Feminism, by definition, is “the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.”
I recently read a few interesting articles which pointed out a series of rules and guidelines about being a male feminist, most of which made a lot of sense and can basically be summed up to, “don’t claim to be a male feminist to get girl’s attention, then turn around and act like a jerk towards them.” Pretty simple, basic, “be a decent human being” type of thing, if you ask my opinion.
On the flipside, I also noticed quite a bit of negative views being projected towards the “male feminist.”
Some people seem to have the concept that taking a stand for women’s right and pitching in to help women empowerment should be reserved for women only. This doesn’t really work out and here’s why I don't agree.
For centuries we’ve played into this idea that women were better nurturers and caretakers through generations of being stay-at-home wives. This happened as a direct result of a patriarchal system built by men who were encouraged to go out in the world and get whatever they wanted in life, while being reassured that their children and homes were being tended to by their wives.
Now, lets fast forward to current times and take a look around us. Women's rights have come a long way and the world has greatly benefited from it! It is scary to think that so many accomplishments and breakthroughs from women all over the world may have been completely muted out if it wasn't for the rise of the gender equality movement.
The concept of equality suggests the abolishment of stereotypes and encourages everyone to be comfortable with who they are while not being judged or limited by society.
Nurturing comes in many forms and I am certain that both men and women are capable of it.
The world needs this right now more than ever! A sense of unity, a deep understanding, that taking care of each other, together, is the only way we can prosper. Equality is necessary for progress. Not a privilege, but a human right! Equality between races, classes, and genders are not conversations we get to shy away from if we want a better future for the next generations.
DEAR FELLOW MEN,
I’ll admit that I was guilty myself of often associating the word “feminism” to a group of man-hating girls that wanted more than equality but some sort of special privilege.
I was oh-so-very wrong, and I invite you to go check out the speech from Emma Watson on the #HeForShe movement. You can see the speech on YouTube right from here.
The true meaning of feminism stands for believing in equality and that women should have equal opportunity and respect in all fields without discrimination or oppression.
Please do not look at men strangely when they tell you they’re a male feminist. Do not make them feel unwelcome or challenge their masculinity. I, for one, believe that a man protecting and fighting for his mother’s, sister’s, or daughter’s rights to achieve their full potentials is an honorable thing.
It's not all that complicated; like all forms of oppression, the fight for gender equality is not yet over and it’s going to need all of us to get behind it. To quote one of the leading forces in this field,
“FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY” —BELL HOOKS
About the author: Pierre-Paul Couronne
Notes: This particular piece was written as for the website www.moidabordmefirst.com.