Being a Feminist And a Masculinist?

man up

It’s no secret that I live in Canada, an open-minded modern society who preaches equal rights for women and men. I’m proud to be part of a country in which it is possible for most women to enter the job they want. There still is some progress to make. For instance, it is a fact, salary for women and men is still not equal around our beautiful country. That’s unfortunate. I’m confident some determinant women will keep making a difference in that matter. I have a lot of respect for my grandmothers who have been among the first women to vote. They were strong women, they will always be. I’ll always get inspired by them.

I realize this post might be a little different than what you’re used to read here. Actually, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, wondering how to address the topic without hurting others’ values and sticking to my own as well. I do think it has to be discussed though.

 

I’m not the type of feminist that one would think of

I’m a feminist and a masculinist at the same time. “Masculinist” is not a word well spread. I’m not even sure it exists in dictionary! However, just as much as I’m for the defense of women’s rights, I’m also for the defense of men’s rights. I do think we tend to forget about these precious men! 😉 Modern men do have a lot of pressure on their shoulders. We ask them to truly implicate into fatherhood, to participate in household tasks, to work (often more hours than their spouse), to stay healthy and in shape. At the same time, we still ask them to master at-home renovations, to know a little about mechanics, to cut the grass… you know, to dirty-up their hands! Let’s face it, nowadays’ men have as much pressure as women. I’m not sure we give them the credit they deserve though.

I would like men to be able to choose what they’re comfortable with. To take on their responsibilities, yes, but in respect to who they are. Let’s not take for granted what a man can do or can’t do. Just like we’re doing for women, let’s allow them to express their inner self, no matter if it’s in the kitchen or the garage or both!

 

Boys’ Reality

As a mother of two boys, I’m also concerned by the image society has for them. My oldest one loves playing with cars, planes, trains and other transportation toys. He plays with his own work tools and likes to dress as a fireman. Up to now, he fits perfectly the “image”. Thing is, he’s not much into team sports (he’s only 3, but he does not show interest for them yet), he prefers art and music, he likes playing “dad” with his baby doll and you would not believe how much time he spends “cooking”!

Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against all that. I’m proud of my son. I think his activities demonstrate a charming sensitivity. Actually, I think he has a variety of interests and that he’s imitating what he sees his dad and mom doing. What I’m concerned about are the looks I often see around him. As if it was not okay for a boy to experiment more “girly” things.

How is it that a girl can play cars, wear blue and play hockey with no negative judgement but the other way around is not permitted? I can only be glad to see how much progress society has made towards girls’ image. I hope it continues that way and I will make sure to defend that for the girls and women around me. But I find it sad that boys are now facing these kind of stereotypes. Childhood is the period of our lives in which we discover so much! Interests, passions, dreams, emotions, behaviors, language, etc. I don’t want to put my sons’ discovery into a box. I want them to explore with no boundaries. When I see my tall little boy playing with his doll, I don’t see him playing “like a girl”, I see him discovering what is it like to be a father. How cute is this? 😉

 

son playing doll

 

So, is it possible to be a feminist and a masculinist at the same time?

EDITED in regards to comments received. Here is what my answer to that question intended to be: Sure is because that is what feminism is all about. It’s about gender equality! Women and men are surely different. Girls and boys too. Our brains might not work exactly the same way sometimes. Both genders have a beauty that the other can learn from. Let’s just take advantage of the opportunity! 🙂

 

Image credit: Son playing with doll retrieved from Pinterest, Man Up quote retrieved from Pinterest

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