Aligning with feminism: Critical autoethnographic reflections of a profeminist heterosexual male teacher educator

Keywords: gender-based violence, critical autoethnography, feminism, pedagogy


In the last two decades, education scholarship has made significant progress in advancing the feminist social justice agenda and female scholars have almost entirely been the drivers of this impetus. Female scholars in teacher education have been successful in establishing and consolidating this disciplinary field of study quite firmly in the teacher education curriculum. Despite this, multiple forms of gender oppression including gender-based violence continue to plague South African universities and society in general. There is a distinct concern that men have been relatively silent and inactive in this social justice project. There is also limited extant scholarship that speaks to the role that profeminist men might play in this social justice enterprise. There is also a dearth of understanding of the level of sophistication with which men understand feminism, which feminisms men might align themselves with and the accountability and responsibility that might come with assuming certain positions. In this critical, autoethnographic piece, I engage the questions as to how critical pedagogical encounters might serve as disruptive device in an attempt to trouble reified gendered socialisations. I draw on my experiences as teacher educator as I struggle to locate and identify my own profeminist positionality and the tensions that present. I contemplate the poststructuralist caution about the tension of writing (my)self into text given that the writing self is an evolving/changing self. I reflect on my attempt to disrupt banality and oblivion as I contemplate the prospect of self-disclosure as point of entry for profeminist men’s praxis in a teacher education programme subscribed to by young men (and women) steeply socialised in a patriarchal history and culture.

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