Male feminists: hot or not?

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October 10, 2008

5:23 PM

For the second blog of the week, I’ve brought back Kaley Horton, the Ovary Queen. She will be discussing why it’s okay for non-gay men to be feminists. The idea for this entry comes from last week’s Flat Hat article Boy’s Allowed.

M: Straight male feminists — hot or not?

K: I like a man who’s not afraid to call himself a feminist. I think that the fear that keeps men from labeling themselves as feminists is two-fold. First, feminism is perceived as such a threat that even some women don’t like the term. Second, feminism isn’t just about women. A culture of dominant masculinity affects men too — in a society where men are expected to be big and strong and never cry — it’s easy to see why some men wouldn’t want to use the term.

I don’t see why supporting women’s rights and social justice can’t be manly.

M: Favorite male feminist?

K: Hmmm. I find it sad that the first two men who came to mind were Bono and Barack Obama — though they are great examples. I wish there were more easily recognizable heterosexual male feminists.

As a linguistics major myself, I think Kaley is really on to something when she says that the term feminism has come to have negative connotations and that that is giving the concept a bad rap. (Words are powerful things!) Thus, I would argue that 99 percent of men on this campus are feminists. But I don’t think that many would self-identify as such. I challenge the men of William and Mary to find out for themselves what it means to be a feminist before cringing at being called one.

Thank you again to Kaley! For more on feminism, visit the Women’s Studies
website at the College.

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