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Molly Longest / Her Campus
Life > Experiences

A Remark On The Feminist Man

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

On finding myself in a long and crowded line for a hot dog in my University’s stadium, a man approached me, at least 30 years older than my 21.

Several attempts to strike a conversation with me failed, as I found him utterly heinous and pathetic for trying to hit up a young (as in barely legal, relatively speaking) woman in a cowboy hat and body glitter while he himself had lived to see the horrors of 9/11, Vietnam, and I can only assume, World War II. 

He grew desperate as the line grew shorter and I came closer and closer to purchasing my snack, and cried out, for all of the masses to hear: “I can tell you’re a strong independent woman!” As if that would please me enough to lose said independence and jump into the arms of a man who undoubtedly would control my time with him as if it were (and it might have been) the last time of his life. 

While many snickered as I stalked off, the anger that sprouted in my stomach that day has lasted much longer than the stench of his cheap cologne and the sight of his balding, empty head did. 

One of my ex-boyfriends, whenever I mentioned an all-female club I was a part of, (mind you, the club had nothing to do with the feminist movement and simply was to find workout areas near us) would cheer for that club in a valley girl voice of sorts, or raise his hand in a fist meant to mimic those raised in pain during protest movements of now and of the past. 

The actions of these men were meant to be humorous, yet I had trouble finding them so. Why is it that men who claim to be accepting of women’s strength still play on it for humor? Why, in fact, do we need them to accept our strength at all? I find it entirely more suitable for men to treat me as an insignificant equal than to point out and applaud my “crusade” against all that is misogynistic and female-reducing. I do not find it attractive, nor kind, nor humorous, for you to praise my actions in a movement I did not ask to be born into and that you yourself are enforcing. 

And that is assuming I am equal to these men, which is kind on my part, to place my own value near to those joking about my female organizations or calling me a badass, independent woman. Why, I am inclined to ask, can I not just be called a badass? Would you call a man who has earned the adjective a badass man? Or perhaps a boyboss? Being a boss includes the condition of masculinity, according to the trend of “girl bossing”, unless otherwise noted. I find that deplorable. 

In response to this. I assume many men may grow angry and claim they cannot do anything right in this modern day and age. I assume I am meant to sigh and shake my head at the plight of the modern man, dodging imaginary rape accusations left and right, stuck in the corners of clubs because they do not want to make a woman uncomfortable.

I suppose I should be content with men using female liberation for jokes lest they anger again and become more outright with their misogynistic intentions. Yet as I grow older and more intelligent, more educated, men become more intimidated, more outright with their animosity masked under belittling praise, and I lose the ability to care what their response is to this text. 

The fact of the matter is man would not be so eager to support women’s rights if it did not make him more attractive to said women. A woman ought to be able to tell when a man sees them as equal without him parading it on social media for all to see. The joking captions on male thirst traps that cry “I think women should have equal rights (I’m 6’4 by the way)” send an aching into my chest that condemns the movement on which my livelihood is based to a tired joke that, yet again, reduces women to objects for male pleasure and validation. There is a whole page on knowyourmeme.com dedicated to this joke. 

Do you hate misogyny, Justin Foster?

Men can be funny. Whatever perceived bias you may claim I hold against the humor of the male human is not the issue. They can do better than this–and while women have made the same joke, it is never about the position of men in society or their perceived unequalness. “It makes me sad most women don’t know the significance of the ‘Wolf of Wall Street'” is entirely different from “I spent all night throwing up in tears because of the wage gap” and if you do not understand that, it is not my responsibility to explain why. 

I know every man I value in my life, whether it be friend or family, has never patronizingly, chest-achingly, applauded a woman for being a “strong woman” or an “independent woman”. Rather, once again, he calls her strong, or independent alone. For they do not see how my vagina is notable in this compliment. Men who I value as equal, and am in awe of their intelligence, kindness, and humanity (and there are multiple), discuss feminism with me as it comes up in normal conversation. They do not throw it in my face as a last-ditch effort to get attention, nor do they use it as a cheap ploy for comedy when their brains fail to produce good humor.

I am thus confident that men are capable of feminist discourse beyond parody if they are willing and wise enough to do so. 


Men should support their women at home .. #men #women #housechores

♬ Can We Kiss Forever? – Kina
What this man is saying makes some fair (if not obvious) points, if not for the fact that he uses the hashtags #women and #housechores unabashedly meant to steer this video towards women, in the pursuit of his own praise and social success. Need more convincing? Scroll on to find a video of him bashing an ex-girlfriend and her current partner, simply because the new partner is “ugly” and the man making the video was “good” to the woman. I am doubtful the woman’s needs were fulfilled by the TikToks he made fighting for female empowerment.
Genevieve Andersen is the President of HCCU, as well as a co-Campus Coordinator. As President, she oversees the senior executive team, executive team, national partnerships, and assists with coordinating events. She manages meetings, recruitment, campus communications, and chapter finances and is one of HCCU's biggest fans. Since she joined the club in 2021, she has found a passion for writing on subjects like politics, law, feminism, environmental justice, and local features. Outside of HCCU, Genevieve is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in political science and French and minoring in journalism. Besides magazine writing, she has published and assisted with political science research, with her latest project involving international environmental policy being based in Geneva, Switzerland, where she worked with the United Nations Environmental Program and various European environmental NGOs. When she is not busy reading member's HCCU articles, you can find Genevieve on a ski or hiking trail, hanging out with her friends, playing with her dogs, or staring at her pet fish wishing he could be played with.