You can read the full article on Villainesse: http://www.villainesse.com/girl-power/my-name-adam-and-i-am-feminist-man
Identifying as a feminist is not as simple as wearing a ‘this is what a feminist looks like’ t-shirt. In fact, I personally think those shirts are awful and can send the wrong message about feminism to the public. Feminism will have different definitions for everyone, but all will most likely boil down to the same or similar messages about equal rights. For me, a feminist is a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
Identifying as a feminist can be tricky. For example, if you consider yourself part of the movement or an ally for LGBTQIAA rights, you wouldn’t call yourself gay or bisexual if you were straight, so I’ve struggled with the word, wondering if there’s a sense of entitlement implied by men identifying as feminists.
Do we, as men, have the right to call ourselves feminists? I’ve been pondering this conundrum for a while. I have recently come to the realisation that yes, men can be feminists. Men can go into masculine areas and call out misogyny by using their privilege as a tool to get the point across to other men. Men can be guided by the definition of feminism to actively advocate for equality.
For many men, it’s hard to know where to start with feminism. And identifying as a feminist, or saying you believe in equal rights is only the first step. Real feminism is all about action. So how can we as men contribute to feminism?
– We can listen to women and ask how we can help.
– We can be friends with women without having other motivations.
– We can do 50% (or more) of the housework.
– We can do 50% (or more) of the cooking.
– If we have children, we can take on 50% (or more) of the childcare.
– We can be relied on for emotional stability and support.
– We can demand that our female colleagues are paid the same as we are for the same work.
– We can accept that when a woman says ‘no’, she means it.
– We can question our own use of language to make sure we don’t make any comments about women that could be sexist.
– We can use our privilege to call out sexism and misogyny when we see it. Particularly, we can stand up to sexist men.
Perhaps most importantly, when we identify as feminists we can explain to others that feminism is simply a belief in equality. We can point out to our male friends that if they believe that women are equal to them they might even be feminists too.
I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a feminist man. I don’t think anyone should be ashamed to stand up for equality. I am a feminist, and I believe in the political, social and economical equality of the sexes.