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Can Men Really Be Feminists?

Feminism: A word started as a protest has now become more of a trend, taken more seriously by women than men cause obviously it's our rights we are talking about. But even after gaining so much support from both the genders on still feels the need to often ask, can men truly be feminists?

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In today’s era being a feminist has been called equivalent to showing up at certain rallies, wearing a t-shirt with an appropriate quote and holding a sign making sure your message is loud and clear which unfortunately is not that “women should get equal rights” but that “I am a feminist.”

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But coming back to our main question, can men truly be feminist? Unfortunately, there is no direct answer to this, it’s a mix of both yes or no. There are some men that are courageous enough to stand for the people who for most of their life have been taught to be suppressed. There are men that claim to a feminist who is just merely trying to sound impressive and there are men who without any doubt are close to being a feminist.

Men or Women, them being feminist or not mostly depends on how they are brought up and what values the families have imparted to them. A child learns what he sees, if, from birth the child has often seen his family discriminating women or other people, they will think it’s the right thing and grow up to do the same to others. Yes, there are some chances that the opinion of a child may change as he/she grows up.

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In past men themselves have accepted that they can never truly be feminists as feminism is pushing someone to do better than they are. No matter how much one supports the cause of providing women with equal rights, no one but a woman can actually be a feminist. All of us hear the stories of injustice but only the women are able to relate to it and understand.

I believe that every man is sexist, even if they don’t mean to become one. It’s a natural and sometimes completely unintentional quality of men to express thoughts or remarks that are sexist in nature and can put a woman at a disadvantage. A man advocating for rights of woman can never truly understand the violation of the same, no matter how much he claims to have.

A movement called #everydaysexism pointed out the same thing that how people often highlight sexism on a big scale but if one truly wants change then they have to work on reducing everyday sexism more. Simple jokes about the incapacity of women, their sexuality is part of everyday sexism and men are usually the culprit behind such scenes. Not only this but the general dismissal or looking over them is also a sexist’s actions.

Men are still chosen by other men to lead a country of millions even after claiming to grab females by their private parts again shows that men don’t really care about how women are treated. Women are often subjected to victim blaming by the same men who claim to ‘feminist’.

Which further makes it quite real that men can never really understand what it likes to have to experience what women do.

Men have confused standing up for their mother, sister, daughter and relatives as being a feminist. A feminist is not someone who protects their own but someone who stands for all the women even when it’s not convenient.

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Men before labeling themselves as feminist, which they can never truly be, need to understand that being a feminist is not only looking after their relative or women they know, it's so much more than that. They can be a supporter of female rights but they cannot be a feminist until and unless they have experienced inequality like the females that they claim to support.

Written by
Onisha Murab

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