We need to talk about the F word

Feminism benefits men too


Feminism has a pretty bad rep these days. So much so that it is actually more acceptable to use the actual F word than to utter that you believe men and women are equal. It is so toxic in today’s society that I am pretty hesitant to tell people that I am, to their horror, a feminist and, even more shockingly a member of the Women’s Equality Party. I receive double the awkward silence. In fact, ‘toxic’ is an understatement. Look on any Tab article about gender equality and you will see floods of comments complaining about the ‘femi-Nazis.’ Damn it, you caught us. Move over Illuminati, women and migrants are all out to bring the UK down in a bright flame of burning bras.

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Newsflash brainiac, feminism is gender egalitarianism

When did misandry become so heavily associated with feminism? Of course every ideology has their radicals. Just like right-wing Conservatives believe that gay marriage is wrong, some radical feminists believe women are better off in exclusively female communes away from the power of the dick. Just because a minority believe that every man is a potential rapist, it does not mean this is a universal bumper sticker for every feminist.

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 I believe that feminism benefits men too, shocking, I know. Quick refresher: feminism by definition is the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. This is something I will believe till I die; heck, put it on my gravestone. It may support the ground-breaking notion that women are equal to men, but it also heavily supports the idea that men are equal to women. For example, the Take Back the Night movement not only focusses on women’s safety, but also the abuse of men and asks for the end of sexual violence towards anybody.

Take_Back_The_Night_march_Alamogordo_2010

Patriarchy breeds a hyper-masculine toxic environment which affects both sexes. For starters men are more likely to die from suicide because from a young age boys with tears or feelings are told to ‘man-up’, with subsequent bottled up emotions often leading to undiagnosed depression later on in life.

Then there is the strict conformity within society for men to dress and act a certain way. Male eating disorders are increasing at an alarming rate, whilst skirts and make-up are a huge no-no if you want to be taken seriously as a guys’ guy. In the family set up men are expected to be providers for their families and are unlikely to be stay at home fathers because of this breadwinner status. In the case of divorce, men do not have equal custody rights. The list literally goes on and on.

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Smiling through the patriarchy pain

As a feminist I campaign for the equal rights of men as well as women. When someone told my six-year-old cousin he couldn’t do ballet because he was a boy, I told him he could do whatever he wanted that made him happy. Furthermore, by improving the lives of women feminism can benefit and enrich men’s lives too. When women are fully incorporated into the economy it results in faster economic growth which means more money and resources for everyone. Yay feminism!

So c’mon lads, show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for not only for the women in your lives, but also yourselves and fly that feminist flag. Men of Britain, your country needs you.

 @phoeboakley