By: Yann Esparron
I was having dinner with my parents the other week, a simple dinner with no agenda, when my dad asked me how school and work were going. I started to tell him about all my classes, which are all Women’s Studies classes, and have a lot to do with my job. We got to the topic of feminism and I brought up that there was a guy in one of my classes who, in my opinion, really understood what feminism is all about.
“There are male feminists?!?!?!” was the response I received.
My mom’s response was shocking, but after some thought, I realized it must be a very common misconception. Of course there are men feminists! We have every kind of person imaginable, I reassured her, but she still seemed unconvinced. My dad jokingly added that they’re just trying to get laid. This also, is a common misconception. Often, people think that feminists are man-hating, lesbian, femi-nazis; they never consider the notion that feminists come in all shapes and sizes and that we do have men in our community. They may not be a majority or even a plurality, but they definitely exist. Of course, I can see why some men would hesitate to join the fight for equality. It has to be difficult to give up privilege you’ve had all your life; and of course, with gender roles so strictly defined within our society, men run the risk of being mocked or even attacked for joining the movement.
Alas, we can do only so much; try to get the message out there that feminism is for everybody and enlighten people in our everyday conversations.