A friend’s Facebook post recently pointed out that ideological movements like feminism have taken so long to prevail because the global culture deems it more important to publicly identify as a feminist than to actually do something that combats patriarchy.
In other words, a lot of people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. On this Women’s Day, I want to celebrate people and organizations that actually do the former and help others follow suit. Being a young man, I have personally valued initiatives that motivate male allies like myself. Here are two prime examples:
First,there’s The Good Men Project. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that patriarchal orders oppress both genders but in different ways. Men are also negatively impacted by societal pressures like women, though the symptoms may be different.
The Good Men Project strives to redefine modern-day masculinity and encourages men to eschew stigmas that either hold them back or harbor within them as hurt.
The website frequently publishes experience-based long-form journalism and shares important articles from other sites too. This is one of their most recent, a list from RaisingGreatMen.com about raising boys as better critical thinkers.
Follow them online and show your support!
Then of course there’s Emma Watson’s HeForShe.
Through this UN-supported, social media lionized project, Watson took on the daunting but admirable task of promoting a feminist sentiment in males and also explaining how an uneven social order with narrowly defined roles is in fact detrimental to both genders.
Though less than a year old, HeForShe has amassed a great following and has created room for crucial dialog by challenging and questioning men in every aspect of life about how they help the women around them gain acknowledgment.
My respect for this initiative is endless and in the past year, my respect for Emma Watson (already quite respectable for her intellect and talent) has increased tenfold.
To commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, Watson represented HeForShe with a live Q&A session at Facebook which involved details on the project as well as interaction with the audience. Here it is:
If you don’t already, like HeForShe on FB and follow it on Twitter and Instagram. Trust me, you will be in distinguished company. You can also share related opinions using #HeForShe.
I hope more projects like these two come up and fight the war for gender equality in the right way. Remember that feminism is not man-hating but a belief that both genders are on the same page with privileges.
Happy International Women’s Day!