Robert Jensen

Men who embrace feminism face a paradox that is inescapable. 

Through feminism, I learned that I should move out of the center and not assume that everyone is waiting for me to speak. “Accept the leadership of women” is, appropriately, one of the commandments for men in feminist movements, which means not assuming that we men know best or that we have authority over women—assumptions that many of us men have learned to make.

There has been much talk at this conference about the need for men to love each other and be willing to speak openly about that love. That is important; we need to be able to get beyond the all-too-common male tendency to mute or deform our emotions. But it’s also crucial to remember that loving one another means challenging ourselves as well. That’s what I would like to do today, to challenge us -- in harsh language -- on men’s use of pornography. In an unjust world, those of us with privilege must be harsh on ourselves, out of love.

Boys and men will not find a loving and kind sexuality in pornography, says Robert Jensen.

Robert Jensen draws on radical lesbian feminism in developing a progressive sexual ethics.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. First published in ZNet Commentary, February 22, 2002 Feminists hate men. How do we know this? Because it is repeated over and over in the media and by right-wing politicians and other so-called guardians of the moral values of the society. If feminists hate men, then it stands to reason that men should stay clear of -- or do their best to attack -- feminism and feminists.