from Feminist Theory: from margin to center.
All men support and perpetuate sexism and sexist oppression in one form or another. It is crucial that feminist activists not get bogged down in intensifying our awareness of this fact to the extent that we do not stress the more unemphasized point, which is that men can lead life-affirming, meaningful lives without exploiting and oppressing women. Like women, men have been socialized to passively accept sexist ideology. While they need not blame themselves for accepting sexism, they must assume responsibility for eliminating it. [. . .] Men are not exploited or oppressed by sexism, but there are ways in which they suffer as a result of it. This suffering should not be ignored.
When I first read this paragraph months ago, I wrote in the margins “Wow! Why is this so revolutionary?”
This is why I love bell hooks. In one paragraph, she smoothly addresses the issues of male privilege and Patriarchy Hurts Men, Too – and with grace and surety. Feminist Theory should be required reading for all undergrads, I think – I’ve never read such a plain and accessible yet sharp explanation of intersecting oppressions.