Some guys reading this are totally clued up on feminism, and if you are, I salute you.
There is nothing more attractive than a feminist dude.
And it is an attitude I respect and value in a man, whether he is a partner, friend or colleague. But I feel like maybe some guys out there need a lil’ pep talk when it comes to the F-word.
After all, it’s often a term that is thrown around a lot with emphasis on the ladies point of view, but the reality is, if we want to see real change in the world we need the blokes to step up and speak out. The stigma attached to feminism can often be a negative one and many think this is the girl’s battle.
It’s important to remember that sexism is not a women issue; these are PEOPLE issues.
Jackson Katz talks about men’s role in feminism and how important it is that men ‘have the courage and strength to stand up and start saying some of this stuff’ in his TED talk. Guys need to speak up in male culture for equality.
The tumbler feministmen.tumblr.com is all about celebrating men who support women.
Daniel Radcliffe, Mark Ruffalo, Ryan Gosling, Andy Samberg and Prince Harry are just some of the male celebrities who have spoken out about the importance of feminism.
‘We men need to recognize the part we play too. Real men treat women with dignity and give them the respect they deserve’.
I’m here to give you 6 reasons why feminism for guys is the way to go:
1# Feminism is not a threat to your manhood.
In fact, quite the contrary my dear Watson. Feminist dudes are secure in their sexuality, identity and manhood. By supporting women you are also showing that you are not threatened by women, demonstrating your kick ass bold character.
Katz talks about how failure to speak out isn’t absence of sensitivity, but absence of leadership therefore says more about a persons ability to lead.
2# You might already be a feminist and not know it!
Do you believe in human rights? Yes! Great. Then you are a feminist.
Feminism is basically a sub-catagory human rights. It is about men and women being of equal value in society. This isn’t about Men vs Women and certainly doesn’t mean we are the same. But it DOES mean we are all on the same team.
This is about all of us, together, making a stand for humanity regardless of sex, gender or sexuality. BOOM!
3# It’s about how you make a person feel.
To be a feminist guy you just need to support your girlfriend/wife/mother/daughter/collegues/employees and BELIEVE she is of equal value to the men in your world. Believe it. Don’t just tell her what she wants to hear.
Feminism for dudes is pretty much down to how you make the women in your life FEEL on an every day basis. If she is a stay at home mum, then it’s about valuing how she contributes to the family. Contribution is not just about money.
A feminist man makes the women in his life feel valued, respected and heard, with equal attention to the male voices in the room.
4# Understand Feminism as it exists today.
Historically there have been many waves of feminism but it’s important to understand what feminism is today. Feminism isn’t about being aggressive or antagonistic. It’s not about bra burning. In fact, I like my bra!
It’s not about hating men either. That’s not cool.
Feminism is a philosophy on the way you choose to live your life, not about having a bad attitude or an excuse to rant. Us girls don’t choose to be feminists because it’s fun or a laugh – we are feminists because sexism effects our lives on a day-to-day basis.
Feminism is NOT about NOT supporting male victims of abuse.
5# Patriarchal society effects us ALL.
Patriarchal society effects us ALL. Gender roles can limit men as much as women. Feminism is about giving both our sons and daughters a chance to be all they are.
‘I do call myself a feminist. Absolutely! It’s worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us and that we don’t have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we wanna be’.
Preach it Joseph.
Don’t cry. Man up. Don’t be a pussy. Don’t show your weakness’. Society’s strict gender roles hurt everyone.
The new film The Mask You Live In, brought to you by the filmmakers behind the feature documentary Miss Representation, explores how patriarchal society just screws men over as much as women. Feminist men are striving for liberation and freedom for EVERYONE. Right on!
6# Understand that sexism is real a thing.
Is it okay to compliment an attractive woman in the street? Of course it is!
Is it okay for a guy to open a door for a girl? Sure, what a lovely gesture.
There is this misconception that feminism is the rejection of chivalry, but this isn’t true (not for the girls I know anyway!). It’s all about how you go about it.
If you rub your hands together, lick your lips and exclaim: ‘Very nice’, then you are making her feel uncomfortable and treating her like a piece of meat.
If you say, ‘Excuse me, you look really beautiful today.’ Then that’s just a lovely thing to say to a person. Again it’s about how you make a person feel.
You might be thinking: I would never treat a woman with such disrespect, Yaz! But you need to understand that women are objectified and made to feel vulnerable in this way on a DAILY BASIS by guys who might not treat women in the same way you do.
Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism Project is the outcome of this perpetual mistreatment of women. Why is the site so popular? Because it is happening all the time!
You might not be that guy, but you need to acknowledge that those guys exist, which is why we need more men to step up and be a positive role models in male culture.
You don’t have to have read The Female Eunuch to be a feminist. There is no initiation, no joining fee and you certainly don’t need a vagina.
So I want to encourage you to speak up, stand up and have our back. We got yours!
Have a great week peeps!
If you enjoyed this article, why not check out ‘Help My Girlfriend is Crazy: Notes on the Emotional Woman’?