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Being a feminist is not gender exclusive

Purdie argues people of both genders can be a feminist. The men and women that attended he Women's March support his opinion.

Illustration by Daniel Stewart

Purdie argues people of both genders can be a feminist. The men and women that attended he Women's March support his opinion.

Michael Purdie, Editor-in-Chief

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Feminism Column

I’m a feminist, but I’m a man. I’m a feminist, but I don’t want to free my nipples. I’m a feminist, but I don’t constantly push it down your throat.

“Wait, that’s possible?” you may ask. “You can be a feminist, a man, and subtle about it?” Not only is it possible, but most feminists are this way. Crazy, isn’t it?

Feminism is equality between all genders, so, yes, men can be feminists. And, yes, men can benefit from feminism as well. However, it is important to recognize the difference between feminism and “radical” feminism.

In most cases, radical feminism is not feminism, it is misandry – the idea that women are better than men, or deserve more power than men. Conversely, pure feminism is the movement supporting social, economic, and political equality between women and men.

Unfortunately, these misandrists, also known as “feminazis,” give feminism a bad rep, because people think all feminists are that way, which is far from true. Due to this stigma, people are afraid to identify as feminists.

Why am I a feminist?

Well, I feel like the want for equality should be second nature to all of us. Two and a half years ago, I couldn’t get married in all 50 states because of something out of my control, so I’ve always supported those who are denied of rights as well.

It’s called intersectionality – the theory that all social categories, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation, are interconnected and their relationships are essential in understanding the human condition. This means that I support groups who are lacking privileges, even though
I may not specifically be a part of that group, because I relate to their situation.

And for those men who say that women aren’t denied any rights or privileges: please let me know how you have gained enough credibility to come to that conclusion. You’re a man, you don’t what it’s like to be a woman. I also don’t know what it’s like, but I can at least acknowledge the problem.

So, what rights are “modern” feminists fighting for? I mean, they can vote, what else do they want, right?

For starters, reproductive rights. Women shouldn’t have to pay taxes on tampons, Planned Parenthood should be funded, and birth control should be easily available for those in need, and that just scratches the surface of the reproductive rights conflict.

Sexual assault is an ongoing concern in the world, and it has only been given light recently due to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Let’s remember that this problem is not a new one; there need to be effective solutions to combat this, such as stricter laws and heavy prison sentences. And keep in mind men can be and are victims of sexual assault affected as well.

The feminist movement has grown in numbers recently, as shown during the 2017 and 2018 Women’s Marches.

The Women’s March is an event to represent unity through demonstration. Some people are so adamant against the March, since it’s a protest.

If I’m correct, in elementary school we learned how our nation was built on protest and change. We may have learned this a long time ago, but let’s not forget the meaning behind such events.

The people who are against the March aren’t just opposed to having their traditional beliefs challenged or the inconvenience of traffic – they’re afraid. They’re afraid of change, because they’re currently content. No one’s rights are going to be taken away just because someone else’s are developing.

So, yes, it is possible to be a male feminist who’s not afraid of change, and I’m proud to say that I am one.

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Being a feminist is not gender exclusive