A fairly important question to ask yourself at the start of a Women’s Studies course!

Personally, if I was to give feminism a somewhat generic definition, I would say that it is a social/political movement that’s overall goal is to advocate for women’s rights. That being said, I think the movement is much more complex than what a single sentence can describe. Not every feminist has the same set of values and beliefs, and not everyone is going to agree on what identifying as a feminist entails. Feminism is nuanced.

I would say that my “role” in the movement as a man is to listen, reflect, and uplift. It’s important that I take what the feminist movement teaches me and incorporate it into everyday living. It’s also equally important  for me to evaluate the privilege I have as a result of my gender and correct any behavior that contributes to the oppression of women.

Overall, I would say that I identify as an ally of feminism. There’s a lot of debate among feminists on whether or not men should use the feminist label, and I think that those are voices I should consider. I would rather define myself as an ally and avoid upsetting those that disagree with the idea of a man identifying as a feminist than identify as a feminist for the sake of having a more progressive label attached to my identity. At the end of the day, I don’t think the process of labeling myself as a feminist is really a priority when it comes to supporting the feminist movement and doing what I can to fight for women’s rights.

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