Your first thought after clicking on this article, and noticing that it was written by a man, who looks like a used electronics salesman from the 70s: Who is this dude, and why does he like to play with fire?
I mean, it's definitely a fair question; I often ask myself the same thing, especially when I’m licking my burn wounds.
To answer the first question, I will tell you that, among a long list of other things, I am a feminist who genuinely cares about the well-being of his female counterparts.
As for the second question, perhaps the response I get from this article will either extinguish or ignite this dangerous pastime of mine.
In order to try and get you to follow what I am trying to lay out here, and to offer a buffer before I start getting myself into some serious trouble, I’ll begin with that conspicuous little word: feminism.
The term feminism is among a small list of words in the English dictionary capable of provoking conflicting opinions from both men and women.
A lot of bad blood has arisen from it, which was highlighted with the retaliatory movement of meninism, and the subsequent aggressive response the movement received from feminists.
Although I admittedly find the points of meninism, and its backlash, to be mildly entertaining, it proves that there are many people who are misinformed about the actual pennants of feminism.
The way I see it, meninism, and its supporters, fail to realize they aren't fighting feminism, but instead, an entirely different group.
True feminists encourage men's rights because two of the biggest agenda items are equality and humanism.
Despite this, a great number of men don’t understand it as such, and unfortunately, this is partly due to a group I will refer to as “feminism extremists,” who use nitpicking, man-hating and unrealistic goals in the name of feminism to champion their causes.
The misunderstanding of what feminism really is dates back to its conception, and can be felt in the resentment many men carry for it to this day.
Additionally, some women discredit feminism because they feel men and even other women will unfairly judge them if they publically embrace such beliefs.
My own ignorance was responsible for a distaste toward feminism I held for many years growing up. I disliked the way “feminists” used double standards and went around bashing men. Of course, the media did a great job of shoving all of this in my face, which only further aggravated the issue.
It wasn’t until I did research of my own that I realized these scandalous supporters, along with how its media portrayal, didn’t share the collective views of true feminists.
The cause was being completely misrepresented. I felt the only way for feminism to be successful was for society to embrace what it truly is.
Lucky for us, celebrity humanitarians, like Emma Watson, have made great efforts to bring feminism to the center stage and help the masses understand what it is and what it aims to achieve.
But, alas, her work and the hard work of other great activists will struggle greatly if those who claim to be feminists continue to tarnish it with their ignorant agendas.
So the next time you make a comment about something you come across on social media or you strike up a debate with someone in public, remember that by saying you are a feminist, you become an ambassador. Your daily interactions will reflect this greatly.
If you are the feminist you say you are, present yourself in a way that is true to the cause, or else you will actually antagonize it.
That being said, please make sure you are properly educated on what feminism actually is. Then, and only then, should you carry the title.
Feminism is an important cause that needs the help of both men and women. But, it will be very difficult to get more people on board if feminism extremists continue to define the movement.
Be sure to check out HeForShe for more information about this great cause, and find out what you can do to help.