Feminism: Not Just a Girl Thing?


Caroline Gage

The “Rosie the Riveter” pose is a common symbol for feminism dating back to theWorld War II era

“I’m a feminist.” This is a statement that strikes fear into the hearts of men everywhere. But why should it? After all, feminism isn’t about women’s superiority- not at all. Feminism embodies equality for all people and, therefore, stands to benefit men too.

While women are surely fettered in many, many more ways than men and have been for centuries, traditional, archaic gender classifications affect us all. Men are often burdened with the expectation of a broody, tough demeanor, and the misconception that anything less makes a truthfully heterosexual man “gay”, which, to many straight men, is the worst possible accusation. Why homosexuality is often used as a derogatory term is something that will never be understood by people with morals. Who thought up the idea that men cannot be feminine without being dubbed gay? Furthermore, what is wrong with a men enjoying the softer things in life? People should be allowed to express themselves however they see fit without fear of judgment. Feminism refutes the antiquated idea that being gay is a bad thing, and advocates against those who show prejudice towards those who are.

A women can receive a plethora of compliments from a fellow female without so much as a second thought, but the moment a guy comments on another man’s physique, beauty, or even personality, he begins the journey into the outskirts of high school social groups everywhere.

Men often feel ashamed to share an interest in more feminine hobbies, such as baking, singing, and dancing. Furthermore, the assumption that men are paralyzed in all things domestic without the help of a women is widespread. Men have the capacity to be just as skilled in the kitchen as women. Testosterone does not inhibit men from doing the occasional load of laundry. The real culprit here is misogyny.

Additionally, fear of judgment from fellow men leave others struggling with the desire to express emotions that society tells them to internalize. It is expected for women to be emotional, but when men express the slightest bit of sentiment, they are disparaged. Why shouldn’t men be able to articulate their emotions in the same way as their female counterparts? This is where feminism comes in.

Feminism craves freedom for all from the restraints of a close-minded, judgmental society. It means  liberating men from conforming to who they think they must be and allowing them to be who they truly are.

It is long past time for an era wherein men do not discourage feminism, but rather uphold its universal ideals. Men must grasp that feminism is not here to exert women’s power over men, but to bring all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and any other form of diversity, together as equals.