Book: "Men and Feminism" (Shira Tarrant) / Definitions of Feminism
Feminism is not about equality, but about advantage and benefit for females at the expense of males.
Another recent example (attached below) is the "Rio Declaration on Men and Boys" (April 2009) that, like so many other statements and attempts, seeks to re-create males in a feminist image, with a view to benefiting females.
Like her books, articles by this authoress, while making some valid observations and points, are filled with male-blaming and evasion of personal responsibility and accountability for women (thus, essentially, removing adult agency from them and reducing them to a helpless child-like state, dependent on father/husband for help). Two examples of her recent articles are:
- Hip to Strip? Or Is it Time for Men to Stop Watching?
- Can High Necklines Cure Low Morals?
Background: Men and Feminism
Cover and Contents
The cover of the book, "Men and Feminism",
is a drawing of three young men on whose
shirts are printed the words:
"This is what a feminist looks like".
An overview of the book's content can be gained from the Table of Contents.
The chapter headings are very revealing about the aims of the authoress and what she wants men to become for her and for women in general:
Chapter 1. Overview and Introductions: This is What a Feminist Looks Like
Chapter 2. The Men's Auxiliary: A Brief History of Men and Feminism
Chapter 3. Constructing Masculinity: Putting the How and Why in the XY
Chapter 4. Gender Advantage: Checking in on Masculine Privilege
Chapter 5: Man Up: Getting Involved in Feminist Action
The aim of this book is to blame men ("masculine privilege"), reconstruct men as feminists ("this is what a feminist looks like"), get men serving women ("men's auxiliary", "getting involved in feminist action") and to shame men to do this by appealing to their masculinity ("man up")!
Details: Men and Feminism
By Women. For Women.
Men and Feminism
Shira Tarrant, PhD
Published: May 2009
Website: Shira Tarrant
About the Book
There's no denying that men's involvement and interest in feminism is the key to its continuing relevance and importance. Addressing the question of why men should care about feminism in the first place, Men and Feminism lays the foundation for a larger discussion about feminism as a human issue, not simply a women's issue. Men are crucial to the movement - as fathers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, and friends. From "why" to "how" to "what can men do", Men and Feminism answers all the questions men need to know about how and why they should get behind feminism.
About Shira Tarrant
Shira Tarrant is an expert in masculinities, feminist theory, and pop culture. She is the author of When Sex Became Gender(Routledge 2006), editor of the provocative anthology Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power (Routledge 2008), and coeditor of Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style (forthcoming). Her work has appeared in B1tch, off our backs, Women's Studies Quarterly, Genre magazine, and The Women's Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism, and on the popular blog Girl with Pen.
Tarrant is a frequent speaker at college campuses and other public venues. She has been quoted widely in print, television, radio, and online media on the subject of gender politics. She received her PhD in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is an assistant professor of women's studies at California State University, Long Beach. To read more about her work, see Shira Tarrant
For more about the book see Amazon.com (or Barnes & Noble.com, Books-a-Million.com, Borders.com, IndieBound.org, Powells.com):
From the first pages of her book, Tarrant outlines her definition of feminism (below).
This contrasts to an observed comprehension (understanding) and definition of feminism:
Feminism is not about equality, but about advantage and benefit for females at the expense of males. Instead, feminism manifests as a deep-seated belief in female superiority, entitlement and privilege motivated by envy and greed, fuelled by a delusion of victimisation and a hunger for revenge and driven by a deep-seated desire for power and control. Contrary to feminist claims, feminism does not seek equality for everyone but only for females (hence the term "feminism").
Feminists seek to garner unbeatable sympathy and support by conscripting and subsuming other causes under its mantle/umbrella, both to bolster its power and enlist others to do its work. This can be readily observed in the definition below. An example of this association by anti-male feminists (and even non-feminism cultural usage, which lends a credibility to the feminist misuse) is the tagging of "and children" after many references to "women", as in "women and children", and thus use children to gain leverage and benefit for women.
Past and current feminist (and mothers' rights activist) actions against separated fathers demonstrate that they do not want equality, fairness and justice but are seeking to exclude children from their dads, solely on the will and the word of women. They are willing to tell lies about men in general and men in particular in order to seek to gain an advantage and control. Such women do this to satisfy their desire for money (from the labour of another), relationship (by 'owning' the children), control (power over others) and revenge (conflict, hostility and maliciousness). Their goal is the best interests of the mother, not of the children!
Feminism is not the same thing as women's liberation.
Quote: Men and Feminism
Tarrant definition of feminism (pp3-6)
Feminism is a social movement that seeks equality of opportunity for all people, regardless of gender. When there isn't equality of outcome, feminism wants to know why. It is a political perspective that uses gender to critically analyze power - who has it, who doesn't, who abuses it, and why. In their anthology, "The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism," Vivien Labaton and Dawn Lundy Martin define contemporary feminism as a way for women and men to do "social justice work while using a gender lens."
Feminists are committed to addressing problems that happen every day. Some of these issues take place behind the privacy of closed doors; others confront us in the pubic arena. These problems include things such as domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, racism, homophobia, unequal pay, job segregation, sexual objectification, restrictions on reproductive choices, and unattainable standards of gender, beauty and behavior. In her article "Can Men Be the Allies of Feminism?" journalist Nighat Gandhi describes feminism as "a philosophy and a movement for ending all forms of oppression, including gender-based oppression."
On an individual level, feminism seeks to make room for all of us to explore who we are, separate from gender constraints. Too often, the social rules and regulations for men and women are restrictive. They don't really describe us well. Feminism questions rigid binary categories of masculinity and femininity, looks at the political consequences of assumptions about gender, and helps us search for better models and greater freedom.
Three core theoretical principles are especially important to understanding what feminism is about. These principles, which involve specific approaches to analyzing social and political issues, also point to why feminism isn't just a movement for women. Gender and power are crucial elements in all people's lives.
- First, feminists do not see biological sex as determining a person's identity.
- Second, feminism understands that the personal is political. Yet feminism is not only personal. It's more than a lifestyle issue or a fashion statement or a strategically placed political tattoo.
- This points to the third core principle: Feminism is a social and political movement that is concerned about the patterns of domination and the politics of gender, race, class and sexual orientation.