There are two reasons why I hesitated writing this article:
1. By societal standards, I should be a hardcore feminist.
2. I am not a boy, so I clearly do not know their feelings/struggles.
Feminism can be defined as fighting for equal rights for men and women, politically, educationally, and societally. It is no secret that historically women have struggled to be seen as equals and the majority of women believe that struggle still exists. The argument I make to that is, isn’t there a struggle for men, too?
Don’t get me wrong, men have fooled us all into thinking they are masculine creatures who can do no wrong and who know what’s right regardless of the topic. But, when was the last time you saw a man cry? And was he judged for it? When was the last time you saw a group of dads driving mini-vans and taking their kids to the park after being home with them while their wife was at work all day? And was he judged for that? Women stand firm in the belief that men have created a “lesser” place for them in society, but haven’t we created a place in society for men, too?
I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen any male figure in my life cry. As much as men joke about women being “emotional” and “soft”, at least we have social permission to be so. As women, we can freely show emotions and, for the most part, not be judged by it other than being asked if it’s that time of month. Men have limitations to showing their emotions. If a man gets his heartbroken and mopes about it for a couple weeks, he’s a wimp or a “pussy”. If a woman gets her heartbroken, she has the right to cry about it for weeks and let every person she comes in contact with know how horrible the man was for doing that to her.
Maybe this is a stereotype that men have created for themselves by trying to prove they are dominant creatures, but we seem to forget that men have fears too. A woman will almost always expect her boyfriend/husband to kill the spider in the room, but what if the man is scared of the spider? Doesn’t matter, he’s expected to be the manly hero and save the woman. But sometimes men need to be saved. Sometimes, men’s hearts break, and sometimes they want to be stay-at-home dads, but now that just isn’t right, now is it? But if a man were to tell a woman it wasn’t right for her to be in Congress, well, shit, we’d have World War 3 on our hands.
Women have created an ideal man just as much as men have created an ideal woman. Most straight women have created an imaginary man who is strong and masculine and can rescue her and scoop her up in his big arms and be the hero. But that is just as unrealistic as every girl having a Barbie sized waist and Pamela Anderson-sized boobs. This crazy “perfect” image exists for both men and women, but media and society has only ever had a problem with the female side of things.
I’m not saying there isn’t an inequality between standards for men and women, because there definitely is. I’m saying it exists on both sides, and if we ever want to get rid of the stigmas put around women in society, we should probably get rid of the ones surrounding men while we’re at it.