• Anna Belle Wood

Men In The Movement

Men! Boys! Masculine individuals and non-binary friends! Trans guys! Cis guys! Yes, you! We need you to join us in the movement for greater safety and equality for all. Sexism, patriarchy, misogyny, and femme phobia (see below) hurt us all, regardless of gender.

Men, you are not the enemy. Rather, you are a vital part of the gender liberation and larger anti-oppression movement. We need you to show up fully. So, together, we can change the world.

Showing up authentically as a man in our culture is no easy task.

Men don't cry. Man up. Don't be a pussy. That's so gay. You're too sensitive. Grow a pair.

Fear and hatred of the feminine, or femme phobia, is not limited to devaluing women and girls. This type of thinking is used to hurt people of all genders (we all possess feminine traits) and keep us all locked into rigid gender roles that prohibit our full human potential and expression.

Being the right kind of guy, a traditional "guy's guy," has a certain appeal; it presents a seemingly straightforward pathway to love. But, no one is as simple as a stereotype. In reality, adhering to traditional gender roles like this keeps us all stuck in unfulfilling cycles of conditional love.

You deserve unconditional love and the ability to express yourself fully without fear of retaliation from the "gender police" (ie femme phobia). You deserve to hear, all of you is welcome here.

How do we get there? You tell me. We're all in this together and must be open to each other's experiences, however different. Ultimately, there's more that connects us than divides us.

Questions for your reflection:

Who are you really, behind "the mask" of gender role socialization and societal expectations?

When was the last time you felt truly seen for who you are inside?

What parts of you does toxic masculinity shun?

Where could gender liberation take us?

Resources for further reading:

My Journey Toward Radical Body Positivity by actor and activist Matt McGorry

The Mask You Live In

Men In The Movement

Man Enough

Men Engage

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