Why can’t a non-white male research feminist philosophy?

I am a non-white male philosophy graduate student working on feminism. I thoroughly enjoy my studies and find feminism important and existentially relevant on many levels. However, thus far I’ve found my work with feminism to be a difficult and alienating experience where male peers either dismiss my personal interests and philosophical work or neglect my personhood altogether. In this way I’m beginning to learn what it’s like for women to feel dismissed within philosophy, something that I’ve realized that I’ve been guilty of myself in the past. As a male working on feminism, I’ve become more and more aware of how philosophical discourse is utterly co-opted by male heteronormative culture.

I have women friends who hesitate to speak up in class because they don’t want to be “talked down to” by their male peers. Personally, I am still unsure of how to voice a feminist position as a male. While I feel compelled to speak up during class discussions on behalf of feminist thought, at the same time I feel uneasy about perhaps taking opportunities away from women to speak up for themselves. Especially when so many professors are prone to preface certain lectures by saying that sex has nothing to do with the content they’re about to speak on. But of course, as we know, everything is sexed.

Feeling my way through all of this has been a challenging yet beneficial experience. I just wanted to share this small snapshot of my experience of working on feminist philosophy within a dominant masculine culture.

Story signed by: queering masculinity

The story happened to me as in the year 2014 at an academic institution in Flanders

Posted under: sexism story

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2 comments

  • Otto on April 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm said:

    Dear Queering Masculinity, can you explain further what you mean by being ” dismissed within philosophy” ? Thank you , Regards, Otto

  • peter on July 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm said:

    look I’m not a feminist but I am a man who went to college picked up some feminist theory classes and had to debate with lecturers who didn’t agree with the stance I had on what ever and I found by on large – guys like dealing with fact/ statistical arguments women like dealing with emotional arguments. but no not everything is sexed that’s just untrue, the sun is not sexed it is the sun, space is not sexed it is space. if your going to read sexed messages into every aspect of everything and follow feminist philosophy that the personal is political you are saying that there is no privacy even in your own mind.

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