Men’s leadership just as important

By: Daphne Becker

The past two years, feminism has been a hot topic at our school. As a feminist myself and someone who truly believes everyone should have equal rights, I am happy that feminism is breaking into the discussion. Regardless of if it is pro or anti, it gets people talking about issues that are very important and that normally go untalked about.

But lately I have seen that when talking about feminism, the conversation makes men out to be these weapons of mass destruction and the problem in society, and that is something I think is wrong.

A lot of times I feel boys act out because they feel like that is what it means to be a boy, and also because they have to work so hard to stay away from anything feminine in order that no one could ever question their manhood and sexuality.

In a way, feminism and society has made it be a lot easier for girls to express themselves and be who they want to be. It’s not perfect. Girls still have a long way to go, but if you see how far we have come, there is no question that we are on the up and up.

Women can take jobs that are traditionally held by men. Though they can still get some grief from straying from the traditional gender roles, it isn’t the same as to say if men wants to be nurses and society questions their sexualities.

What it means to be feminine is so vast and means so many different things to different women, but we treat masculinity like it is this strict mold that is almost impossible to fit into, and if they don’t, there is something wrong with the man.

Whether it is from a parent, a school teacher or other boys around them, boys learn growing up what it means to be a man, and usually what they learn is that they need to stay away from anything that can be perceived as being feminine. They can’t show any emotions other than anger, or they will come off as a sissy and always need to be prepared to defend their honor and finish the fight, but in reality, being a stone cold monster doesn’t really seem all that appealing.

Why is it that when girls give hugs and tell their friends they love them, it is a sign of friendship, but with boys, it is so much different?

Is the shell of masculinity so delicate that one meaningful moment with a friend that means a lot can break it?

I believe that what it means to be masculine can be so much different than what it means to us today. I think men can cry and express their love and do anything they want, and it doesn’t make them any less of a man.

This is why I wholeheartedly believe that the men at our school need a men’s leadership group, and I hope that in the near future, some young man will take a risk and start one up. I think that it would do a lot of good for boys.

This year people have challenged that maybe women’s leadership should include men as well and be all inclusive. I will tell you why I think that is a bad idea.

Women’s leadership is special to me because it is a safe space for girls to sit and have serious conversations about challenges we face as women: what is behind them and what we can do to help solve the problems, whether it’s within our relationships, our school or our country. They are issues that, because they aren’t women, men can know and recognize but never really truly understand — just how I and all the other women in this world will never understand the effects of modern day masculinity on men.

I think men would do so well if they had a safe space where they could talk about their issues too, and wouldn’t it be cool if men’s and women’s leadership could join forces and learn how solving these issues helps each other?

I want to go to a school where boys feel they can be heard and don’t have to be punished for the restraints put down on society and where girls can be free to walk around without fear of their opinions being shut down.

Presently, I don’t think we are there yet.

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