Thought Catalog
August 18, 2015

“Things Feminist Men Have Said To Me” And The Problem With Allies

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What is the issue?

I hate allies. I hate the notion that women need saving, and that we need men to do it. I hate that we invent the need for allies because we think women are incapable of saving themselves. If feminism is a movement about being empowered, what could be less empowering than saying we need men in order to make change?

The problem is that if these men really believe in feminism, they shouldn’t be speaking on behalf of women, they should be encouraging women to speak for themselves. Here’s a beautiful piece of poetry about how it feels when allies speak for you.

Allies do not actually help the cause because they cookie-seek for their behavior, speak for the group they claim to be allied with, correct people about their own experiences, and they seek notoriety for their “benevolent” Twitter activism. There should be no allies. There should be no special place for someone in a movement just for doing the right thing as a bystander. There should be the people inside the group fighting for equality, decent humans and then the trash humans who disagree with feminism.

Tonight Twitter is alive with criticism as women share personal stories of men who call themselves allies under the hashtag #thingsfeministmenhavesaidtome because the concept of being an ally is flawed from the very beginning and lends itself to bringing in egotistical, narcissistic people to a movement who want to make it all about themselves, surprise! Here are some of the most insightful tweets:

Men who think feminism is babysitting their own kids

Men who think feminism is actually about men

Men who think they know more about feminism than women do

Men who straight up defend patriarchy

Men who need everything to be about them and their problems

Men who think women are the emotional sex (but never seem to think “anger” is an emotion)

Men who think women’s end goal is pleasing men

Men who put down women in the name of feminism

Men who literally can’t stand not being in charge of one thing

Men who don’t understand women are people until they have a daughter

I submit that we don’t actually need men to be our allies. We don’t need to be saved, we can speak for ourselves.

There’s a quote I love, “truly powerful women don’t explain why they want respect. They simply don’t engage those who don’t give it to them.” Every woman is this powerful because every woman chooses who she engages with, which relationship she puts energy into, who she spends her time with, even who she works for in many cases. Women have the power to do feminism without needing men to help them. The men who support us can embrace us as a partner instead of through the imbalance of the white knight/damsel in distress relationship. TC mark

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