Polish Your Masculinity

An Experiment

One of the perks of being a feminist ally is gaining a new appreciation of social diversity. As your constructivist laser vision makes every fixed idea you ever entertained about gender crumble before your very own eyes, you start to feel lighter somehow, less encumbered by prejudice and the need to conform.

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Pick a Side

My General English teacher from three years ago was very fond of dropping the phrase “There’s nothing wrong with being a Marxist in theory” whenever politics was being discussed in class. From her tone of voice you could tell that she was declaring herself a Marxist with that statement, so I was always quick to respond that Marx’s conception of historical materialism — especially its reliance on the idea of an “end of history” — doesn’t hold up when you look at how the world actually works. Of course, my teacher wasn’t talking about the philosophy underpinning Karl Marx’s writing so much as radical wealth redistribution. But she didn’t elaborate, she gave in to my half-assed retaliation, probably because she could tell from the way my eyes were gleaming with that cocky teenage certainty that I had completely made up my mind:

If your model of society rests on such shaky theoretical ground, why bother with the nitty-gritty? Why should I give you the benefit of the doubt?

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Is Anything Apolitical?

Everyone is familiar with the slogan ‘The personal is political’ — not only that what we experience on a personal level has profound political implications, but that our interior lives, our emotional lives are very much informed by ideology. We oftentimes do the work of the state in and through our interior lives. What we often assume belongs most intimately to ourselves and to our emotional life has been produced elsewhere and has been recruited to do the work of racism and repression.

— Angela Y. Davis, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

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