It often shocks me just how often I hear a man say ‘What? No…I can’t be a feminist because I’m a man!’
Beyonce just spelled it out for you. Do you believe in equal rights, no matter which genitalia you have? Yes? Okay, so you’re now a self proclaimed feminist – congratulations!
If feminism was only for females to support…well that would be pretty hypocritical wouldn’t it? So instead, we have a fight on our hands that is ALL INCLUSIVE. In fact, Emma Watson (forever Hermione Granger and now UN’s goodwill ambassador for women…and in the near future Belle in Beauty And The Beast) has made this point prominent within the media at the moment, with her HeForShe campaign.
“Men — I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.
Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.
I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49 years of age; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.
We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.
If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.”
(See more here) After reading a part of Ms Watson’s speech, are you still so sure that feminism doesn’t apply to you?
Way back when I started this blog around six months ago, I wrote a feminism focussed piece, and shared it on Facebook with my friends and family. After a very heated debate, a good friend of mine privately messaged me to say (in basic terms) ‘I think you have a great style of writing, but I think you can do more good if you stop writing about feminism. It’s not needed.’ Why is it that a woman with a voice is treated with such disdain? With the greatest respect to him, I will never understand how anyone can say that Feminism is not needed. As Emma pointed out in the rest of her speech, there is not one tiny little country in the world who can honestly say that men and women are completely equal.
So men, please, join unite in our forces.
For your own good. So you can be relieved from stereo typed ‘breadwinner‘ duties, and so you won’t be judged for being a stay at home Dad. So you won’t be called a ‘pussy‘ (don’t even get me started on that term being offensive, IT’S FEMALE GENITALIA PEOPLE, if that doesn’t convince you I don’t know what will) for crying or showing an emotional side. So you can not only have more open and honest romantic relationships, but also closer friendships! Can you honestly say you’d feel comfortable with telling your best male buddy about how upset you are you broke up with your girlfriend? Studies show that the majority of men would answer NO, this has to change! So you can accept your own body even if it doesn’t have a bloody six pack, so that if you have children you can aim to have a longer maternity leave, so that you can redefine masculinity for your sons so that they won’t think that objectifying women is acceptable.
If not for yourself, then for your daughters, your mothers, your sisters, aunties, cousins, second cousins….the list is endless. Do you want them to be paid less than their co workers for the same job? If that was your wife, wouldn’t that affect your household income? What about if they were raped…would you want it to be acceptable for someone to victim blame…was it their fault as they were out late at night or drinking? What if someone catcalled them whilst they were walking to work? And if they want to become a politician, how do you feel about the fact that there are currently 148 female MPs, out of a total 650 members of UK parliament? That if they go into hollywood acting careers they will be paid significantly less than their male co stars? And if they’re confident and ambitious, they’re often viewed as ‘pushy’ and ‘bossy’ – ones I’ve heard many times myself.
This is unacceptable.
It’s time to change.
Join the other thousands of men pledging to sign in a stand for equal rights, right here.
As always, men included – Stay Sassy,