Watch: High school boys talk about why they are feminists

In my opinion, the only thing more tiresome than a conversation about women identifying as feminists is one about men doing so. But after Pharrell said he doesn’t “think it’s possible” for him to be a feminist since he’s a dude — and in the wake of #notallmen, #yesallwomen, and #allmencanThe New York Times is (as always) asking the tough obvious questions: “Is it possible to be a male feminist?”

I think it’s probably clear what my answer is. Though I agree with Alexandra that disrupting patriarchy means men will have to give up power they currently take for granted — a project that many might not be on board with — I’m of the bell hooks “feminism is for everybody” school. That doesn’t mean it’s easy or comfortable — but then, if we’re doing it right, it shouldn’t be for anyone.

Somewhere between the two extremes of “Being a feminist is a piece of cake! You just have to believe!” and “No men allowed!” there are plenty of guys who are just quietly doing the hard work of learning about gender inequality and doing what they can to help end it. Here are a few of them — seniors in Ileana Jiménez’s high school feminism class — talking about what feminism means to them.

Transcript below with many thanks to commenter Zed!

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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