THE BLOG
31/12/2013 16:13 GMT | Updated 01/03/2014 05:59 GMT

Feminism Is For Men Too

Feminism is about gender equality, with a focus on trying to reduce the social disparity that women are subject to when compared to men. Shock horror! Women can be as successful and able as men... who would have thought?

Feminists are all bra burning, male hating women; just as all Scots are alcoholics and the Irish eat nothing but potato. Stereotypes are dangerous. Misconceptions based on a minority in a population are bred in a culture pot of ignorance.

Feminism is about gender equality, with a focus on trying to reduce the social disparity that women are subject to when compared to men. Shock horror! Women can be as successful and able as men... who would have thought? A similar bigoted view once prevailed, and is unfortunately still held by some people, that black people were not as intelligent as caucasians. This was of course dispelled when blacks were given the same opportunities as caucasians. To think otherwise is now deemed racist, but to think the same about a woman being unequal is not regarded as genderist. Equality is not the norm in the world and the right to equality is often forcibly denied. Empowering women has been highlighted by WHO as the best means of alleviating world poverty and changing the world for the better. Yet, there is still much opposition.

In the UK, there is still a difference in how women are treated and that has been a battle blazed by women since the suffragettes came to the forefront from behind their husbands. Now, and for a long time, men have also lent their hand in the fight. From the White Ribbon Campaign of men challenging men, misogyny is being targeted as a laughable notion of the past. Men do have a big part to play in reshaping the attitudes of Britain towards becoming a nation that finally recognises women as the equal partnership that can endure. There are differences: attributes each sex can reasonably be generalised as being better at than the other, which is not for dispute. But to discard a woman as not able to do a certain task, but better suited to the kitchen, is a ridiculous dogmatism that is part of the chauvinistic mantra that men should have evolved away from by now. We men do have innate perceptions, prejudices and needs, but as intelligent organisms we have the ability to make the right choices despite that. This common sense attitude is not a feature of intelligence; disrespect towards fellow man is learned through social interactions. No-one is born racist or misogynistic.

Feminism is a problem term due to its connotations, even among the educated, and does warrant discussion for a brand change. The same way manic depression disorder was renamed as bipolar disorder, the change in descriptive name away from a demonised term towards a more acceptable term was very popular and positive. There has been proposition for a change to 'Genderism' which seems plausible. However, in the meantime, ignore this term if you like, until you accept it or another term is proposed. In not siding with the core values of feminism, you submit to extremist attitudes with no understanding of the past where hard lessons have been learnt.

Conversely, strong feminist women should be wary not to exile men from the socialist movement by referring to feminism as just for women or using terms like 'sisters'. Although not usually meant as such, it does underpin old concepts of feminism and in excluding men goes against the fundamentals of gender equality.

So my fellow male Homo sapiens, ask not what your women can do for you, but what you can do for your women!