Stereotypes of men that feminism strives to diminish

So often it is thought that feminism is only for the female gender: women’s rights, a higher and equal pay, an elevated amount of respect. Yet feminism has been redefined over the past few decades; now it encompasses not only females but males as well, no longer selective but an umbrella over all gender equality.

Yes, women want to be on the same level as men. But should men not also have the ability to be on the same level as women?

Stereotypes, societal norms, and biased expectations constantly fill the air resulting in a suffocating muck that does not allow for diversity or self-expression.

The idea of a strong, protective, powerful, unemotional “manly” figure has been portrayed as ideal for centuries; men are expected to protect and provide for the family, both through income and security.

With this bulky perspective of masculinity comes the idea that men are unable to display emotions and be the primary caregiver in a household.

“It has gotten better over time, but [men] are socialized to believe that they are not as good at taking care of children,” feminist activist Beth Payne said.

While this stereotypical-macho man is still very existent today it is beginning to fade.

Why is this still the norm? It is largely due to the impact of surrounding people and their ideals.

“They want to look cool for their friends and they all have these constructs on what it is to be male, what it is to be cool, what it is to be macho,” feminist activist Ed Median commented.

The hope for feminism is to allow men not to have to feel the pressure to be a “tough” football player, shy away from wearing pink, or rebuke the idea of one-on-one conversations.

This perspective has begun to improve and can be witnessed in unexpected places like the weight room.

“I see guys be able to express more sensitivity and be more affectionate without being labeled and creating stigma,” strength and conditioning Joelyn Boone stated.

With this changing mindset, a larger-scale acceptance is beginning to be witnessed.

“You have professional athletes coming out of the closet, alternative life-styles, and they are accepted by their teammates,” strength and conditioning coach Preston Jones said.

Yet even with this improvement the fear of self-expression remains, largely due to the pressure of those surrounding. It should not be shameful for men to express their emotions.

Feminism, while it affects the female gender, has a large influence on how men view each other as well as how they treat women. If men are not seen as dominant, women will not have to be submissive.

Through the support of feminism, men and women can ban together to halt the stereotypes and expectations for not only women, but men as well.