Being a Male Feminist

For those of you who do not know, the class that this blog operates with is ‘Feminist Blogging.’ To further thicken the plot, I would like to reveal that I am one of three males in that class. Now, to give you some background information on me, I am from Fairfax, VA. I grew up in a middle-class family with an older sister and two loving parents. At JMU, I am a member of a social fraternity studying Communications. I have never been part of a marginalized group in my life until the first day I walked into this classroom.

I will admit that my experience as the marginalized group is not even comparable to the experience of non-cisgender folks or people of color. These experiences are different and therefore I am going to share a perspective of this class as a white male.

Image result for male feminist"
Image by Daily Mail

I can confidently say that whenever I walk in, I immediately feel a sense of relief, like there is this safety net underneath me, which I have never experienced with another class. Of course, the first class ever was terrifying but then again, when is it not? Anyhow, I typically remain quiet throughout class because I do not want to be the stereotypical white guy who speaks all the time.

When I do offer my opinion, I am almost always met with support and encouragement, which is also a nice change of pace for a classroom. A good way I like to explain my feelings about this class is ‘therapeutic.’ I told my sister, who was ecstatic I signed up for Feminist Blogging, that whenever I come to this class, I get an overwhelming sense of relief that no other class has provided for me in college thus far.

Women's liberation movement in Washington, DC, August 26, 1970.
Image by Vox

 

The feeling I get when participating, by participating I mean writing these blogs and talking during lecture, is a little bit tougher to explain. I normally have an opinion, which tends to be similar if not the same as the ladies, but do not want to share because I am a dude and who the hell really cares. I like to give my opinion on certain topics, for example, white guys behaving like idiots in social settings.

I give input during those conversations because I feel as though my voice carries some merit. Like I said before, the majority of the time, I agree with the ladies and normally bash white males for whatever it is they did wrong. Now, with this all being said, I am not here to say that I hate white guys or that all white guys are the “bad guys.” I am just explaining my perspective as a white male who considers themselves to be a feminist.

Image result for guys being idiots"
Image by Moore

The weird part of my existence is that for most of the day, I am surrounded by white males who consider themselves not as feminists. I feel like a spy or double agent sometimes. During class it scares me to think about living in the environment that I reside in but, I know that deep down, most males in society are good guys.

I have just recently begun to have conversations with my friends where sometimes I have to act like a feminist killjoy, to speak up against extremist speech. I will admit that I have not done it much, but I find myself calling out my friends in group chats more so now than ever.

Image result for guy feminists"
Image by Bright

When I say I have begun, I also mean that I do not do it all the time or with every single conversation I am in. I am not perfect, and standing up for something your friends criticize is by no means easy, but like I said, I am trying.

In all honesty, that is all this movement takes. We need more people to just start trying, trying to have those conversations with peers every once in a while. I hope you have enjoyed hearing the perspective from yours truly, a white dude.

 

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