The other day, I read a post on the liberal politics blog, The Daily Kos, called “What Does A Feminist Man Look Like?” and unfortunately I found it a little thin. But I’ve been lucky enough to know a fair number of feminist-minded, progressive men and I could spot one from a mile away. Or I could just tell you about him. What follows is by no means a complete list, but it’s a decent summation of a guy who believes women deserve every bit of dignity, respect and agency given to men.
Men, you might be a feminist if you …
- are proud — not threatened — if your wife, girlfriend or gal pal earns more money than you.
- offer to pay for the cost of birth control.
- wouldn’t dream of having sex with a drunk girl who can’t consent.
- can’t believe how many celebrities and professional athletes get away with abusing, sexually assaulting or killing women.
- have found that calling a sexual woman a “slut” makes you uncomfortable.
- even if you believe abortion is wrong, you believe a woman should make decisions about her own body.
- respect female power and don’t feel threatened by it. (The guy who made those Hillary Clinton nutcrackers? You fail at life.)
- find yourself lecturing a woman about the reason she was raped/isn’t paid as much as her male colleague/etc. and stop because you realize you’re “mansplaining.” Instead, you listen to women’s experiences.
- acknowledge that a woman’s economic class or racial, religious or ethnic background can often have more bearing on her life than the fact that she’s a woman.
- are pretty horrified at the expectation of other dudes that women wax their nether-regions bare.
- don’t feel the need to qualify people as “a female doctor” or “a female writer.”
- realize all the pink nail polish, red lipstick, and high heels in the world doesn’t mean a woman is dumber than you.
- pay and promote your employees based on merit — i.e. your female employees could expect to make as much as your male employees — and offer both maternity and paternity leave.
- love women’s bodies yet wonder why they are used to sell everything from hamburgers to beer.
- expect to do as much of the diaper changing and PBJ-making as the mother of your children because you realize fatherhood is important, too.
- hear your buddies talk in a degrading way about women (“That chick’s a dyke!”) and you ask them to stop.
- never, ever use the threat of violence or force to get your way around a woman. And you realize calling someone “crazy” or a “bitch” isn’t a very strong argument, either.
- hear about a girl or woman who was molested or raped and automatically feel concern for her, rather than wondering if she’s lying.
- are nauseous inside most toy stores where everything for little girls is about PINK and PRINCESSES.
- think menstruation — as a concept — is beautiful, not “gross.”
- realize wolf whistling at some random chick on the street only makes you look like an idiot (and likewise hate hearing construction workers catcall women).
- think the only thing more wack than Ronnie’s ‘roided biceps is the double standard in way he treated his girlfriend, Sammi, when she was caught texting another dude.
- acknowledge the fact that lesbians were not put on this Earth for “Girls Gone Wild” videos.
- regardless of your feelings on sex work, you think strippers and prostitutes fundamentally deserve to be treated with dignity like the human beings that they are.
- wouldn’t dream of criticizing a black woman for rocking her natural hair.
- give as good as you get in bed. (*wink wink*)
- don’t hide behind anonymous Internet commenting names to write nasty things about wome.
- are open to the evolution of your own gender identity/expression, i.e. you don’t tell yourself or other males “A real man shouldn’t” or “A real man can’t.”
- envy Hugh Hefner for wearing a bathrobe all day … and that’s about it.
- put the toilet seat seat down.
OK, that last one was a joke. (But not really.)
What are some other ways you can tell if a man is a feminist?