This guy, writing at the Guardian, is under the impression that, not only is feminism about “equality,” but that he should be awarded “full membership” in the “feminist movement.” Why? Because of, apparently, his “remarkable imagination and sense of empathy.”
Yeah, and I’ll be a woman of color blogger, too.
Opinionator Khaled Diab purports to speak for all nice guys who don’t go around raping their sisters, but the tone of his essay suggests that his personal feelings are deeply hurt. The resistance shown by what must be the all of 17 or 18 diehards worldwide who still turn a skeptical eye toward “feminist” men has cut him to the quick, and he means to put a stop to it.
He drags out all the usual patronizing arguments in favor of his election to the Global Feminist Cabal.
To exclude him is “sexist.” Which is so “paradoxical.”
“Outsiders,” Diab points out helpfully, often “become the iconic embodiment of certain struggles, such as the privileged young doctor turned poor man’s revolutionary.”
Apparently there is a long tradition, in class struggle, of privileged young doctors bailing out poor men. Feminists are just shooting themselves in the foot if they deny one of these privileged young doctors the opportunity to fulfill his destiny and defeat sexism on their behalf, thereafter to erect a statue of this iconic embodiment in the town square.
Moreover, chides the sentimental Diab, chicks can be chauvinist pigs, too! Men “don’t have a monopoly on being domineering.” Seriously. Men wouldn’t dominate “the movement” any more than “obnoxious female feminists” do; remember, men are so remarkably imaginative and empathetic (hey, I know! The men could protect the nice feminists from the obnoxious ones.).
Diab complains that having “direct experience” of sex-based oppression shouldn’t really be the deal-breaker that those 17 or 18 feminists make it out to be. But. If we insist: it turns out men do have direct experience! Which Diab defines as the impact on the dominant class when people of lower status get screwed over. Clearly the male experience of “anger and frustration” on his wife’s behalf is qualitatively identical to enduring the persistent threat of violence that every woman suffers whenever she leaves the house (and often even when she doesn’t), or the fact that white dudes own several of her internal organs, or living in poverty with 3 kids and no healthcare.
His direct experience of women’s oppression so sorely chaps his hide that — although he allows that he doesn’t go to rallies or “shout from the rooftops” — Diab demands to “fight shoulder to shoulder” with women as a “fully-fledged feminist.” I suppose we can take that to mean that he won’t be kicking the shit out of Mrs. Diab. How iconic.
“You don’t,” he opines, by way of proving his progressiveness, “need to be [...] a member of a minority to appreciate the suffering caused by racism.” Well. You can “appreciate” it all you like, but that doesn’t mean you get to learn the secret handshake or come to the potlucks. For all Diab’s “direct experience,” the defining aspect of oppression appears to have eluded him. That is, the oppressed don’t trust him. What did he expect, the big whiner? He enjoys supremacy over them every day.
So appreciate away, dude. With the emphasis on “away.”