“It is much easier for a man to criticize women’s studies than to take a critical look at one’s self and the advantages given to men in a society based on gender hierarchy”(Kelly).
I certainly had my hesitations about taking this class, being that I know I would be the minority, and that I would have to read articles about male oppression. I will be honest in saying that it’s not my favorite thing to read about, however it definitely provides some great prospective. It is human nature to take the easy way out, and hate on something because you don’t take the time to understand it, especially when it’s socially acceptable. This goes back to the fact that feminists have an unsavory stigma about them, which has been driven into our brains by media. This negative context from a males perspective comes from the idea that feminists are men haters. This is 100% not the case. In fact, after my first week of enrollment in this gender studies class, I learned that the feminist movement is geared toward equal rights, and has actually benefited guys in some ways as well. One example of this is paternity leave. Since more and more females are becoming the bread winners in households and a more reformed way of looking at household duties, men can also take time off when they have a newborn.
One of the biggest problems that the movement faces is these negative stereotypes that men associate with feminists. Even in this progressive society, feminists are seen as undesirable, and annoying. If we can get break these feminist stereotypes, the movement will progress 10 times faster. This can happen if men get involved. But why would men get involved in something that barely has any effect on them? It is important to keep in mind that feminism is for equal rights, not to take away male rights. It is the rights for your mother, sisters and daughters. As a white male, it is important to understand that we are privileged. We are privileged because in our society, it is easier for us to climb the corporate ladder, hold positions of leadership and the list goes on. “It is not possible to divest myself individually of these privileges…but I can work to change the system while being conscious of what these privileges have done for me”(Kelly), this quote captures the exact mentality all men should have about the feminist movement. Feminism isn’t about women gaining an edge on men, it is to level the tables.
It is important for all men to keep an open mind toward this movement. It takes a lot to get involved on the front lines feminism as a male, but it is quite easy to simply put aside your ignorant beliefs, and recognize the privileges you have been given.