For those of you who do not know, the class that this blog operates with is ‘Feminist Blogging.’ To further thicken the plot, I would like to reveal that I am one of three males in that class. Now, to give you some background information on me, I am from Fairfax, VA. I grew up in a middle-class family with an older sister and two loving parents. At JMU, I am a member of a social fraternity studying Communications. I have never been part of a marginalized group in my life until the first day I walked into this classroom.
I will admit that my experience as the marginalized group is not even comparable to the experience of non-cisgender folks or people of color. These experiences are different and therefore I am going to share a perspective of this class as a white male.
I can confidently say that whenever I walk in, I immediately feel a sense of relief, like there is this safety net underneath me, which I have never experienced with another class. Of course, the first class ever was terrifying but then again, when is it not? Anyhow, I typically remain quiet throughout class because I do not want to be the stereotypical white guy who speaks all the time.
When I do offer my opinion, I am almost always met with support and encouragement, which is also a nice change of pace for a classroom. A good way I like to explain my feelings about this class is ‘therapeutic.’ I told my sister, who was ecstatic I signed up for Feminist Blogging, that whenever I come to this class, I get an overwhelming sense of relief that no other class has provided for me in college thus far.
The feeling I get when participating, by participating I mean writing these blogs and talking during lecture, is a little bit tougher to explain. I normally have an opinion, which tends to be similar if not the same as the ladies, but do not want to share because I am a dude and who the hell really cares. I like to give my opinion on certain topics, for example, white guys behaving like idiots in social settings.
I give input during those conversations because I feel as though my voice carries some merit. Like I said before, the majority of the time, I agree with the ladies and normally bash white males for whatever it is they did wrong. Now, with this all being said, I am not here to say that I hate white guys or that all white guys are the “bad guys.” I am just explaining my perspective as a white male who considers themselves to be a feminist.
The weird part of my existence is that for most of the day, I am surrounded by white males who consider themselves not as feminists. I feel like a spy or double agent sometimes. During class it scares me to think about living in the environment that I reside in but, I know that deep down, most males in society are good guys.
I have just recently begun to have conversations with my friends where sometimes I have to act like a feminist killjoy, to speak up against extremist speech. I will admit that I have not done it much, but I find myself calling out my friends in group chats more so now than ever.
When I say I have begun, I also mean that I do not do it all the time or with every single conversation I am in. I am not perfect, and standing up for something your friends criticize is by no means easy, but like I said, I am trying.
In all honesty, that is all this movement takes. We need more people to just start trying, trying to have those conversations with peers every once in a while. I hope you have enjoyed hearing the perspective from yours truly, a white dude.