America’s Next Bill Clinton!


The reason I am a feminist.

At feminist conferences or during the first few days of the new semester, often times I’d get the inevitable question of: “You’re a man, why do you care so much about women’s rights?”Often times, because I am at these events to network, exchange ideas and build for a political future, my answer is always something like: “Because it would be a profound and utter act of immorality for me to idly stand by as half of my fellow human population is being discriminated against.”When speaking to a woman of interest, the story of my passion for feminism is one that is based on my religious background: I grew up a Unitarian, and we didn’t know any differently.  

But just last night, I realized the very reason why I am a feminist, and I will, for as long as I live, devote my life to fighting for women’s rights. Coming home at around midnight, I heard yelling and screaming and two burley men in suits and ties wrestling down a man, and pointing guns at the apartment downstairs from me. It turned out the men were undercover police officers who staked out the area because they’d received a call of a suspicious person in our neighborhood, and had observed the intruder jump over the porch and break into my neighbor’s house. The undercovers yelled at me and told me to call my neighbor (a female) to get out of the house.

 When I made that phone call, she had already locked herself in her room and refused to open the door for the officers. It took some coaxing from my roommate for her to eventually open up. My neighbor, whom I’ll call Sue, is a single mother. When the intruder was trying to break in, the three-year-old child was sleeping on the couch and I was told that the intruder saw the child, too. Obviously, my neighbor is shaken. One of the reasons for this is we’d spoken a few days ago about how the screen door was taken down by the landlord, and when she raised the issue, she was told, “Look, if someone wants to rape you, a screen door isn’t going to help stop that.”

It upsets me. It upsets me that the landlord passes off her concerns about being raped as just a trivial matter, and that those who truly are concerns about women’s lives and experiences don’t have the means to change things.  It upsets me that the patriarchy still exists, and the ruling class has no knowledge or concerns for women issues. It upsets me even more that in America, in 2007, women are still having to worry about certain acts of violence directed toward them, just because they are women.

 It upsets me that women have to live in fear for their livelihood, and are treated differently simply because of the nature of their biology. More over, it upsets me that we still need feminism in 2007 here in the most powerful and supposedly progressive nation on earth.  

For me, feminism isn’t sexy. It’s not supposed to be a good time. It’s not supposed to be enjoyable. It should be fought with vigor and passion – the same passion that’s devoted to fighting terrorism. After all, sexism is a form of terrorism.

 As a pro-feminist male, my fight for feminism isn’t about earning the attention or affection of women. It’s not about getting laid for standing up to fight for women. For an aspiring politician, it shouldn’t be able earning votes or tapping into a certain group of voters.

I fight for feminism because the world isn’t fair. I fight for feminism because gender terrorism still exists. I fight for feminism because I know I wouldn’t like to be marginalized and harmed, objectified and trivialized, simply because of my gender. In short, I fight for feminism because of this reason: because I believe while we were all born very differently, some with more strengths and intelligence than others, we should all we treated the same. We may not have been born equal and into the same situation, but we all should be recognized equally, based on our individual worth and dignity, and not on the body parts nature has given us.  

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5 Comments so far
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For me, feminism isn’t sexy. It’s not supposed to be a good time. It’s not supposed to be enjoyable. It should be fought with vigor and passion – the same passion that’s devoted to fighting terrorism. After all, sexism is a form of terrorism.

It is very refreshing to hear that from a man. Even most women don’t quite get there.

Kudos.

Comment by theunrelentingrevolutionaryoptimist

I was over at the I Blame the Patriarchy Forum and saw this blog post linked on one of the posts there. I thought of you and wanted you to read it.

Comment by L

Very straightforward and honest – I like it.
Very well said.

Comment by Trish

I’m a little astounded that people are still suprised by feminist men. When a heterosexual person is pro-gay rights, they can say “well, my brother (sister, mother, father, cousin, best friend, etc) is gay,” and everyone nods in understanding. Shouldn’t it go without saying that half of a feminist man’s family are women? That feminist men have mothers, sisters, daughters, lovers and co-workers? Or are they some how supposed to forget that?

Comment by RJ

You write with eloquence and conviction. May your political future be as bright as you are. Your comment about your Unitarian upbringing particularly touched me as my Unitarian son shares your sense of justice.

Comment by Rosemary Poole-Carter




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