To Be a Male Feminist

To+Be+a+Male+Feminist+

There are a things that I hear from both men and women that confuse me. The first thing that I often hear is that feminism is wrong and that women are not oppressed in America by the institution or otherwise. The second thing is that I, as an identified man, cannot believe in feminism or the message that mainstream feminism is about. I have always believed in a few key things about all human beings: we are all equal, we all deserve the same opportunity, and the institution should be established to promote that equality. Other than the 19th Amendment to the constitution, American women have no written rights. This has a few implications. One, it means that while women have the right to vote they have no rights to equal pay, equal treatment when hiring, and the most ironic thing I find as a man is something most women do not even realize, women lack a right to their own bodies. Historically, men have made all the decisions in American history; the important women students learn about are often someones wife or daughter and they are significant because of their relationship to an important male figure. There have only been 40 female senators in the United States senate ever and that is out of 2167 total senators. The other amazing fact is that 20 of those female senators are currently serving meaning over the course of American history there have been approximately 20 female voices heard in politics for the majority of history since the 1920s. How does this relate to feminism? Feminism’s main belief is that there needs to be equal opportunity politically, socially, and economically for all genders. There has been a modern misconstruction that feminism seeks to make women placed above others when, in fact, they simply seek to put us all on the same social position, competing equally.

Many issues socially, politically and economically constantly exist as a result of a lack of women being involved. Socially we see a lot of things such as a rape culture where we blame the victim of rape,  women are objects for male domination, they are held to a different social standard since they still are largely considered to be objects for visual enjoyment. While I will admit there have been massive strides towards equality, we are still a long way to go before men and women are both equal in the social sphere. Politically, the above example of representation of women’s voices in politics is  troubling, it allows our laws to be shaped by only men has really left women pigeonholed where 87% of  congress is middle aged white men are making all the important decisions. The controversial topic of abortion is largely left up to people who have never and will never be pregnant; due to a lack of female voices the control over the female body has been handed again to men. Now, politically, there are still even greater challenges with the glass ceiling holding women back from getting on equal footing. The public view is still very skewed towards the belief that if we have a woman as a president or high staked political position that she would not be able to command the respect equal to that, that would be given to a man. Feminism’s goal of obtaining equal opportunity supports the ideal that we need to reject the ideals we have where women cannot be in leadership roles. Economically, to this day, there is a huge gender gap in which women do not make the same amount of money as a man. Women also face severe restrictions in where their careers can go as the glass ceiling is almost always too high for them to easily breakthrough.

Now, what does this all mean coming from me, Douglas Alexander Husic, a man? Why does it matter that I am a man? I have a mother, I have a sister, I hope one day to have a wife and maybe I will have a daughter. Me being a feminist means that I simply would want all those important women to have the equal opportunity to me. My identifying as a feminist means I believe in equality for all sexes and strive to never look down on anyone based solely on their sex or gender. Feminist are not radicals who seek to make men slaves; they simply want to be our equals, and it would be silly for any of us to deny equality.