Feminism isn't Attacking your Masculinity, Dude.
by Josh Britt
I’m a man. A guy, if you will. Possibly even a dude. Not quite a bro, but still, a man.
At the same time, and this may come as a shock to some, I’m a feminist. After reading an article published by the Odyssey titled “Today’s Man Is Victim To Today’s Feminism,” I felt compelled to share my thoughts on feminism and masculinity, from a man’s perspective.
I wholeheartedly and unapologetically believe that no woman should be thought of as less than her male counterpart in the workplace, public eye, or home strictly due to her gender. This doesn’t seem groundbreaking to me. If a woman works just as hard as her male coworker, she should be paid just as much. I would say the same if men in certain fields were being treated unfairly compared to their female coworkers, but that’s not happening anywhere that I’m aware of. If a woman wishes to be in a position of leadership, and has earned her right there, she should be allowed to serve in said position, just as any man would have.
This idea of equality is essential to the feminist ideology. Feminism is not that women deserve special treatment due to their womanhood, or that we should attack men based on their privilege. Call them out/in? Totally. Let them know they are privileged, and how they can use said privilege to the advantage of the feminist movement? Go for it. But no one (at least not anyone from T+D) is suggesting that men should be retroactively penalized for their history as having more opportunities than women. The majority of self proclaimed feminists are not suggesting that we somehow turn the tables and that women rule over men. If they did, do you think I’d be here? Feminism is not attacking anyone’s masculinity, nor does it suggest that women are somehow inherently better than men.
Let me break it down for you.
The powers-that-be (read: Google) define feminism as “1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. 2. organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests.”
That means us crazy feminists believe women and men should be given equal opportunities, regardless of biological sex. Sound good? Cool.
The next part is just as simple, it’s doing what it takes, in order to turn that dream (the first part of the definition) into a reality. Seems reasonable right? You want a dream realized, you act on said dream.
Seriously hoping I haven’t lost anybody yet.
Now we get to the problem that anti-feminists love to bring up: those crazy extremists, and admittedly there are several. Yes, there are a group of people who call themselves feminists while attacking men left and right, telling fellow women to stop wearing dresses, and encouraging women to bring out their masculine side. But there are also plenty of people who call themselves Christians, and chant outside of a soldier’s funeral that the fallen servant of our country will burn in Hell. Those people have a name, they’re called the Westboro Baptist Church. There’s Islamic extremists (ISIS), there’s conservative extremists (we call them fascists, Mussolini was one of those), and then there are liberal extremists (ah yes, good ole communism).
My point is this, to judge a movement by its extremists is ignorant and foolish. If we did that for everything, all of religion would be out the window, and both of the United States political parties would be irrelevant (okay, that doesn’t sound so bad, but you get my point).
True feminism isn’t attacking anyone based on their level of masculinity or femininity, it simply is attacking the long living institutions that have repressed femininity in the workplace and elsewhere.
So, if you’re a man feeling threatened by the feminist movement… you might want to take a look at the fragility of your self assurance and masculinity. If women being empowered scares or angers you, I’ve got news for you, you’re not nearly as strong as you like to think. There really isn’t a zero sum of empowerment, nor of strength. You and your female counterpart can both be intelligent, can both have the same opportunities, and can both be successful, that is if you both work hard. Now, does the possibility of women having the same opportunities as men increase the competition when it comes to rising to the top of your field? Absolutely. But if that scares you, then obviously males do not deserve to be in positions of power anymore than females. If men were truly more qualified than women in certain fields, then equal playing fields wouldn’t matter, men would still have the advantage. That’s the kicker: being threatened by the feminist movement validates the feminist ideology that women deserve the same opportunities that men do.
So to all my fellow guys, dudes, and yes even the bros out there who consider themselves feminists: I’m proud of you, now let’s get to work on making the dream a reality.
And to those of you who don’t consider yourselves a feminist: you’re about to be left behind by the most driven, intelligent, and conscientious generation of women and men to have graced this country.