By: Anel Sandoval
We are bringing it Back to Basics this week! In this blog segment, we explain feminist terminology, myths, concepts and more! Today’s question is…
“Does a feminist have to be female?”
Being a feminist means believing that women and men are equal and deserve equal rights. If you agree with that, then you’re a feminist. With that being said, all genders can be a feminist! True feminism is intersectional. Feminism spans across any and all genders, sexual preferences, or ethnic identities. And yes, men can be feminist allies too!
“Why are men important in advocating for gender equity?”
Men can be important allies to women in fighting for gender equity and promoting violence prevention. Women have been fighting for women’s equality for hundreds of years, but men also have a role to join in the fight as they’re not the problem, but part of the solution. One example of a self identified male feminist is former President Barack Obama. In August of 2016, President Obama penned his famous This is What A Feminist Looks Like where he reminded us that “it is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too.” His administration also took big steps to combat campus sexual assault and violence against women, improve equal pay protections, and actively promote women’s issues.
“What can I, as a man, do to become an ally for women’s human rights?”
Great question! Here is a list of ways:
- Support women’s organizations such as the Women’s Center here on campus. We have many events you can attend this semester!
- Educate yourself on the history of women’s fight for equality as well as current issues.
- Start a conversation with women in your life. Listen to women who are fighting for their rights and ask them questions on how you can support them.
- Do not be a bystander to women’s violence. If you see it in your home, workplace, campus, or any public place, do not be silent, report it.
- Do not share sexist content that belittles or discriminates against women in any way.
- Advocate and educate others. Men can challenge other men in a way that women can’t, and if you use that opportunity to try to educate other guys, or just send the message that sexist attitudes are not okay, that can go a long way. It can feel awkward, but it’s worth it and very appreciated.
Remember that absolutely anyone can be a feminist regardless of their gender and it is our duty, as society, to change the fact that women aren’t equal to men. To learn more click here!