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I am a feminist.

Dr. Z, duh, it’s obvious through your writing and posts that you’re all about women’s equal rights and opportunities.

But did you know I don’t hate men? Hmmm. I love the men in my life and others who support women’s rights. Listen, there are men and women who don’t believe in the equality of genders. Shoot, there is a whole system, patriarchy, that keeps us in our places. Males are taught to be unemotional, brave, and never vulnerable. Disruptive storytelling isn’t just for feminists, it is for all of us.

Man Up

Man up means demonstrating toughness or courage when facing a challenging situation. While this phrase could be used for women, it is associated with the admirable qualities of men. There are other phrases like “grow a pair” meant to inspire boys to act like men. When society insists men be men, we end up with 80% of suicides, 98% of mass shootings, and 90% of domestic violence are committed by men.

Are you saying men are bad?

No, I’m saying our culture doesn’t allow men to be vulnerable or scared or have mental illness, so they man up.

Stop Othering

Back to feminism.

Wait, I thought we were talking about men.

We are. Feminism supports the concept that there are different strengths, perspectives, and roles between the genders, as well as biological differences. Further, feminism advocates for the equal worth and dignity of both sexes.

What is all this hullabaloo about?

If we want to disrupt our systems and the stories they sell and tell about us, then we are going to have to stop othering each other. We need to come together to fight these narratives, systems, and cultural norms. Don’t you see the “powers that be” benefit from us fighting each other? So, let’s stop and start telling our stories and listening to each other. This leads to shared empathy. Together we can fight discrimination.