Editorial: Men should be feminists

Feminist leaders and activists demand Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, be removed from his post during a protest in front of IMF headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, May 18 2011. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

Feminist leaders and activists demand Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, be removed from his post during a protest in front of IMF headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, May 18 2011. (c) 2011, Olivier Douliery. Distributed by McClatchy/Tribune Information Services. Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie defines a feminist as a person who believes in the social, political, economic equality of the sexes.

People have a warped understanding of what it means to be a feminist. It isn’t that difficult to understand. Feminists want equal rights. Feminism is for everyone; anyone can support feminism. Supporting feminism in no way makes a man any less “masculine.”

“Some people ask: ‘Why the word feminist?’” Adichie wrote in her book ‘We Should All Be Feminists.’

“’Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human,” Adichie wrote.

Women have a still standing history of experiencing sexism (oppression of gender/sex) and misogyny (hatred towards “womanly” things and femininity).

In third world countries like India, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, etc. women are rejected an education for simply being a female.

According to Elite Life, nine out of 10 women are illiterate in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is said to be the hardest place to live as a woman. As a woman, many of them go through hardships on their way to school like acid being thrown in their faces. Women are forbidden to learn with boys, making it hard to actually find a school nearby.

Also, rape isn’t just a women’s issue; it’s everyone’s issue. Women who live in America have a 25 to 26 percent chance of being raped in their lifetime which is one in four, according to The Hathor Legacy.

In rape cases there is often a snarky comment like, “She was asking for it.”

No one asks for rape. Wearing a short skirt shouldn’t make a woman a rape target. Being intoxicated shouldn’t make a woman a rape target. Being in a vulnerable situation shouldn’t make a woman a rape target. Being a woman shouldn’t make a woman a rape target.

Men have a one in 10 chance of being raped in their lifetime, and most men don’t report it in fear of being made fun of or not being taken seriously. No one should have to be in fear of being sexually violated walking home from work or even at a party. It’s not something someone should have to do.

Feminism is actually beneficial for men because it shows their support for the women’s rights considering feminism wraps itself around gender equality. We still have places where women are denied basic rights, and men often ignore these issues and the fact women need voices to amplify their wants for equality including America. Men deny women’s oppression because it’s not as harsh compared towards those who live in third world countries, whose oppression may be worse.

Men have misconceptions when it comes to oppression in the third world countries. One is that women who don’t live in first world countries are more oppressed than those who do, making them irrelevant, which is completely false. Men should show support for all women and help improve all of the oppressive situations women all go through.

Another is that women who live in first world countries don’t face oppression at all, which is again false. Men still live in a patriarchal society and to assume that it’s disappeared when women are still denied basic rights is ignorant. There are pressing matters that men need to address and fix.

Men shouldn’t ignore feminism because after all…it’s their issue as well.

Take the ECHO Poll: Are you a feminist?

See Also: Feminist Coalition members address dress code.



Categories: Editorial

1 reply

  1. I really support your stance on women’s rights and I believe that you’re doing something great for all women, for our country, and people all around the world.

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