This past weekend I convened an all-star panel to discuss a topic whose time has definitely come: masculinity and misogyny. Our discourse within the atheist community has hit a sticking point (for many) in the form of the role that feminism plays in understanding not only our own internal community dynamics, but the world around us in general. This ‘internal’ debate is happening alongside a similar discussion happening in our society at large, where the role that women play in our democracy and our day-to-day lives is under particular scrutiny.
The issue before the panel was the statement “Real men don’t talk about misogyny” – not a direct quotation, but certainly a paraphrase of a general dismissive attitude of feminism as something that only women can and should talk about or participate in. The discussion centred around 5 general questions:
- What is a “real man”?
- How can we define “misogyny”? How does misogyny manifest itself in online discussion?
- What role does religion play in gender roles?
- Is misogyny similar to or different from other forms of bigotry (racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.)? How?
- Do parents have a role to play in the discussion?
- What do/can/should men contribute to discussions of misogyny?
The discussion (which clocks in at just under 90 minutes), a description of the panelists, and some of my own thoughts are after the fold.