The Feminism Letters: Men should be proud to be fighters for equality.

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Where along the line did feminism become synonymous with “hating men?”

Feminism isn’t an attack on men, and it doesn’t claim that men are inferior to women, yet many continue to view it as such. Feminism was created to make all genders have equal opportunity.

Over the past century, women have had some major successes in creating such an environment. The right to vote in 1920, the Equal Pay Act in 1963, and Roe v. Wade in 1973 all propelled women toward equal rights.

For many men, feminism is regarded as a personal attack. While the core of the feminist movement is based on the advocacy of women’s rights on the equality of the sexes, admittedly there have been some extremists that have radicalized the movement. These individuals have been labeled ‘feminazis’ and have tainted the way the feminist movement is viewed as a whole. Moreover, these ‘feminazis’ have driven men away from the core values that the original feminist movement worked so hard to achieve.

Excluding men only perpetuates the negative connotation “feminism” has acquired, which only slows our progress. Men who feel threatened by feminism don’t want to participate in the fight for it. Even some women stray away from labeling themselves as feminists because of how negative the term has become.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we need both men and women to be on board with feminism if we want to see it succeed. True equality can only be achieved if all genders work together to fight against stereotypes, misogyny and patriarchal views.

Overall, the most frustrating aspect of this “man-hating stigma” is that there are actually so many reasons why men should want to be feminists. Women are not the only people benefiting from this movement; men do as well.

Feminists actively work to dismantle the idea that men have to be the sole providers for the family, and that it is shameful to be a stay-at-home father. Feminists want both boys and girls to know that it’s okay to show emotion, that all genders can be successful, regardless of whether those careers are traditionally thought of as masculine or feminine. Boys should grow up feeling comfortable pursuing a job as a nurse or a teacher, while girls should feel confident being an engineer or a scientist.

While feminism focuses on equality, it also works to redefine the way society views masculinity, while breaking down gender stereotypes. This benefits everyone in society, by increasing diversity into different fields, while relieving individuals of these societal pressures.

Many men agree that men and women should be treated equally in all walks of life, yet many still admit that they are uncomfortable to label themselves as a feminist due to the man hating “feminists.”

In order to get men involved in the feminist movement, we need to reclaim and redefine feminism. Its crucial that everyone understands that feminism is truly about treating women as equals in society.

It is crucial that both men and women realize this for what it is worth so that we can work toward a brighter future together, one that provides equal opportunities for everyone. No matter what gender, people should be able to successfully pursue their career path and aspirations.

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