Dude Looks Like a Feminist
What do you think about men wanting to be feminists and joining a feminist movement?
Thanks for asking, Anonymous. I think it's great if men want to be feminists & work to further the cause.
The role of men in the feminist movement is one of the keys to it's success, as men have a disproportionate amount of authority & power in our economy & society. For the goals to be achieved, those in a position to make change (usually men) must subscribe to the philosophy & work toward change.
It doesn't make a man gay or weird to be pro-feminist or feminist, although some people might be suspicious of such a man. Would you complain about the whites who fought against slavery in the 1800's, or people of European descent working for Native American causes, or a Christian supporting a Jewish movement? Of course not, you'd applaud it & this is quite similar.
But unlike many social theories that exist to support or advance a minority segment of society, feminism is unique because it touches all of us in tangible ways. While it may be in everyone's best interests in a general, theoretical way to achieve a lot of social movement goals, every single person in the world can tangibly benefit from gender equality.
Other social issues may or may not directly affect any given person in the world, thus making people feel removed from the topic or indifferent to the cause. But gender affects all of us.
For instance, for a married man with a working wife, imagine the benefits to the family if she earned a true wage as he does. How might it have improved your family life or childhood if your mother had earned a fair wage?
In the workplace, fair wages would boost morale & production. In the community, equal financial opportunities for women spurs new enterprise & helps neighborhoods thrive.
It would improve the quality of life for the millions of children being raised in single-parent female-headed households & their parents.
This is just one economic example as to how it affects all of us. Even if you're a complete chauvenist pig, feminism has benefits for you. If you don't like women in the workforce, raise their wages so they don't have to work as many hours, ha ha.
But there are much more dire consequences as well, for all of us. Look at the nations that violently discriminate against women & you'll see hotbeds of unrest in the world. If we can achieve respect & equality of women in such societies, perhaps the violence & hatred would abate to some extent as well. That could could lead to less genocide, terrorism & wars.
Domestic violence against women is linked to child abuse, animal abuse & other criminal activity. It stands to reason that if we can prevent one, we may be able to prevent the others. Think about it: if a guy has no respect for the women in his life, he probably has no respect for children, strangers, animals or the environment, either. If we can change that mind-set about women, we may better work to change bad mindsets about other issues & behaviors.
It's ridiculous that (roughly) half the world's population is discriminated against simply by having been born female. But the sad reality is that much of the world is a patriarchal society & even in the US, which is supposed to be the land of equality for all, women are still second-class citizens.
Even in the 21st century, women earn less than men for the same jobs. More disturbing is that even in traditionally female industries ("pink-collar jobs" such as teaching, administrative work, social work, etc.) men out-earn females. That's right, if you take 2 secretaries, one male & one female, even when the woman has more experience or education, the man will usually earn more.
So come on, guys, we need you to be feminists too! For more information , check out these great sites:
XY: men, masculinities & gender politics
Feminist.com: Men's Groups