Men Can Be Feminists Too!

By: Raegan Geyer

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Who’s afraid of the big bad word, the big bad word, the big bad word? Who’s afraid of the big bad world? Tra la la la la.

Feminism is a big, bad word for many individuals. The word itself conjures up ideas of radical ideology, manic behavior, and man hating. Unfortunately, due to the social stereotypes, being a feminist is a no-no.

Feminism, the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men, has become a single-gender issue. Society has gendered this movement for equality by focusing its purposes and arguments towards women. As a result, men are often excused of being uninformed or uninvolved because feminism only concern’s “women’s rights.”

Why has this movement for human rights only involved women? More importantly, can men be feminists as well?

Since the nineteenth century, men have been a part of the cultural and political responses to feminist with each “wave” of the movement. This includes seeking equal opportunities for women in several social relations: politics, religion, and education.

Today, well-known figures such as Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, John Legend, Matt Damon, Louis C.K. and Ryan Gosling are pro-feminists, promoting gender equality. These men have taken the strongest stand one can take in the struggle against sexism among women.

Gordon Poteat, an English major at the University of South Carolina-Upstate, shares his thoughts on feminism and why it is okay for men to be a part of the movement.

“The reason I embrace feminism is because I believe in human rights and equality. I believe that men and women inhabit the same space, like the two sides of the same coin,” said Poteat. “After all, people shouldn’t be measured by what’s on the outside but rather on those qualities that lie underneath, like character, decency, and compassion. Based on those criteria, being male or female has nothing to do with it!”

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