We can’t have feminism without men being on board. And we wouldn’t even if we could. There is not a war between genders, but there is a society that separates us and puts us into narrow boxes. The truth is that, as suffocating as any box can be, men’s boxes are comfier than those of women.
We want everyone to escape these boxes, we don’t want to switch them, or enlarge ones by narrowing others. We want them gone. We want equal opportunities and rights. But we can only do that by acknowledging what the situation really is and how different the realities are.
We want men to feel comfortable being associated with any of the “feminine” traits that society has taken away from them. The vulnerability, the encouragement to build a support network, the perks of being the main carer, the emotional connections and, why not, the colourful cocktails with a little umbrella.
But the first step in that direction is empowering women, the individuals, but also the concept. Give credit to the things we associate with female, redefine what doing things “like a girl” means, empower it.
We want men to spend less time screaming #notallmen and to spend more time ensuring those who damage the idea of masculinity are held accountable. Because we also want to free them from all that negativity, the self-worth associated with money, the expected and encouraged constant sex drive, the power trips and brotherhood pressure and the lack of emotional tools to deal with it all.
We support and encourage men to use their privilege to speak up for the things that are wrongly done to women. Use their statistically higher roles in companies to revise the bias in recruitment, use their (also proven) more airtime in the media to raise the awareness of these issues, to use their spotlight to amplify the ones often ignored. And we want them to do it not because they have a mum, or a sister, or a partner or a daughter but just because they recognise women as human beings that don’t deserve any worse treatment than them, because they don’t want to be part of the problem but part of the solution.
We know things are changing, and changes are scary. But things are not changing enough and men need to find their way into feminism. Understand what is in for them, also why it wouldn’t matter if there were actually no benefit to them (don’t worry there is) and acknowledge that it doesn’t have to be about them in order to be important or good.