If you are a man reading this then let me set your mind at rest: the feminists are not out to get you. In fact, strange as it may sound, feminism is a good thing for men. Why else would the philosopher John Stuart Mill have written The Subjection of Women, one of the foundational texts of modern feminism? If you are sceptical then give me until the end of this article to convert you. What have you got to lose?
We men are endlessly trying to prove ourselves superior; be it through sports, careers or the size of our…feet. Imagine if you were a premier league footballer. You find out that everyone born with red hair is not allowed to compete in the league. Now imagine being told that, good news, you have been selected for the England squad. Yes, you were selected at the expense of someone who is better than you in every way, but he is ginger so he does not count. Still feel proud of yourself? Such a scenario is absurd, of course it is, but why is it any different when applied to people born female?
Ok, most of us are never going to make the England squad but think of your greatest achievements in life. Did you really win fair and square? One of my own great achievements was getting into Leeds Uni. Being selected to study at a Russel Group university was an achievement because it required being in contention with the best of the best. If women were not allowed to apply, as was once the case, is my level of achievement not diminished?
Feminism is not about giving women an advantage but about allowing everyone to compete on equal terms. If you still win the match or the promotion then good for you. You came out on top of twice as many people and with that comes twice the bragging rights. Can you really say that allowing women to compete against men is a bad thing if they prove themselves? It is all but certain that every man in England would embrace feminism is a woman scored the winning goal in the world cup final.
Doubt that would ever happen? How do you know if women are not given a fair chance to compete? Sometimes, it is true, feminism requires us to level the playing field. A degree course with far too many male applicants might feel obligated to offer women extra incentives. These kinds of things help women to attain qualifications and experience more readily available to men. It will not take long for society to change and for this kind of thing to be unnecessary. In the meantime your position in society is still going to be better because you were born a man, so you have nothing to complain about.
Image courtesy of Hexjam