Can we ever stop worrying about men? When we teach women's studies courses, work with women's caucuses in professional organizations, or speak to various groups about feminism, we often do more than our duty. In addition to dealing with the problems of of women, we also consider those of men. Recently, however, both of us have begun re-evaluating our efforts. Our experience with a particularly bothersome workshop, "Women and Men in Sexist Society," started us thinking.
As co-chairwomen of the Midwest Women's Caucus for the Modern Languages, we were responsible for organizing five workshops for the 1973 Midwest Modern Language Association meeting. At one of the Caucus working sessions the previous year, someone had suggested that we sponsor a workshop on men in sexist society. To give those of us present some slight credit, we objected to that exclusive topic, and we did progress from "men and women" to "women and men." But that was superficial progress for which we need not congratulate ourselves. We did not even approach the conclusions both of us have come to since then: specifically, that women's organizations do not necessarily need to sponsor workshops concerning the problems of men; and generally, women are far too ready to acquiesce not only to men's demands for inclusion in the women's movement, but also for extra compassion, warm understanding, and impeccable fairness.