An Open Letter to Men

I stumbled upon this letter late one night in a futile attempt to procrastinate on homework and am proud and humbled to be able to share it with you today. When I first read this I was thrilled. I thought, “Yes, someone finally gets this. They understand why this is so important.” But after speaking with the author and others I sadly realized that although there are so many others in the world that see the importance of gender equality, but are taught to distance themselves from gender equality and what it stands for due to misinformation or stereotypes. Let me be clear, this is not about trying to convince you to take one side or the other or standing on a soapbox shouting at those who aren’t listening. This is about where our society stands today on issues that affect everyone and it outlines what we must strive for in our future.

It’s startling to me, that even after nearly one hundred years

since women gained the right to vote, we still talk vehemently about their right to equality.

In his open letter to men, Mr. Hunter Traynor discusses issues close to his heart and many others across the world. Ranging from feminism, women in politics, to his own perceptions and experiences of being a social justice advocate, this articulate letter discusses gender equality, equal rights, and understanding the importance not only for others, but for yourself. It was tough to know where to start this article. From his writing it’s quite clear of how well spoken Mr. Traynor is, but in person he speaks with a memorable passion that can only be described as thoughtfully blunt. He states that “Open letters are powerful, they speak to people in a way that essays can’t, I created this to be a living document for people to read and understand” this letter is just that. Traynor writes about the “partial equality” of women in the United States, referencing a common argument against women’s rights of how good American women have it, successfully nullifying the movement and strides that still must be taken.

The feminist movement isn’t solely for women, it’s for everyone

As a politically minded individual there is an underlying tone of leadership and policy throughout the document. In regards to this Traynor said, “In my opinion public policy is the best way to change the world and help others”. Though his stance is heavily centered on closing the political and economic gap between men and women there is a sense of sincere urgency to men to take part in a movement that affects everyone, “We have no need to feel threatened by the idea of equality for women. In fact, the feminist movement in many respects heavily benefits us”. Prior to writing Traynor watched Emma Watson’s speech at the United Nations as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador addressing the status of women and men in the feminist movement. Much like Watson’s speech, he discusses the gender stereotypes that men are expected to fit in, a topic that has come to the forefront when discussing feminism.

If men weren’t tricked into believing sex is a token of validation, then women wouldn’t be raped and treated as nothing more than sexual objects. If men weren’t expected to be the main breadwinner and often assumed to provide absolutely, then women would receive equal pay.

I could write about this letter and its topics all day, but instead of listening to me I encourage you to read it yourself. Be inquisitive, form your own opinions, and fight for what you know is right. Like Traynor states, gender equality benefits us all, there truly is no reason to deny or advocate against it.  The world needs more people like Mr. Traynor, individuals who have passion and are not afraid to share it in a constructive and respectful platform.