Feminism seems to be an uncomfortable topic for most. Even more uncomfortable is labeling oneself as a feminist.
The label seems to ooze so many negative ideas and stereotypes in people’s minds.
More often, for men.
Talking to the men in my life it seems that being labeled a ‘feminist’ makes them seem too feminine, and far less masculine than they should in the eyes of their peers.
Any discussion or thought towards feminism is therefore immediately pushed aside and deemed as unimportant or unnecessary. It is seen as strictly a woman’s topic of concern and discussion, and that all issues that once existed within the subject matter of feminism have since been taken care of. Except it’s not, and the need for feminism still exists.
The reasons for which men push aside any topic relating to or about feminism is exactly what feminists are concerned about and work to change.
It is not just women who are held victim to unrealistic gender standards and restricted gender roles, men are too.
Men are told to be the breadwinners, to be emotionless, to fight not flight, amongst other things. Males are made to feel they must act a certain way in order to not be thought of as less than a man.
Just as they are for women, these gender stereotypes for men are unrealistic and restraining.
The fact that men are afraid/unwilling to label themselves as a feminist shows that there is a bigger issue at hand.
Feminism is not specifically and only for females, men can be feminists too. And they should be. Feminism is not just about women’s rights, but about gender rights.
“My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”
-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “We Should All Be Feminists”