Rumor has it you don’t have to be a woman to support feminism. We’re looking at 19 male feminist quotes from men who choose to stand for equality.
Feminism is one of those hardball topics to write about, especially when you bring men into the mix. Those who haven’t delved into the topic of feminism probably assume that it’s all about lesbians, bra-burning, and man-hating, or that a feminist couldn’t possibly love a guy or desire to get down and dirty. Wrong! If those statements were true, it would make it especially puzzling to know male feminists do exist!
When we say male feminists, we don’t mean the oddball pushover male feminists who say it’s alright for their partner to cheat on them because a woman’s body is her own, or the ones who are just in it to be dominated.
No, we’re talking about tried-and-true male feminists who support gender equality in every sense. In celebration of these awesome guys, we’re taking a look at males in the spotlight who use their fame to spread the word about women’s rights. [Read: The opposite of feminist – A new generation of women?]
I call myself a feminist
We’re looking at men taking on misogyny with these 19 feminist quotes from males around the world.
So, what is feminism anyway? Besides an alleged new-age four-letter word? To be a feminist means you advocate for women’s rights to be socially, economically, and politically equal to men. No bra-burning required! Here are a few awesome quotes from men who proudly call themselves feminists.
#2 “I’m a feminist inasmuch as I’m an egalitarian about everything, and I believe in meritocracy. I think anyone who isn’t, at this point, is just swimming against the tide, just like people who are vaguely homophobic or racist or sexist.” – Daniel Radcliffe
#3 “I like writing strong women, because as a straight male, there’s nothing more attractive to me than a strong girl.” – Jay Baruchel
#5 “I do call myself a feminist. Absolutely! It’s worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us and that we don’t have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we wanna be.” – Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Equality is not a concept
Equality in feminism doesn’t mean that suddenly the man in the relationship stays home to change diapers, or that a woman should be designated the breadwinner of the house.
In reality, equality means taking on a balance of resources, goals, and decision-making equal between the couple. According to these men, equality should not be a mere concept.
#6 “Men ruled the roost and women played a subservient role *in the 1960s*. Working wives were a rarity, because their place was in the home, bringing up the kids. The women who did work were treated as second-class citizens, because it was a male-dominated society. That was a fact of life then. But it wouldn’t be tolerated today, and that’s quite right in my book. […] People look back on those days through a thick veil of nostalgia, but life was hard if you were anything other than a rich, powerful, white male.” – John Hamm *Infamous for his role as Don Draper—the ultimate womanizing ad-man of the 1960s—took a sharp turn away from his character to explain why life in the 50s and 60s wasn’t as idealistic as we all thought*.
#8 “Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition.” – Joss Whedon
We’re not gonna take it… No! We ain’t gonna take it!
This section is for all of the men around the world who see the lack of equality and let everyone know what they want. From Kurt Cobain to the Greek philosopher Plato, these guys stood up for what they believed in.
#9 “If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of a different color, or women, please do this one favor for us… don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.” – Kurt Cobain
#10 “I think misogyny is like a disease that needs to be cured. And if we could eradicate polio, I don’t see why we can’t eradicate misogyny.” – Alan Alda
#11 “Nothing can be more absurd than the practice that prevails in our country of men and women not following the same pursuits with all their strengths and with one mind, for thus, the state instead of being whole is reduced to half.” – Plato [Read: Sensitive sides: Should men embrace male femininity]
#12 “[…] There’s so much that’s not said about sex in our country, even from an educational level. […] The one thing they teach about is how to get pregnant or how to not get pregnant, but they don’t really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women. […] Part of that creates a place where women aren’t empowered around their own sexuality and their own sexual selves, and from a purely entertainment point of view, to create a movie with a female lead that’s empowered with her own sexuality is a powerful thing.” – Ashton Kutcher
#14 “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir… mighty scarce.” – Mark Twain
#15 “Women are responsible for two-thirds of the work done worldwide, yet earn only 10 percent of the total income and own one percent of the property… so, are we equals? Until the answer is yes, we must never stop asking.” – Daniel Craig spoke openly about equality on International Women’s Day
#17 “We know that when women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of everyone around them—their families, their communities, and their countries.” – Prince Harry
#18 “Men do need to stop being silent. Calling violence against women, whether street harassment or sexual harassment or rape or murder, a ‘women’s issue’ allows men to ignore it, as if we have no responsibility for it or stake in ending it. We all have grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters, and female friends and colleagues. Our lives are inextricably interwoven; women’s issues of safety and equality directly affect our lives as men. Beyond that, women are humans, with the same rights to safety and freedom as men. It is, therefore, our moral responsibility to not remain silent or passively on the sidelines, but to be actively engaged in confronting this problem in every corner of homes, communities, and societies.” – Former NFL player Donald McPherson wrote for a CNN piece [Read: Misconceptions about dating a feminist all men should know]
#19 “It’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, ‘I’m not the feminist babysitter.’ […] In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutesy sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice. In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.” – Mark Ruffalo took to his Tumblr to express his thoughts on the “I am not a feminist” movement. The Hulk himself stomped in the name of feminism.