Lately, there's been a spate of "male feminists" posting at the BBs where I lurk. At first I saw them and I thought, great! I mean, I like feminists, and I like men, so you'd think I'd love this purported hybrid of the two. And yet, no, not so much, not so much at all.
As a matter of fact, it's caused me to realize that most of the men I've personally known who have made a huge hairy point of identifying as feminists have been either date rapists, mom fetishists, porn addicts, or bear daddies inflicting their frustrated pseudopaternal tendencies on women. They are some of the most passive-aggressive, patronizing, out-dishing without it-taking twerps on the planet, and they are poisoning the women's movement from the inside by sapping the hell out of everyone's goddamn energy.
Example: "Pud" is a married thirtysomething man who joins a feminist bulletin board and starts posting long, ingratiating, groveling, weasely rants against the evils of plastic surgery, singing instead of the glory of the small, natural breast. Feminists soon smell a tit freak, and tell him to go blow. He is affronted, telling the feminists that they are doing their movement great harm by denying him membership -- he is wounded! What kind of humanist collective bars members on the basis of sex? Sexist ones! And thereby the feminists are sexist, and Pud is the sole champion of women's rights left on the planet, goddess bless him!
Example Two: Edgy sexy artsy bisexual left-wing guy is always suggestive and provocative, always posting impassioned essays on Art and Politics, and especially Feminism. He talks about the pro-choice rallies and political events he's attended, but he doesn't mention that he went for the chicks. He likes to tell people what feminism does and doesn't mean -- to him, feminism is mostly about "women's freedom to express themselves sexually without being shamed or oppressed by other feminists." Id est: porn, threesomes, and you taking the pill. He'll argue for sex-positive feminism all day long, putting down other feminists for being "patronizing, infantilizing, and patriarchal." PS: He's only pretending to be bisexual.
Example Three: Mister Marxist is more marxist than you! While you are talking about cute shoes in the "feminist" lounge, he is busy pedaling an exercise bike in his dank basement in order to power a hand-cobbled CPU that allows him to further the struggle of the Black and the Poor and the Undertrodden through the relentless sharing of information -- specifically, the information that everything about society and everyone in it is racist and classist and not very Marxist at fucking all! So why are you bitches of privilege just sitting there perpetuating gender stereotypes and not smashing the KKKorporation and meanwhile using paper napkins which are killing Mister Marxist's soul a little bit more every day?
And oh, I could go on all night, detailing examples of the petty, the wheedly, the divisive, the pompous, the attention-hogging, the knowing-it-all, the sexually predatory...ah, good times...but instead, let's post a handy checklist for the symptoms of Male Feminism.
1. Name drops bell hooks (making sure to drop the caps), or has sig quote by Rigoberta Menchu. Will suggest that you read such and such essay by such and such feminist before you discuss the topic at hand further, as it's a "must read."
2. Feigns sympathy for the rigors of the menstrual cycle. "Oh, cramps, bummer; I getcha, sister. By the way, most men are really put off by talking about cramps, but not me, I'm used to your crazy gross moon blood vagina ritual, because I'm evolved."
3. Is smarter than you, and more "rational" (i.e., not ruled by terrifying and psychotic mood swings), but doesn't hold that against you. Understands that women are more "emotional" than men, and therefore susceptible to "simple misinterpretation." Smirks, smarms, provokes, and blathers until you go crazy, then calls you crazy.
4. Loves porn, even if he pretends to hate it. As a matter of fact, the more he professes to hate it, the more hardcore and specific the porn is.
Now, I'm not saying that every man who believes in the equality of the importance of women and men is secretly a douche; I'm not saying that at all. I'm lucky enough to be domestically partnered to a guy who does half the housework, yields 50 percent of the remote, rallies and marches with me, and writes the appropriate outraged emails to Congress when needed. But he doesn't go online and start talking about the reverse gender oppression of Mary Daly, or how Dworkinites have ruined anal sex. Thank the goddess. And I'm not trying to stereotype anyone, because that would be socially wrong, and as a feminist, I am against social wrongness. I'm sure there are some wonderful male feminists out there; I can't wait to meet them, myself. Because the ones I know are just bitches.