Love, love, love the response from actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt when asked about calling himself a feminist:
I read that you consider yourself a “male feminist,” and you credit your parents who are educators and really taught you about the history of feminism. But nowadays, you have a lot of young stars coming out against being labeled a feminist.
Coming out against the label? Wow. I guess I’m not aware of that. What that means to me is that you don’t let your gender define who you are—you can be who you want to be, whether you’re a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever. However you want to define yourself, you can do that and should be able to do that, and no category ever really describes a person because every person is unique. That, to me, is what “feminism” means.
So yes, I’d absolutely call myself a feminist. And if you look at history, women are an oppressed category of people. There’s a long, long history of women suffering abuse, injustice, and not having the same opportunities as men, and I think that’s been very detrimental to the human race as a whole. I’m a believer that if everyone has a fair chance to be what they want to be and do what they want to do, it’s better for everyone. It benefits society as a whole.
What’s great about Gordon-Levitt’s definition is that it shows why feminism is directly relevant to men’s lives as well as women’s. We’re all in this mess of gender expectations together. Feminism isn’t just about raising women up but helping us all – men, women, cis, trans, whatever – get to a place where we’re a bit more free.
(Image from Confused Cats Against Feminism)