There’s no way for a guy to not think like a guy. We’ve been socialised to do it. Feminism requires non-guy thinking. It’s the external critique to show us that the things we think are ‘normal’ or ‘obvious’ or ‘default rational’ aren’t. That critique, that discourse, can’t happen if we’re on both sides of the fence. […] Guys can’t be feminists. Not really, at least, because merely by interacting with the world, we’re taking advantage of all the privileges we don’t need to acknowledge. We won’t understand what it’s like to be women and, frankly, the guys who describe themselves as feminists are sort of pretending that they do.
The word ‘feminist’ occupies a strange space in (male) popular language, along with ‘communist’ and ‘socialist’. It’s a pejorative. Feminists are those transgressive individuals who don’t really fit into (male) society and are a nuisance and you need to be careful what you say around them or you’ll get sued.
This framing of feminism seems to be the pervasive assumption behind M&C Saatchi’s ‘The Modern (Aussie) Man White Paper‘ released this week as part of the Peter Dutton-endorsed ‘International Men’s Day’.
Stepping around the feminist minefield that stops academics, politicians and everyday men from saying what they really think, this research says what every man is thinking. Through their words and perceptions.
It is unsurprising that many people do not feel comfortable self-identifying as feminist. If the goal in life is to be social, happy, and loved by a guy, what incentive is there to make people suspect that you’re disruptive and threatening to men?