Feminists without voices

Today the New York Times ran an article about the backlash after a young actress, in response to a reporter’s question, said she wasn’t a feminist. “No,” was her reply, “Because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance.”

The article went on to describe various reactions to this statement, the most common one being that the actress was starting from an incorrect definition of feminism.

For example, Andi Zeisler said “I don’t care if people don’t identify as feminist,” but took issue with misinformation and the perpetuation of the idea that feminism is “this zero-sum game that if it elevates women, then it denigrates men. That’s just wrong and has never been what feminism is about. That’s the Fox News version of feminism.”

But what really struck me about the article was that everyone in it — the reporter and every person she talked to — was female. It apparently never occurred to her to speak with a single man.

Like many other men I know, I am a feminist. Not only do I support equal pay for equal work, but I put effort into helping to remove gender barriers for young people who might want to work in computer science.

Implying that you need to be a woman to be a feminist is just wrong. It’s a lot like saying that you need to be black to support civil rights.

Think about how creepy and bizarre that last statement sounds. Such lazy thinking clearly separates and weakens us, and works against our efforts to work together in common cause.

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