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I’m Paulien and the main subject of today’s article has huge importance not only to me but to the world we’re living in today. The feminist movement is clearly growing stronger every single day, yet we’re not even close to where we’re supposed to be. Almost a year ago, I made an article on why I am a feminist myself. Now, I want to talk about why men should be feminists too.

Feminism is a movement towards an equal society for male, female and transgender people, without discrimination. Yet, there are still so many people who believe feminism includes hating men, while in reality, it just doesn’t. Feminism is intersectional, and that’s exactly what my writing will be about today.

✓ why feminism is called feminism

This is one of the most common questions among men who wonder why they should join the feminist movement, which means it has a very important answer that must be spread. The feminist movement started in order to help women gain equality, and the word itself reflects the fact that women have historically been oppressed and silenced.

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The exact same phenomenon appears in the Black Lives Matter movement. People who disagreed with the name and ideas of the movement came up with the All Lives Matter term. And of course, in reality, all lives do matter, but we can’t forget that not all lives get discriminated. White people can’t compare to the struggles black people face every single day, and that’s the same for men trying to compare that to women.

✓ gender inequality affects all genders

Even though the oppressed gender is obviously women, the inequality doesn’t only affect us. In our society today, the following messages are seen as normal while they really shouldn't be.

Men can’t be vulnerable. Boys can’t wear pink. Men can’t do jobs as cleaning or taking care of children. Boys can’t like music that has a big female audience. Men can’t talk about emotions. Boys can’t wear make-up.

And the list goes on endlessly.

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Sadly, I even know boys and men who are afraid to be connected or compared to actions, personality traits and things that are seen as more female than male. Why? Because women are the weaker gender according to most.

What does it even mean to be strong or weak? Why do men get seen as the strong ones and women as the ones men need to take care of? Who decided that? Why can’t we all be strong and weak, and take care of each other, equally?

Our society has put these ideas in our head and we need to dare to challenge what we’ve been taught. In the Middle Ages, people thought they would fall of Earth if they wanted to cross the sea. Then one person dared to question what he had learned and sailed the ocean in search of the new. Apparently, the horizon wasn’t cut short after all.

We need to stop normalizing male dominance and start normalizing equality for all.

Boys cry. Girls masturbate. Boys have feelings. Girls get angry. Boys can use make-up. Girls can like porn. Boys can wear dresses. Girls can be good at science. Boys can like pink. Girls can have body hair. Boys don't have to love sex. Girls don't have to be thin.

Every gender is equal, so why don't we treat them equally?

✓ what feminism does for men

When a man openly talks about getting harassed or sexually assaulted, who are the first people to believe and protect him? Feminists.

When a boy wants to use nail polish and wear make-up, who are the first people to acknowledge it? Feminists.

When a man doesn’t agree with the beauty standards others decided for him, who are the first people to agree with him? Feminists.

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When a boy wants to buy dolls instead of cars as toys, or wants to imagine cooking instead of building, who are the first people to say yes to him? Feminists.

When a man is being emotional and gets laughed at, who are the first people to defend him? Feminists.

When a boy loves listening to boy bands or other artists that usually have a more female audience, who are the first people to say he should just do it? Feminists.

✓ daily struggles feminism can solve

Sadly, traditional role models are still seen everywhere. Feminism tries changing that, even though it’s hard when not all want to cooperate. We try normalizing the idea of fathers taking more care of children instead of society who tries telling us it’s the task of the mothers, as both are just fulfilling their parenting role when they do so.

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In a lot of countries men and women who share the same job still, don’t get paid the same. Something that would be beneficial for both genders if it changed in equal payment. Something we can only change if both men and women believe the purpose of it. Something that's only logical to become equal as the same work deserves the same income, no matter someone's gender.

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Feminism wants to change the view on things that are considered as taboos while most of the times these things are as normal as having sunlight. The greatest example is girls having their period. It's a monthly biological happening, yet society wants girls to hide their sanitary pads and tampons and wants us to pretend we don't have it. It's seen as disgusting and we can only change that view if men stand with us.

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There are 130 million girls that don't go to school, or with other words a global crisis we need to stop. Every girl should be able to control her own future and make her own choices in life, but they can't do that if they stay uneducated. Creating a more equal future starts with school, and that's why the organization Global Citizen's most important task the upcoming years is supporting education for girls with #GlobalGirlsAlliance. Both Michelle as Barack Obama stands with this important project.

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Feminism encourages the idea of men being more open about their emotions and feelings. Men don't have to be strong all the time. Men can feel insecure, weak or sad. Men don't have to be attracted to power. Men can feel the need of having love in their life. Patriarchy (a social system in which males hold primary power) is very harmful to have these open thoughts because they want violence to be seen as normal and force masculine stereotypes upon young boys. We can only change their influence by raising our voices.

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Careers have no gender, yet when a woman is a scientist or a man is a babysitter, it's seen as abnormal. The same happens when we're talking about daily activities. It's seen as different when a man starts cleaning or when a woman likes repairing stuff. If a person enjoys doing something or just wants to do it, why are we judging him/her? Feminism stands for a society where people can be who they are, without judgment, and where respect is the first moral people think of. Gender roles start at birth already, so the first thing we should do is spread the message to raise boys and girls the same way!

✓ more men should become feminists

Who doesn’t want an equal society? Who doesn’t want to be able to do what he/she likes in life? Who doesn’t want to be free from toxic ideas like clothes having a gender? Who doesn’t want to be himself/herself and choose love?

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All feminism stands for is equality. Let's embrace it and stand up for what we believe in.

✓ this ending is just a beginning

I want to thank everyone who took the time to read, heart and react to my article! If you’re interested in reading more of my articles, you can follow the collection below or check out some of my previous writings here.

Love, Paulien.


© Original content copyright @paulien_99, 2014-2018. All rights reserved.

_This article was written by @paulien_99 on the We Heart It Writers Team._