Thursday, March 8, 2007

Blog Against Sexism

Blog Against Sexism Day Today is Blog Against Sexism Day. This is my contribution…

When I was attending university, I participated in a consciousness raising group there called “Men Challenging Sexism.” That experience has played a big part in my activism and personal life ever since.

We would meet every week for a few hours on Friday afternoons to discuss sexism and patriarchy and our own roles and experiences in them. By taking a direct, personal, look at the impacts of sexism on our own lives and the people close to us (family, friends, partners), I came to a quite visceral understanding of the intensely negative impacts that patriarchy has had, and continues to have, on my life and on the lives of the people I care about in my life.

That patriarchy has devastatingly horrific effects on the lives of women in the world is enough reason to dedicate oneself to its erradication. However, many men fall for the lie that patriarchy somehow works out in their favour and so accept the oppression of women (and other non-male genders). This failure to recognize that patriarchy is also harmful to them is part of the failure to recognize what patriarchy is and how fundamentaly awful it is.

By understanding the terrible loss and harm patriarchy has caused me personally, and then understanding that it’s even worse for the women in my life (and all other women), I have held a motivation to work for the eradication of patriarchy that has carried me even through the worst “activist burnouts” I’ve experienced.

Once we make a personal connection with understanding these issues, it becomes almost impossible to walk away from the obligation to do what we can to make things better.
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