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I recently became a father for the second time. Only this time, I became the father of a little girl. And while the prospect of having a daughter became extremely appealing to the point that I am coming out today as a proud male feminist, it has not always been the case. Let me share with you my point of view and my thought process.
I want my daughter and my son to have the same opportunities
Why do I feel the need to come out as a male feminist? Well, let's address the elephant in the room. There's a pressure that exists among men to be assholes to women, or complain about women. If you position yourself as male feminist amongst your male peers, chances are you will be ridiculed, shamed, and put aside. Your honesty will probably be questioned and chances are that you will be accused of wanting to get close to women to fulfil a hidden sexual agenda.
How fucking sad is this? What does that say about the state of manhood and about how we perceive ourselves? All I want, at the end of the day is my daughter and my son to have the same opportunities. I want my daughter to be able to dress the way she wants, not to please the sexual appetites of society. I want her to be noticed by the value of her heart, her brain, her accomplishments, and not because of the way she looks. I want her to be able to be athletic if she wants to be, without being ashamed for being muscular. I want her to be able to walk on the street without suffering the burden of being catcalled every single day.
"If you position yourself as male feminist amongst your male peers, chances are you will be ridiculed, shamed, and put aside."
We must redefine manhood, not scare women from men
Most of all, I want my daughter to feel safe amongst men. Yet, needless to say that we live in a disgusting rape culture. Did you know that 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime? I have a lot of male friends who have daughters. All of them, for the most part will say things like: "she won't be able to start dating until she is 33 or I am planning to break the legs of her boyfriends or I will tell her to stay away from men because all men are pigs." I will not judge because I was the same way for most of my life but how hypocritical is this? If we teach our daughters that all men are pigs or that boys will be boys, what does that say about us? That we are not able to keep it in our pants? That we are not to be trusted? This is wrong in so many levels. Of course we must educate our girls on the dangers of the world especially when it comes to rape. But we must acknowledge that we are part of the problem, and that we must be part of the solution instead of asking our daughters to react to an imminent danger that cannot be changed. Gender roles are, by nature, social constructs. They are not rigid unstoppable forces: they are perpetrated by us.
Take control by being part of the solution
Coming out as a male feminist is extremely empowering as it makes me feel part of the solution. How can't you see the feminine rising in our society? How is that a bad thing? Centuries of male leadership have brought enough suffering, wars, conflicts: why should we fight the change? Isn't it time that we give up the era of competition for a time of collaboration? Show gratitude for the women of your life, whether it be your mother, your sister or your daughter. They deserve your love and support inside and outside the household. Have the courage to change and to make the shift. Be brave enough to call out your buddies when they degrade women: they are, by nature, the daughter, the sister, the cousin of another man who just like you, would not like her to feel degraded. Take action: come out as a male feminist, you don't need to stay in the closet.
A version of this article was originally published on Wokedaddy.com.
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