There’s a season for everything, and this seems to be the week of interviews about the controversy surrounding my work. Monday, Persephone Magazine ran a piece by Zahra Tahira featuring an interview with me, and today, XoJane put up a post by associate editor Lesley Kinzel featuring another interview and some more questions. Plenty of heated debate in the comments section.
What do you hope to contribute to feminism, given your complicated history? More than that, what is the role of men in feminist conversations, in general, in your opinion?
I believe men can and should – heck, must – support the feminist project. How we do that is open to debate. For me, feminism provides a lens through which to see the path to a better, more just, fairer world for my children and everyone’s children. Feminism is about liberating both men and women from the restrictive, misery-making straitjacket of gender roles that leave most of us as incomplete people. We’re all invested in that, or should be.
For me, feminism offered me a vehicle with which to match my language and my life. Feminism challenged me to live differently, and it gave me a perspective on how to live kindly, honestly, and empathetically in a male body. Feminists don’t owe me a welcome. But feminism changed my life in countless ways for the better. I’d like more people – especially men – to hear that message.