Help! I’m a feminist, but I have a cock!

I’m a feminist. For several years now, I have been able to say that about myself with a great amount of certainty. Being able to say something with absolute certainty happens rarely enough, but as with every statement, there are certain problems associated with it. One of these problems is often overlooked by myself, but thankfully, I am reminded of it quite often:

I have a penis.

I know, this revelations lets you shift awkwardly in your seat, couch or bathtub, depending on where you read this, but it is true, all the evidence points in that direction. „But Sven,“ I hear you say, „that’s not a problem!“ But yes, unknown reader whose voice only I can hear, it has to be, or else I would not have to write about it. Being a feminist alone can lead to so many awkward conversations, problematic encounters and heated discussions already. But boy, don’t you dare tossing a penis in there! Things could get really messy!

There is a subset (I love that word so much) of problems, that are kind of exclusive (in a very sexist way) to men who are openly feminist and don’t hold back to confront any kind of sexism they encounter in everyday life. And that is, what this blogseries is going to be all about. No, I will not write pages of rants, but I try to coat it in some humor, as always.

The name for this series stems from that one reply that pretty much any guy gets, when they openly declare that they are a feminist. „Wait, what?“, I heard them reply so many times, „But, you’re a dude.“ And what can I reply outside of „Yes, so?“. Well, a lot of things, I could declare that statement to be sexist, since according to that person, my genitals exclude my adherence to a certain movement or line of thinking and if that’s not a textbook definition of sexism, we have burned all the textbooks. But it’s useless to tell somebody upfront that they are stupid. Nobody likes that. No, really!

So, how can you react? I tend to try the slightly subversive questioning of that statement. Like: „And that excludes me from standing up for gender equality how?“ Now, normally you get two different reactions to that. The first, and unfortunately very rare, one is, that they notice they said something silly. The second one is: „But wait, you said you were a feminist.“

It is at that moment I normally have to reconsider what so many people think feminists are: Bra-burning, men eating female monstrosities, barren of any femininity (hey, not my words!). Which, as far as I can tell, do not actually exist. That is usually where the explaining begins and you tell them, that, despite the diverging portrayal of feminism by the media, society etc. (long list made short, really) and the many different opinions inside the movement, we feminists don’t try to eat all men with our angry vaginae. Most certainly not me, considering my opening statement. And normally, they get it after that. Normally, because there will always be some who will not listen to you or reason or even both. Personally, I tend to ignore those people afterwards, but it is troubling for me to see, that there are so many who think that way.

So, this is the first of many problems you encounter while being a male feminist. And yes, women have it so much harder in that regard, but it does not change the fact, that there are problems and difficulties for everyone who wants to fight for equality. Always remember: Sexism cuts both ways and so should feminism.

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