Subscribe to Bitch—an award-winning, 80 page feminist magazine. Image Map

Keep Bitch in Print: A Special Message to Male Bitch Supporters!

orange and blue sign reading 'Keep Bitch in Print'

It's a privilege and an inspiration to be a male-identified person working for Bitch Media. Everyday we draw attention to the thousand of ways our heavily mediated and consumer-oriented culture teaches us to segregate and discriminate by gender. Moreover, we promote a feminist perspective that empowers women—and men and transgender individuals—to rise above the painful and ridiculous stereotypes and be true to ourselves. I'm so proud to be a small part of it.

Today I'm calling on other male-identified Bitch supporters to do their part. Bitch, like feminism in general, is not and cannot just be for women. Reclaiming our identities from the pigeonholing messages we receive daily from a young age from our culture is a project for all of us, regardless of our gender, racial identity, or background.

Let's face it: Men are underrepresented in their support for the feminist movement. A lot of men believe that feminism is just for women, or at least that they don't have a constructive role to play. I'm here to tell you that's a bunch of hooey, and to thank all the men out there who speak up about sexism's impacts. From the girl that's taught she can't be ten times better with power tools than I am (admittedly not too remarkable of a feat in my case!), or the boy who's taught that it's not cool to play unicorns and faeries, we're all hurt by omnipresent gender messaging and we've got a part to play in challenging it. And men, coming from a privileged place in society, have great responsibility in helping to undo this mess.

I'm asking every guy reading this today to put your money where your mouth is. If you support keeping one of the strongest, wittiest, and most consistent voices in feminist media in print now is the time to show it.

Here are five ideas for how you can do so:

1. Are you supporting Bitch or just browsing? I gotta say it: flipping through your friend's copies of Bitch or buying it from the store every so often doesn't cut it. If you don't subscribe, it's time to do so. If you read someone else's copy, how about donating $25 for the cost of a subscription?

2. Friend on the fence? That certain male friend you've got out there—you know the one—who's on the fence about feminism? Let me suggest a surefire cure: buy him a gift subscription!

3. Thank your feminist inspiration. How'd you first get acquainted with feminism? If it was a friend, a mom or a sister, a teacher, or your community library, Give them the gift of Bitch.

4. Are you in with us for the long haul? Men are sadly underrepresented in demonstrating their long-term commitment to Bitch—if you're committed to our mission, the best way to show it is by joining the B-Hive and becoming a monthly Bitch sustainer.

5. Don't keep your feminism silent! Forward and repost articles from independent feminist media to your friends, family and co-workers (and don't forget to mention that they can get four great copies of Bitch mailed to them each year by subscribing)!

Thanks for your support, men of Bitch! Let's see if we can get 100 new subscriptions and sustainerships from male readers today!

 

Want more from Bitch? Good news! Our quarterly magazine, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, is packed with 80+ pages of feminist analysis, reviews, illustrations, and more. Subscribe today

Subscribe to Bitch


Comments

28 comments have been made. Post a comment.

" A lot of men believe that

" A lot of men believe that feminism is just for women"

Imagine that, a movement started and overwhelmingly kept up by women being just about women. Heavens no, couldn't have that!

Yep, I can imagine it!

Anonymous,

Just because the feminist movement was started by women (and men too) doesn't mean that men aren't a part of it. After all, look at all of the things started by men (government, business, professional sports, etc.—thanks, patriarchy) that are for women as well as men.

Feminism really is for everyone! We can indeed imagine it!

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

I hope it was a misstatement

I hope it was a misstatement and you didn't actually mean to suggest that almost all things have been started by men.

Patriarchy and things

I meant it kind of as a joke (a poorly delivered one, I think) in that the vast majority of institutions in our society were founded by men because of patriarchy, yet women still participate. Oh, Internet jokes: never as good as you think they're going to be :)

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

But feminism is not an

But feminism is not an institution to which lack of access causes actual harm.

Lack of access DOES cause

Lack of access DOES cause actual harm, and just perpetuates the damage that patriarchy and limited gender roles have imposed on us.

How fucking generous of them.

How fucking generous of them. I guess I'm okay with being oppressed so long as they share their cool new toys with me.

And do you seriously mean to suggest that men founded all of those things (and more!) without any help from women BUT women did have help from men in starting the movement for their own equal rights? Well golly, we just can't do anything without men leading us by the hand, can we?

No, that is not what I meant to suggest.

Again, sorry my patriarchy joke fell flat. My only intention was to point out that men can be feminists too—just because the feminist movement was founded by women doesn't mean men can't participate. That is all I was trying to say.

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

Yikes. Men can't be feminist.

Yikes. Men can't be feminist. They can be allies but sry male privilege needs to gtfo.

No

What the fuck is this? Sexism primarily affects women. Of course it hurts men, too, but it's always by insulting men who do things or have characteristics that have traditionally been associated with the feminine. It's a lot different to be undermined and demeaned for something you ARE than for something that you AREN'T.

Men have male privilege and will never share my lived experience of living as a woman in a patriarchal society. I don't want them leading my movement and telling me how they define feminism. Men dictate and define enough things in society for women already. Men's voices have always been considered more authoritive, informative and unbiased because of sexism and I don't want them speaking over women.

Men can work on changing the perception and definition of manhood and masculinity amongst themselves, without speaking over women in the feminist movement to do it. If men can't support feminism without needing to make it about them then I don't want them as my ally. If men really care, they won't mind standing on the sidelines and supporting us and listening to us and they'll show their alliance to us by bringing our message to other men when we're not around.

I'm really disappointed in Bitch Magazine for resorting to giving more feminist space to men (when not enough women get to speak for themselves as it is) just to keep up their subscription number. I feel betrayed.

Actually, yes

Erin, did you know that one of the founders of Bitch is a man? And that we've always had male staffers, contributors, and supporters? We are not "giving more feminist space to men" -- we are acknowledging that men are crucial to feminism's ongoing success, and that men need feminism just as much as women. No one here is suggesting that men be allowed to "speak over women" -- but we are underscoring that they are crucial allies. It's not to boost our subscription numbers, it's because it's *always been a part of Bitch's mission.*

____________
Andi Zeisler, cofounder and editorial/creative director

Comments Policy: Like to hear it? Here it go!

If men want to be part of the

If men want to be part of the feminist movement it should be in support of women. They shouldn't have to be motivated by how it can help them as men. Men absolutely do NOT need feminism as much as women and it's offensive to act like male privilege does not give men as a group a significant and institutionalized advantage over women.

It was not my intention to

It was not my intention to suggest that recognition of male privilege and patriarchy should not be a crucial part of men's support for feminism, and I certainly do not believe men should be dictating to or (re-)defining feminism for women - I wish I had made both points clearly in this blog post.

Brian Frank, Bitch Media's Finance and Technology Director

Ever wonder what Bitch Media's Comments Policy is?

I can see the point in the

I can see the point in the post but... I don't know man. I think a lot of us are happy to have men as allies but not sure about the voice.

Male Support

Being a woman I of course recognize the differences between the treatment of men vs the treatment of women in our society. Being a feminist and a Bitch supporter I do in fact agree with the importance of having male support with feminism seeing the feminist sphere also being a place for men. Just because the movement is indeed FEMinism, men who identify as feminists too are also viewing the world the same we are too. Well for the most part.
Love seeing men who support the feminist movement.

>>Men are underrepresented in

>>Men are underrepresented in the feminist movement.<<

Oh no, those poor marginalized men. Of course they need to be able to have their voices heard in feminism--it's not as feminism has anything to do with giving women the platform to speak freely and have their opinions heard and noticed when men have that privilege in all other areas of life. But please, let's not hurt the men's delicate feelings by making them feel excluded.

That was a poor choice of words.

I've changed the post to reflect what I meant - "men are underrepresented in their support for feminism."

Brian Frank, Bitch Media's Finance and Technology Director

Ever wonder what Bitch Media's Comments Policy is?

That still doesn't really

That still doesn't really make sense. Men, on the whole, do not support feminism. That is not feminism or women's fault, that is men's fault. They're underrepresented because they don't care.

Agreed

Yep! That's what I'm trying to say - that men who do support feminism need to speak up about it, and encourage other men to adjust their thinking and do the same.

Brian Frank, Bitch Media's Finance and Technology Director

Ever wonder what Bitch Media's Comments Policy is?

And? Do we have to give them

And? Do we have to give them cookies and constant pats on the back now? Men don't need to be recognized for supporting women who want to be treated equally. That's like saying, "Hey, here's your plaque for not being a shitty human being."

Um, what?

I'm confused. Did all these outraged commenters read the original post? Who said anything about giving men "cookies and constant pats on the back"? Or about letting men "speak over women" or "define feminism"? The OP was asking male-identified feminists to support feminist media by subscribing to Bitch and spreading the word to their friends, family, and peers. As Brian again reiterated in the comments, he was trying to make the point (and, imo, very clearly did) "that men who do support feminism need to speak up about it, and encourage other men to adjust their thinking and do the same." This is a bad thing how?

Let me tell you (angry commentators) a secret

Some men thinks it's wrong that there is so much sexism in the world. Some men believe in equality. My ex-boyfriend actually defined himself as a feminist before I did.

Here's the thing, feminism (and Bitch) need all the support they can get. Feminism is about equal rights, what would it say about a movement that's supposed to be about equality if we don't allow people who share our beliefs to join us, because we don't like their gender identity or sexual organs?

The same logic of the arguments against men being feminists, would seem to suggest that as a straight person, I can not support marriage equality; that as a white person, I can not be against racism; that as a cis-woman, I can not be against transphobia.

Aside from men who might care about specific women in their lives, (mothers, sisters, wives, friends) Some men actually believe that inequality is wrong.

(watch someone decide that I must be a man, again)

1. I'm totally confused by

1. I'm totally confused by the number of anonymous comments in this thread, and I can't follow who's talking to whom.
2. Some men do have lived women's experience. I spent 34 years on the planet as a woman, and I try to honor that experience every day. I also now largely, though not always, receive male privilege, and I attempt to unpack it and resist it asan ongoing way of how I walk through the world.
3. Having lived for 7 years now as a man, I can say with 100% confidence that patriarchal ideology harms men and women, but from what I've seen, it harms men by shutting them down emotionally. This is pretty different than how I've seen sexism harm women, which is physically, materially, familially, emotionally, and politically. I would never argue that sexism hurts men worse than women, but if men are interested in working toward women's liberation, then they need to understand the privileges and limitations that a system of sexism imposes on them. Because we all affect each others lived experience, in the final analysis.
4. I'm really sick of progressive organizations being held to higher standards than we expect of mainstream ones. Hoping to see Bitch out of print is a disrespectful thing to say, and what exactly are we supposed to support then? Vanity Fair? Support your feminist outlets!

What?

The "angry" voices in the post aren't really talking about whether or not men can support a particular cause. They're arguing that men are not part of the cause itself and shouldn't be factored into feminist discourse. For some unfathomable reason, it's become a popular idea in feminist spaces and elsewhere that feminism is just as much about men as it is about women. But let me tell you a secret: this cause is for women. And in case you've forgotten, misogyny is the hatred of women. Males are at times indirectly hurt by patriarchal norms but they are not the intended targets; likewise the benefits they receive from feminism and feminist concepts are (as they should be) only an extension of the things feminist women strive for.

Feminism cannot be reduced to a struggle for equal rights, btw, and it's frustrating to see so many people defend men's inclusion in the movement on this basis. Unless all you want feminism to do is give women complete legal equality (relative to the rights men already have - keep that in mind), "equal rights" is an inaccurate way to describe the other goals of feminism.

If that was what they meant, they should have said it

"They're arguing that men are not part of the cause itself and shouldn't be factored into feminist discourse. "

Perhaps some of the commentators meant that, however other comments were disparaging of men's ability to be decent human beings.

As for the equal rights thing, I agree that it oversimplifies. For the record though, I meant it to include social rights, such as the right to walk down the street without being harassed.

The facts are we need male allies. I'm not saying we should give up our space or let them define the movement, but we need their support. To break it down by numbers, approximately 50% of the population is female. What percentage of that population do you think support feminism? Half? That's 25% of the total population. 25% can do a lot, but they can do more if they have the support from a larger percentage of the population.

Absolutely agree with

Absolutely agree with CalicoCat. I reject the argument that your sex defines and limits who you are as a human being, that being my core belief in the feminist movement. There is enough division, hate and ignorance already. Surely this is what we are trying to change...? I do not follow the logic that men as the 'evil oppressors' cannot play a part in it. It is true that they are not directly affected and do not suffer the same discrimination first hand but as mentioned above why on earth should that stop them seeing that this is wrong? Also we are all affected by the practice which subdues, represses, marginalises, abuses (and so on and so forth) half of society's members. A consciousness shift is required and that includes all of society, men, women and everyone in between. Accepting that men can support feminism is in no way the same thing as giving up the movement to them, how could it be?

Whoa I'm a black/hispanic

Whoa I'm a black/hispanic male. I guess that means I'm twice as unimportant when it comes to supporting feminism.

Seriously?

If Bitch decrees that feminism "is not and cannot be just for women" perhaps they should no longer call themselves a feminist magazine but a humanist one. By definition feminism is just for women any benefit conferred to men is tangential because men's problems stem from misogyny. Someone should have known this post was go to be a shit storm and yet evidently put this garbage "feminism isn't about women's oppression but men's" crap up.