A post from Ileana Jiménez on Feminist Teacher makes a lot of great points about including males in feminist discourse. She writes from experience of teaching a high school level feminism course. Something males gain from this class, that seems to include a lot of in-class discussion, is the opportunity to realize and share how they have been socialized to expressed themselves as males in emotionless, unhealthy ways.
The most sustainable, real change occurs when those who are changing come to the conclusion to do so themselves. This same sort of consciousness is mentioned in this blog post, and I think this is crucial for any social issues class. Furthermore, it is all the more important considering the environment it creates for males to share and express themselves, which is not typical traditional masculine supported behavior.
‘How to Teach Boys to be Feminists’ on The Frisky makes this same point and offers helpful guidelines to teach feminism to ‘our boys.’ It offers suggestions for younger males than those Jiménez has worked with as a high school teacher, but things like discussing what they see in the media to create a general awareness of the ideas and concepts being communicated through various mediums is something that is never too late to incorporate in a boy’s or man’s life.
Jiménez’s reflections on teaching this class offer a great perspective for us as we move forward to create social change. She says her goal is, ‘That whole generations of women and men will never experience and/or perpetrate everything from street harassment to rape; frat boy misogyny to work place discrimination; bullying of queer kids to the banning of LGBT soldiers in the military.’ This is my dream too, and what motivates me to act in ways that support this happening. What motivates you?