Can Men Be Feminists?

Alexsenia Ralat

A question that I often hear, whether it be online or while watching some news show, is “can men be feminist?” You know how teachers and professors tell their students that there are no stupid questions? Well they’re liars because this is one of the dumbest questions I have ever heard. The whole idea of Feminism is the equality for both genders. The definition of Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. So I don’t see any reason why men can’t be feminist, that’s like saying that men can’t see women as their equals. Granted, there are a number of hard-headed men (and women) who don’t see women as equal. Which, in some ways, is understandable. In general, women have weaker bones, smaller frames, and are easier to “break”, but these biological differences are the only differences. Women can work just as hard as men, uphold a position of power just as well as a man can, and can basically do anything men can do, the differences are all in our anatomy.

Our anatomy should not define us and in most instances, it doesn’t. Just because a person is deaf doesn’t mean they can’t compose beautiful music. Just because a person doesn’t have legs doesn’t mean they can’t win a race. People have a right to say that their bodies are not the things that define who they are. Basically, anyone can be a feminist. There isn’t some type of class that you have to take on women’s history in order to be one. It’s not an exclusive club reserved for lesbians no matter what stereotypes say.

“Men can be feminists too. No matter what your gender is, you can still believe in equality. It’s not like anybody should have more rights than others.” Said freshman Douglas Sherrill who himself identifies as a feminist. Barring someone from feminism because of their gender goes against feminist beliefs and our goal for equality.

Granted, it is hard to be a male feminist. For some reason a lot of people are hostile towards them, hardcore feminists oftentimes are the ones who throw the hardest punches. Now let me be clear, there are extremists when it comes to every idea, belief, or religion. Christians have The Westboro Baptist Church, Muslims have Al-Qaeda, and Feminism has the “Feminazis.” Which I personally think is offensive due to the fact that this word connects feminism with Nazis. I mean come on, feminist extremists are not nearly as bad as the men and women who followed Hitler. Anyway, feminist extremists are the women who are more for men bowing to women and less about actual equality. They’re the ones that scream “down with the patriarchy,” and bash female celebrities who “make women everywhere look/feel bad” due to the way that they present themselves or their beliefs. Those are the women who give feminism a bad name. Which is yet another sign of inequality, I mean we don’t think that all Christians are bad because of what Westboro Baptist Church does. So why is it that when I say I’m a feminist the first thing to come out of someone’s mouth is “oh, so you must hate men.” No, I don’t hate men. As a lesbian feminist, I do not hate men. I hate inequality.

I think that men being feminist could really help our cause, it’s logical for a “minority” group to want members of the “majority” group to join them. People take them more seriously, other members of the “majority” see their fellow men and begin to question why it is that they are the “majority.” The whole idea of feminism is equality, so I think it’s only logical that men and women work together to create a better and equal future for generations to come.