Welcome To Feminism, Matt McGorry, Now Please, Take A Seat

Matt McGorry is a feminist, you guys. He cried when Emma Watson made that speech at the U.N. It gave him “all the feels.” And now that his eyes have been open to the inequality between men and women, he’s here to tell you how he feels about it, in a cloying and uncomfortable-to-read essay on Cosmopolitan.com. It’s called “How Becoming A Feminist Felt Like Falling In Love” and boy howdy, it’s a real doozy.

McGorry, if you’re unfamiliar, plays Bennett on “Orange Is The New Black.” He’s the one that knocked up Dayanara, remember? He was the “good” one, until he bailed on his fatherhood responsibilities. McGorry also come to the light and discovered feminism — about “seven months ago” LOL — and is approaching it with all of the wide-eyed enthusiasm and earnestness that a 19-year old rising sophomore treats Roland Barthes. And, much like that college student who desperately wants to explain semiotics to you to show how much they know, McGorry wants you to know that he’s a proud, card-carrying feminist ally.

Look how feminist his Instagram is!

#thiscomplicated #learning #CallMeCaitlyn #ispent2hourscomposingthisandnowimhungry

A photo posted by Matt McGorry (@mattmcgorry) on


A photo posted by Matt McGorry (@mattmcgorry) on

Much like looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, McGorry knew he had found the feminist within when he saw Emma Watson delivered her address to the U.N.. He writes in his Cosmo piece:

Much like finding someone to love, you can’t really know what to look for in a social cause until it crosses your path. You can use all the words that you want to describe what you’re looking for, but at the end of the day, when you find the right one at the right point in your life, you’ll know. But you have to be open to the possibility in the first place. And now that I’ve had my own awakening of sorts, it’s turned out to be a more incredible path than I could have imagined.

Is this what it’s like if you don’t have any injustice in your life to begin with? Do you eventually wake up one day and realize that your life has been a cakewalk, but something’s telling you that you need to find a cause to support? Let’s be clear — any support is welcome. The more the merrier, some say, and I agree most of the time. But I have to say the idea of someone “searching” for a social cause to hang their hat on feels disingenuous. You don’t get a prize for waking up one morning and figuring out that, hey, the wage gap really sucks. That’s not how this works.

We’re not in the position of judging anyone’s feminism. But there’s something about McGorry’s approach that hints at a desperate yearning for approval, a flailing jazz-hands-and-tap-dance plea to be noticed for coming around to the fact that men and women should be equal.

When a person becomes radicalized in any way, the process itself can feel very righteous and pure for you, but can also be insufferable for others to be around. The knowledge you’re gaining is exciting, it’s new, it’s flooding your synapses and changing the way you’re seeing the world, and you want to share it, dammit! That fluttering feeling in the pit of your stomach when a conversation just happens to touch upon the subject you’ve recently become passionate about compels you to open your mouth to contribute. But a reminder to McGorry and male feminist allies like him: the best thing you can do, always, is listen.

There’s no doubt in my mind that McGorry really thought about and means every single word he wrote. The earnestness with which he shares his feminist revelation is palpable. It rises from the page like steam. But there’s also an eagerness to please, and with it, an expectant desire for praise. Give it to him if you want — his intentions, I think, are pure — but don’t feel obligated. Even the best allies don’t get a prize for discovering social justice.