Every time I have a heated debate with a self-proclaimed male chauvinist friend of mine about feminism, equality and gender roles, I think to myself, why do I care? I could say it's because I am the son of a working woman, who raised me to believe what I have between my legs isn't gonna give me any special privileges at home or because I'm the brother of an ambitious woman who is a daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law and friend --all of that without conforming to the typical gender roles. Or, maybe because I'm just that awesome! But am I?
What do I gain from being a feminist? I'm a man, not a woman. So the lack of equality might be an advantage for me.
Maybe the women in my life have influenced the way I think in a bigger way than I might imagine, but I'm pretty aware that the real reason is extremely selfish. I put myself first. It's me and then everything and everyone else. I'm the centre of the universe (which, by the way, I recently learned, is a scientifically accurate thing to say. But that's something for another article. Arjun, focus!). So what do I gain from being a feminist? I'm a man, not a woman. So the lack of equality might be an advantage for me. I'm gay, I don't desire women. So the lack of equality doesn't affect my sex or love life. Even if I see gender as a spectrum, just like sexuality, which I strongly believe it is, I identify myself as predominantly male. So what is it exactly that upsets me to the core when I see the opposite sex being oppressed?
Let's explore the possibilities, shall we?
Empathy towards an oppressed from another oppressed
Although, in some cases, the male gay community could be the oppressor, let's just say all gay men are angelic little snowflakes. And although there are a lot of women who hate gay people, let's say all women are angelic little snowflakes too. Which leaves one powerful, large group of humans--straight men! The ones who controlled and still control the world, making laws, taking decisions for the rest of us. So maybe it's the hatred buried, deep, deep, deep in my soul that makes me a feminist.
In a way, the lack of defined gender roles is more beneficial for men--gay, straight and bi--than women. It takes a lot off of our shoulders.
But as a lot of feminists would say when they are called man-hating feminazis in Facebook comments, feminism isn't about hating (straight) men. It's about equality. So no, empathy isn't the reason. Well at least, not the main reason. I can be sure because I have a dangerously low EQ. I have no empathy!
Feminism invalidates gender roles
This is a big one. If we go by the typical gender roles, as a man, my role is to be the 'superior' sex. I'm the Protector Of The Weaker Sex, The Provider Of The Bread, The Lord Of The Hidden Emotions, The Opener Of Closed Doors and the King of...well almost everything. Also, I have to stick my pee pee into a vajajay for procreational purposes. All of which kind of makes me want to throw up.
Now let's forget ME for a second. Every man, who falls too far left of the Elton John-Chuck Norris scale of sexuality, which I just invented, hates to live up to these standards. No, we don't want to be protectors, we don't want to hide our emotions because we have a dick (I might be a robot who is dead inside but I wouldn't want to be judged if someday I decide to let it all out) , we don't want to be the only source of income in the family, and although some might have a different take on this, most of us don't bother opening doors or holding the elevator door for women, because honestly, we don't give a f*ck about chivalry. So in a way, the lack of defined gender roles is more beneficial for men--gay, straight and bi--than women. It takes a lot off of our shoulders.
Gender or sex or sexuality shouldn't be a barrier for standing up for justice and equality...
They 'get' me
Stereotypically speaking, women, especially straight women, and gay men are born BFFs. And it's a stereotype for a reason. A lot of the time, we understand each other, without the burden of the same gender problems. We stick together as a team to oppose the monstrosity that is watching a cricket match on a Saturday night! But that's just me and my straight female friends. Yes, we are a stereotype.
So all of these combined could somehow explain my feminism. But as an egalitarian, I know it all comes down to individuality and that gender or sex or sexuality shouldn't be a barrier for standing up for justice and equality, which invalidates this whole article. But that's okay, that's how it should be!
A version of this article was first published on millennialintrovert.com.
Also see on HuffPost: