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Men can be feminists, too

Men can be feminists, too

Since I started my college life, I became more aware of the issues chained to society. I literally perceived school as a second home, a safe space, with family who knows how to embrace our own spectrum and distinctiveness.

I met diverse people bearing the flag of their advocacies. Moreover, everyone can spread their wings freely and show true colors without judgment.

Also, one of the highlights of my college journey: it became an avenue for me to know that men can be feminists, too.

EQUALITY, NOT SAMENESS

Feminism is simply about all sexes having equal rights and opportunities — social, economic, and political aspects. Let me emphasize once again: ALL SEXES.

But, for those who taunt saying that women are not the “same” as men (talking about physical abilities), take time to realize that feminism is about equality, not “sameness.”

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With a bit of effort, every individual should recognize that “same” does not imply “equal.” The problem here is not about the difference between the attributes of the two sexes, it’s the inequality of rights and access to opportunities. Also, men and women do not have to be physically “equal” to enjoy the right to equality.

And for those who are wondering why feminism exists, it’s simple. We live in a world dominated by clear-cut oppressive systems, one of which is gender inequality. It’s even easy for some to assume that male dominance is a natural state of human society. But no, it shouldn’t be.

FEMINISM IS NOT ONLY FOR WOMEN

Any person, regardless of sexual orientation, can be an advocate for equality. Fighting for basic human rights is not just for women. As men, we can involve ourselves in their adversities. We can take initiative to be a sparkplug of self-determination and actualization of women’s potentials.

Moreover, being a feminist is one way for us to put ourselves in women’s shoes. It’s part of the process of revalidating feminine qualities.

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In relation to this, Dutch activist Jens van Tricht asserts that feminism is not only limited to improving the position and status of women. It’s also about emancipating men (and women) from the restrictive codes that hold them back. As he emphasized,

“Feminism is good for men, because it liberates the femininity in men.”

Believe it or not, there are still people (even under my own roof) who would tell me that crying makes me less of a man.

TO TIP THE SCALE TOWARDS EQUALITY

It’s a common notion to others that feminism revolves around the idea of women’s superiority over men. But, it doesn’t work that way. Feminists are pushing for a just society where women can inhale the same rights and opportunities men can breathe.

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Sadly, our status quo manifests that it’s like we are living in a world designed for men. According to a report, women are often underrepresented in senior positions within firms. On the other hand, women are often overrepresented in low-paying jobs. Apparently, this reality is just a portion of the economic inequality generally encountered by women.

Moreover, it’s not justifiable to claim that feminism doesn’t acknowledge the challenges men are facing. The feminists are fighting for women’s rights to tip the scale towards equality. As we operate amid the realm of patriarchy, women are evidently being left behind.

In relation to this scenario, I remember an analogy pointed out by the Philippine Commission on Women in their Gender-Fair Media book.

“Imagine having two glasses, with one half-filled and the other empty. If you want to serve both glasses at the same time, you will need to fill the empty glass first. Filling both glasses at the same time would cause one to overflow while the other one is left behind.”

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‘CAN A MAN BE A FEMINIST?’ HERE ARE THEIR TWO CENTS:

As I am drafting this write-up, I realized that the voices of men should also be heard. Here are their responses when asked, “Can men be feminists?”

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Levi, 21.

“Yes, men can be feminists; but it doesn’t mean that if one man is a feminist, he is already part of LGBTQIA + and we regard the issue of gender or sex towards him. My main point is that when we say feminist; he or she adheres to feminism as an ideology that respected the roles of women in society and fostered women’s liberation and accepted that women and men have equal rights. I assume that it’s normal in our society that men can be a feminist; even they are the opposite sex, as long as they are committed to the principles and philosophies of feminism.”

Ace, 22.

“Defining the concept of “feminist” is crucial in understanding whether men can be feminists too. It does not solely rely upon the willingness of the person to become a feminist but more on understanding and combatting the oppression brought by the patriarchal system that is deeply rooted in our culture and society. Overall, men can be feminist but often not as in-depth towards its purpose unless we could unlink ourselves from the contagious system.”

Alfred, 27.

“My answer is yes. Going back to what we have discussed in our DISS lesson in SHS, I can still remember that I have emphasized the fact that forwarding the welfare of women in society is not the responsibility of women alone. We came from our mother, we have our grandmother, we have female siblings, female friends, and others among our circle that we care about. Acknowledging their rights, not blocking opportunities for them, and hearing their voices for the common good cannot make a male or man less of a man. “

Arniel, 43.

“Yes, I believe men can be and should be feminists. I’m a man but I’m also a son, a brother, a husband, and a father. I don’t want my wife, daughters, mother, and sister to be denied their equal rights and opportunities because they are women. I don’t want my children to grow up in a society where discrimination, abuse, and disrespecting women are normalized.”

Agustin, 60.

“Yes. But first, let me tell you that God created Adam and Eve to multiply, to love, and to achieve God’s purpose to become a good family. Without a woman, there’s no reason that we will become a family. Every man must protect every woman that requires respect, protection, and love.”

At the end of the day, there are still people who think that men cannot be feminists. However, we cannot instantly blame those people who hold this misconception. They need more time to reflect and of course, to be educated.

Also, remember this: a man of equality is not afraid of equality.

How about you? Do you think men can be feminists? Share your thoughts!

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