Wise Guys: Do Most Men Consider Themselves Feminists?

Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: “Do most guys you know consider themselves feminists? Why or why not?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

Straight Married Guy (David Jacobs): No, most of my friends are sexist, racist, classist pigs. What can I say? They’re just more fun!

Actually, no is probably right, but not for those reasons. I like to think the folks whose company I enjoy would have been feminists, at least to some degree, just like I like to think they would have been abolitionists and supported the suffragette movement. But those were different times, as was the era of feminism — at least as I understand it (poorly, no doubt). That is, at least in the West, feminism’s goals of equality before the law, equality in the workforce, an end to glass ceilings and the straitjacket of traditional domestic roles, etc., have mostly been met.

Which is not to say women aren’t still just as fucked up as men, but at least now the wounds are mostly self-inflicted. Will I be annoyed if my one year-old girl hits her teens (or tweens or whatever) and starts reading stupid women’s magazines that rattle her self-image, or starts warping her personality in a way she thinks will please boys? Of course, I’ll probably kill her. But I won’t blame it on the “male establishment.” She’d just be following in the footsteps of millions of other insecure women, just like my three-year-old son, should he someday succumb to all the stupid macho influences of adolescence, would merely be behaving like so many other neanderthals out there, not the victim of some female cabal.

Of course witnessing women’s treatment in many other parts of the world often still raises my ire — that’s right, I’m not only not a feminist per se, but also a cultural imperialist! — and I imagine most of my friends are in the same boat. So I’m not sure where that leaves the grimy lot of us…

mark_luczak_100Straight Single Guy (Mark Luczak): Well, quickly refreshing, even just for my own reference, on a generic definition…feminism basically refers to movements aimed at establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. In this day and age, I like to think we’ve come far enough that a majority, even among males, would endorse such equality in those realms, even without the overt activism that the word “feminist” might connote to some. Either way, what would the opposite be, male chauvinism? I feel like I rarely witness that in my life anymore, and I hope that it’s duly becoming continually passe universally. Still, I don’t know that any guys I know would identify themselves explicitly as feminists, but that may speak as much again to just how much the notion has become a norm.

daniel_100Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Frankly, I think most guys think feminists are exclusively women. So in other words, most are not.

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Straight Married Guy is David Jacobs, a NYC-based photographer; our Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; and our Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Mellon University. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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28 Comments on "Wise Guys: Do Most Men Consider Themselves Feminists?"

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Ah. One answer to my own question, “who earns more, females in high-paying jobs or their male counterparts?”:

“In 2009, it was reported that sixteen women heading companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index averaged earnings of $14.2 million in their latest fiscal years, 43 percent more than the male average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News from proxy filings.”

BAM! All the honeys, makin’ money, throw your hands up…! I’ll be their house-husband any fiscal year!

Hopefully that re-heartens you, Robin.



Very enlightening. The wikipedia page provides lots of stats and complicates the picture, which is what I wanted.

It’s pretty thick reading, and I can’t say I got it 100% on the first skim, but here’s what I took away:

Discrimination partially explains the gender pay gap, but not totally, and there are many, many variables to take into account.

Which is what I was saying.


What an interesting comments thread. Great to see there are still women out there who realize the fight is far from over – and of course, disheartening but expected to see the usual response from some other commenters. What so many men and women don’t realize about feminism – especially feminism in 2011 – is that it’s about men’s rights as much as women. Men should be able to be stay-at-home dads, for example, without facing questions about their “manliness”, and feminism isn’t just about women, but about equality and freedom for BOTH sexes.


^ I’m not trying to talk anyone out of advocacy for womens’ causes, sioux, or from identifying as feminist if they want to. Just questioning the unchallenged presumtion that discrimination is the main reason more women don’t hold hotshot jobs.

Thank you for all those links I haven’t had a chance to read through them all yet but I surely will.

Here are the results of my 5-minute Google session on the wage gap: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/the-gender-wage-gap-around-the-world/ http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/the-gender-pay-gap-by-industry/ http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983185,00.html http://www.catalyst.org/publication/322/women-ceos-of-the-fortune-1000 http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/compensation/Articles/Pages/MotherhoodGap.aspx I do not think that statistics give the best picture as to why feminism is still relevant. Here are some examples of women’s issues under attack in our state and federal legislatures: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/04/georgia-lawmaker-redefine-rape-victims-accusers_n_818718.html – In other less gendered crimes, the victims still get to be victims. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9M5KMEO4.htm – People who are generally white men legislating women’s uteruses. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/civil-rights/151853-the-war-on-women – Summarizes recent legislative attempts that chip away women’s rights. Some examples include investigating miscarriages, redefining the murder of abortion doctors as justifiable homicide.… Read more »
Matbo said: “Johnny, with all due respect it may be hard to notice things when you are a man…” No doubt. “I think you’re raising some interesting questions to be sure.” I’m just sayin’. I don’t think any ideology should be unreflectively accepted, and there are questions about this that I’ve never heard answered, or even asked. Both statistics and rhetoric are easily manipulated in the absence of the other, and the fact is that most people latch on to beliefs that resonate with them emotionally, rather than ones that they understand completely. They then repeat what they’ve heard (the… Read more »
Johnny, with all due respect it may be hard to notice things when you are a man. I think you’re raising some interesting questions to be sure. But as a woman in a competitive field, with high ambitions I see exactly where men are given advantage and women are not. It is still noted if it is an all female group presenting a project. Just the other day I was asked if I was trying to compensate for my childhood (not being able to play with swords) I gently informed the nice people on the board, that in my childhood… Read more »