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12 Male Champions Of Gender Equality From India And Around The World

Male Champions Of Gender Equality

It’s time we stop considering gender equality as a women’s issue and acknowledge that it’s everybody’s responsibility to be forces of change. Male allies can use their privilege to address the inequalities they see around them and be vocal advocates for gender equality. In order to make a difference, men need to actively participate in the fight for gender equality.

Here are some of the men from around the world that have actively worked towards inclusivity and gender equality.

12 Male Champions Of Gender Equality

1. Arunachalam Muruganantham

Also known as Padman, Arunachalam Muruganantham made it his mission to bring sanitary pads to rural India. He invented the low-cost sanitary pad-making machine that has been installed in rural areas in 23 states of India. Arunachalam was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.

Despite receiving offers to commercialise his pad making machine, he refused and continued providing the machines to self-help groups that were run by women.

Padman Muruganantham

Arunachalam Muruganatham (STP Original)

2. Abhay Deol

Bollywood films often push the narrative that men stalking women and ignoring consent is romantic instead of troubling. Actor Abhay Deol called out the film he starred in Raanjhanaa for glorifying stalking ignoring the concept of consent. He wrote that “History will not look kindly at this film for its regressive message. It’s been a theme in Bollywood for decades, where a boy can (and should), pursue a girl until she relents.”

Abhay Deol

3. Andy Murray

When a BBC journalist congratulated tennis player Andy Murray on becoming ‘the person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals’, feminist Andy Murray replied “I think Venus and Serena [Williams] have won about four each.” Murray had corrected the interviewer mid-sentence “the first male player”.

4. Rahul Kohli

British actor Rahul Kohli is known for starring in iZombie and The Haunting of Bly Manor. Kohli has been actively fighting transphobes and trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs).

5. Daniel Craig

Hollywood isn’t immune to sexism and neither are the beloved film characters. Actor Daniel Craig said, “Let’s not forget he’s [James Bond] actually a misogynist”. While there’s nothing wrong with playing the role of a misogynist, it’s important to ensure the character isn’t glorified for their problematic behaviour.

Craig also pointed out the double standards when it comes to women and their age. An interviewer referred to Craig’s love interest played by Monica Belluci in Spectre as an “older woman”. Craig replied that she was a “woman his own age”.

Belluci is only four years older than Craig, yet she was referred to as an older woman. Meanwhile, films are constantly pairing male actors in their 40s and 50s with female actors that haven’t reached 30 years of age.

6. Pankaj Tripathi

Actor Pankaj Tripathi is known for his roles in the web series Sacred Games and Mirzapur. In conversation with SheThePeople, Tripathi spoke about how men shouldn’t treat taking financial help from their wives as a big deal. He’s spoken about how he would stay home and cook and his wife, Mridula Tripathi, went out and worked when he was struggling to find his feet as an actor. Tripathi also spoke about gender equality and how it was important to raise sons well, since if we do that then there won’t be a need to save daughters.

7. Benedict Cumberbatch

Doctor Strange and Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about gender equality and took a stand against the gender pay gap. He said that “Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism” and said that he turns down a role if the female lead wasn’t paid the same amount.

“Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it,’” said Cumberbatch.

8. Farhan Akhtar

Actor, director, producer, and playback singer Farhan Akhtar launched the social campaign Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD). The campaign aims to raise awareness of rape and discrimination against women.

Akhtar spoke about gender equality and said that “Gender violence and gender inequality is not just a women’s issue. It’s also a man’s issue… It’s a human rights issue and we are all human beings.”

9. John Legend

Singer John Legend perfectly articulated why it’s concerning when people say they only became feminists and care about gender equality after they had a daughter.

Legend said that “I feel like you should have enough empathy for other people that you don’t need someone to be in your family to think they’re valuable. I thought of myself as a feminist before I had a daughter and before I was married. Having a daughter might reinforce that, but it shouldn’t be the only reason I care about women’s rights.”

Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen also donated 200,000 dollars to the Time’s Up fund, which aimed to provide legal support for survivors of sexual violence.

10. Ashton Kutcher

Actor Ashton Kutcher has been raising his voice against human trafficking since 2011. Kutcher and Demi Moore are co-founders of Thorn, which uses technology to combat child sex trafficking. It is estimated that around 800,000 people are trafficked across borders every year, 79 per cent of them are women.

11. David Schwimmer

David Schwimmer, known for his role in FRIENDS launched a campaign that aims to raise awareness about sexual harassment and gender equality. Schwimmer said that “We’ve seen a lot of sexual violence in the media, but we’ve not seen this particular grey area of sexual assault, where it’s about power and a certain dynamic.”

That’s Harassment is series of six short videos that portrays situations where sexual harassment might occur, ranging from the doctor’s office to a casting session.

Schwimmer is also a director of the Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica, which specialises in helping survivors of fate rape and child sexual assault.

12. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt spoke about how his mother raised him as a feminist and would point out that woman are often portrayed as objects. He said that his mother wanted him and his brother to be aware of how women were portrayed “because we see these images on TV, in the movies and on magazines all the time.”Gordan-Levitt said that “If you don’t stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and that becomes the way you perceive reality.”