Men who Inspire…

On the occasion of Women’s Day this year, we want to talk about men who believe in equality and who unashamedly call themselves feminists. Because feminism doesn’t mean supremacy of women, but it means a life of dignity, respect and equality for everyone.

It is one thing for a man to become a feminist once he has a daughter to take care of, quite another to genuinely believe in equality for every woman, even his own girlfriend/wife without any conditions. But we do have men like that. More importantly, we have celebrities like that. Because we not only admire celebs for their talent or glamour, we tend to follow their footsteps, we understand when they explain something to us.

So this Women’s Day, we have collated for you ten of the most impressive quotes, according to us, from men relating to feminism and equality. Let us inspire more and more people to embrace human rights, and women rights.

Recently, Britney Spears and her conservatorship issue has been the talk of the town. The documentary #FramingBritneySpears has touched the hearts of millions. So much so that the actor Justin Timberlake publicly apologized to her for not recognizing the injustice.

“I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”

Someone else touched us with his heartfelt expression after watching the documentary on Britney Spears. Singer John Mayer said he realised his male privilege only after watching it.

“I was on the edge of tears five times because if you understand what this business/industry/lifestyle does to a person, to go through this and come out the other side OK is to have infinite grace for those who struggle with it. I came out OK…. I have a very strong feeling that part of that is because I’m a man. And I have a very strong feeling that a lot of these things that happen to female performers is endemic to being female.”

Let’s not forget the two very popular actors cum girl daddies who are striving hard to make this world a better place for their daughter and everyone else around by sharing their ideologies. Will Smith talks about when his teenage daughter cur her own hair.

“She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. ”

And when we talk about girl daddies, Ryan Reynolds always pops up first in our minds. Blake Lively shared an anecdote about him that made our hearts melt (not that it wasn’t already melting!!).

“We’ve joked that my daughter is bossy. But my husband said, ‘I don’t ever want to use that word again. You’ve never heard a man called bossy.’ There would never be any negative connotation for a man being a boss, so to add a negative connotation on a woman being bossy? It’s belittling. And it doesn’t encourage them to be a boss.”

Speaking of heartthrobs, Prince Harry makes a pertinent point too.

“This is not just about women, we need men to recognise the part we play too. Real men treat women with dignity and give them the respect they deserve.”

A very valid point. Unless the men recognise the part they play, it is impossible to achieve true equality. After all, feminism is not a ‘woman’ thing, it is a ‘world’ thing. Actor-Director Forest Whitaker says the world needs to come together and puts it very succinctly.

“You can’t really find peace in the world when fifty percent of the world is excluded from the conversation.” 

Speaking of male participation, Actor Alden Alda called misogyny an outright disease which needs to be eradicated!

“I think misogyny is like a disease the needs to be cured. And if we could eradicate polio, I don’t see why we eradicate misogyny.”

Male participation is only the beginning. Actor Kiefer Sutherland takes this point further by making it clear that is is no longer about gender, but about humans.

“This is no longer about women or men. This is about women and men working together to craft a shared vision of human progress for all.”

It doesn’t stop there. When we talk about feminism, we also need to talk about equal opportunities and equal pay. Unless we start hiring and paying by resource, rather than by gender, all these discussion, points, battles and protests are moot. Basketball star, Stephen Curry, puts it beautifully. He makes it clear that this battle is not just for fathers of daughter to see their own kin succeed, but for everyone.

“I think it’s important that we all come together to figure out how we can make [equal pay for men and women] possible, as soon as possible. Not just as “fathers of daughters”, or for those sorts of reasons. And not just on Women’s Equality Day. Every day—that’s when we need to be working to close the pay gap in this country.”

We end the list of most inspiring men with a quote from Tennis champion Andy Murray, who proudly proclaims himself a feminist.

“Have I become a feminist? Well, if being a feminist is about fighting so that a woman is treated like a man then yes, I suppose I have.”

*All images used in this article are either Eyra’s own design or widely and freely available on the internet.*

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