This comic was originally posted on Everyday Feminism.
Note: A Hebrew version of this comic can be found here! (Translation: Tsipi)
I encounter fairly frequently men who are under the misconception that feminism is solely concerned with promoting the interests of women over everyone else.
The truth is, the gender essentialism and gender dichotomy that is upheld by patriarchy is harmful to every gender. While men may benefit as individuals on items such as the wage gap, as a whole they are far more damaged than benefited by sexism. The construction of women as mothers and housekeepers and men as breadwinners perpetuates the ‘dumb dad’ stereotype. Constructions of women as weak and men as strong create societies that fail to recognize men who experience sexual assault or partner violence.
And gosh, emotions – gender stereotypes make emotions a minefield for every gender. Men can’t cry, women can’t get angry. Men shouldn’t be too passive, women shouldn’t be too assertive. The emotions of trans people are closely scrutinized for expressions that betray them as their ‘real’ gender. And the intersections of race, poverty, disability… the truth is, we’re told over and over again from birth how we should be able to express how we’re feeling. And it’s killing us.
This is the work of feminism – gender equality is not some straw man of the ultimate global superiority of women. Gender equality is the ability for every individual to express themselves honestly, without the social straightjacket of gendered prescriptivism holding them back.