About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (a bad wordplay on Orwell's "double plus good" and old machismo - I'm the realest after all) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear' or 'Unripe language'), the umbrella of several literary projects in Dutch.

This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Why is this in English why everything else in Dutch? Because I want to gun for a much wider audience here. Also, my literary English isn't good enough, otherwise I would always write in English.

Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Men at work (V)

What can we do?

No matter how many feminists will make similar analyses, they are all stillborn if we can’t get men to work against these stereotypes themselves. Many men already do, in one way or another, but lack knowledge of the deeper structures that underpin these notions. For example, reclaiming or rebranding things as ‘manly’ doesn’t work. It’s just shifting the problem. Neither does it work to talk about incorporating ‘feminine’ traits.

All of the items discussed above need not be typical of so many men. It’s important that some of us can take the first step, any step – whether it’s going against a stereotype among your friends that guys are always up for sex, or whether it’s encouraging friends to talk about how they feel. In many cases, you might be surprised to find that a lot of guys are also chafing under this cultural yoke, policed by pop culture in general and their true-believers (of either gender) in particular. But the power of these notions can fade if people stop subscribing to them and expose them for the bullshit they are.

It’s not just talk, it’s action as well. You can take a look at how you help raise your kids, or how you speak of or speak to women. In theory, it should be easier for us to help tear this structure down, because we are at the top. Men tend to listen more to other men. In practice, it won’t always be easy. It’s one thing to advise a friend not to believe that women who sleep around are sluts, it’s another to challenge a status quo among ourselves because in many ways, it’s so comfortable. But it hurts people every day, poisons relationships and friendships, and has a big part to play in how messed up society is. So – to work, men. We’ve got things to do.