Cis-Men Can’t Be Feminists: I’m Cisman
I don’t think cismen can be feminists. Feminism belongs to womyn. All power within feminism belongs to womyn.I do not need to be a face for feminism anymore than a white dude needs to be aface for black nationalism. Feminists don’t need my “male legitimacy” to be a force. Therefore, being a cis dude, I will identify myself as pro-feminist rather than A feminist.
To be completely honest this is little more than a play on semantics. Whether you identify as a feminist ally or you consider yourself to be a male feminist, it does not effect where you stand or how you effect the world around you.
Being a feminist does not make you the face of feminism. Being a Black nationalist does not make you the face of Black nationalism. It simply makes you an individual who adheres to such an ideology.
No, Feminists may not need “male legitimacy” to be a force. Black nationalists may not need “white legitimacy” to be a force either. These movements are already fully aware of the predicament that women and Black people are in. However, there are still many individual women and Black people in the world who are completely unaware of certain issues, or if they are aware of the existence of an issue, they are unaware that there is a means of changing things for the better or that there are those who would be willing to stand beside them in their effort to change things. If you are a man who is aware of feminism, or a white person who is aware of Black empowerment, then it is your responsibility to not deprive others of this knowledge. To refrain from sharing what you know is oppressive. Period.
Furthermore your argument is based on the presumption that a person who wants to be involved in a revolutionary movement also wants to be a prominent leader in that movement, to receive special attention, etc. I identify as a feminist and I seek no such thing. In fact, you seem to be the one who is doing just that. You seem to be seeking brownie points from the social justice crowd by rewording a few things with a fallacious emotional appeal, which does not accomplish anything in reality.
If you want to help, go argue with the anti-abortion crowd and help educate the masses. Fight those who wish to deprive women of the right to birth control and other forms of contraceptives. Donate your time and money to charities which provide financial support and other forms of aid to single mothers and the likes. Protest businesses and other organizations which discriminate against women. This helps.
Arguing with your own crowd over who is or is not entitled to mere labels does not help anybody. There are far more pressing issues which we could and should be discussing. Rather than telling men that they cannot be feminists, tell them that they cannot and will not be tolerated if they rape, harass, objectify, subjugate, belittle or in any way attempt to systematically oppress women or anybody else, because this is what truly matters.
The problem I see with your argument is that you’ve seemed to overlook how individuals holding privilege over an oppressed group INCLUDING themselves in the movement of the oppressed affects it.
Whether they like it or not, their thoughts and opinions will automatically be taken as more legitimate. These privileged individuals who have taken up space in a marginalized individual’s movement will have their voices heard more, and that hurts the movement of said people because now their voices have been quieted.
I agree with the OP. Pro-feminist is the way to go.