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.

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

Popular Right Now

Protect Children, Not Guns

It's time to save innocent lives.

School shootings are happening every day around the world and innocent children’s lives are being taken. However, the day-to-day school shootings aren’t brought to our attention unless a significant amount of people die. Personally, I am fed up with continuously hearing about these terrifying school shooting scenarios because nothing is being done to prevent them from reoccurring.

The recent shooting at Stonemason Douglass High School was right near my hometown in Boca Raton, Florida. I felt particularly emotional and devastated because I’ve been to that campus many times for sporting events. I felt the chills knowing that the hallways that I had once walked through were under attack and covered in bodies.

When will it be enough? When will something be done to stop mentally unstable teenagers from being able to purchase a gun? What kind of country doesn’t allow teenagers to purchase alcohol on their own but grants them permission to purchase their very own assault rifle? Something needs to change regarding the gun laws due to the number of times that horrific events, such as the Stonemason Douglass High School massacre, have occurred.

Those innocent victims left for school that morning not knowing that they would end up either injured or dead. They said bye to their parents on their way to school and never made it back home. Children’s learning environments should be a safe space that promotes comfort and care. Children and teenagers shouldn't have to go to school each day living in fear due to a potential attack or shooter.

Mental health issues are one of the major reasons that these attacks are occurring; however, the biggest issue is the gun laws. Mental health issues, in essence, are internal problems that individuals feel on a personal level. A majority of mental health cases are disguised until the individual lashes out on either themselves or others around them.

Therefore, we can not say that any teenager has the right to purchase a gun because no one will truly know whether or not that person has a secret mental disorder or a violent agenda. In the presidential response to the school shooting “mental health” was emphasized as the major issue that needed to be addressed. However, this is just a minor part of a much greater issue. Mental health can be treated step by step; however, this will not solve the shooting and the gun issues due to the fact that a majority of mental health cases are disguised. The 19-year-old shooter at Douglass high school was able to put on an act as he walked in to purchase his very own assault rifle.

There was no way to judge this boy by his cover; therefore, his mental health issue and plans were kept a secret until he lashed out. Mental health issues are all around us; however, we can not distinguish the individuals who have a violent agenda versus those who genuinely want to be helped; therefore, we can not provide teenagers access to deadly weapons.

Our government and laws must start enforcing stricter gun laws in order to prevent more innocent children’s lives from being taken away. The younger generations are being exposed to traumatizing, horrific acts of crime and violence at such a young age and they will never be the same. It is the government’s obligation to make sure that children grow up and are educated in a safe, nourishing environment as opposed to an environment in which they fear random acts of violence. In order to help restore the peace and comfort that used to be prevalent amongst all schools and communities, the gun laws must be changed and access to violent weapons must be prevented.

Cover Image Credit: Hakan Erenler

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Cornell Fraternity Reprimanded For Hosting 'Pig Roast'

"Continuing to allow such students to prowl a college campus rather than face expulsion appears a rather questionable decision set forth by Cornell elites."

After receiving numerous reports, recent investigations were launched leading to the uncovering of a rather appalling contest used to determine incoming pledges of Cornell University's chapter of Zeta Beta Tau.

The fraternity was found guilty of administering a competition in which pledges were awarded points for initiating sexual intercourse with female students. However, unlike many similar contests popularized through rushes hosted by fraternities across the nation, Zeta Beta Tau coined their particular competition the "pig roast" in honor of their unique tiebreaker ritual. Should two or more pledges find themselves at a tie, the one who sleeps with the largest woman wins.

After the university's investigations confirmed the legitimacy of their reports in January, Zeta Beta Tau has been placed on a two year probation period in which the fraternity is required to employ a live-in adviser in order to enforce the proper conduct of current members and regularly educate them on the issue of sexual assault. In addition, members will be expected to take part in a minimum of two campus events in recognition of Cornell's Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

The question remains, however, whether a slap on the wrist such as this has truly done the women involved justice. Or, perhaps, presuming the acts were consensual, these women were only victimized through the humiliation of being unknowingly chosen for such a ritual rather than the sexual act itself. Therefore, can one lawfully designate this an act of sexual assault?

If a woman consents to a sexual encounter, she has not suddenly fallen victim to her partner. Rather, in this case, she is suffering the consequences of sleeping with a perfect stranger whose motives remained unclear. A brief look at any news source today would prove that this aftereffect is seemingly minor in comparison to the many things that happen to women who make similar choices. Although, this is not to say that the women involved deserved to be used this way by any means.

While arguments from either side of the issue of victimization may very well continue to remain a matter of opinion, it can be universally agreed that the actions of the Zeta Beta Tau members were resoundingly wrong based on natural principles. Another's body is not to be disrespected and sexually exploited for one's gain. Thus, continuing to allow such students the privilege to prowl a college campus rather than face expulsion appears a rather questionable decision set forth by Cornell elites.

Cover Image Credit: Guest of a Guest

Related Content

Facebook Comments