Truthout contributor Chris Crass talks to Ted Asregadoo about structural and behavioral sexism, and the ways in which men can change their behavior to transform family relationships and the larger society to more equitable systems.
We are not unaware of the irony of this “Truthout Interviews” segment featuring two men talking about feminism, but you don’t have be a woman to be a feminist, since feminism, while about many things, is primarily about smashing the ideology of separate spheres that reinforces female subordination and male supremacy. Many know that ideology by another name: patriarchy. Whatever the term one uses, the everyday sexism that pervades society is something that feminists want to overcome. Since sexist behavior often stems from men, Truthout contributor Chris Crass primarily addresses men in his Father’s Day offering for Truthout and other articles. As one of his friends pointed out years ago, despite his progressive political ideals, Chris had many sexist tendencies. He often explained things to women in long-winded speeches (i.e.,”mansplaining”), wouldn’t acknowledge women in meetings, rarely made eye contact with them, and dominated conversations. At first, he pushed back against the charge, but after he realized that it was not only his behavior, but also the behavior of the men in his group, he set about changing himself and pushing for structural changes in society.
It’s the structural and localized changes that are discussed in this interview. From childcare, to the division of labor in the home, to rebuilding state welfare programs crucial for working families’ equilibrium, Crass outlines a number of areas where feminism can create a more equitable society.