Friday, September 01, 2006


The beginning of September, the season of rag weed pollen, and pencil shavings. The beginning of school. Guest blogging weekends is a departure that comes at the same time as an involuntary cutback in my regular blogging activity. I am grateful to Echidne for this chance to keep my hand in.

In the spirit of new beginnings it might be good to spend a post on perusing the position of a man posting on a blog devoted to feminism. I had thought of writing an apologia of male feminism, which I hope exists, and to present my credentials. But, no. How presumptuous. A man define feminism and claim it for himself? How... typical.

Being a leftist my first instinct when dealing with this kind of dilemma is to ask women to define what it would be for a man to be a feminist. Or if a man can’t be one to at least tell how he can avoid being a total jerk about it. But women will certainly have different ideas on both questions. I’d be stuck with choosing among them or, maybe worse, ignoring all of them. Just as presumptuous, it’s hardly a solution to the problem.

But then another idea came. Why define it? Maybe no problem will come up. If it doesn’t why be the cause of unnecessary friction. I’ve seen arguments over definitions turn into death matches on some blogs. Maybe with enough determination to be fair and with common courtesy the problem won’t exist. Is trying to not be a jerk enough?

So, let me know if a problem does come up, please.