Dan Savage kept hearing from Christians that they were sick of being presumed bigots because of the way bigots have hijacked the good name of Christianity. They would come up to him and complain after talks he gave that “not all Christians were like that”. So he challenged them to do something about their image and the NALT (Not All [Christians are] Like That) website is the result. Huffington Post quotes him:
“Savage told The Huffington Post that he thought the videos were really important. ” The It Gets Better Campaign brought LGBT kids who were struggling a message of support. This series of videos will be great for young LGBT kids coming out to their Christians families who can direct their parents to NALT.” Savage went on to say that the NALT campaign can also have a political message in that anti-gay Christians appear to speak for all Christians when they condemn gay people. “I know that isn’t true. My mom was a Christian,” Savage says. “Go tell Tony Perkins that he is the one lying. This is an opportunity to harness social media and mass activism online.”
So people have been uploading videos.
Today feminism has the same problem. Something like 70% of young women polled refuse to identify as feminist and they cite feminism’s man-hatred as the main reason, regardless of how much it may have benefited these women personally. Their humanity gets denounced as ingratitude and they get the Feminist Pimp Hand, which really just makes their case.
So feminism has about the same image problem as Christianity does, with the Religious Right monopolizing and degrading the brand. What to do, what to do? How about a NAFALT website where feminists can post their videos of recognition of men’s issues and their support for men.
And that recognition of men’s issues and support for men should start with a renunciation of misandrist gender tropes. We have talked about this before. We noted how modern feminism is funded on a list of misandrist tropes derived from the Redstockings Manifesto. Fidelbogen long ago drew up an oath of renunciation for feminists who wanted to abjure their these man-hating tenets. Here is my own more detailed and specific form of an oath for feminists to take to show they have renounced all misandry:.
Oath of Rejection of Misandry
1. I renounce and reject any analysis that objectifies or dehumanizes either men or women by crudely and reductionistically lumping them into classes and that denies their individuality or individual agency.
2. I therefore renounce and reject any analysis that identifies all men as oppressors and all women as victims, or that denies that men can be victims or that women can be oppressors, or that defines these power differences as based on a person’s sex alone.
3. I also renounce and reject formulations or slogans based on accusing men of being oppressors as a class such as “male privilege”, and “men can stop rape”, in the absence of female equivalents or formulations that include male victims on the same basis as female victims.
4. I renounce and reject gender-based discrimination. I reject analysis that uses false equivalencies to minimize harms to men, such as: equating rape of women to murder of men or insults to women’s faithfulness with paternity fraud against men, that seek to explain away harms to men as insignificant because they are done by other men, that seek to exculpate women for blaming men for the violence that women do to them or their children. I condemn any gender-based discrimination before the law, whether intentional or simply resulting in disparate impact – the female sentencing discount, gendered disparities in scholarships, institutional support groups or quality of instruction and educational outcomes in government-run education, disparities in the family court system resulting in disparate rates of child custody and disparate treatment of parental misconduct, and all other forms of governmental and institutional gender discrimination. I condemn gender-based infringements on due process and other Constitutional rights.
5. I renounce and reject the demonization of human sexuality, either as dangerous and creepy or as sluttish and dirty, or as perverted or unnatural. I reject notions such as “rape culture” and “male gaze”.
6. I renounce and reject any social or political project that treats one gender as morally inferior to another. I reject calls from women to “fix” men and attempts by women, or their male enablers, to define or decree what constitutes a “good man” a “real man” or masculinity.
This is how a feminist can make her or his statement that Not All Feminists Are Like That. All she or he has to do is renounce every actual and operative – and demonstrably man-hating – as opposed to bogus textbook tenet of modern feminism. This is no different from what Christians are doing at the NALT site when they reject Christianism and Fundamentalism, and in so many words, when they denounce homophobia and other hatreds as unchristian. And it’s not too much to ask of a feminist who truly renounces misandry and denounces it as anti-feminist, if misandrist really isn’t an inherent and structural part of feminism.
How does a feminist show she or he doesn’t hate men, dismiss harms to them and treat them as disposable? They just have to renounce the misandrist – which also happen to be the structural – tenets of feminism.
That’s all. Is that so much to ask?