Men are threatened when women act the same way they do.
After a seminar for top executives in Sweden, a country that’s always on top of every “gender” list—whether it be the UN Human Development Index
or The Global Gender Gap Report
—I realized that’s there’s still some misunderstanding among men in my country and in Europe regarding feminism. What is it? Who are they? And are they dangerous? There is nothing some men (and women) like better than to generalize and claim that feminists are ugly, lesbians, and impossible to be around. In 2013? Yes. All the time, everywhere? No. But enough to regard it as a problem. The most effective way to handle opponents is to oppress them, bundle them together and put a label on them. This is what authorities always have done to maintain their power.
To be a woman is to be passive. That is good, something positive. Being a feminist is being active, and that’s bad. Active women do what men do—they claim their rights and express themselves. They call matters into question and are questioned themselves. Obviously, men are threatened when women act the same way they do.
But what if all feminists are not the same? What if there are both men and women, calling themselves feminists? What if all men are not the same, in terms of behavior, thoughts etcetera? What if…
The psychoanalyst Patricia Klein Frithiof, describes feminism like this:
Feminism is not a united theory. It consists of several different directions. Feminism is also an idea of the world, or several ideas of the world, including women and confirming the human dignity of women. Feminism is striving to visualize and analyze relations between the sexes (system of gender), power and all forms of oppression of women.
Harriet Goldhor Lerner, an American therapist and expert in the psychology of women, represents a feminism that assumes that men and women are more alike than different. She says polarizations are destructive and alienate us from one another. Lerner also suggests that women are not homogenous as a group. The concept of women, as well as the concept of men, consists of a various number of individuals
with a huge variety when it comes to acting and thinking. This is surely a new way of thinking, not the least for men. Most men see feminists as disturbing and beyond control and the rest as a group of ordinary women.
I had a need to write this and share these definitions with my American male friends, since MARC is targeting men. Of course this does not mean that all
women in the US nor in Sweden know what a feminist is. Far from it. But trust me, there is nothing dangerous with feminism, it does not hurt anyone, it open doors.