[T]his idea is based on Irving Weinman as quoted by Treichler and Kramarae who said, “When used by a man to refer to himself it is a “male appropriation of language no less stupidly defensive than a white man imagining myself a black radical.” Profeminist is the term used to describe the male who works toward feminist goals.
And then the author's opinion:
I feel that men can be feminists because I believe feminism, though it has its roots in the Women’s movement, is more encompassing than just women concerned with women’s issues. Women are half of the world’s population but the other half is often intimately connected to the lives of women. If a man recognizes his privileges and believes oppressions to be systematically linked I see no reason why he should be denied the title “feminist”. For a man to embrace the title and the stigma associated with it could be an important step in his awareness of privilege and marginalization.
I actually agree with a lot of that, but I've noticed something interesting: most young men who identify with feminism call themselves a feminist--but most older men identify themselves as "pro-feminist."
To me, this suggests a shift in more than just men's place in the spectrum of feminist ideologies, but rather the entire spectrum of feminist ideologies itself. It seems to me that those who identify as "second wave" feminists tend to believe that feminism is primarily identity politics, while those who identify as "third wave" believe in feminism as a series of ethical ideals and human rights. It would appear that men who are supportive of feminist politics would also be influenced by changing definitions of feminism, and this would be the reason for the change in terminology.
What do you think? True, not true? A good thing, bad thing, or neither?