Feminism | Posted by Maren H on 05/3/2010

How Feminism Helps Everyone (Not Just The Women)

feminism is for everybody!

feminism is for everybody!

Feminism has changed and evolved throughout history; so has public regard towards it. From the suffragettes to the reproductive revolutionists, all feminists, though separated into many facets all have one superior goal; to empower, to ensure well-being, health and good quality of life of women all over the world.

Today, Feminists are often seen as the enemy to men, determined to deflate the power of the phallus and kick men off the throne and into oppression with our Birkenstocks and unshaven legs. There are countless thoughts on what feminism is and what we do. There are certainly women calling themselves feminists who believe that women should be elevated to a higher social level than men, however; this is hardly the case with the majority of feminists.

The view of feminists as the enemy is becoming so prolific, that many women and men refuse to identify as such, because of the stigma attached to the word, The subconscious of our culture automatically associates “feminist” with “man-hating.” This association, while understandable, is almost entirely false. Mainstream society has the tendency to be blinded by fear (in this case. of change) that we are unable to see that while feminism was freeing women from patriarchal oppression, men were being freed as well. Disagree with me if you must, but the gender binary put in place by patriarchy isn’t good for anybody. Here is how feminism has freed men from patriarchal oppression:

Much as women were required by society to fulfill certain roles, men were as well. Men were expected to work a dignified job to earn money for their families, they were expected to go to war and fight and possibly die for their country. While many women may have yearned for those opportunities, I’m certain many men yearned for the opposite.

The definition of manly was forced on many men just as the definition of ladylike was forced on women. Men were expected to be strong and silent, the common scolding of “boys don’t cry” can be just as damaging as “girls are weak”
Feminism has helped blur the lines between the masculine and the feminine, allowing men to have feminine qualities, and furthering fluidity of identity. While there are many men who identify with the “manly man” prototype, there are many men who don’t. Masculinity now doesn’t require a penis and femininity doesn’t require breasts and a womb.

It’s incredibly damaging to mash people into a binary; abolishing this helps men just as much as it helps women.

Thinking of feminism within the context of eliminating the gender binary opens up a whole new set of solutions to feminist problems. For example, the professional math world is overwhelmingly male dominated. Instead of ensuring that 50% of people hired in mathematics are women, we can instead work to eliminate the prejudice that women are inferior at math than men that starts as early as elementary school. It is more important to judge a person’s skills by a person-to-person basis. Gender should not be a factor when hiring for a job in any field. Equality means equal opportunity, not monotony.

I am certain that there will be many many women and girls on this site who violently disagree with me, and this is just an example of how no people can be mashed into a mold, not even feminists. My opinions on feminism may not be the same as another’s, however; in order for the gender binary and patriarchy to finally be abolished for the good of all humankind; feminism, in my humble opinion needs to stop being viewed as women vs. men, and start being viewed as people vs. oppression. This won’t happen until people consciously eliminate the man-hating stereotype, as well as all other gender-based stereotypes from their consciousness.

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  • Laura O'Brien @ at 1:30 pm, May 3rd, 2010

    First time commenter, but I sort of love this post. Gender stereotypes and expectations can have a negative impact of both men and women, and the sooner we all move past them, the better.

  • Laura H @ at 2:46 pm, May 3rd, 2010

    Well said!

  • Erin @ at 6:38 pm, May 3rd, 2010

    “Gender should not be a factor when hiring for a job in any field. ”
    I agree completely
    gender should not be a factor for anything!

  • KS @ at 12:55 am, May 4th, 2010

    In total agreement. On my flight back from Boston, I met a fellow pre-frosh. We got into talking about feminism and he said, “I’m a pro-feminist but not a feminist myself.” There are just so many things wrong with that statement so I asked him. He said, “I believe in equality between men and women but I’m not an activist about it.” I explained that he was mistaken, that feminist refers to anybody who believes in gender equality and that just the belief itself and speaking out is an action in itself.

    Then he started talking about marriage. And how he’d never do the dishes because he hates them and that his wife should do them. By this point, I was writhing in murderous rage…As if that wasn’t enough, he asks me, “Hey, since you’re a feminist and all, if you got married, would you be the dominant one?” Goddamn it, I’ll be on the top, bottom, left, right, doing the dishes, doing work, and popping out children, and getting promoted if I so choose to.

    KS

  • Tom Vitale @ at 9:01 am, May 4th, 2010

    I am very grateful anytime I hear/read someone talking about eliminating gender polarity/binary. I have been saying what is in this article all of my life. And it is great to read the reply by KS.

  • Allison @ at 1:25 pm, May 4th, 2010

    Great post! Sadly though, gender is a huge part of the workforce and, to a lesser extent, college acceptances. It’s something called “affirmative action”. Sometimes females benefit from AA, mostly when it’s job-based. In law firms, Fortune 500 companies, the White House, etc. affirmative action is used to bring women to leadership positions. Gender is a huge factor in the workforce, because firms and businesses want diversity-which means more minorities and more women. Men are given an advantage in college acceptances though (one full point is given) because more females than males are on a lot of college campuses.

  • Vimbai @ at 4:39 pm, May 4th, 2010

    I’m always frustrated when people are against feminism because it tries to do something unnatural by blurring lines between masculinity and femininity, but doing so is a good thing. It means that individuals are free to be who they are without being forced to conform to gender stereotypes that are, more often than not, ridiculous.

  • Cómo el feminismo ayuda, y no sólo a las mujeres « Planeta Ellas @ at 6:17 pm, May 4th, 2010

    [...] Es increíblemente perjudicial para la mayoría de personas este binario de género; la abolición de esta ayuda a los hombres tanto como ayuda a las mujeres. El pensamiento del feminismo en el contexto de la eliminación el binario de género abre todo un nuevo conjunto de soluciones a los problemas feministas. Por ejemplo, la matemática profesional es abrumadoramente dominada por los hombres. En lugar de garantizar que el 50% de las personas contratadas en las matemáticas son mujeres, que puede en lugar de trabajar para eliminar el prejuicio de que las mujeres son inferiores en matemáticas que los hombres que se inicia ya en la escuela primaria. Es más importante para juzgar las habilidades de una persona con una base de persona a persona. El género no debe ser un factor en la contratación para un puesto de trabajo en cualquier campo. Igualdad significa igualdad de oportunidades, no monotonía. Estoy segura de que habrá muchas muchas mujeres y niñas en este sitio que violentamente estén en desacuerdo conmigo, y esto es sólo un ejemplo de cómo la gente puede no ser puré en un molde, ni siquiera las feministas. Mis opiniones sobre el feminismo no puede ser igual a otro, sin embargo, a fin de que el binario de género y el patriarcado que finalmente sea anulada por el bien de toda la humanidad. El feminismo, en mi humilde opinión debe dejar de ser visto como la mujer contra los hombres, y empezar a ser visto como personas frente a la opresión. Esto no sucederá hasta que la gente conscientemente elimine el estereotipo de “la que odia a los hombres”, así como todos los otros estereotipos basados en el género. Puedes leer la nota original en inglés AQUÍ [...]

  • Blog Article Linkspam: Feminism, Science & Usability @ at 5:31 pm, August 16th, 2010

    [...] Feminism helps everyone, not just the women, and men are affected by patriarchal ideas too. [...]

  • Adrian @ at 10:58 pm, September 21st, 2010

    Thank you for this article. It’s ridiculous that feminists are viewed as “man-hating”. I’m a feminine feminist – I love pink and boys XD but I still want equality for all human beings. Enough gender stereotypes and gender roles. We are all people. <3

  • Jake @ at 4:21 pm, October 7th, 2010

    @Adrian

    ….Yeah. I don’t know who’s started the whole “feminist = man hater” thing… It’s kinda pathetic to see us still not evolved in this aspect. Male dominance is seen in many species, but we should really try to differ from them.

  • Travis @ at 10:58 am, January 10th, 2012

    I do agree with most of your article gender should not be the issue. Being human is, and each human being is totally different because of personal histories. Our main issue is societies expectations and the governments that evolve because of these expectations. A major problem is that it’s easier for governments to take an extreme side on any issue, than to work something out in the middle! A Win Win for everyone is too much work for a government or society to come to. Our governments are but a reflection of society. We as a whole are responsible for society.

  • rain @ at 10:43 pm, January 25th, 2012

    literally broke up with a guy because he insisted the reason he was good at math was because guys are better at math than girls. i broke up with him about 5 months after he said that, but it was a factor against him. by the way, i’m in the highest math class in my grade.

  • Lilith @ at 11:22 am, February 12th, 2013

    I am a 30 years old woman from Middle East; with experience of war, domestic violence, heart break and emotional crisis and religious crisis which lead me to be an agnostic and a strict vegetarian.
    I am writing my memoir in English and I want to be heard and understood; not only as a person but as a voice of other women form where I live.
    The problem is that I need an editor whose native language is English and can help to put the pieces of this work together. I cannot afford an official editor so if there is anybody who can help me just contact me and let be trusting friends.
    I am looking forward to hearing from those generous people who spare me their time and kind advises.
    I have contacted too many people and organization but nobody takes me serious and I know it is quite strange to ask for help for something like that. It doesn’t sound silly to me to ask for help from the world, from those who believe they can help somebody or do something meaningful.
    I am really desperate. Your kind consideration is appreciated.

  • Feminists believe people can just be better than that… | A Modern Woman on the Move @ at 6:09 pm, April 16th, 2013

    [...] http://thefbomb.org/2010/05/how-feminism-helps-everyone-not-just-the-women/ http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/five-ways-feminism-helps-men/ http://feminspire.com/feminism-its-good-for-men-too/ Like this:Like Loading… [...]

  • This feminist believes people can just be better than that… | A Modern Woman on the Move @ at 6:10 pm, April 16th, 2013

    [...] http://thefbomb.org/2010/05/how-feminism-helps-everyone-not-just-the-women/ http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/five-ways-feminism-helps-men/ http://feminspire.com/feminism-its-good-for-men-too/ Like this:Like Loading… [...]

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