My name is Jed Minor, and I am a feminist. This statement might sound ridiculous coming from a man, but it is a valid one in that I believe women should be given the same rights as men in our society. Feminist is a non-gender term that belies a belief in the fair treatment of women and nothing more. While women have made large gains in the workforce and society as a whole, there are still many areas in which they lag behind, such as pay-scale and representation in media.
The stereotype feminist is a hairy, man-hating woman. While I am hairy, I am not a woman, and I do not hate men. Many men are technically feminists but don’t think of themselves as such due to the negative connotations associated with the term. When I think of famous male feminists in the public sphere the only name that comes to mind is Alan Alda, and he is hardly a noteworthy celebrity at this point in his career.
Perhaps it is time for more men to step to the forefront and declare themselves in favour of equality for their daughters, sisters and mothers. While it is all too easy for men to band together with an “us-versus-them” mentality and cry foul when they perceive feminists as too aggressive, I don’t think any rational male wants his female friends and relatives to be treated in the same, despicable way as past generations of women have been.
On the other hand, according to Statistics Canada, women made up 57.1 per cent of post-secondary enrolment for the 2007/2008 academic year. In addition to this, “Women aged 25 to 29 holding a graduate or professional diploma and working on a full-time, full-year basis earned 96 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts in 2005.” While it is not yet at par, the income gap between the genders is closing, and this is largely due to an ever increasing amount of women pursuing higher education.
Perhaps there will come a day when men find themselves at a disadvantage in the marketplace due to their lack of post-secondary education. If that happens, I will champion the cause of men to be given equal opportunity in employment despite our over-abundance of testosterone and dubious hygienic regimes. This is because I believe in equality between the genders, because I am a feminist.