Green Day — as in the band Green Day — just announced their collaboration with graphic artist Frank Caruso (Popeye, Betty Boop) on a "handbook" of sorts for rebellious women called Last of the American Girls. And people's reactions to the book are divided.
Being an advocate for women's rights at a man, especially today, is a delicate matter. Your ability to empathize with women can only go so far and it's tricky at best for men to try to act as a "voice" for women.
Lots of modern shows have tackled the topic. New Girl and Younger commented on the male feminist phenomenon in their respective ways, and it's a frequent topic of debate on the internet. Dudes who are overly zealous in apologizing for their "man-ness" are ridiculed either for: 1) acting like "white knights" just to get laid; 2) being submissive "cucks"; or 3) not really understanding where women are coming from.
Speaking from personal experience, as much as I love and care about my wife, I can't really understand what it was like growing up as a woman in our tight-knit community and the judgmental backlash she received and continues to receive for deciding she didn't want to wear a headscarf anymore.
For the most part, I let her handle whatever awkward social/familial interactions that may arise if someone brings it up, because she's made it clear she doesn't want me to intervene or talk about that issue.
Similarly, I'm not gonna go out of my way and try to be the voice of anti-hijab-shaming, because, as a man, that isn't my lane.
I think this same "stay in your lane" mentality is why so many people are up in arms about the "handbook" Green Day is going to release. It's the band's first book, and is described as "an inspiring homage and handbook for the rebellious everywoman who refuses to capitulate."
It seems the aspect of this book most are taking issue with is the specific mention of it being a "handbook."
People were pointing out that it seems kinda crazy for an all-male band and a male graphic designer to tell women how to be rebellious.
As one would expect, a bunch of other people jumped into the conversation with some pretty adversarial takes. There were the predictable dudes who told women who didn't love the idea of an all-male band writing a book like this to "sit their ass down." @dizzyyjosh here also suggested maybe the wives of Green Day band members contributed in some way even though there's no indication that's so.
Then there were people who thought the band was just exploiting the feminist movement for some cash.
There were others, however, who were quick to point out that the book probably wasn't exactly a "handbook" per se or instructional guide telling women how they should rebel. The announcement, while receiving a ton of negative responses from people, also received its fair share of accolades.
Like I mentioned above, if they had just avoided all of the "handbook" talk, or maybe, you know, made it a point to involve women in the actual creation of the book, it would send a far stronger message.
The band has yet to respond to the criticism over the release of the book, nor have they provided any details as to whether any women played a major role in the book's creation or release.
While it might seem like a stretch for some to categorize the band as "Fake Male Feminists," it does kind of seem out of left field for them to release a "handbook" telling women how they should be rebellious.
Or that could just ultimately be a poor choice of words from the PR department. What do you think? Are you interested in seeing what the book's about? Or is it a hard pass?