Analysing the social relations of sex from an oppressive social position.
Léo Thiers-Vidal

Biographical Note: Léo Thiers-Vidal is working on a PhD in philosophy on materialist feminism and its epistemological consequences for men wanting to do critical research on social relations of sex. He’s a 32 years old, white, straight man who grew up in an upper social class family in Belgium. He has been involved in the anarchist movement in Belgium and France on issues as squatting, anti-speciesism, environmentalism and radical feminism till 1998. He then worked within a grassroots perspective on the issue of children sexually abused by their fathers and contributed to “Mères en Lutte”, a small self-support group with and for concerned mothers. He also worked within Cabiria, a community health and social rights group with and for prostitutes. He’s currently involved in fighting sexual harassment within higher education. He lives in Lyon, France.

Summary: This article discusses the specific link between knowing subjects “men” and research object “social relations of sex”. The subjective structuring as oppressor related to the membership of the social group men is discussed as an obstacle to producing pertinent knowledge. Identifying male egocentrism and a disadvantaged epistemological condition as main obstacles, the author proposes leads of thought on the possible transformation of male subjectivity and the development of committed research, articulated around the elaboration of an anti-masculinist conscience.

Originally published in Nouvelles Questions Féministes, a French-language radical feminist review, Vol. 21, n° 3, pp. 71-83, December 2002. It has been translated by Léo Thiers-Vidal and upgraded by Peter Claes and Rona Dragon. 

In this article, I propose to analyse the way male researchers committed to the struggle against women’s oppression by men, can optimise their scientific and political efficiency when analysing social relations of sex [1] . When these men want to produce non-biased and pertinent analyses, they are confronted with a double difficulty. On the one hand, to fully understand feminist analyses which point to their existence as a permanent source of women’s oppression; on the other hand, to learn to manage the inner conflicts that come with it in order to be able to maintain a productive, involved and distanced look at their oppressive construction and behaviour.
      The study of social relations of sex insistently questions the link between knowing subject and research object. Due to the emotional, sexual, corporal and identity related anchorage produced by the specific organisation of social relations of sex, all theoretical and political questioning implies that committed male researchers should re-evaluate their personal construction and their life.
      As members of the oppressive group, they have to learn that their subjectivity is constructed/structured by the male position in society, i.e. the fact that they benefit from material wealth, social liberties, qualities of life and androcentric representations as far as they oppress women. In order for committed male researchers, to produce non-biased and pertinent analyses, they have to develop an anti-masculinist conscience [2] : an awareness of the fact that, as oppressors, their subjectivity is constructed/structured in a particular way, as well as an awareness of the consequences of this construction in order to avoid masculinist bias.
      The central question which emerges from such an awareness is: in what way does a dominant position produced by oppressive behaviour construct/structure the epistemological relationship to the issue of social relations of sex? In other words, in what way are analyses of social relations of sex influenced, and even limited, by the fact that committed male researchers belong to the social group: men?

Analysing the social relations of sex: the gendered gap

Several feminist researchers have analysed the link between the social position of women and a feminist analysis of social relations of sex. Christine Delphy writes as early as 1975: “Oppression is a possible conceptualisation of a given situation; and this conceptualisation can only come from one viewpoint, i.e. a precise place in this condition: the oppressed one” (1998: 281). Yet, few committed male researchers have considered this aspect. At best, they consider it selectively, recalling a certain differentialist idea of complementarity. This states that men are in less of a position to analyse the oppressed’ life, but they are in an equal or better position to analyse the oppressors’ life hence the necessity of involving more men in feminist research (Welzer-Lang, 1999).
I consider it crucial to go deeper into this epistemological question as it conditions committed male researchers in relation to the issue of social relations of sex. Analysing the effects of a social position on the production of knowledge can have important repercussions on the masculinist imaginary of the “neutral, autonomous and rational knowing subject” that denies the specificity of men’s life. This analysis may also transform men’s inscription in committed research. Very often committed male researchers have the impression that they have to choose between mimetically and guiltily copying feminist analysis or developing an independent and liberating male agenda (Welzer-Lang, 1996). When one discusses the epistemological link between the male social position and the analysis of social relations of sex, one can, on the contrary, leave this false choice behind and consider an innovating way of doing committed male research.
Feminist analyses offer a crucial perspective on the epistemological importance of life, but participating in feminist activism, however, can enrich this perspective. Participating in activist dynamics, uncontrolled by men, makes the meaning of the slogan “the personal is political” clear, but not in the same way for feminists and committed men. During an anti-patriarchal camp organised some years ago in the Ariège region of France, women-only / men-only and mixed gender discussion groups brought an asymmetrical experience of life to the surface from women and men, and therefore an asymmetry of topics for consideration and ways of dealing with them. Very quickly, divisions arose: committed men joyfully left men–only workshops where they had discussed sexual experiences, fantasies, emotional expression… while feminists gravely left women-only workshops where they had discussed sexual violence and it’s consequences on their sexuality and integrity.
      Over the course of the camp, this gulf grew until it provoked a clash. Feminists demanded that committed men became conscious of this gulf caused by the oppression experienced by women, and of the hierarchy of gendered positions. They opted, despite their anger and pain, for a very educational approach, however, the men refused to work towards a collective answer and to accept this invitation. Moreover, feminists signalled that they had been progressively excluded from mixed interactions. Men began to look awkwardly away and the companionship / friendliness that had previously existed disappeared.
Let’s take another example: during discussions, parties and encounters organised by members of radical feminist groups from Lyon, some committed men learned, through participating and thinking, that the feminists’ input concerning social relations of sex were more pertinent than those of committed men. These men didn’t often manage to understand the topics discussed, or to identify the ins and outs of a question, nor to understand what seemed so self-evident for these radical feminists.
In the face of this gendered gap, most committed men developed the following judgment: considering feminist’s input as more pertinent than committed men’s ones signifies “being guilt ridden, under feminists’ thumb”, even “castrated”; opposing this signifies “being critical, supporting feminists but vigilant against any submission”. The link between gendered social positions and the analysis of social relations of sex wasn’t questioned by these committed men, and this resistance blocked any constructive collaboration between feminists and committed men.
The gendered gap revealed during these activist encounters – the oppositional conceptualisations of social relations of sex as oppression – is not due to a lack of information on men’s part which should be filled up in order to find some equilibrium. The people participating all had a close variety of information: there were heterosexuals and homosexuals, people with years of experience and those with very little, academic and non-academic….
The reason only feminists developed analyses based on issues of power, is because the shared information and experiences rang that way for them because of their experiences. “Because even when words are shared, their connotations are radically different. That’s why several words have a pleasurable connotation for the oppressor and take on the meaning of suffering for the oppressed” (Rochefort in Mathieu, 1991: 132). The gap that appeared between feminists and committed men is therefore a persisting consequence of oppression.  While the structural position of feminists in social relations of sex creates common political topics which question reality in terms of power, the structural position of committed men creates topics that are also common to their social group but which, on the contrary, hide/veil relations of oppression.

Social position, androcentrism and analytical ability

If this gendered gap persists between feminists and committed men and if it isn’t related to information but to experiencing hierarchical social positions, how can you more accurately describe this gendered link between the knowing subject and the object of knowledge? From studying feminist standpoint epistemology (Hartsock, 1998) two principal lines of thought emerge. The first one is androcentrism, defined as male emotional, psychological and political egocentrism, the second concerns analytical ability, determined by a specific male “expertise”.
The first line of thought on the gendered link between the knowing subject and the object of knowledge concerns the respective motivation of feminists and committed men. Feminists participating in the camp interpreted their experiences politically because only such a politicised analysis responded to their objective interest: being able to build up conceptual tools in order to struggle efficiently against an oppressive reality. What motivates these women is precisely the fact that defining men as oppressors and their action as oppressive corresponds to saying how reality really is. This is for them, a source of emancipation.
On the contrary, committed men did not interpret their experiences politically because this would reflect a male reality of inflicting violence, exploitation, appropriation and an absence of empathy towards women. Now, if men want to maintain their material, psychological, sexual and mental quality of life, they’re better off hiding the oppressive nature of their relations with women from themselves. What motivates these men to participate in these group dynamics is the possibility to talk about themselves, “what worries [them] is man, i.e. [themselves], again and as always” (Mathieu, 1999: 308). So they voluntarily talk about “sex roles” or the male “prison” - that which also makes it possible for them to feel like victims – or about other forms of oppression, denying/deadlocking their own oppressive behaviour.
Therefore, androcentrism characterises committed male dynamics and analyses. This consists of two elements: emotional and psychological egocentrism, granting an excessive importance to your own feelings and experiences, and political egocentrism, reducing feminism to a tool designed to improve your own fate.
From the inside, as a committed man who has participated in “pro-feminist” groups in several countries, this emotional and psychological egocentrism is mainly expressed by a refusal to empathise with women. Any mention of violence inflicted by men against women – if it hasn’t already been avoided first on the pretext of not being determined by a feminist agenda – is dismissed in many ways. It is either used to discuss their own suffering (“but I suffer too”), or it is thrown back at other men or a system which “controls” them (hegemonic masculinity, patriarchy). It is either turned against women (“but they have to benefit from it in some way ?”), or it is avoided through making yourself feel so guilty that you can remain focused on yourself (“it’s awful, I suffer from being dominant”). It seems to be impossible for most “committed” men to simply accept that men’s behaviour diminish or even destroy women’s (quality of) lives. Their refusal to empathise can be explained by the hypothesis that as if fully recognising the existence of women would threaten their own existence.
However, androcentrism also implies political egocentrism: when discussing relations between women and men, these men start talking about their own personal experiences while progressively excluding the experiences of actual women in their own lives. Feminism thus functions as a therapeutic tool designed to improve men’s quality of life. Men use feminist analysis to transform their lives in order to experience even more well-being; if this doesn’t work, they reject feminism.
 You can, thanks to this first line of thought about the gendered link between knowing subject and object of knowledge, identify a central obstacle to the pertinent production of knowledge on social relations of sex from a male social position. The egoistic defence of their own interests and of those of their social group motivates committed men to exclude the oppressed experiences of women from their analysis, and to remain focused on their own experiences. Refusing to empathise with women enables committed men to remain linked to the social group of men in general. Only theoretical, political and personal work on this aspect of male subjectivity will enable a break in this link with the social group of men to emerge and create an anti-masculinist conscience.
A second line of thought on the gendered link between knowing subject and object of knowledge concerns analytical ability. You have to consider how living from an oppressive social position constructs/structures your way of being in the world. Feminist standpoint epistemology enables us to understand that living as a woman or a man in a hierarchical society produces asymmetrical “expertises”, forms of pre-political awareness of how social relations of sex work.
The notion of expertise stresses the fact that women and men are active knowing subjects, acting in a given social structure and processing information and analyses allowing them to get their bearings. It can be distinguished from the concepts of role, disposition, socialisation or performativity by the fact that it stresses the practical awareness which social actors develop of social relations of power. These expertises are asymmetrical due to the fact that women accumulate information, feelings, intuitions and analyses from the violent consequences of the oppression they suffer, going back to its source, thus developing knowledge on the actual relations in their lives. Due to the fact that women’s experience is permanently marked by the effects of oppression, this expertise takes up an important space, often remaining conscious and concerns the dynamics of oppression as such.
On the contrary, men accumulate from infancy onwards information, feelings, intuitions and analyses on the maintenance and improvement of their quality of life because, as men, they don’t have to “serve” or submit themselves to women. Therefore, what they learn everyday in their relations with women remains focused on themselves. Listening more to women may make them question their behaviour, thus cost them psychic and emotional energy, even the abandonment or loss of actual advantages. Moreover, unveiling their emotional functioning, may offer women a means of resistance but may also offer men relief and therapeutic support by women.  A good dosage of indifference and distance discourages any initiative by women while expressing interest and attachment may enable obtaining some emotional and sexual services.
In short, men have a whole repertoire of attitudes consciously intended for obtaining this or that result in their relations with women. One can say that their expertise is egocentric. It takes up less space then the relational expertise of women because being the oppressor enables them to take an interest in other issues: study, career, leisure, and activism. This male expertise is conscious at certain moments, mainly in infancy, but it progressively becomes a kind of masculinist intuition. Men thus build up expertise about the actual means of oppression (Mathieu, 1991): they learn to test the functionality and efficiency of certain attitudes, behaviours, words, absences of words and feelings, in their relations with women.
It is this asymmetry that constitutes the epistemological qualitative leap represented by the expertise from women’s lives. Women build an important, conscious and relational expertise, informed by their permanently oppressed life, in relation to the dynamics of oppression, while men build a non-relational expertise, in relation to the means of oppression, focused on themselves and where the experiences of women are practically absent. This asymmetry of pre-political expertises - that constitute elements of gendered ways of being in the world - enables a better understanding of the persisting gap between feminists and committed men, and of the gendered link between knowing subject and object of knowledge.
Feminists conceptualise social relations of sex as oppression in opposition to committed men because an asymmetry exists in the analytical abilities in regard to social relations of sex. This asymmetry has to be thought of, in fine, as an epistemological privilege for feminists and an epistemological disadvantage for committed men (Hartsock, 1998). This particular epistemological condition has to be carefully considered because it constructs/structures the epistemological relation of committed male researchers to social relations of sex. It is thus important to develop committed research from an oppressive social position which mobilises male specific expertise while taking into account committed male researchers’ lesser ability to analyse the dynamics of oppression.
Just as male egocentrism, male epistemological particularity constitutes a central obstacle to the production of a pertinent analysis on social relations of sex. These two elements construct/structure male common subjectivity and thus specifically condition their relation with the research object. These obstacles explain why so few men commit themselves to this subject but also why their treatment of the issue of social relations of sex often remains biased, despite a good knowledge of feminist analyses.
This particular contruction/structuring is above all a disadvantage: given their belonging to the oppressive social group, nearly nothing motivates or enables committed male researchers to question deeply what their existence is founded on. It is thus important to transform male subjectivity in such a way that it fully integrates into its analyses the existence of women and their oppressed lives. This implies that men should question their personal life and distance themselves/break away from their social group and their masculinity. However, that which constitutes a disadvantage nevertheless enables men to contribute to the analysis of certain aspects of social relations of sex, within the framework of feminist theory.

Transforming our subjectivity: two phases

I propose to identify elements which could transform committed male researchers’ particular subjectivity. I distinguish two phases, not necessarily separate but enabling a better understanding of this permanent, transformative work. The first phase concerns the adequate understanding of feminist theorising; the second concerns participating in feminist activism, creating a better basis for this understanding.
The first phase of subjectivity transforming consists of in depth reading and analysing of feminist theories. These theories enable us to transform crucial elements of our subjectivity: the grids of perception and analysis of social relations of sex. The founding works by Christine Delphy (1998, 2001), Colette Guillaumin (1992), Nicole-Claude Mathieu (1991), Paola Tabet (1998) and Monique Wittig (2001) remain essential reading. These theoreticians clearly lay down the different dynamics of oppression, the methodological and epistemological bases for a radical materialist feminism and lesbianism and enable a radically innovative intellectual, emotional, political and personal investment.
The adequate understanding of these theories plays an important role in enabling men to intellectually depart from a masculinist world vision. By transforming the grids of perception and analysis of social relations of sex, committed male researchers push the boundaries of the link between themselves and their social group. Logically, there is resistance to such a departure and this will shape the investment in committed research differently.
David Kahane (1998) identifies four modes of investment. The poseur is willing to be seen as a “pro-feminist” but commits himself superficially, he refuses to apply this analysis to his own theoretical and practical tendencies. The insider commits himself politically to the feminist project but wanting a positive self-image, he doesn’t question his gendered behaviour and projects patriarchy on other men. The humanist considers patriarchy as source both of benefits and costs for men and privileges a male agenda, promoting discomforts and suffering supposedly linked to masculinity. Finally, the self-flagellator combines a relatively in depth knowledge of feminist theories with intolerance for ambiguity: marked by guilt and intransigence, he withdraws at mid-way, becoming one of the previous ideal types.
These four modes of commitment recall already discussed elements concerning committed male researchers and activists. The false choice between mimetically and guiltily swallowing feminist analysis wholesale or developing a male agenda can be understood as the humanist versus the self-flagellator, while the emotional, psychological and political egocentrism of committed male researchers crosses all four modes of commitment in different ways. In fact, a psychological focus on yourself and your own psychological barriers continue to predominate due to the fact that this phase occurs individually and focuses on the intellectual. Categorising attitudes during this first phase of understanding feminist theorising thus classifies the different degrees of mourning by different individuals in relation to a masculinist imaginary and world vision.
 The first phase enables an intellectual, limited transformation of male subjectivity. However, a second phase is needed, enabling you to go beyond the modes of investment described above. It consists of participating in collective activism where the dynamics are controlled by feminists.
Feminist researchers have often stressed the importance of political commitment, and this seems even more important for committed male researchers as these commitments – be they informal and in daily life, or formalised in organisation – allow a better grasp of their stakes in social relations of sex. Participating in group dynamics such as the anti-patriarchal camp or mainly grassroots struggle and working with feminists against several aspects of women’s oppression enables further transformation of male subjectivity, and the actual perception of the (micro) dynamics of oppression: male solidarity against women, the elaborate strategies and the generally organised and intentional characteristic of men’s oppressive behaviour.
In order to experience these intellectual notions as « sex-ery » (Guillaumin, 1992), domestic exploitation (Delphy, 1998), giving in and not consenting, mental invasion and heterosociality (Mathieu, 1991), you have to let yourself be confronted with the effects of oppression such as fear, psychological destructuring, pain, scars, poverty but also anger, powerlessness and strategies of resistance. During this second phase, you have to se déprendre de soi [3] often enough and long enough in order to give women’s experiences a less annexed and subordinated, emotional and psychological space within yourself.
This implies a regular temporary abandonment of your oppressors’ viewpoint in order to grant the oppressed’ viewpoint a more important permanent, intellectual and emotional place. This “decentring” – renouncing egocentrism – enables you to go beyond the limited modes of investment related to a purely intellectual understanding of feminist theorising. Recognising experientially women’s oppression, an analysis based on empathy neutralises male resistances to feminist theories and opens up roads to a different, more committed investment in the study of social relations of sex.
The two phases of transformation – intellectually understanding feminist theorising and participating in feminist activist dynamics - constitute a precondition for committed male researchers, on the one hand, to achieve a better understanding of male oppression’s dynamics through connecting feelings, sensations, intuitions and thoughts and, on the other hand, a less biased involvement in research. It’s not only about identifying the strategies and techniques used by other men, but also the ways we continue to use them, including in a feminist context. It’s necessary to become conscious of the inherent conflicts of such a transformation of male subjectivity in order to be able to dissociate yourself from your social group and its characteristics: masculinity and masculinism. After this dissociation, the male researcher will eventually be able to produce more pertinent and less biased analyses, as these will take into account his disadvantaged epistemological condition.

Perspectives of pertinent committed research

I’ve tried to show until now how much the link between knowing subject “man” and research object “social relations of sex” is constructed/structured by an oppressive position and by belonging to the social group of men. Far from being “neutral, autonomous and rational knowing subjects” as the masculinist imaginary conveys, male committed researchers are confronted by several obstacles preventing them from contributing to the analysis of social relations of sex. The two transformation phases of male subjectivity enable you to contain the negative effects of emotional, psychological and political egocentrism and of a disadvantaged epistemological condition, but they do not indicate how committed research can be done. In this last part, I will formulate some thoughts on the way committed male researchers can take into account their particular subjectivity while focusing on their research objects and I will demonstrate this by use of the example of male socialisation.
Logically, committed male research on social relations of sex is marked by biases also notable in committed male dynamics: they consist of “[avoiding] the confrontation with the relation with the other sex and the reality of that relation” (Dagenais and Devreux, 1998 : 11). The authors realise this avoidance by focusing mainly on men’s experience without articulating it in relation to women’s experience, underestimating this relation, express ignoring the intentional, conscious, organised nature of the stake men have in male oppressive behaviour.
This bias partly results from the widespread idea that committed male researchers could sufficiently contribute to the analysis of social relations of sex by choosing male experience, the social group of men and masculinity as study topic. But because of male egocentrism and epistemological disadvantage, this topic choice doesn’t provoke an analysis of men’s oppressive behaviour. You have to work hard at distancing yourself from what you think ‘makes sense’ - your intuition, feelings, thoughts and sensations – because this masculinist sense prevents a different perception of male life. In order to transform male subjectivity, committed male researchers have enabled themselves to temporarily abandon their own viewpoints in favour of women’s viewpoints, in order to investigate the research object differently you have to progressively but radically de-familiarise yourself with it.
Contrary to feminist researchers, whose pre-political expertise concerning the dynamics of oppression constitutes an important resource enabling them to investigate this masculinist sense, male committed researchers don’t have such a headstart. The only way to enable a comparable epistemological split consists of effectuating regular “comings and goings” between the research object and the feminist sense. Progressively these “comings and goings” allow the feminist sense to become the interrogating perspective of the research object and the researcher will thus be able to formulate questions on the link between the particular construction/structuring of male life and the usefulness of such a construction/structuring to improve male quality of life at the expense of women. Through examining all aspects of men’s behaviour, their way of being in and their way of perceiving of the world from the perspective of the benefits men gain in their relations with women, committed male researchers can analyse power in its gendered dimension. It is only after having made such a split that they will be able to utilise their pre-political expertise regarding the techniques used by men to oppress women and to rely on their own experiences, feelings and perceptions. At that moment, their thought process becomes anti-masculinist and can offer insight into the way men use women.
It seems to me that by proceeding in this way, committed male researchers can pertinently contribute to the analysis of social relations of sex by focussing their analysis of male experience on its relation to the other sex and the different aspects constituting this oppressive relation. Moreover, the analysis of male life shouldn’t be thought of as belonging to or being due to male committed researchers. They see this life from the inside; this angle isn’t better than women’s one who see it from the outside but feel its effects, it’s different. The encounter between feminist theorising by women researchers and anti-masculinist theorising by men researchers will be the encounter between an epistemologically privileged theorising deprived of an inside look and an epistemologically disadvantaged theorising provided with an inside look.
Let’s take a concrete example: male socialisation. Several committed male researchers analyse it primarily as a source of violence for men, creating different forms of masculinity and producing “restraints” imprisoning men, and as an afterthought as a source of violence against women. This kind of analysis misinterprets the link between cause and effect, often exaggerating its negative effects on men. Analysing male socialisation primarily through its negative effects on men (masculinist sense) indeed prevents analysing that this socialisation has as aim and effect to teach a generation of children to become the actors of women’s oppression (feminist sense). If learning a masculinist way of being in the world and seeing the world can have secondary costs, it mainly allows one to benefit from incomparable structural privileges for the rest of one’s life.
The epistemological split made possible by the process of de-familiarising on the contrary enables you to investigate in what way this socialisation benefits and is even crucial to the maintenance of men’s power over women. Learning, e.g. not to express feelings or to express them selectively and at certain precise moments, strengthens men in their relationships with women: “expressing one’s emotions tends to strongly reduce one’s power position, power having strong links with not expressing vulnerability” (Monnet, 1998: 197). The topic of some male researchers, promoting the expression of emotions, appears thus as learning one of the means of power. Male committed researchers have, on the contrary, to study male socialisation as it constitutes several ways of learning, often with pleasure and enjoyment, to build oneself a subjectivity, a corporeality and a sexuality allowing at once using women and not feeling any uneasiness or remorse.
The epistemological stake of committed research from a male position and yet coherent with feminist theorising, consists thus of producing knowledge, that starting from feminist analyses of the dynamics of oppression and documents from the inside all dimensions of male oppressive action. This can only be done if committed male researchers remain vigilant concerning their own subjectivity and oppressive behaviour towards women. It can not be thought of nor put in practice in isolation or between oppressors, nor can it only be founded on “good intent”. It is thus necessary for us, male committed researchers, to establish with feminists regular interactions not controlled by the men’s group, in order to check the political and theoretical pertinence of our work. Conscious of male emotional, psychological and political egocentrism and a disadvantaged epistemological condition, it is important to be accountable to those concerned in order to prevent the numerous problems already documented, among which is a new exclusion of feminists by male research on social relations of sex. Indeed, if committed male researchers can analyse from the inside the means of male oppressive behaviour, they shouldn’t create a new male bastion where belonging to the oppressive social group would be transformed in an epistemological privilege against women.

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[1] This article is based on my post graduate thesis (2001). I would like to thank all the people  who’ve helped me to improve my thinking, in particular Christine Delphy, Marie-Josèphe Dhavernas-Lévy, Sandrine Durand, Judith Ezekiel, Françoise Guillemaut, Rose Marie Lagrave, Corinne Monnet, Sandrine Pariat, Patricia Roux and Martine Schutz-Samson.

[2]   I define “masculinism” as the governing political ideology structuring society producing two social classes: men and women. Men’s social class is founded on women’s oppression, the source of an improved quality of life.  I define “masculinity” as a number of practices – producing a way of being in the world and a vision of the world – structured by masculinism, founded on and making possible the oppression of women.  I define “men” as the social actors produced by masculinism, their common feature being oppressive action against women.

[3] To decentre yourself and make yourself as much as possible a stranger to your own culture


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