SSN Commentary

A Letter to Aspiring (Male) Feminists

Policy field

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Auburn University

Originally published as "A Letter to Aspiring (Male) Feminists," Prime Mind, May 2, 2016.

I had never heard the word feminism until my first semester of college. I signed up for a required class with gender studies professor Marla Jaksch, and that’s when my life began making sense in a way it never had. Learning about feminism didn’t just illuminate sexism, it explained television and bullying and sports and economics and my family and countless other things I’d been uncomfortable or confused about.

This was my first lesson in feminism: Using a feminist lens to analyze and understand your life is one of the most powerful things you can do. This is what led me to realize that sexual violence and domestic abuse; inequality in pay, education, and politics; biased media representation; gender stereotypes; and beauty norms aren’t women’s issues, they are social issues that shape everyone’s life. Understanding how men are gendered beings — yes, including you — can be transformational.[1]