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Not Just On International Men's Day, Feminist Men Should Be Celebrated All Year Round

It is important to openly and frequently appreciate progressive and sensitive men who act as allies of women in the feminist movement.

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Tarini Gandhiok
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The occasion of International Men’s Day, which is celebrated today, November 19, has remained the subject of much debate and doubt over the years. After all, what could possibly validate celebrating men in a man’s world? I’m sure the not-all-men chorus would readily mansplain the same. However, for most women, the only kind of men worth celebrating not just today, but all year round, are feminist men who are rooting for equality as fervently as they are.

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Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Acknowledging and appreciating feminist men shouldn’t be confused with deifying men for doing the bare minimum. However, in a society that deems insensitive machoism as one of the starkest markers of masculinity, men who acknowledge and support feminist struggles at the risk of being perceived as ‘effeminate’ are certainly worth celebrating. Additionally, men who are feminists in the true sense ensure that they extend solidarity without appropriating the feminist movement for themselves.

Also Read: When We Asked Feminist Men About #MeToo and Why we Needed it.

Feminist men often have to face uncomfortable 'ugly truths' vis a vis their gender and unlearn years of conditioning to self-police their prejudices. However, instead of being deterred, their beliefs spur them on to do better. In my opinion, the representative quality of a feminist man is that he is acutely aware of his privilege and wishes to use the same to make room at the proverbial table for women. Feminist men, by virtue of the systemic power and privilege their gender enjoys, amplify women’s voices. And that’s exactly what feminism needs today for there is strength in numbers. These men prevent the movement from becoming a Man vs Woman issue by sensitising their peers to feminist issues. In aspiring to the true gender equality that feminism stands for, feminist men make way for a healthier, more inclusive society for every gender, including their own.

Celebrating Feminist Men All Year Round

An important aspect of feminism relates to calling out misogynist and sexist men and holding them accountable. Similarly, it is equally important to openly and frequently appreciate progressive and sensitive men who act as allies of women in the feminist movement. This will not only help make the movement less exclusive but also give it a more wholesome definition. After all, as the famous author Bell Hooks wrote, “Feminism is for everybody.”

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Also Read: Men Who Don’t Flash Their Feminist Badges On Social Media Need To Be Applauded Too

Famous feminist men like Farhan Akhtar, Raj Nayak, Adil Hussain, and Suresh Raina receive adequate appreciation via social media and public acknowledgement. However, the feminist men in our families and social circles deserve some recognition as well. So here’s to all the brothers who support their sisters’ demands to go out late at night, all the husbands who are the biggest cheerleaders of their wives’ careers, all the sons who shoulder their mothers’ domestic responsibilities, and all the feminist men who let go of ego and entitlement to support women, familiar or otherwise. You are celebrated today and everyday.

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author's own.

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