Feminism and Men: Contradiction or collaboration?

The Feminist Club Amsterdam discussion night 10th of January 2017 @ Atria 
Sum-up by Vanessa Cantinho de Jesus

 

Real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you.
― Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017)

When I first joined The Feminist Club I decided to do so because I felt this was a space where people were open for real dialogue, as in the words of the late sociologist Zygmunt Bauman (who passed away on the day of our meeting, hence the homage). This is because I truly believe that, even if complex and sometimes defeating, inclusive dialogue is always more constructive than just retreating away in our safe spaces and rejecting people or opinions for their perceived wrongness or incapability of understanding ours. As much as I concede that we all are bound to our particular bio-socio-historical positions and eventual privileges, so that for instance a white middle class man will never have the lived experience a low class black woman does, I cannot accept that this is enough reason to dismiss the first one on the basis of arguments like “he will never understand the position of the second”. Although indeed it will never be the same thing hearing about an experience and actually experiencing it, I sill believe that communication and empathy are a better answer. It is also important to boldly underline, like one of our members so righteously did, that this must be a shared responsibility and not a cumulative burden on the ones who are already in a position of disadvantage.

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