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Why we need more male feminists

February 13, 2018

The world is changing, and I believe women and equality are the future.     As a student at the University of Toledo, I have come to believe that we need more male feminists. 
I have had the opportunity to take women and gender studies courses at UT and have learned about some of the problems women face that many men are not even aware of. The following is just a few — of many — issues that women face in our society that I have learned about through my studies. 
We see women in advertisements that are modified to create unrealistic goals for women’s beauty. We also see sexist, pornography-based ads that objectify women as sexualized objects. 
In popular culture, we hear songs that promote sexual violence against women. All of these aspects have become so embedded in our culture that they appear normal. 
When men are promiscuous, it is a part of growth and experiences in their life. When women are just as promiscuous, they are slut-shamed and looked down upon. 
This double standard must stop. We need to educate ourselves on why women are suffering on college campuses across the country and in the world’s society. 
Another injustice against women is the sad fact that, across the board, women are paid substantially less than men. Women are also much more likely to be sexually harassed than men. 
Our government has made women’s bodies a political factor. I personally don’t understand why people think the choice of abortion should be in anyone’s hands except the mother. People go as far as to harass those who are pro-choice at clinics such as Planned Parenthood.
After visiting a local Toys “R” Us, I was disgusted that all the little girls’ toys were homemaker toys and dolls while boys’ toys range from Star Wars lightsabers to tool sets. 
We are brainwashed into thinking that women are inferior. This starts from birth.
Studies presented in the book “Sisterhood is Powerful” by Robin Morgan say that in elementary school, girls tend to perform better academically than boys. 
But by junior high and high school, women are more concerned with beauty and interested less in academics. Women are taught to value their looks over smarts and, according to Morgan, this could be lessened if male feminists were more aware and appreciated natural beauty.
If there were more male feminists, we could lessen the harm done to our sisters by raising world consciousness.
During the Civil Rights Movement, black women supported black men to get their freedom from oppression, but the problems will not go away until black women get their liberation too.
Producing more male feminists in the black community will give the overdue respect to black women who have often been facing inequality to a deeper extent than black men. 
More men need to stand up for women and equal rights to help battle these problems. 
Taking classes in women studies has shown me that men need to be more thoughtful and fair to our deserving sisters.      
I feel like the more educated men become on the topic of feminism, the more likely it is for men in power to make change. 
I am thrilled that I attend a university represented by a strong woman like President Sharon Gaber, but I still want to see UT make a change for the better. 
Let’s be supportive of our sisters and change the world. 
Deshawn Cavanagh is a fourth year communication major. 

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