In a time of populous politics, when iconic men from President Carter and President Obama to Prime Minister Cameron support feminism, and celebrities like Johnny Legend, Patrick Stewart, Joseph Gordon-Lovett, Mark Ruffalo, and Aziz Ansari, (plus so many others) don tee shirts claiming, “This is what a Feminist looks like,” as well as movements such as HeForShe and HopeForOurDaughters, I implore every conscious and caring male to stand up and proclaim: “I am a male feminist!”
This declaration avows that you subscribe to the idea that ALL PEOPLE must have the same fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That no subsection of the public should suffer from inequality in any form. That all citizenry of your nation and the world be treated with respect, full legal rights, and offered equal opportunities.
Some may ask what is the difference between being a male feminist and a humanist, to me there is none. Stopping the objectification, degradation, and subjugation of women is a good starting point for both. Ultimately, caring for all human beings and working for equality defines both Feminism and Humanism.
I find disturbing the discord and divisiveness of women in current Feminism. A similar chasm split the early suffrage movement in the 1870s over whether, the vote alone was enough, or if the vote plus full legal standing was necessary. This ‘great divide’ destroyed the suffrage movement and delayed women getting the vote for fifty years. I write about this period in a herstorical fiction from the viewpoint of one of the early proponents of equality, Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States.
Because of this, I am saddened when moralism, such as Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s unfortunate consignment to hell of women who don’t support women (specific to the Hillary campaign), and dismissive stereotype judgment, such as Gloria Steinem’s recent conclusion that young women who support Sanders are doing it, “because that is where the boys are” create a new divide in what should be a universal intention and political movement. Gloria Steinem is one of my heroes, so I am particularly saddened by her comments appearing on the Bill Maher show, and her subsequent weak retraction. No one needs or wants division, condemnation, or dismissive judgment.
As an eight-year-old boy, I wanted to be among the men who stood up like Tony Curtis to declare, “I am Spartacus” as a pledge of allegiance, not only to their leader, Kirk Douglass, but to a purpose and a cause, the Roman slave rebellion. I could not know at the time that the movie itself was a political statement, as Kirk Douglas hired director, Stanley Kubrick to work with screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, who was one of the Hollywood Ten, blacklisted by the Leo McCarthy inquisition.
Turning to another movie, in Dangerous Beauty (one of my Top Ten) Marco Venier, played by Rufus Sewel a Senator of medieval Venice during the first Inquisition, implores his fellow senators, princes and ministers to honor a woman they all cherished, but because of the Plague and her fortitude as a woman is about to be condemned to death for being a witch. “STAND, …STAND UP with me, Stand up for this woman and for Venice.”
As stated paramount, let us have a worldwide recognition and affirmation that starts by men declaring openly,
“I AM A MALE FEMINIST”
About Neal Katz
Neal Katz is a serial entrepreneur. He harbors a passion for women’s rights and his lifestyle is centered on self-awareness and love. His novel “Outrageous: The Victoria Woodhull Saga, Volume One: Rise to Riches” (thevictoriawoodhullsaga.com) spotlights gender prejudice, exposes early manipulation of “free markets” and reveals how political power structures used prison and seizure of assets to prevent innovation and social change.
Katz promotes a new financial paradigm, the Conscientious Credit Funding Organization, (CCFO) to create continuous monetary liquidity through Credit Funding. THE CCFO model will provide sustainable and renewable funding for diverse charitable endeavors, such as microfinance, low income housing, education, vocational training, as well as infrastructure (re)development and green technologies implementation — without $1.00 donated or $1.00 funded by the government.