Guys, You Don’t Deserve An Award For Being Feminists

As a female feminist, I really value male allies. They’re needed and they’re loved. However, what I don’t value are males who claim to love equality shining a spotlight on themselves to show the world how wonderful they are for being feminists. Just, no. Be a feminist by standing by our side and letting us lead and shut the heck up about it.

Feminism is just being a decent human being.

Men don’t deserve awards for being feminists because it’s just the right thing to do. It’s not anything special, it really should just be the standard. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to reward them for being decent. We need to stop clapping at men who step up to the feminist plate—they’re just doing what everyone should do.

Equality is the right choice. 

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” Wow, how radical! Don’t we think that’s the choice that should be made over and over again? Yes, I’d say so. If you want equality for the sexes, you have to make that active choice and you won’t be getting a round of applause for it. 

It’s like getting an award for being actively anti-racist.

Although this comparison isn’t quite the same, having a man be a feminist is like a white person being actively anti-racist. Woo hoo! Cool! You’re not a jerk. I hate to break it to you, but there aren’t rewards for doing the right thing. You just do it. Again, this comparison has its flaws as POC deal with a whole crock of crap that white women don’t have to deal with, but it’s useful enough.

Sure, men have sisters, mothers, girlfriends, female friends, etc. 

I understand highlighting that many men have tons of females in their life that they should care about. If it’s a tipping point for some men to find feminism, then fine. Use the thought of your sister being cat called to jump into feminism and be an advocate. Just don’t tout your feminist self. Ask your sister how you can most be useful. 

Though more important is that women deserve to be treated humanely.

I have a bit of a qualm with the whole “mother, sister, etc.” thing because men shouldn’t have to think about their own family members to just be decent people. Rather, they should be feminists just because as we’ve said, it’s the right thing to do. 

We need men to be actively working towards equality too.

We need you, dudes. If we’re going to fight patriarchy and all that comes with sexism, we definitely need men on our team. Please don’t join the fight by slapping an “I did it!” sticker on your chest, though. We need you standing by our side and behind us, not in front and on top of us.

For the love of God, please don’t mansplain feminism to women. 

Like I said, we need you male allies. You’re crucial to our movement. Nonetheless, please do not be one of those self-proclaimed male feminists who unknowingly says misogynist crap and mansplains feminism to women. Just don’t do it. Just as white allies do with people of color, men need to show up, shut up, and listen.

You benefit from feminism. 

You being a feminist isn’t the move of a martyr. Sure, in some ways you have to give up privilege and power, but you also benefit in many other ways from feminism. Some examples are abortion legalization, improved sex as a result of female sexual empowerment, and shattering gender binaries that do things like keep men at work away from their children. You benefit, too, so please don’t act like you’re giving a ton up to be a feminist.

Feminism isn’t about hating men. 

Some men tout their feminist status because they think that they’re being super brave standing alongside man-hating feminists. This just isn’t true; feminism isn’t about hating men. It’s about equality. Sure, there’s some bravery involved in being a feminist, but don’t make yourself the center of attention. We don’t hate you and this isn’t about you, dudes.

If I seem angry, I am a little bit. 

At the risk of fulfilling the angry feminist stereotype, I have to say that I am a bit angry. I mean, women deal with patriarchal BS day in and day out. We want your help as men, but we don’t want it if it comes with you celebrating being on our team. We just want you to do the right thing.

Intersectional feminism is the feminism I’m talking about. 

I’d be amiss if I didn’t talk about the fact that feminism needs to be intersectional. All white folks could do better with being better allies to POC, those with disabilities, people from the LGBTQIA community, etc. So, if you’re new to the feminist bandwagon, you’re like a level 1 out of infinity. Get ready to level up and keep improving that feminism of yours. It’s crucial and we need you, dudes. 

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