I'm A Feminist Who Happens To Be A Young, Black Male

I'm A Feminist Who Happens To Be A Young, Black Male

Why it shouldn't be a bad thing to have male feminists.
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Feminism is defined as the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. What does that mean in lame man's term? It simply means that women should have the same rights as men. But being a feminist, as I understand it, is not simply wanting equal rights for all on paper, but also put into practice.

I want to clear a few misconceptions about feminists and feminism. First, a man can absolutely be a feminist, so please don't dismiss my views simply because of my anatomy.

Next, is the idea that if you are a feminist then you must hate men. Sorry everyone, but that is false. While some so-called feminists do indeed hate men with every fiber in their bones, not all feminists are like that.

Feminism is not the idea that women want to rule over men, that is called misandry.

Another key misconception is that feminist only deal with women's rights. Once again, some feminists only focus on women's rights, but many cover LGBTQ rights and tackle discriminatory laws. With a few of the misconceptions cleared up, let's dive into why I choose to identify as a feminist.

The history of America is no secret. Even the most basic history textbooks have covered slavery, not to the extent it should, but nevertheless, they were covered. With my ancestors being slaves and previous generations before me fighting for Civil Rights, I believe I have no right to discriminate anyone.

Honestly, no one has the right to discriminate anyone, but blacks have been through so much that willingly hating a group is just horrible. I am not just a feminist because I feel that I have to be. Rather my views on different subjects around the nation and the world just make sense for me not to denounce feminism as a whole.

My purpose for being someone who fights for racial, gender and social equality is because I refuse to sit down and watch my world go to hell. If you want to make this nation better for EVERYONE, then being proactive is a must. I capitalized everyone because wanting to exclude certain individuals is not what I'm about. I am friends with whites, blacks, Hispanics, people who identify as homosexuals, drag queens and I have even befriended someone who is asexual.

This is not to boast about the friends I have.

Believe me, if you knew them then you wouldn't want to boast about them. I tell you this because to understand someone's struggle you have to go out and find out their stories. Remember, I never said you had to become friends, but at least try and understand where they come from.

There are obvious problems that a young, black male in Charleston, South Carolina may face when proclaiming to be a feminist. One is testing my authenticity towards the cause. Some would say that, "Of course it makes sense that you are apart of the Black Lives Matter," but being a feminist is somehow a no-no for a male. Don't worry I can understand how some women may be suspicious of me.

It is the same as a black person being skeptical of a white person wanting to join a BLM protest rally. But, I am proud that my generation is starting to worry least of who helps out to make a change now. To truly bring change in any facet of life, there has to an inclusion of individuals working together.

Being a young, black male is hard enough in our country, but wanting to be outspoken on injustices is an even more dangerous game. That is why I use to be shy about proclaiming to be apart of the BLM movement or being a feminist. Many can attest to the fear of how some may judge you or the repercussions may ensue. It is important to understand that some will disagree, but you cannot worry about those people. If you have a passion for something then you have to follow it.

To end, I am proud of being a supporter in some of the various movements that are taking place in our country. Being a feminist is more than just wanting equal rights for women. It entails LGBTQ rights, the stoppage of discrimination towards people of color and many other important ideals.

I do not want to be in a world, in a country, where I cannot express my beliefs even if they oppose family or friends way of thinking. That is why people who want to stay on the sideline should try and vocalize their opinions. This fight for equality for ALL will not end without the help from people who all have different experiences. I understand some truly cannot express their feelings and I will not condemn for that. So, no need to worry. Millions of others and I will help to be your unheard voice.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.
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In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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10 Men That Will Change Your Mind About Hair Loss

It happens to the best of them, but these men look better with a bald head!

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Hair loss is such a common thing for men to face as they get older. As a society, I feel as though we typically frown upon it. This is probably the case due to the amount of hair transplants and hair products to stop hair loss and start hair growth. However, there are some men who can make the hair loss turn into a great thing because of how good they look bald. So, I have found the best looking bald men (in my opinion, of course!) and put them all into one list for your viewing pleasure!

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1. Will Smith

First of all, I am extremely bias because I believe that Will Smith is the best looking man on this planet (even my boyfriend knows this!). Second, Will Smith is not always bald, but when he is, he tops the list of all bald men. In his role of Deadshot in Suicide Squad, Will was rocking the bald cut and looked absolutely amazing while doing so. 10/10, would recommend.

Will Smith: Deadshothttps://batman-news.com/2016/12/13/deadshot-movie-...


2. Idris Elba

Once again, another man that is not usually bald but when he is, he sure does kill. Idris Elba is such a great looking man and has an even better sounding voice. What is better than a man with an accent that looks good bald?


Idris Elbaidris-elba-hairstyle


3. Dwayne Johnson

We all know that the Rock is a favorite among women. He is tall, handsome and has the big strong muscles. Not to mention he plays the sweet father role well and has a great sense of humor. But the most impressive part of him is that he can be bald and pull it off VERY well!

Dwayne Johnsonhttps://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/f...


4. Morris Chestnut

Such a beautiful man with an amazing smile. I am not sure how someone could not love the appearance of Morris Chestnut. Did I mention his smile?

Morris Chestnutmorris-chestnut


5. Shemar Moore

Another man with no hair that steals the show with a great smile is Shemar Moore. His bald head stands out in a great way and I think it would be impossible to have this type of list without Shemar on it.

Shemar Moorehttps://mymajicdc.com/3632803/see-the-photo-that-h...

6. Kobe Bryant

Not only is the MVP of basketball but he might be the MVM (most valued man) of the bald men out there! Once again, another beautiful smile. Not to mention, he's extremely talented.

Kobe Bryanthttps://www.kcra.com/article/nba-legend-kobe-bryan...


7. LL Cool J

A singer and an actor, representing the best of the bald men out there. Such a beautiful smile (are we seeing a trend here?) and an even better looking man. Could not leave LL Cool J off of this list either.

LL Cool Jhttp://comicbook.com/2014/10/29/ll-cool-j-says-hes...


8. Tyrese Gibson

Another man who can definitely give a positive view on being bald and losing your hair, Tyrese has been doing the look justice for a long time now.

Tyrese Gibsonhttps://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tyrese-gibs...


9. Vin Diesel

We all know him from the Fast and the Furious, but let's recognize that he is a great looking man, rocking the bald head look. We love the movies and we love him. Go you Vin Diesel, keep rocking out and winning over all of our hearts (and eyes!).

Vin Dieselhttps://pagesix.com/2017/12/29/vin-diesel-named-fo...


10. Common

What common lacks in hair on his head he gains in facial hair. I swear he has one of the best beards ever. Also, those freckles? Hello? So cute!

Commonhttps://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/common-becomes...


Hopefully, after seeing as these wonderful men absolutely slaying the bald look, you'll think twice about hair loss (whether you're a man or a woman!).

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