Men should be feminists.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the very concept of feminism. Most people think that it is a women’s rights movement, or a radical movement formed to pursue androgynist agendas. Some might even think that it is a group of Amazonian women, crashing the skulls of males along the way. Pat Robertson from the religious television show The 700 Club even quoted that feminism is ”a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” When in fact, it is quite the opposite. It is a movement that supports men, and it should be a men’s movement too.
Okay, hear me out.
Feminism, with all its ideological definitions, is essentially rooted on the liberation of women from the inequality caused by the patriarchal structure of the society. This inequality is embedded in the society for an exceptionally long time and has been the status quo in most societies. Women rallying for equality in job opportunities and education is the version of feminism that we usually see in the streets. Fortunately, we have seen developments resulting from these movements, but this only scratches the surface of what gender inequality really is. Men still hold the upper hand of virtually everything the society has to offer. Men take most of the political seats. Men still dominate most scientific fields. Men still have higher literacy rate than women. Men still control the society. This is the harsh reality and it is the main drive why women fight for gender equality.
But we must reassess everything.
The fundamental problem which corrupts the gender equality system in the society is the structure of patriarchy. One might say that patriarchy is patronizing the male figure. But at a retrospect, patriarchy is not entirely beneficial for all men. Patriarchy is a binding structure and not a pedestal.
Men are bound to be in the upper hand in nearly everything. Masculinity is an idea which encompasses attributes of strength, courage, bravery and everything else that falls under the human bravado. In patriarchy, men are not allowed to be weak or soft; they are expected to be hard as a rock and tough as a mountain, an impossible feature for all men to have. Everything that they feel are always invalidated when the society shouts at their faces and tell them to ‘man up’. This very association bounds men to be that way, which bounds women to be the exact opposite of what it is. Patriarchy establishes a binary which controls the mechanism of the society that instigates the unequal gender roles existent in the society. This binary is a constricting force for both genders and would establish a society which fosters fragile masculinity and significant gender gap. This is where feminism acts.
Feminism aims to disestablish the colossal structure of patriarchy and liberate both sexes from its boundaries. Feminism obliterates the gender binary and establish an egalitarian society which is based on personal value and not of gender. Feminism allows men to cry, to feel weak, to sit down and to acknowledge his softness. Feminism lets men to be whoever they want, regardless of the role that a patriarchal society dictates. Feminism lets fathers to be the cook, to be the one who changes the baby’s diapers, to be the one who prepares breakfast for his wife, and most importantly, to stay at home. Feminism lets fathers have a husband and gives men the freedom to be whoever they want; the freedom that is not offered and established in patriarchy.
Feminism fights for those men who are raped, abused and discriminated, those who are left weak by the patriarchal structure of this society. Feminism fights for men, too.
With that, people should look at feminism as a movement for the liberation of all. People should not bound feminism to feminine constraints. People must stand together and work towards the egalitarian ideologies that the movement has to offer. In an equal society, men are not power machines or robots who should not feel anything. In an equal society, men are humans. That is why men should rally along the causes of the feminist ideologies and gradually let themselves be the catalyst for change. Be like male feminists John Stuart Mill or Democratic senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders who once wrote in the Huffington Post that “When men and women stand together for justice, we win.” Real victory for women is when men steps up and fights as well. Real victory for feminism is when men are also liberated. Real men fight for equality. Real men are feminists.
So, man up.
Photo credit to @thelemoncollective http://www.wearethelemoncollective.com