11 important reasons men need feminism

Because we need to stop telling boys not to cry.

Benedict cumberbatch is a feminist and you should be too

So. Feminism.

If you're a dude and the word sends shivers down your spine, we're here to completely demystify the topic. In fact, we're here to tell you that feminism benefits you too.

Even a simple thing like typing in a Google search will show you that the subjugation of women exists, and we need feminism to eradicate it. That said, men affected by the way society treats gender roles too.

Feminism, in essence, is about equality and fighting the patriarchal society that causes harm for both men and women. So, stick it to the man, (pun intended), and see how feminism can actually be good for everybody, not just women.

  1. 1 It allows you to feel however you want to damn well feel

    Crying doesn't make you less of a man. Asking for directions doesn't make you less of a man. Falling deeply in love with someone and being 'whipped' doesn't make you less of a man. Ever.

    In fact, suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged 20-45 in the UK, according to the Campaign Against Living Miserably. This is an epidemic of catastrophic proportions - and we need to do something to stop it.

    The thing is, suicide is undeniably an issue of gender, as social constraints prevent men from seeking help when they need it most because asking for help is a stereotypically feminine trait.

    A 'real man' isn't defined by his machismo. Feminism helps because it shows that even at your weakest moment, you are not a failure of a man for expressing how you feel.

  2. 2 It helps eradicate unrealistic body expectations
    Protein World released male version of their ads and no one complained

    Sure, women have tons of pressure to look a certain way. I mean, remember that Beach Body Ready campaign? Ugh.

    But men face this pressure too. In fact, the very first Beach Body Ready ads were of men and NO ONE complained. There is a dangerous trend in the media to glorify ripped abs, huge biceps, and it affects men more than you'd think.

    A good friend of mine once put himself through a punishing diet and exercise regime to completely change his body, and he achieved this. However he developed crippling self-doubt, and was constantly berating himself for giving in to a doughnut, or would get genuinely angry when he couldn't work out due to injuries.

    Feminism helps to push past this by emphasising that you are great the way you are - and pushes for healthy self improvement over having to conform to masculine stereotypes.

  3. 3 It gets rid of the notion that all men have to be 'tough' or 'aggressive'

    Have you ever been told to 'man up'?
    Have you ever been to a club and some dude picks a fight with you just because he didn't like your shirt?
    Have you ever been injured and pushed through the pain because you didn't want to look like a 'pussy'?

    These are genuine situations I have heard from most of my good guy friends. And this is very, very damaging.

    Feminism helps to fight this expectation by redefining what it means to be human - and accepting that vulnerability is completely OK for a man too.

  4. 4 It lets you do what you are interested in, even if it's a 'girly' activity

    Want to cook? Put that oven on. Want to dance? Pirouette all you please. Want to knit? Let me get that rainbow-coloured wool for you.

    Feminism is all about letting people do what they want to do. And if men want to take up competitive figure-skating as a hobby, then just let them.

  5. 5 It actually makes sex better for both men and women

    Oh yeah. You heard me.

    Studies have shown that men and women who identify as feminists report higher rates of sexual satisfaction. Although it's not found in the study exactly how feminism does this, there are some pretty solid theories.

    Feminism is all about equality. By opening up conversations about your bedroom preferences with your partner and taking away the expectations of men to perform a certain way, you're bound to have better sex in no time.

    Equality = communication Communication = getting what you both want in the bedroom.
    Everybody wins.

  6. 6 But it also takes away the need for men to perform according to society's sexual expectations

    While women are constantly being slut-shamed (which is pretty uncool guys, this definitely needs to stop ASAP), men have the opposite problem - there is constant pressure on men to be sexually aggressive, and there is an expectation for men to be able to 'pull' a ton of women. Oh dear.

    Nobody should ever be treated as just another notch on a bedpost. Feminism helps to erase this expectation of men by emphasising that a measure of a man is not equal to his 'number' Quality over quantity, after all!

  7. 7 It raises awareness for male victims of sexual assault and violence

    Sexual assault and domestic violence is obviously horrific for anyone who experiences it. However, often when men try to seek help for the same issue they are actually ignored. Mocked, even.

    Does anyone remember that awful Jeremy Kyle episode where the audience actually laughed at a man who was forced to jump from a three storey balcony by his abusive ex-girlfriend? This is actually scarily more common than you'd think - apparently 38% of domestic abuse victims in England and Wales are male.

    Feminism fights the myth that domestic violence and sexual abuse is something that only happens to women, and makes the plight of men who go through traumatic events more visible.

  8. 8 It helps people who identify as LGBT+ to raise awareness and avoid stigma

    Often, a gay man is perceived to be 'less of a man' due to his sexual identity. This kind of bigoted bullshit is pretty much due to the fact that gay people are often perceived to be more 'feminine', which in turn implies that being a woman, or wanting to be more like a woman, is a bad thing.

    Feminism completely chucks that idea out the window. A brilliant article in the Huffington Post by Zach Stafford puts this very succinctly;

    Feminism looks at that thought and says, "What the f*ck is wrong with being a woman?" and pats you on the back, and even may give you a pair of heels to strut in.

    – Zach Stafford, 'How Feminism Made Me a Better Gay Man'
  9. 9 It lessens the pressure on people who identify as trans to come out and/or transition

    You've probably heard of a fantastic lady called Laverne Cox.

    Feminism has allowed trans people to accept who they really are and embrace that gender identity. Caitlyn Jenner's speech at this year's ESPYs brought everyone to tears, and she is now being celebrated globally for her bravery.

    It's hard to ignore the fact that when more people in the world accept that being a woman is no bad thing, more people like Caitlyn and Laverne would be able to live their lives in the way they've always wanted to live, in the body they choose to live it in.

  10. 10 It doesn't put the pressure on men to be the 'breadwinner'

    There is an ingrained expectation in society for men to be either the sole breadwinner or the highest paid earner of a household.

    There are tons of reports that show that when women earn more than men in a relationship, it causes serious emotional strain and make men feel inadequate and inferior.

    Feminism helps to dismiss the notion that a man is not a man unless he earns more than his partner. Nobody should ever be stigmatised for not earning a certain amount of money.

  11. 11 It opens up a whole world of job opportunities

    Shout out to all the male nurses out there, the teaching assistants, the secretaries.

    Feminism makes it OK for everyone to do what they want to do. Whether it be a woman who wants to be a mechanical engineer, or for a man who just wants to design shoes. You do you.

    If you or someone you know needs help, contact:

    Samaritans - 08457 90 90 90

    Campaign Against Living Miserable (CALM) - 0800 58 58 58