them how many notches are in your feminism stick, which I’m sure someone already told you at some point is a totally legit thing all male feminist allies are supposed to carry around with them to prove their feministhood. It’s also super important to make sure that you accept quantity over quality, and that you persevere for a really long time rather than work on making yourself the best quality male feminist ally you can. Make sure that if you were raised by one or more female parents, that you automatically add the entire duration of your childhood and even your nine months in the womb as years you’ve spent being feminist, because being brought up by a female parent automatically means you understand why feminism is important and blah, blah, blah, women’s rights or something. But don’t let women fool you into believing it’s the same for them just because most of them were born female, because in reality, most of them were too busy playing with dolls and being sexually abused to be brought up feminist like you. And don’t think of the entire feminist struggle as a team that is only as strong as its weakest allies. Think of yourself as a team. Better yet, think of yourself as a coach, or maybe even the guy who outright bought the team.
Take The Lead
You’ll learn very early on in your feminis…m…ing that people don’t listen to women because they don’t think of women as people. It’s a wonder they can get anything done at all then! And this is why they need you. Your job as a male feminist ally is to be the face, voice, and supervisor of women’s liberation. Never mind how that makes absolutely no sense, sounds totally like a male boss with female subordinates, and gives the appearances of a man surrounded by his harem. There’s no time to interrogate these petty details of repeating persistent damaging stereotypes that limit and confine women as a subordinate class. Nope! If the feminist movement is going to get anything done, a man is just going to have to step in and do it for them. You understand this, and clearly better than any other male feminist ally before you does, because none of them are doing it. Disregard that this might be evidence to suggest that you should follow suit and instead focus your efforts on making more of the spaces you are already in into feminist spaces. Completely ignore how rushing in to conquer the feminist movement fits a pattern that has repeated over and over through the entire history of colonialism. Don’t even listen to women who try to tell you that trying to take charge and fix everything for them is an exact repetition of super-sexist knight-in-shining-armour fairy tales that are taught to little girls to socialize them into powerless women whose only redemption is in their marriageability. They just told you the feminist movement can never be successful without male allies—that’s right about where you can stop listening whenever you feel like it, and even talk over the lecture you’re being given to demand a sandwich. There’s totally nothing sexist about this, right?
Ignore Critically Important Distinctions
It won’t take you very long before you start practically tripping over polysyllablic language like “structural violence”, “systemic oppression”, and “basic points of unity”. Better secretly bone up on a bunch of terminology that sounds close enough so that you can sound just as smart when other feminists are whipping out their feminism sticks to compare against each other. You just know this is really what happens in feminist spaces all the time, but like the Freemasons, no one is willing to talk about it. Words and phrases you’re going to want to make up and start throwing around willy-nilly to compensate for your lack of experience or related insecurity include “systematic oppression”, “post-colonial”, and assorted random shit from generic online postmodern generators. You’ll also want to take a defiant stance against structural inequality while sacrificing no more than a mildly annoying episode of flatulence over similar power dynamics between individuals. Or to put that into smaller words, you’ll want to shit bricks over Racism and Sexism as long as it’s so big and conceptually far away that your anger as just one person accomplishes a whole lot of fuck-all, but when it plays a dominant part of any exchange between yourself and your friends, just ignore it and carry on as usual. Oh, but you can make an exception when you’re feeling attacked, even if you’re actually the socially privileged party. There’s totally nothing about that selective behaviour that reinforces your privileges.
Be Furious But Also Made Of Glass
Remember that movie Unbreakable, in which Samuel L. Jackson plays a super-villain-in-the-making named Elijah, whose entire body is so brittle that he’s broken literally every bone several times before he crosses paths with Bruce Willis for the first time? Become Elijah. Become a fragile, delicate little flower with absolutely no patience for when a feminist pisses you off. Pretend your feelings are made of rare collectible hand-blown glass miniature unicorns that Hank Hill’s mom would fawn over, literally any time you clash or disagree with a feminist. The smaller the issue, or the further removed you are from it, the better. If a feminist doesn’t want to admit when you’re convinced you’re right, pursue her like a heat-seeking missile. Totally disregard that the real reason she stopped talking to you about it days or even months ago, started avoiding you, then hit the block button, stopped answering your phone calls, and/or has repeatedly insisted that you just fuck right off, might have to do with her just needing some space, her sparing herself any further from your persistent aggression or hostility, or removing a trigger from her own life that reminds her of the several times she has previously experienced male aggression such as stalking—your need to be right is more important than her silly boundaries.
Top any or all of that up with throwing accusations of passive aggression and vitriol at her, or tone-policing, and shit, son! You’ve just graduated to the intermediate class!