Monday, October 5, 2009

This is What a (Pro)Feminist [Man Poet] Looks Like

The discussion forum “This is What a (Pro)Feminist [Man Poet] Looks Like” is now up at the Delirious Lapel website, a connected side project of the ongoing feminist forum website Delirious Hem.

Danielle Pafunda invited me to co-host this special satellite to the Delirious Hem project after an online discussion regarding my blog post on Post-Millenial Feminist Poetry back in May, and it has been a great experience. As I say in our brief co-introduction to the forum, I’ve never before been involved in a large scale public discussion among men about feminism, and I think the opportunity to do so has been very important. I really had no idea what any of these men was going to say.

The co-introduction written by Danielle and me also discusses briefly the reason that the forum came to have the name it does. Let’s hope though that people actually spend their time thinking about issues other than the basic descriptive terms.

A few new essays a day will go online between now and Friday October 9, at which point I hope the discussion will continue to extend.

I hope you’ll check it out and respond with your thoughts, either after the essays themselves, at the introduction or, if for some reason you prefer it, here on my blog, although I very much hope you’ll respond over there.

And if you comment about it or link to it on your own blog, will you let me and Danielle know?


Jordan said...

Bill Bailey!!!!!!!!!

Lemon Hound said...

Very nice. I'll take a look.

Kate Durbin said...

I linked to it, Mark. Exciting stuff.

mark wallace said...

Thanks very much, Kate, and you too, LH. I really appreciate your interest.

Art Durkee said...

Kenneth Pitchford, self-defined as an effeminist poet as well as a feminist, wrote about this topic back in at least two of his poetry books in the 1970s, "Color Photos of the Atrocities" and "The Contraband Poems." When I read those in college, I was very strongly affected, in a way that's never left me.

This is all very interesting reading, albeit after a certain point I find the only label to be worth having is "human." I guess I would call my work queer, if that means anything. In reading through these materials, I note that most of the voices of the profeministmanpoets are hetero rather than queer; which is not a problem just an observation. I have always noted that many of the strongest and brightest feminist voices have come from the LGBT contingent, especially lesbian literary theories (one of the best being Jan Clausen in my opinion; I don't really have much use for the more strident separatists, personally).

But all this makes me think of two very important books that deliver basically the same take on feminism, from two different angles: Suzanne Pharr's "Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism," and Tim Bergling's "Sissyphobia." Both of these aiuthors make the point that what is disparaged is effeminacy or feminine characteristics no matter what gender or sex they appear in; what is really under attack in normative sexism is the archetype of the feminine, the anima, being rejected and repressed. And both authors make the point that LGBTs are the natural allies of feminists, share many of the same issues and solutions. All of which I quite agree with.

The most interesting books I've read recently on this topic is "Queer Theory, Gender Theory" by Riki Wilchins.