“Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians,” Pat Robertson infamously stated.
Perhaps we should look further for a definition of feminism.
Rebecca West once said that “feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” Or we can check out the Oxford Dictionaries online definition: “Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”
Some feminist women react negatively towards the concept of men calling themselves feminists, but it seems obvious to me that men have to be part of feminism because those societal gender stereotypes affect both men and women. But of course this doesn’t mean that men run the show.
Here are my top 5 picks for men who supported feminism in 2012:
I will let our President’s words speak for themselves.
In response to Representative Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape,” President Obama called a press conference to reiterate that, you know, rape is rape:
The idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.
We shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making healthcare decisions on behalf of women.
Women are not an interest group…They’re half of this country.
This choice may seem surprising, but how could the creator of Peggy Olsen and Joan Holloway in “Mad Men” not be a feminist? His show depicts clearly how women were discriminated against in the early 1960s, be it in the workplace or around sexual harassment, rape or lack of access to legal abortion.
Weiner has been reported as saying that he considers it the highest possible praise when he hears from a woman after a public appearance that she worked as a secretary during the ’60s, and “Mad Men” gets the sexual harassment just right.
It was actually last year that the Dalai Lama told an audience in Memphis, “I call myself a feminist. Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?”
Over the 77 years of his life the Dalai Lama has continually advocated for the rights of the Tibetan people, especially after he was forced to flee his home country after the People’s Republic of China took control after the 1959 uprising. Perhaps not surprisingly, he has also been teaching about Buddhism, the environment, economics, and yes, advocating for women’s rights.
photo: LATANIA REBELLION
Here’s what Feministing has to say about Chris Rock:
I think Chris Rock’s decision to produce W. Kamau Bell’s show is the best evidence that he is belongs more to the big tent feminist camp than he does outside of it.
W. Kamau Bell is a self-identified socio-political stand up comedian. His comedy troupe, “Laughter Against the Machine,” traveled around the country entertaining/supporting the Occupy movement. He hails from San Francisco, and his team of writers have pretty solid feminist cred. And with Chris Rock’s support, he now has a show on FX that will hopefully get picked up.
I see evidence of Chris Rock’s feminism in this show. Feminism isn’t just about supporting women. It’s about bringing to the fore people who don’t fit inside the mainstream, and people who push the socio-cultural-political envelope.
Finally, I want to give a shout-out to all the many fathers who are raising children equally with their female partners – including my stepson, pictured above. I applaud you all!
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Top photo: Matt Ortega