Men in Feminism by Alice Jardine

By Alice Jardine

The 1st huge try to produce a discussion among feminists and their male allies, this selection of essays assesses the advantages or risks of male participation in feminism.

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Difference as desire: no difference, only differences, no one and other, no his-her, man-woman, nor hetero-homo (another difference definition drawn up from the man-woman norm), a new sociality, deferring places, in that sense a utopia. But whose desire? There is a lot about psychoanalysis in these notes. ”30 A fiction to be gone through, a political weapon to be appropriated as such, an analysis of patriarchal positioning in our lives as masculine or feminine (perhaps, “then I was still hoping…”).

This was the message I myself received recently. In response to my article, “A Question of Feminine Identity,” Alice Jardine asked this in relation to men in feminism: What is it that keeps them from speaking and writing of themselves, of their own positionality in the contemporary discursive field? I am not, of course, talking here about becoming “personal,” just of knowing what they already know—that no one speaks or writes suspended between heaven and earth. Further on she says: Most difficult of all is that these few men, our allies, have learned their lessons well.

Feminist theory has its exclusive mechanisms—it excludes particular people, it excludes other feminist discourses, it establishes ways of checking credentials, it coins and controls a vocabulary, and so on. Here, as everywhere, the important thing for the transgressor to know is, not just the sentence, but the reason for the law’s existence: for the greater good, or to advance special interests? 36 Men in Feminism So far as men are concerned, then; so far as they, supposed “homomorphs” of that which feminism challenges, break into that discourse as it formalizes itself; as they learn to understand it and follow its guidelines; what could be required or expected of them?

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