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Men and Feminism and Vinnie

Paradigm Shift recently held a very successful event in New York called Feminist Men: Increasing Visibility featuring one of our favorite feminist dudes Vinnie D'Angelo of Vinnie's Tampon Case fame. I heard he was the highlight of the event and I'm not surprised. He was super supportive of my film "I Was A Teenage Feminist" and our interview with him is one of my favorite parts. Check out the clip above, and if you can't see it click here.

Speaking of men and feminism, Bitch's latest Six Questions is with Shira Tarrant, editor of the book "Men and Feminism."

I caught a reading event in New York a few months ago and it's a fantastic and thought-provoking collection of essays. Written by men about their relationship to feminism, they represent a huge diversity of voices and honest experiences. Some essays are funny and some are heartbreaking, covering topics from domestic violence to hip-hop to being rebuffed from working with feminist groups to the conundrum of who picks up the check on a date.

Much of the focus of the Bitch interview is on violence against women. Says Shira:

There’s a huge problem in news reporting and media, more generally, where women are identified as victims, but men are remain invisible—as men—when they are the perpetrators. Jackson Katz talks about this a lot in his book Macho Paradox. There’s a huge difference between saying “a woman was raped” and saying “a man raped a woman.” The latter sentence is still very challenging for us to hear, because it calls out the person who assaults and removes women from the victim role.

This is a conversation that's important and long overdue. We should have more of them. So it shocked me to read some of the heinous comments that were left for the Bitch item: Anger, obscenity, frustration, the lowest of trolldom. My first thought was 'Why are these sexist dudes even reading Bitch?" but my second was maybe it's good they at least know the book exists.

As one commenter said:

And all of us - even the guys who posted here, I dare say - have women in our lives that we care about. These women face sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexism every day of their lives. For their sake and ours, we guys need to speak up against sexism and constrained gender roles.