COMING OUT AS A MALE FEMINIST AND WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT TOO

I recently became a father for the second time. Only this time, I became the father of a little girl. And while the prospect of having a daughter became extremely appealing to the point that I am coming out today as a proud male feminist, it has not always been the case. Let me share with you my point of view and my thought process.

Coming to terms with my feminine side

Have you ever found yourself uncomfortable sharing emotions? Expressing feelings? Crying in front of another male counterpart? Or feeling uncomfortable with physical touch from another man, when they are hugging a little too long? If you are a male, it is probably all of the above. Which means that like most of men, you are currently locked inside what is called a man box. A man box “is a a rigid set of expectations, perceptions, and behaviors of what is “manly” behavior.” Keith Edwards describes it as Traditional Hegemonic Definition of Masculinity. He says:“This definition is “traditional” in that it is rooted in long held cultural ways of defining what it means to be a man. It is “hegemonic” in that it places men above people of other genders AND some men above other men.” I personally came to the realization that I spent most of my life in a man box, without even knowing it existed. The truth is, I was experiencing manhood like I did not have a choice. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I was terrified by the idea that it could be a girl. I was afraid of the day she would interact with men, especially in a sexual way. Like many men, I refused to acknowledge how I was truly perceiving women. Like many men, I was not comfortable with my feminine side. I buried it so deep inside myself because my environment made it dangerous for me to be sensitive. It took deep introspection and painful audit of my behavior to realize that I was not the man I wanted to be. Most importantly It empowered me to write a version of manhood that resonates with my true self.

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