The Male Feminist

Several months ago, I started really thinking about what I was looking for in a woman as a potential mate. You probably wouldn’t call me an “alpha male.” I don’t fit the traditional male paradigm. For thousands of years, society has given us traditional roles for both men and women. American society is no exception. What I do find interesting is how relatively quickly America has become more progressive. I think we are getting closers to “…all humans are created equal.” Still, we cannot ignore the fact that challenges with regard to equality still exist.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of feminism lately, especially when it comes to dating and love. I wonder if more men today, even if they don’t realize it, are more accepting of feminism. Feminism, in some circles, is still considered to be anti-male. I was talking about this with a male friend of mine who said he couldn’t respect feminism. At the time I felt his opinion was a bit condescending. We defer on a lot of issues, but it still bothered me. I wonder if he has ever met a real feminist and why he sees the stereotype as being true.

I just graduated from Ashford University, which originally was a college for women in the early 20th century, with a BA in psychology. My studies have opened me up to an understanding of human behavior, but has also strengthen my belief that prejudice is not always obvious. Even when it’s subtle, our initial judgements about people are often wrong, because a person is too dynamic to be properly “pegged.” Sometimes I wish my friend was less judgmental.

Our conversation brought me to really think about feminism and what I have learned about it from my academic study and from personal research. The more I learn about feminism, the more I agree with it, which is in part why I joined this website and follow the twitter feed. I consider my self a feminist now, which may make some men do a double take, but I feel that there are values of the feminist movement that I share.

Coming back to where I started this post, I’ve thought a lot about what I’m looking for in a woman: assertive, ambitious, intelligent, strong, confident, these are qualities that many women are looking for too. It’s re-instilled my belief that men and women are not all that different than what we have been told by “traditional” society. Are there genuine differences? Sure, but they pale in comparison with the similarities. Both men and women have masculine and feminine qualities and this is natural.

I’ve always known I had a strong feminine side. I’ve always been very empathetic, passionate, and giving. All of which are generally thought of as “feminine.” I see them more as human qualities. I did at times wonder if I was too sensitive. However, I figure if I was born this way, then there must be women out there that are attracted to someone like me. After all, genetics and my parents made me this way, and I don’t believe it was an accident!

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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