Men in feminism
Few men seem interested in feminism. Lizzie Garcha asks how we can encourage more of them to realise that feminism benefits everyone.
There can be no doubt that feminism has made many advances over its time.
However, all too often it seems as though achievements made are only through
the concessions of men. If this is the case, then how are we to ensure that
the next generation of men have a full knowledge of feminism, and that they
want to work towards its aims for full equality?
it seems as though feminism has only been seriously thought
about by far too few men.
At the moment, it seems as though feminism has only been seriously thought
about by far too few men. Too often it is stereotyped as a group or
complaining women, seen as unnecessary, as women are thought to have gained
equality, and to the members of the UK men’s movement, it appears as though
they feel that women are now the ones with the power in the world. This is a dangerous view to take, as clearly, women still do not have equality. The majority of those in power are still men, and women are still
subject to the ‘glass ceiling’ at work.
For feminism to carry on successfully, I feel that there needs to be a far
great inclusion of men. Women need to help change the way many men think,
particularly those in power in order that women can gain equality with men
the world over. But how is a task as great as this to be accomplished? Many of those in
power will have been indoctrinated with the views they hold for many years,
their opinions will be among the most difficult to change. However, the next
generation of men who do not have a full knowledge, or any kind of support
of the movement as yet are the ones who need to have feminism’s focus.
As a young person, I see far too many men with little or no respect for
women, with attitudes that can be of no benefit to women. These are the
attitudes that I feel need to change, these are the next generation of men
who are going to take over the controls, and despite females becoming more
involved, the world is still very much in the hands on men.
It is impressive that there seem to be many feminist websites, but we still need action.
So, what can feminist women actually do to work towards change? I feel that
the most important change that there needs to be is more action, more public
action. It is impressive that there seem to be many feminist websites, and
women can discuss what needs to happen, but we still need action. There
needs to be far more information about the inequalities that exist today,
and they need to be shown up to the world.
The white ribbon campaign was a good example of this, however, it seemed to
be publicised so little, and the ribbons were available in so few places
that it did not have the impact that it could have done. Likewise, the
Guerrilla Girls movement in the US shows directly the inequalities that
exist, but there seems to be no similar movement, at least not one so
popularly known as that to get the same message across in other parts of the
world. However, Guerrilla Girls have most of their focus in the art world,
there are few groups who seem to be willing to be as public with their
message. All too often events like International Women’s Day pass us by far
too quietly. Women should be making the most of these events to explain what feminism
really is to men, many of whom have a total misconception of what feminism
really is, those men who feel that women have come far enough and who should
The attitudes of many men also need to change towards male feminists, all
too often there are men who feel that male feminists are ‘betraying’ men as
a gender, not being true to who they really are. With this view from many
men towards male feminists, and without feminism making a more dedicated
effort to include men, it is clear why there is a lack of male feminists,
especially among young men who retain the ‘macho’ attitude.
Even men who do agree with a lot of feminist ideologies find that they do
not regard themselves as feminists, because they are not fully involved with
the movement, and I feel that that is partially because there seem to be
very few places publicised where men can get involved. There is an apathy
surrounding feminism. Too many people feel as though it has accomplished
enough, that one person will not make the difference, but with a movement
such as this, every contributor counts.
The level of knowledge desperately needs to
grow – feminism has to become more prominent
Our society in general seems to have a very limited view of what feminism
is, there is a great ignorance. The level of knowledge desperately needs to
grow. To do that, I feel that feminism has to become more prominent in
society. However, I don’t think that directly promoting feminist views is
going to be useful, as they can often be manipulated.
More important is the need for more comprehensive sex education, and more
education for young people about the extent of violence against women. Young
people need more information about gender inequality, and what they can do
about it, because while half of society is being limited in what they can
do, then society as a whole is limited in what it can do. These issues need
to be shown to affect all people, not just women.
Schools have to involve classes such as citizenship, which would be the
perfect time for school students to learn more about the state of society,
and what they can do. By starting this kind of education at a young age, we
should be able to show the future generations the problems that they can
help to solve.
As for those men at the moment, who have past the stage where they can be
called young, the need for them to be more informed is just as great.
However, there can be no lessons on a regular basis telling them about
violence towards women. Instead, there needs to be more open and frank
discussion of such issues, their eyes often need to be opened to the
situation that surrounds them.
So everyone who reads this, I urge you to go and talk to at least one person
who you know doesn’t have a full knowledge of why feminism is still
necessary, and the problems still facing women, and discuss it with them. By
spreading an informed view of feminism outwards, maybe we can help improve
the situation for women worldwide, and gain some increased respect for the
importance of the feminist movement in the 21st century.