Why Do Men Need to Be Feminists?

"Men of quality support gender equality" 

Historically, politically, and opportunities wise, men have always been in positions of privilege in that they got the first seats at the table and normalized the narrative that they should be the dominant and majority players in every facet of life. Although this has changed significantly over the years, as we see more women elected to positions of power, the playing field remains uneven. According to the World Economic Forum, at our current rate of progress it will take 202 years to completely close the global economic gender gap, and 95 years to close the gender gap in political representation. Why is it that it may practically take centuries to achieve equality between men and women? It is because we do not have the necessary number of active feminists out there. Active feminists are those who move beyond the recognition of inequality and deliberately attempt to debunk socially constructed gender binaries and promote cerebral equality at every level.

In my opinion, men need to be active feminists because they have a huge role to play in trickling down their historically accorded privileges. They need to recognize that feminism isn’t a woman’s agenda, it’s a human rights agenda, it’s an equality agenda that advocates for equal access to opportunities regardless of gender, and it’s an agenda that can promote greater economic benefits for everyone. If women around the world were able to participate in labor markets at an equal rate to men, the McKinsey Institute suggests it would add $28 trillion to the global economy.

So, what does male feminism look like? 

Well, at its core, feminists need to participate in debunking gender binaries. Debunking binaries has a lot to do with altering the employment and association of words with a specific gender. For instance, "emotional," "moody," "weak," and "domestic" are all words aligned with the female identity, while words such as "strong," "powerful," and "business-minded" are aligned with a male identity. Debunking these binaries would require the practice of separating characteristics from a gendered alliance. In doing so, what can be ultimately achieved is an end to a socially ingrained hierarchy that identifies men as dominant and women as subserviant. 

Women’s equality is long overdue, and it is clear now more than ever that those with the dominant and privileged voices need to involve themselves in amplifying the voices of the unjustly marginalized.