As you may know this time the theme on The Feministas is why men need feminism. When I heard of the theme I almost immediately thought of my grandfather.
When my grandfather was young he used to practice ballet, and he was very good at it. So good, he could’ve gone to England to join Margot Fonteyn’s ballet, if it weren’t for his parents, who disallowed him to continue on with ballet and made him join the army. After all, ballet isn’t for men and ‘ballet can turn you gay’.
Of course this is ridiculous: how can a sport turn you gay? But sadly there was no one that made them see reason and my grandfather had to quit ballet. Ballet was and still is one of his biggest loves and passions, and I just can’t imagine that as a parent, you can tell your kid ‘no, you can’t do that’, when you know it makes them happy. When it’s something they’re good at and they can succeed at. Why would you do that?
I shared this story with you (in short), because sadly there are still many sports and hobbies that are thought of as ‘feminine’ and thus ‘unmanly’. Men shouldn’t perform those sports or enjoy those hobbies (i.e. ballet and other forms of dancing, sewing, knitting and anything else related to fashion etc.), because they’re supposed to be strong and manly, they shouldn’t be elegant dancers or draw dresses. And I ask you: WHY THE HELL NOT? Who has decided what is okay for women and what’s okay for men to do? Who has decided: you’re a girl, so you should do ballet, but you’re a boy, so here’s a football. Girls can play football, boys can do ballet. They can do both, as long as they enjoy it and it makes them happy (speaking of which, my grandfather was also a goalkeeper later in his life). Who gives a damn about it? As long as they’re happy, shouldn’t you be happy?
Men need feminism, just as much as women do, because both genders just should be able to do whatever they want, without others telling them it’s ‘gay’ or ‘un-ladylike’. So to all of you reading this: please don’t care about what others might think. If it makes you happy, do it. If you have the opportunity and the chance, if no one is physically stopping you, if you can, then do it.