Like many men, Ben is a feminist learning to reconcile what it means to openly support women's equality in 2015.
Are men afraid to be called feminists?
Many men don't disagree with the concepts of feminism, but they're trying to figure out where they sit within the feminist movement. Should men embrace feminism?
Men can sympathize, but can we actually understand what women go through?
We don't experience inequality and objectification the same way women do. Men have never had the right to govern their own body threatened, you know? Women are paid 78 cents to every man's dollar, and legislatures around the country consistently attempt to regulate their bodies. These are issues men do not face.
Feminism is for anyone who believes both sexes deserve the same respect.
Should the struggle against the oppressor contain only the voices of the oppressed? If you think that feminist issues are only about women, that's not true! Feminism DOES apply to men! It should contain men + women's voices because BOTH are oppressed by the system of patriarchy. An unequal society puts an unnecessary amount of pressure on men, even if it's not nearly as much as it disempowers women.
Men, think about it for a second. We're expected to be the most powerful and winningest (I know it's not really a real word, but you get my point) man of all.
You don't have to be a woman to be a feminist.
You don't have to be gay to support gay rights or a person of color to stand up for racial equality. Because beyond being an ally, these issues touch on larger themes that put our whole society at a disadvantage. And we can only fix it by being united against oppressive powers.
So what's Ben's problem with feminism?
I called Ben to ask about his "problems" with feminism. He told me it's not so much a problem with feminism as it is that men don't (or won't?) understand it.
"My only problem with feminism is that every man does not self-identify as one. I'm a feminist and I wanted this video to answer questions for other men to hopefully normalize the word 'feminist' for other men." — Ben Acheson
Check out Ben's full video below. He's really good at giving us a look at what a lot of men think about being called a feminist. I showed this video to a couple of female coworkers, and they all had the same series of responses:
1. "He's a jerk."
2. "Oh wait, he's actually making really good points." Then,
3. "I wish all men were like this."
If you're short on time, check out 1:14 for the answers to some great thoughts and questions.