I keep coming across these articles and videos showing men, in particular, celebrities, who aren’t scared to identify as feminists. Why did that even have to be said, that they aren’t scared of being a feminist? Because even now, in 2015, some men, and even women, think Feminism is this big, scary, man-hating theory that wants to take away men’s rights and have girls run the world. Nope, not quite right. Feminism is simply trying to give women equal rights to that of men. We don’t want to take over the world, we jus want to exist in it without prejudice.
After Emma Watson, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, launched the HeForShe campaign, feminism has become, in the eyes of many, replaced with gender equality. Because that’s what we’re fighting for. Anyway, HeForShe is all about giving women rights and equality, but also giving men the space and freedom to behave in what have been seen as stereotypically “non-masculine” ways. So HeForShe, and gender equality as a movement, is win-win for us all.
For a long time, it was just women who stood up and spoke out in defence of gender equality. But in the last few years, especially since the launch of HeForShe, more and more men are joining the global movement for gender equality. Personally, I expect most people (men and women alike) to identify as feminists or people who are fighting for gender equality. It’s 2015, we know the ways that women AND men are being oppressed, and in my opinion, it’s kind of ridiculous not to be a gender equality supporter. It’s like not believing in climate change or that Harry Potter is the best book series ever. Pretty unbelievable.
Even so, so many men out there are still scared of the F-word. They think feminists (note that I’ll say feminists, but I’m also encompassing people who support gender equality in that term) are out to take away their freedom, smash the patriarchy in every sense, and turn the world into an all-female dictatorship out of spite and. No. Just no. That’s not how I see feminism. Some extreme feminists might feel that way. But the majority of women, and the men who support this, just want equal rights. The same as men. They want to be safe from rape and domestic violence and victim blaming, and to be able to have an education without persecution or fear of violence.
So when I see men standing up and saying that yes, they want gender equality too, it makes me happy. In a way, it also makes me sad that it’s a big deal when a man identifies as a feminist. I just feel like it should be the norm. But it doesn’t make it any less awesome.
These male celebrities seem almost taken aback at being asked if they’re feminists.
Seven more male celebrities stand up and speak out in support of feminism.
This TED talk that reminds us all that gender equality is good for us all.
Finally, this post with men’s activists standing up in support of women. It makes my heart warm and fuzzy.
It’s really not a scary thing, gender equality/feminism. It’s a long overdue, fundamental thing that we’re missing.