Om mäns pro- och antifeministiska engagemang

Sammanfattning: The overarching aim of the thesis is to describe and analyze men’s pro- and antifeminist engagement. Men’s approach to feminism is assumed to be created in the interaction of men’s intentions and a sociocultural structure that conditions human action. Men want something that they perceive that feminism enables or constrains, after which they engage for or against it. The men’s views on feminism were extracted from interviews, social media, books, and newspaper articles. A host of philosophical assumptions, general analytical theories, and specific analytical tools were used in processing the empirical data. In the first part of the findings, profeminist men are understood to view feminism as a force that enables them to accomplish important projects in their lives. They express a wish to improve both women’s and men’s lives through the practice of changing men and masculinity. Above all, their efforts focus on changing themselves. In the second part of the findings, antifeminist men are understood to experience feminism as a force that constrains them in their lives. They oppose feminism on several issues: women’s subordinated position in the gender order, the social construction of gender, and men’s violence towards women. They fear that state feminism is pushing a hatred of men that threatens individual men, nuclear families, and Western civilization. The third part of the findings consists of a model of men’s approach to feminism. In the model, men’s differing approaches hinges on whether they believe that feminism enables or constrains them and other people in their quest to satisfy basic human needs. Their understandings of if and how the needs are being met are central to how men approach feminism. In this understanding, the men are influenced by their respective ideological beliefs on how the gender order should be organized. The thesis ends with two methodological musings. The first revolves around the author’s development of a deeper understanding of the antifeminist worldview and how that came to rub against his profeminist way of viewing the world. The second reflects on researchers’ understandable but counterproductive tendency of trying to protect their research from all criticism.