Feminism in the Eyes of a Young Man / Max Green
The decade we live in is one that has mobilised the views of younger people to be expressed - openly. Even so, mass media never fails to misinterpret and misrepresent such views, just as they always have. As a result, I feel the only way I can clearly express my views surrounding feminism is without citation and without reference from such platforms – it is independent platforms like this that allow for the real views of our generation to be revealed.
Social issues such as feminism are conveyed to me by the media, as a young adult male, as something which only applies to women. For a man to be in favour of women’s rights is a concept that I feel wouldn’t sit well with many of my male peers, though would also be disapproved of by such feminists, that are posed by the media, who aim to silence men. There is a troubling notion of misandry and women demanding not only equality, but something more than men have which only equates to inequality. It is such publicised ideas like this that make the stance one which is difficult to support from a male point of view. For example, some women of ethnicities other than caucasian felt that they were only allowed to support certain types of feminism due to the way the core stance was presented by the media, and the way in which they felt they would be viewed if they supported such a stance. The fact women themselves felt they couldn’t support a movement focussed on bettering the rights of women is a fact that distances some men from the cause even further.
These ideas breed within some waves of feminism which, in my perception, make feminism something of a negative in society in the way that it’s packaged towards young men. It shifts from this fight for equality, to a fight for dominance. What makes this worse is that my view on feminism is one that I have had to seek out by myself. I have had to search through the masses of information online and I have had to actively ask people questions on their views on women’s rights and the way they are treated in society. The reason for this is due to the lack of education about the topic within the education system. I have one lesson every two weeks – two hours every month – on personal development, a subject which aims to cover the social issues in society and explore how they affect us personally. Not once, however, have I been educated on such issues as feminism and the way in which it is misrepresented by the media. Not once have the social issues that make up the foundation of society ever been brought up - and, for me, this is a problem.
I am aware, through studies such as Philosophy and Ethics, that there are feminists who are both male and female, and, fortunately for me, most of the ones I have met are those who want equal rights, with no eagerness for a battle to be on top. There are feminists who want women to be able to pursue any career without question. There are feminists who want every woman’s voice to be just as valuable as any man’s. There are feminists who want women across the globe to receive just as much support, in all areas branching from finance to healthcare, as any man receives, and these feminists can, and should, be both men and women. At the moment, however, they are, for the most part, predominantly women.
The majority of young men don’t support, or are not even aware of, feminism as a stance. And this is something which should change. We need to look at how we propose ideas about feminism to younger male generations in order to win their hearts and voices.
Words by: Max Green
Artwork by: Stephanie K Kane