And here we are

I don’t need feminism.

A rather problematic contention to be made by a complacent body of sheltered female activists, gripping their signs of “I am not a victim” “I am capable of critical thinking” and “I don’t need to belittle a man in order to lift myself up!”. They smile to the webcams of their Western-civilised homes, with polished nails and ever so subtlety pouted lips.

A shame really is an understatement. A shame in having an entire history of tremendous feminists, through whom such sign-holding privileges are possible, reduced to a single, now trivial word.


In the 18th Century, a term that defined the legally inferior position of women. A practice of courage.

In the 21st-century West, a term reduced to the bigot girl next door subjugated by the men of the world that refuse to put the toilet seat down. The man-hater. Destroyer of men. Adding so much fuel to the blogosphere of ‘men oppressed through words’.

These two feminisms, they are not alike.

But whatever ideology you hold, ‘I don’t need feminism’ is a brutal message to be sending to third-world sufferers of gender inequality, where statistics are still radically in favour of men, but muted by the bickering of the West that oppression of women isn’t a thing anymore. “Well I’m fine”, soon to become the stereotype of the West.

And here’s the thing – by devoting attention to these statistics, you are not becoming a feminist. No, you are a selfless human being with regard for human rights for all, unbound by doctrine. We have completely averted our gaze from what really matters – solving gender inequality. Too much time wasted on endeavours to define it.

So, for the sake of reducing 21st century misconceptions of feminism, Heart In Hand will call this social project humanist. It starts with attitude.


Jackson Katz – some fundamental questions

For many, it was Jackson Katz that made the revelation of men that are erased from conversations about violence against women – synonymous with ‘women’s issues’, the correlations between which are drawn in dominant Western discourses. This was a deeper delving into the subject of sexual harassment, rape and domestic violence – highlighting how we think about these issues, in relation to how we act about them. Katz then gave the example of language syntax, by comparing ‘John beat Mary’, with ‘Mary was a battered woman’, erasing John from the context.

There are numerous reasons for the popularity of Katz’s speech, many of which are centred on the conflicting issues it brings to the forefront. Is this a process of oppressing men by focusing on male acts of violation? Should we be focusing more on non-feminist oriented studies, studies of women that abuse male partners physically and emotionally, or would this further fuel gender inequality as a ‘women’s issue’?

“But for the record, my talk was centrally about men’s violence against women and children, and the fact that some men are clearly upset by that (“what about all the men abused by women?!”) is yet further evidence of some men’s discomfort with their needs and agendas not being center-stage 24/7.”