My little sister has done it again. She has a tendency to write thoughtful, intelligent articles about feminism today. That’s right, the f word. Why would a 21-year-old care so much about crusty, old feminist theory? Maybe it was the influence of our inspiring lawyer mom. Or maybe she got sick of people asking if she was going to be dental hygienist when she told them she was studying dentistry (actually, she’s going to be a real, full-fledged dental school-educated dentist!). Or maybe it was her inspirational older sister who studied finance, quoted Gloria Steinem too many times, and encouraged her girlfriends to “just ask him out yourself, already!” Maybe I’m giving myself too much credit 🙂
Either way, Michelle’s article, titled “Accepting Feminism”, is too good to pass up. Here’s a short excerpt. Be sure to check out the rest on the RIT Reporter’s website.
“Men most often feel the effects of our patriarchal society as it impacts the women closest to them: their sisters, mothers and friends. Feeling disconnected from the movement, some men may have trouble relating to feminism. While this isn’t justifiable, it is understandable.”
Three years ago I expressed this sentiment in a Reporter views article aimed at convincing women to proudly accept the title of feminist. This time around, I’m calling out the men.
While it’s true that most men are not quick to accept the label of feminist – a Huffington Post/YouGov poll revealed that only 16 percent of men ascribe this word to themselves—I believe that the majority of men do, in fact, support feminism’s main belief. In my last article, I worded this belief as: “men and women are moral, political and social equals.” Although I would now include “and people of all genders” in this statement, the point still stands. With a similar definition of feminism, the Huffington Post poll asked this question: “Do you believe that men and women should be social, political, and economic equals?” Out of 1,000 people surveyed, 83 percent responded “yes” to this question. With only 23 percent of women in the poll identifying as a feminist, it’s clear that both genders had significantly more agreeable view of feminism once the dirty f-word was removed.
When you get down to the foundation of what feminism means, both men and women are clear supporters. By avoiding association with the label of feminism, men buy into the stereotype of feminists as radical, head-shaven, man-haters and give others permission to do the same. However, by accepting the role of feminist and helping to de-bunk the negative stereotype, men can help create a more equal society, a job too big for just one gender to do. Moreover, men should be willing to support a movement that aims at breaking traditional roles that negatively impact their gender as well…. Read on here.