It’s pretty telling when someone takes positive measures to stand up for themselves, and it makes another people downplay, nay-say, and try to delegitimize their efforts. Especially when these people stand to benefit from oppressive systems that the first person is standing up against in the first place. And it's not a good look.
When I first started talking about feminism, like with race, I constantly found myself having to explain to men, and likewise white people, the legitimacy of my resistance towards an invisible system of oppression. Men weren’t sure that I knew what I was talking about. And since they couldn’t be sure, that unsureness as a man was somehow more valid than my lived experiences as a woman. They would become upset, attack my appearance or sexuality, and attempt to gaslight me into changing my perspective or not talking about it at all.
And to all those dudebros who become irate when feminism is brought up, I want to say: there’s nothing threatening about feminism is you believe that women should /finally/ and in actually be treated and represented fairly, socially and economically. Your masculinity hinging on where men are “better” or “more qualified” than women doesn’t suggest superiority, but weakness. And if your strength can only exist when someone else is weak or less than, than your masculinity isn’t shit to begin with and you have way bigger problems than feminism.
By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor