Dear my fellow men, feminism means equality and not female superiority

By Chris Schaller
April 29, 2021

The Feminist symbol.
Photo by SVG

Feminism means the advocacy for women on the basis of equality, which has been misconstrued by men in today’s world.

The word feminism in a good portion of male circles has a negative connotation. If a man says that he is a feminist, he will be viewed as having homosexual tendencies and will be also referred to as a simp, which means a male that is submissive to women for sexual advances. There is nothing wrong with being a feminist because it means advocating for men and women to be equal. 

The main force behind the masculine misconception is toxic masculinity in itself. The idea that men have to be alpha males, stereotypically muscular, tough and big. There is somewhat of an expectation for a woman to be submissive and obedient to a male when it comes to theories of toxic masculinity. An old fashion and conservative sexist trope is that the man goes out and works to provide for his family, while the woman cooks, cleans the house and takes care of the kids. 

Society, being very patriarchal, has added to the misconception of feminism. Men, especially white straight men, have the highest position in society. If you are the most privileged part of society, you do not want to hear about the ones who do not have the same privileges. 

For example, whenever the wage gap is mentioned and that women make 82 cents to the dollar that men make, the common male rebuttal is, it’s about how hard someone works; it’s not about gender, men don’t want to hear about the things they benefit from in society. 

If you believe that men and women should be on the same basis of equality then by definition you are a feminist, whether you are male or female. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth and William Lloyd Garrison were all prominent feminists. Feminists in the late 1800s and early 1900s were viewed as pioneers and heroes. Why aren’t prominent feminists now such as Tarana Burke and Barbara Smith viewed the same way? Advocating for reproductive rights and equal pay are essential rights to women just like suffrage was. 

First Women’s March in Washington D.C. back in January 2017.
Photo by Liz Lemon

The portrayal of a feminist by a population of men is basically a deranged, angry woman who dislikes men and advocates for extreme measures of gender rights. That is simply not the case with the feministic movement. What may seem extreme to men are reasonable and measurable rights and desired privileges to women. Whether it is sexual harassment and assault allegations being pushed aside or silenced, woman sports receiving inferior amenities or restrictions on the female reproductive system. A feminist either male or female would stand up when something is wrong on the basis of gender equality. 

What does it mean to be a feminist as a man? It means wanting women to have the same amount of equality that men have.  Pointing out flaws in our system and in society that discriminate against women should not be ignored. However, it should be pointed out and fixed. That can only happen if men understand that feminists are advocating to be on an equal basis as men and not superior to men.  Many aspects of patriarchy and getting pleasure out of societal dominance are the main catalysts towards male misconceptions about what feminism is. 


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Chris Schaller

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