If you’re a man, how are you a feminist?

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If I were to be honest with you, when I learned about the notion of Feminism I did not think that males could have possibly been feminists too. What I considered a feminist was a strong woman who believed in equal rights between both genders and would stand up for the inequalities that women face in day to day life.

I used to think that if a man tried to be a feminist, it would be seen as highly provocative and patronising because at the end of the day, us men aren’t women and we do not know what it’s like to be one. But after doing some research, I was enlightened by the fact that male feminists exist and there are quite a few! This tumblr blog dedicates itself to the awareness of male feminism which shows how positive it can be. This blog has quite powerful images of men holding up signs with different messages on them including “women don’t owe you shit”, “because alpha males lead by example, not force” and the last one which I think is a very important message ” Men, by remaining silent, you are further perpetuating the war on women, SPEAK OUT!”. These Male feminists went against what I first perceived to be a male feminist. They weren’t arrogant, provocative and patronising. They are merely helping the fight, and spreading more awareness for their fellow women.

There are however, some people that do not agree with male feminists. In this article, a self-proclaimed male feminist was told to “shut up and listen” by the quite renowned feminist Clementine Ford and that he shouldn’t be involved with feminism. He then responded by insisting that feminists needed mens support. The article brings up the question whether or not men should stay away from feminism which I completely disagree with because at the end of the day, men are usually the oppressors of other women therefore there needs to be male role models that promote equal rights. It’s a good start at least in my opinion. But as this woman discusses, she believes that there are a lot of male feminists out there that say they are all for equal rights but then still demonstrate mysogonist and sexist behaviour. This blog really questions the notion of males being able to involve themselves with feminism “if you’re a man living in a Patriarchy, meaning you benefit from Patriarchy at almost every turn of society, then calling yourself a feminist does not exempt you from perpetuating male supremacy. Yes, you heard me right: even the act of calling yourself a feminist can be patriarchal”.

The real question that we need to ask ourselves is what makes a good male feminist? There is no question in my mind that in order to achieve gender equality, we need both genders fighting for it. Us men just need to know when we are being pro-feminism instead of fake feminists.

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