Canadian prime minister/heartthrob/Twitter user Justin Trudeau has been checking his mentions lately, and he's noticed something peculiar: A lot of people think he's totally bae for calling himself a feminist.
But does HE see himself as particularly special or deserving of praise simply for believing in gender equality? No, he does not! In fact, the Guardian reports that he told folks at a United Nations meeting Wednesday that he wishes his feminism was NBD.
"I am going to keep saying loud and clear that I am a feminist until it is met with a shrug," he said. "It shouldn't be something that creates a reaction. It simply is saying I believe in the equality of men and women and I believe that we still have an awful lot of work to do to get there."
So true, dough! (Get it?)
Seriously, though: He's totally right. When Trudeau tweeted the words "I am a feminist" last September, people were all, "Thank you for saying this" and, "[You're] my favorite person ever" and, "It's good to see feminist leaders" and "Je t'aime." And while there are worse things than the occasional barrage of "You go,
girl boy!" tweets, Trudeau makes a good point that such ultra-positive reactions only reaffirm the fact that we live in a misogynistic world in which male feminists are, like, a weird novelty.
A more in-depth view of this phenomenon is expressed in a 2014 article from Fem, UCLA's feminist magazine, called "Male Feminists Don't Deserve Extra Praise."
Writes Eidah Hilo:
I am someone who is aware of her privileges and can still support and stand in solidarity with those who do not have the same privileges. I don't expect or deserve any extra praise for being an ally. So why have I been giving men extra praise for being feminists?
Why should men be glorified for believing in equal rights? Glorifying men for being feminists is counterintuitive to the feminist cause. By glorifying male feminists, we're just perpetuating a hierarchy where a man's opinion is seen as more valid and more valuable than a woman's.
Indeed, a prominent man should be able to call himself a feminist and have the declaration be met with nothing more than, as Trudeau would say, "a shrug." And perhaps one day we'll get there! But until then, let's all do our part to put an end to the cookie-giving for male feminists. And when it comes to Trudeau in particular, we should all focus on what he really deserves to be praised for anyway:
his exemplary track record as a world leader the fact that he is ridiculously hot.
h/t The Frisky