When bringing up the “f word”, AKA feminism, most people tend to believe it is an attitude or state of mind for women only, supporting the belief that women are the superior sex. To further prove this point, I even performed my own personal experiment by asking my 17-year-old brother if he considered himself to be a feminist. His response was simply, “no, but there should be equal rights”. This answer supported my thoughts that somehow the idea of feminism had become so skewed, men don’t think they can identify with the label. Though the reality is feminism is actually defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes, which means men along with women can be feminists too. Yes, that’s right, men can and should be considering themselves feminists.
Therefore, with celebrities starting to break down the negative stigmas telling males what they should be, I think it is important to start acknowledging those embracing who they want to be.
Men such as Harry Styles and Ezra Miller both enjoy playing around with their fashion and showcasing what may be considered more feminine looks on the red carpet and other high profile events. We see the bold and confident choices they make with their clothing translating over into their attitudes on feminist views as well.
In his 2017 cover shot interview with Rolling Stones magazine, Styles immediately stuck up for the reputation of young girls who enjoy listening to pop music. He stated “how can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage – girl fans – they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.” He really is a man after my own heart.
Along with Styles, Miller also uses his platform to stick up for and speak positively of women, expressing his concern on the issue regarding violence and rape. In 2015 at the One Billion Rising To Stop Violence Against Women Campaign in NYC Miller told the crowd “One in three women in the world will experience domestic violence or rape within the course of their lifetime. To me, I grew up in a household of women, and I feel that all revolutionary causes should start with addressing misogyny.”
Styles and Miller aren’t the only ones letting their feminist voices sound through, and though these next three men may play macho superheroes and villains in the Marvel Universe, that doesn’t stop them from considering themselves to be feminists in this one. Actors like Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth have all advocated for women’s rights and the equality of genders at one point.
In August of 2013 actor Mark Ruffalo shared his support for women’s abortion rights by sharing a powerful anecdote regarding a painful event his mother was forced to go through. During a rally supporting women’s health and their right to choose, Ruffalo read from a letter he wrote stating “my mother’s illegal abortion marked a time in America that we have worked long and hard to leave behind. It was a time when women were seen as second rate citizens who were not smart enough, nor responsible enough, nor capable enough to make decisions about their lives. It was a time that deserved to be left behind, and leave it behind we did, or so it seemed.”
Then, just a year later in 2014, Tom Hiddleston showed his support for the #heforshe twitter campaign started by Emma Watson, which strived to get as many men and boys to advocate for gender equality as possible. He proceeded to send her a tweet which read “@EmWatson you are impeccable & extraordinary. I stand with you. I believe in gender equality. #heforshe.”
While recently in 2018, Chris Hemsworth told InStyle about his stance on feminist views and why he considers himself one. “I’m a feminist. I believe in equality regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation … We should all have the same opportunities, I have a daughter. I want her to have all of the same opportunities that her brother should have.”
Of course, we can’t forget about the men and women in the comedy world either. Actor and comedian Andy Samberg was very blunt in his 2013 interview with Glamour magazine while talking about the overused and frankly distasteful stereotype that women can’t be funny. He very passionately stated “It’s crazy. Since there have been men and women, there have been funny women … f*cking idiot-ass men keep saying that women aren’t funny. It makes me crazy. I find it disgusting and offensive every time.”
Finally, some wise and very feminist words from our former US president Barack Obama. In an essay, he wrote for Glamour magazine he talked about his role as a father to his two daughters stating “yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist because now that’s what they expect of all men.” He then went on to end the essay with a powerful statement writing, “that’s what twenty-first-century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free”. Wow, do I miss you Obama.