“For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable. For every boy who is burdened with the constant expectation of knowing everything, there is a girl tired of people not trusting her intelligence.” – Nancy R. Smith, Poet.
There is much controversy with the F word. It is enough to make people cringe or turn away in disgust. Men think that it is highly unattractive. This F word is feminism.
Feminism is not just a women’s issue. Feminism is a gender issue. Both sexes can be feminists because both need feminism. Feminism is the stance against sexist exploitation and oppression.
Some men are quick to speak out about racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination, but are hesitant to speak out against sexism. They fear being labeled as a feminist.
Society has given feminism a bad connotation. Men and women have been misinformed on what feminism actually is. Because of this, feminism has become synonymous with Rush Limbaugh labels such as man-hater and femma-nazi. Feminists can be either sex. Their goal is to eliminate the stereotypes that have been assigned to genders. People should not be limited by archaic standards.
Some men hide behind phrases like “I am not a feminist but…”, followed by an idea that is very much feminist.
Some men fear that if they call themselves a feminist, other men will not see them as strong and masculine. This constant need to feel masculine and strong is the very reason why men need feminism.
Society teaches boys from a young age that they should not cry when hurt, for the simple reason of that they are a boy.
Men are both outright and subliminally told that they must be able to provide for their family, be strong, not show any emotions, be physically fit and excel in sports.
Gender roles created by society keep men and women from enjoying their humanity and expressing who they are.
Boys need to be given the chance to thrive as who they are and not worry about societal rules when it comes to behaving how boys should act. They need to be taught that it is okay to feel emotions as they happen and be sensitive, or simply enjoy the color pink.
Gender violence is created by the same society that breeds violent men.
Both genders need to put down their arms when it comes to the battle of the sexes, that they have been forced to fight since a young age. Men who care about feminism but do not speak up is not enough. Men need to stand up to their male peers and make it known that sexist jokes and discrimination will not be tolerated. By standing up to their peers, men will lead by example and others will soon follow.