Dear Meninist community,
I am so glad to find like minds out there countering the myths and slander to all men that come from the mouths of pimps and pornographers. It is exactly because men can choose to change who they are that men can and have been, graciously, held responsible for their actions by the feminist movement. The late Andrea Dworkin might smile to know some men understand how compassionate she and so many others really were and are when they demanded, even asked us to stop being oppressors. Though of course until the day without rape that she calls for in one of her speeches actually materializes, the man-made world has so far to go to undue itself.
There may be no longer-lasting nor more deeply ingrained notion than sex oppression, beginning from and undergirding the very differentiation between the sexes the way it exists worldwide today. That there are so many men out there who gladly give up their privilege, resting on the backs of women as it does, says so much about the humanity of men, that we really aren’t made to oppress and abuse and kill and subordinate as, in actuality, so few (if powerful) men proclaim. I so appreciate the collection of beautiful words on this page and add my own so as to make it clear that those who proclaim men’s superiority, women’s inferiority, or any denigrations on women disguised as sex “differences” that they do not speak for me. I own up to my identity as a male, not out of pride but so as to stand as an ally. My love for women, men, and myself demands nothing less.
May this meninist movement shake the foundations of the sexual order, letting it be seen for once as the pernicious absurdity that it is; let this movement in love mark the beginning of the end of the precedent set by the founders of the male dominated world.
All my hopes,
- James French
My name is Ian Young, I am an 18 year old University Student up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and for me, feminism means more than helping out our women, or lending a hand to a worthy cause. I am pro-feminist because living with such an unjust set of publicly accepted beliefs and boundaries, limits not only how we succeed as individuals, but as a society as well. When we bring people into this world that begins their lives at a disadvantage, we are doing them no favors; we are setting them up for an unnecessarily difficult existence. Feminism is not what I believe in, simply a title given to a process which I believe strongly in, that process being the institution of equality. Equity, for me, is not a notion that should even be challenged, is there a doubt that we are all born equal? Is there a doubt that we should be allowed to lead equal lives? Should we not all be free to live the way in which we desire? We are all raised to be fair, so why should these questions even be relevant to the world. I am a pro-feminist male because I strongly support bridging the gap of equity between the sexes.
To whom it may concern,
I am writing this letter in support of the meninist movement. I suppose that I have always been a meninist. I grew up the youngest of four children, and the only boy.My parents were very supportive of all of us, and our choices. They did not let patriarchal gender roles influence our upbringing. They taught us the importance of equality on many issues, and what they did not directly address, I applied the values which they taught me.
Being the only male child greatly influenced my upbringing in my adolescent years. All of my sisters are strong in their own ways. Although none of them, save one, may actually classify themselves as feminists, I believe that they are. Their influences in conjunction with those of my parents shaped how I now view women.
My main feminist influence in my adult life came from a woman I once dated. She minored in Womens Studies in University, and she exposed me to the idea that feminism was not merely a battle for equality amongst men and women, but rather that it seeks to end all forms of oppression. It was through my discussions with her that I realized how deeply patriarchal values run in our culture. Looking back, I can not imagine how blind I was to these ideals imposed by society. Since beginning my own formal education in Womens Studies and feminism, I have striven to share my acquired knowledge with those around me. The most important group I try to impart my knowledge to is the young men and women I work with. The vast majority of them are in high school, and I feel it is important to ensure that they are properly educated in the underlying principles of the society that we all live in.
It is my dream to become a high school teacher, and should that happen, I will definitely bring all that I have learned through my experiences to the classroom. I would like to conclude by saying Thank You. Thank you for being strong men, and for looking to expand your network of men who are unafraid to act against the patriarchal system in which we live. I believe it is important to show that just because we, as men, enjoy male privilege, this does not mean that we want to live in a society that places men above women, Caucasians above any other group, the rich over the poor, able bodied people over the disabled, skinny over fat, heterosexual over gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered.
Thanks once again,
Steven Vande Vyvere, University Student
I am pro-feminist because women's liberation is necessary if we are to build a just world free from sexism, racism and homophobia. I am pro-feminist because women are partners in the struggle to end
militarism, imperialism and colonialism. I am pro-feminist because women deserve the right to live their lives free from male violence and oppression. I am pro-feminist because I can see no other way to live my life with dignity and pride. I am pro-feminist because if over 50% of the world's population are not free none of us are truly free. I am pro-feminist because it is right and just.
Being the father of a young daughter I wanted to write to you and let you know I fully support your organization and beliefs.
I hope that by the time she is grown that things will finally equal out in the world allowing her to fully reap the benefits of whatever she chooses to do. I would hate to think that she would be paid less then a man doing the same job or be treated solely as a sexual object by the men she encounters.
If we wish the best for our children, our daughters and our sons, then we should strive to make the world a better place for both sexes (not to mention races). Equality does not come by laws but by changing attitudes and knowledge dispersion. We cannot force others to feel a certain way, but we can educate them as to the belief that in God all things were created equal. Men should treat women as equals and women should strive to do the same. The world is a big place, filled with despair and hate at times - why let our own actions add to this when we can instead take the high road and work together as equals to better this world we have been given to inhabit?
Men who join with women in working for equal rights are men who believe in themselves enough to take that high road. We are individuals, not sexes. We can as individuals accomplish great things for all whether or not we are male or female. Mother Theresa accomplish more good in this world then I feel I ever will - it was not her sex that made her better, nor would it have made her worse, it was her will and desire.
While there is undoubtedly physical differences between a man and a woman, there are differences in us all physically, the mind is equal. What body we inhabit was God's choice, what we do with it is ours and we as men should not inhibit a woman because of her sex (would you have shouted 'hey hottie' to Mother Theresa or treated her like a sex object?). We are one, let us treat our sisters as we treat and respect our brothers.
- Todd Howell
I'm a 29 years old married man. I'm happy to hear people who think like me.
I think that if we want a better world for us and our children we have to start now from the very begining of our education what is to change our values to become more responsible. We need to start with a project to educate ourselves and our friends. Then we have to joint to our women to modify our acts to get equality. This will create the harmony we need for our children.
In Mexico like many other countries in the world exists men who want to change but it's very difficult to accept our errors. My group of friends are really good guys who takes their responsibilities with great courage, the only thing we need to know is that the equality for women is also our resposibility.
Victor Rosales Sierra
I consider myself profeminist for a number of reasons.
First of all, because I believe that women deserve all the respect, dignity and honour that men do -- what women have his-torically been systematically denied.
Secondly, I am profeminist becuase I recognize that there are both institutions of sexism racism, homophobia and classism that hurt women as a class and individual women -- and that there are ways that I as a male benefit from these same institutions. The ways that I benefit, without challenging those insittutions or those benefits, are the ways taht I parparticipate in the institutionalization of sexism.
Thirdly, I recognize that I also act in sexist ways that I need to be accountable for.
Finally, I'm profeminist because I believe that feminism has much to offer men. As we come to a better understanding of being able to stand on our own 2 feet, without being on the backs of women, we realize our own sense of selfhood, and true empowerment (as opposed to powerover).
Rus Ervin Funk
Washington, DC Co-founder - DC Men Against Rape - Founder Men for Gender Justice - Author "Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men"
I am thirty years old and very glad to have found your site. I have spent time volunteering for an organisation which works with men who are physically abusive. During my time there I learned about feminism and it changed my life. At times it can be lonely as a pro-feminist male. Most men don't understand me, and sometimes women don't either. Sure is great to see your site. Thanks
I am very glad to see other sites emerging in the field of pro-feminism. Men have long been entirely too silent in this area, and have simply sat back and basked in the benefits of patriarchy without realizing the harm that they were directly or indirectly causing. Men have a major role to play in both the feminist movement and the men's movement in disassembling the patriarchy and achieving equity of the sexes. We are already on the inside, looking out from the center of oppressive behavior. We have the edge in stopping the system before it does any more damage. Efforts such as Meninist are absolutely crucial to this movement and must continue. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you to assist in your struggle. Thank you for this!
Kevin J. Fandl
I do not know whether I can consider myself as a meninist, the only thing that I can say is that in my life's philosophy I want to treat human beings in the same way and, since I see a lot of violence against women I strongly support every made effort to gain the gap existing between men and women worldwide recognition.
I am a 30 year old physician in Los Angeles Area in California, in USA. I was born and raised for 15 years in Iran, a country not known particularly for its social and sexual justice, to make an understatement.
I think that empowerment for women is empowerment for men. It is empowerment for people. True and basic self respect and self esteem cannot coexist with a belief in superiority of men over women, because the concept of superiority is wrong to begin with. The man who believes he is superior to another, also can believe that another is superior to him. So, besides all the practical benefits mentioned by all the other members of your organization in their support letters, there are fundamental, ideological and psychological aspects to being a man who is profeminist.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to feminist studies in college and to take a few classes in the subject. The company of women in feminism is stimulating. They are intelligent, just, kind, wise people. So, if for no other reason, just interacting with women in feminism is an experience that uplifts us and adds to us.
I appreciate my inclusion as a member in your group.
Pedram Majidishad, M.D.
Although we live in a patriarchal society, the tides are gradually turning. Increasingly women are taking a leading role in aspects of our culture. This is a positive change. Good comes when more people contribute their ideas to the solution of problems. Until recently, we have disenfranchised over half of our population - women. With their input into the decisionmaking process in this country, we gain from having twice as many viewpoints from which to choose.
We must cast off the old robes of men are dominant and women subserviant. We are all equal. We all have equal value. We all have equally viable ideas and solutions. If we did not need each other, one gender would not exist. Inequality has been struck down many times throughout the centuries. Slavery was outlawed. Women were given the right to vote. The civil rights movement insured the protection of rights. Our very own constitution states that all men are created equal.
The truth is that all people all created equal. Because this cannot be seen by all as self-evident, it is our job (the true believers) to educate and persuade those who stand in the way of progress. Women have stood alone too long in their cries for justice and equality. It is time for the majority to rule. Women along side the men that support their equality. We know that equality brings prosperity to all of us.
Todd A. Johnson
When I was 13 years old, I saw my mother miss out on several job opportunities and as an adult, I now realize that her "missed" opportunities probably resulted from blatant sexism (all of the jobs she applied for were later assumed by men!). I, therefore, truly recognize the need for women's equalities and the fact that both men and women are suffering due to the inequities inherent in a system founded BY men FOR men. Hopefully, I can use the success I have enjoyed in the business world to further opportunities for women and aid the battle for equality, but I CANNOT do it alone. One voice CAN cause a ripple in the pond, but MANY voices together can cause a wave. I hope that any other man who reads this testimonial will see the need for equality in society for women and add their voice to the cry for change. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Hi there ! I'm interested in joining your organization. I think it's a very worthy cause since I don't get sexism and that kind of stupidity. To think that women are in some way a "lower lifeform" is just ridiculous....I urge every human being not to judge other people because of their physical appearances and or because of what "group" you think someone belongs to but rather look at each person as an individual and then (if you must) like or dislike them based on their actions.
Best regards, David from Iceland
My name is Mel Charles and I am against discrimination against women just because of their gender. I love my wife very dearly (by the way, her name is Melissa) and I will never put my wife down because of her gender.
I am the first man to become paid staff at the women's center on my campus. I face alot of flack from other men who don't realize the potential they are wasting in trying to be so different from women. The things I have learned in the presence of such a variety of strong women have not emasculated me, but have taught me what it means to be a man. They ways we approach problems and deal with daily living are so different, but both ways are useful, depending on the circumstance.I have learned to "speak woman", and have found the things about myself that are valuable and that can add to the common good. I have done some un-learning, not always pleasant, but the shattering of myths is the only way we can create room for the truth.
I am a heterosexual, caucasian male, but I am dissatisfied with a world where opportunity is denied anyone, male or female, on the basis of their gender. There should be decisions based on ability, and nothing else. There are women who are capable of anything a man can accomplish in the work world, and men can fulfil any role a woman can at home with children. It is a matter of teaching those skills as a part of raising our children. The boys and girld should not be shaped based on their differentness, but rather on their sameness as humans, involved in the same struggle to survive.
I tell other men in workshops I do about dating violence and daterape, "talk to your women friends, know their safety issues, then DON'T ACT THAT WAY! The things you find out will help you be better lovers, husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, better MEN."
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (USA)
It is great that there are sites like this one for Profeminist men to realize that they are not alone. Day by day, second by second, there is a constant war with women. They are treated like playthings, objects and trophies.
It is time you can either be a part of the solution Or part of the Problem Only you can decide Make the dive, its much nicer to come clean.
Brian Ellis (USA)
I am a 24 year old male that has considered himself a feminist for the past year. I am pleased to come across an organization of male feminists and so pledge my support.
The patriarchal reign of terror must come to an end so that a new era of love and understanding can begin to flower. It is tremendously difficult to take this stand from not just a social perspective but from a personal one as well. I continue to discover "old views", I thought had vanished, reappearing in a whirlwind of confusion and disgust. I see now that simply changing ones mind with regard to what's right is not enough. There is a much subtler change that must occur in the heart for there to be any lasting effect. I wish all of us well so that we may do just that.
Chris Santucci (USA)
I have spent 24 years as a registered nurse, a male working in a predominantly female profession. I spent several of those years as an organizer-negotiator for a nurses union in upstate New York. Much of my role, then and thereafter, was to argue for the value of nurses (women's) work in male dominated organizations, organizations that had persistently undervalued the contribution of nursing and nurses to the mission. The failure of male hierarchs to understand the unique demands upon and unique contribution by women professionals persists; it is the duty those men who undrestand these dynamics to educate those men who do not, for the good of patient, organization and profession.
Mike Brennan RN, MS, CEN
Your website strikes a cord with me because I work as a manager in an industry that has a deep rooted history of being managed by an all male management team. As a male middle manager responsible for over 200 employees (about 55% female) I have learned the value that divers perspectives brings to the creative team work that can give an organization a competitive edge. I have had the opportunity to promote two women to every one man that I have moved into leadership positions. Some of our best supervisors are single mothers who learned their very effective management techniques while raising a family. I will depend on organizations such as yours to give me the resources to make the same kind of change at the senior management level. I admire the Meninist Organization for their concern and action. Keep up the good work!
Les Moore - Lafayette, IN
This letter is about how I can relate to the Meninist and their effort to support the feminist movement.
I recently found myself in a situation where some men shoved my face full of sexist slurs and comments. It started with this drunk guy harassing my friend, making fun of her clothes and other things, and it was at some point where he stepped over the line (I guess he stepped over the line the minute he opened his mouth), and I said something in the line of "If you´re supposed to represent the men in our society, then I´m ashamed of having a penis". This made him of course all mad and went on about how he was going to kick my sorry butt all over the place. I got away fortunately, not that I tried to flee, but I guess his 'friends' calmed him down.
The day after this incident I found this page, and boy was I happy to find out that I´m not entirely alone. All I want to say is that one should never accept sexist comments to appear anywhere directed to anyone.
Thanks for letting me speak my mind and get in touch if you feel like it.
Max J Hansson(Sweden)
A man from Venezuela
I am a man. A normal, straight man. I live in a society that revolves around chovinism, and I really hate it. I've been looking for a way to express this feeling. To express my disagreement with all the things going on around me in this society, specially towards women. Women are simply an object here. Their inteligence is measured by their beauty, and I hate to see how they follow the game, because they don't know any better. Some of them are simply surviving. They know (or they think) the only thing they can count on is their body. As you may know we 'produce' some of the most beautiful women in the world. Well, that, and the oil industry, just make me sick. I repeat, I am completely straight, I just hate to see so much potential spread all over the floor.
I believe women should be treated with the highest respect and guys should forget about this Macho crap. Women should not be emotionally or physically abused in any way in the home, or at work and should get equal pay as men for work that they do that is the same as men. I hope this letter helps.
Jeff age 43 (USA)
I welcome the opportunity to join your group with open arms. The older I get, the more I learn from the people around me, the places I have been, and the rich history of the world the more important it becomes to stop simply tolerating differences in people, but to learn to appreciate that which makes each person unique and special. Feminism and the promotion of equality based upon the sanctity of human experience is invaluable in creating a more spiritual, more creative, and ultimately a more livable world. I refuse to let the ridiculous fiction perepetrated by the status quo retain any merit for my life. This fiction, that gender is subject to The Code of Should (e.g. Women Should nurture, be petite, defer, avoid mechanics and sciences, etc.. Men Should, be stronger, "wear the pants," be the head of the family,) serves only to limit what we are becoming every day. Hopefully that is more spiritual, less ignorant, less intolerant, and more critical and creative.
As a feminist man with a Women's Studies degree and the benefit of having learned innumerable lessons from Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Bell Hooks, Maya Angelou, Adrienne Rich, Gloria Anzaldua, and Ani Difranco, I think it foolish to ignore the fact that our teachers come in many forms. They are of all races, sexual orientations, sexes and ages. They are women and men, girls and boys. I applaud the move of all men from the harmful fictions of patriarchy into a deeper understanding of the true powers of transformation, evolution and resistance. As we do our best to dismantle sexism brick by brick, we must all maintain the awareness that the oldest oppression--holding power "over" women has led to harmful egotism, ridiculous legal and religious practices as well as paving the way--laying the destructive ground-work for the homophobe, the racist, the anti-semite, and others who would supplant another's dignity or right to a free mind and will in favor of their own false mental/socioeconomic/cultural hierarchies. I am proud to join each of you and share the rage of a knowing, deep, reflective, love for all peoples.
Arlington, TX (USA)
I am a 50 year old male. I have been partnered with a courageous woman who has shared the pain of growing up in a patriarchal religious society here in Utah. I applaud all my brothers who are coming to see the insanity of society's myopia toward female people. I wonder what has been lost to humanity... the science, medicine, literature, art, etc. that has not come to fruition because females have been repressed, mostly by a males!! Human beings have been running on + power during thousands of years of male domination. This is a burden that must not be tolerated any longer! I found I could make a contribution to feminism by educating myself, and being honest about how I have historically contributed to "the problem." I have joined the National Organization for Women, and speak out any time someone is willing to listen. I confront oppresive language when I can. Most of the time the people I confront do not mean any ill.... they just "haven't thought about it that way." I would like to invite people eveywhere to examine their language, and make their speech as life-affirming and pro-human race as possible. Thank you all.
Orem, Utah (USA)
I fervantly believe in what you are into. I study gender at University and am pro-feminist, but also pro-men's movement. I am not an Essentialist but do feel that men have lost touch with things like parenting, equalitarianism and male bonding, and I don't mean swilling beer down at the pub.
Keep up the fight!
I want to live in a world without patriarchy, for selfish reasons of my own. The social systems and attitudes and practices and, even, personalities, caused by patriarchy are at the root of most of what I don't like about society now. I admire the feminist women, I think they are brave, and very honest, and despite reputation to the contrary, very fair towards men in theory, although they'd like to see us doing some of the work. I feel the need to get involved.
It would be nice to have brothers, to associate with other males who are neither anti-feminist nor passing out hair shirts for other guys to wear for being less feminist than they are, and to share our experiences and speak from our own experiences. We need to get more men to see what we have seen, even if it means translating things into terms and through experiences that they can understand.
Women are always the first victim of men's violence. As a man, I have never been able to stand it. The feminine part of me, which I guess exists in every man even though most of them reject it, does not accept the physical and moral pressure that most men put on women. This is against my sensitivity, against my idea of the respect due to any woman. All human beings are equal. None should be more than the others... The body's not the same but the consciousness is. Men like us are potentially the most effective defenders of women's cause. We can unite with women. We can reassure them that they are not isolated and that not every man is a b***dy f***ing macho or patriarchist. We can bring credit to their demands and prevent critiques of feminist as just another sexist attitude - i.e. the symmetrical attitude of machism. Therefore, men shall join the ranks of feminists / meninists for the same reasons that white people shall join the ranks of anti-racists.
Frédéric Frank (France)
Hello, I am a 22 years old and have always held women as equal beings with men. Over the last few years, I have become more aware towards the magnitude of which women are constantly oppressed. I am in a loving relationship with my fiancee and since being with her, I have expanded my mind to the degree that I now feel totally disgraced by the fact that others of my sex don't see the negative connotations of living in a patriarchal society. The accomplishments of "men" are everywhere you look in history, philosophy, medecine, law, etc., but this is only due to male control. Throughout time, men have attempted to brainwash women who inturn brainwash other women so that they feel competant in their role as a "man". They do this in a way that to many it is not as blatant as has been witnessed in the the not-so-distant past. While in a legal sense, women seem to have created change in their recognition as an equal to man, men continuously use language which show that this legal change has not yet been accepted by men on a more personal level.
Everywhere I look, I can't help but notice that other men continue to treat women not as their equals, but rather as their accomplices. This must be changed. Neither man nor women would survive without each other. Instead of men trying to hype themselves up as the more important and capable of the two sexes, we need to realize that it does no good to distinguish the sexes in this manner and that we should realize that women and men need to exist on a level playing field so that either sex can experience twice the amount of options, opininions, feelings, and satisfaction that should be the ultimate goal of the human species. Finding this site is great because it validated my growing awareness surrounding this movement and I believe that if other men would educate themselves about this state of affairs, we could help each other to become a more connected species of humans.
Brent Pepper, London, ONT. (CAN)
I personally belive every person is of equal capability no matter gender or race. I cannot accept sexist or racist views or actions. I want my daughter to believe in her abilities without having to live up to some antiquated standard. Above all I believe in freedom. Freedom of speech, informed opinion and choices. We should stop being seperated into classifications and just be humanists.
A. Marinato (USA)
We welcome all "meninist men" of like-minded feelings to submit their letters of support.
Related links at Feminist.com: