Magazine article New Internationalist

Men and Feminism: The Smurthwaite Deal

Magazine article New Internationalist

Men and Feminism: The Smurthwaite Deal

Article excerpt

I'm bored of hearing that 'feminism needs to do more to attract men'. If only feminists could succeed by asking men nicely to allow us to gather up the scattered remains of our basic human rights from under their banquet of privilege!

What is it men want, anyway? Sports updates and side boob? Feminism is the campaign for women's rights. And rights are rights. We shouldn't have to ask nicely. We shouldn't have to wait politely until powerful men feel comfortable handing them over. They're rights, you fucking asshole, and I am entitled to them, even when I call you a 'fucking asshole'.

The only reason to support feminism is because it's right. Any man that needs to hear it from a smiley Emma Watson first doesn't get it.

The other thing men shouldn't do with feminism, of course, is try to run it. That can be hard, because little boys are often socialized to run the world and little girls to keep their legs crossed and let them. One interesting solution is for men who support feminism to call themselves 'profeminist men' rather than feminists.

I like men who do that. Sometimes I even give them some side boob. But I also hate complicated language that alienates people from what is actually a straightforward movement demanding simple, fair things.

So I will cut men a deal. The Smurthwaite Deal. You may call yourself a feminist in return for one simple thing: half a day's free babysitting a month. Footnote - it has to be a child that isn't yours. You can't babysit your own child. That's called parenting.

Gender equality is impossible while women continue to do the vast majority of the world's childcare for free. …

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