Mark Paul: Men feel alienated from the feminist debate

How to be a Man: The Women’s Podcast discusses masculinity, feminism and rape culture

While Freyne identifies as a feminist, Paul said he does not and he feels that some tactics like #NotallMen are used to alienate men from the conversation. But Freyne said that’s often exactly the point.

While Freyne identifies as a feminist, Paul said he does not and he feels that some tactics like #NotallMen are used to alienate men from the conversation. But Freyne said that’s often exactly the point.

 

How to be a Man is a series exploring masculinity and the challenges facing men in Ireland today

The ’Not All Men’ hashtag on Twitter alerts feminists all over the globe who are aware of it to say: “look at this idiot, look at what he’s just said, let’s all come in and laugh at him,” according to Irish Times business affairs correspondent, Mark Paul.

“If we’ve #NotallMen’d his ass it shows that he’s clearly an idiot and he doesn’t have to be listened to. It’s a delegitimisation tactic,” he told Kathy Sheridan, presenter of the Women’s Podcast.

The journalist was taking part in a lively debate on masculinity with fellow Irish Times journalist Patrick Freyne and Men’s Sheds founder John Evoy, on the latest episode, part of the How to be a Man series.

While Freyne identifies as a feminist, Paul said he does not and he feels that some tactics like #NotallMen are used to alienate men from the conversation. But Freyne said that’s often exactly the point.

“Some of those discussions that men feel alienated from, they’re meant to feel alienated from. They’re discussions that aren’t designed for men. We can learn from them, but I think we’re meant to listen,” he said.

The panel also discussed the notion of rape culture, which Paul believes is an artificial construct. He said it attributes, “malevolent motives to some ordinary things that men do each day that might be rude, that might be a little immature but aren’t necessarily bad or devious in any way.”

Freyne said while some men may not like the term rape culture, it is a real issue for women.

“A lot of young women have grown up with having to deal with predatory behaviour from some men but these men don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist in a culture where seemingly innocent things are leading them to think that it’s OK to behave like this,” he said.

Freyne spoke about the importance of feminism in opening up the possibility for men to talk about their emotions in a way they couldn’t in the past.

Men’s Sheds founder John Evoy said his movement is about providing the public space for just that.

“If we got a few guys and got them to sit around in a circle and asked them to talk about whatever is going on, whether it’s a mental health thing or a social issue, it’s a very quiet room. But if we got a broken lawnmower and threw it up on the bench and everybody’s working on it - you come back after a few hours and everyone knows everything about everyone,” he said.

Tipperary author Donal Ryan spoke to Róisín Ingle on this week’s episode about his new book, All We Shall Know, which is written from the perspective of a pregnant woman.

He also talked about the effects of not being good at sport on male identity in small towns, feminism and consent, saying Louise O’Neill’s book, Asking for It, should be, “required reading for every young fella from 4th year on in school.”

To hear Donal Ryan in conversation with Róisín Ingle and for the full panel debate on mansplaining, #notallmen, rape culture, modern feminism, and more, go to Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher and irishtimes.com.

We want to hear your thoughts.

Email thewomenspodcast@irishtimes.com or message us on Facebook or Twitter @ITWomensPodcast.

To add your voice to the How to be a Man series email howtobeaman@irishtimes.com

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.