There is not exactly an absolute definition of feminism, but we can all agree that feminism includes all movements and ideologies towards gender equality and especially women’s rights. A general view in feminism is basically how women have been treated unfairly and that men’s perspectives are always prioritized in the society. So, supposedly feminism is nowhere near men’s advantage. In fact, there’s a stereotype of feminists to be ‘anti-men’.
However, as time goes by and the ideology of feminism grows, some men emerge publicly as feminists. How could a man be a feminist? Isn’t being a woman is the first rule of entering the feminist club?
The notion of male feminist began to spread as the #MeToo movement gone global. If you haven’t known, #MeToo movement encourages women to speak up about their sexual harassment experiences, because it’s a ‘common’ experience, yet it’s been ignored and kept secret for too long, hoping that ‘the memories will go away’. This has also encouraged men to stand in solidarity with women to go against gender oppression or feminism. Thus, those who stand with feminism are called feminists.
The idea of male feminists is that men should also stand for gender equality, because feminism is no longer narrowed down to women’s rights, but more importantly for egality. United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson said in 2015, “If you stand for equality, then you’re a feminist.” Male feminists believe that gender equality will benefit not only women, but men as well.
Also, male feminists can give more perspective towards gender equality. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s explanation upon a scandal of him allegedly “groping” a female reporter during a music festival perfectly sums up the idea.
"I'm responsible for my side of the interaction, which certainly I don't feel was in any way untoward. But at the same time, this lesson that we are learning is, and I'll be blunt about it, often a man experiences an interaction as being benign or not inappropriate, and a woman, particularly in a professional context, can experience it differently, and we have to respect that and reflect on it,” Trudeau said.
The different perspectives are what holds feminism’s ultimate goal from being achieved (that is gender equality). Yet, if the opposing genders are uniting towards the same goal, they can learn how to behave around the other and how to treat the other gender properly without disparaging the other. Above all, we are responsible to create future generations where all gender respect each other’s differences and do not cut down on each other’s opportunity and access due to one’s shortcomings.