Five ways a man can be a feminist

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I was lucky to have been raised by a woman who was a Mexican feminist at a time when the term was an oxymoron. But I know many men, especially Latinos, have a hard time understanding that feminism isn’t this hippy-dippy thing best left to bra-burning liberal white soccer moms who buy organic pink hats at Whole Foods on their way to yoga class.

But feminism isn’t hippy-dippy. It’s kind of an important thing, especially in the 21st Century, which is the current fad and will likely be for the next 983 years. But don’t worry! Feminism is easier to embrace than you think! To all my fellow men out there, here are five really easy tips on how to be a feminist.

1. Don’t be a douchewaffle. Simple enough: don’t be like this idiot. Joking about subjugating women, bragging about your sexual exploits (real or hoped for), or justifying boorish, misogynist behavior with that “boys will be boys” nonsense? Really not that funny. Or cool. Or flattering in the age of Instagram, online dating, and Googling an online dating prospect.bro

Why not adapt the mantra of, “Men will be men” instead? And by that, I mean, “Frickin’ act like the high-and-mighty ideal you have of a man as the epitome of strength, classiness, and nobility and make respect and decency the cornerstones of your personal constitution because that’s what being a man, nay, being a person, is all about, because, seriously, real men don’t need to prove just how big and tough and dominating they are because the only thing that paradoxically proves is how much of a man you’re not, so don’t do it!”

Or don’t be a douchewaffle. Whatever’s easier for you.

2. Throw out the old books, and maybe read some new ones. I mean this literally and figuratively. Our parents and grandparents lived in different times and sometimes pass along advice that seems…well…a bit dumb. Some of the things I’ve heard?

  • “Marry a woman from a small village. She’ll do anything you ask.”
  • “Wait, why are you washing those dishes? That’s a woman’s work.”
  • “The only thing a woman really wants is good sex and a great washing machine.”

So if you read these and thought, “Holy crap, are you serious?! That’s utterly ridiculous,” then you’re already on the right path and might want to skip to point 3. But if you read these and thought, “Wait, you mean these are bad?” you might want to consider throwing these ideas into the trash bin. They don’t even need to land in the trash bin. So long as they land in the general vicinity of garbage, you’re fine. You know what? Just throw them out the window if you have really bad aim.

But, seriously, these ideas are on par with all that recent “the world is flat, global warming is a hoax, Donald Trump cares about the working class” nonsense.  You want to see how awesome women are? Why not read some good books written by women?

Read some Jenny Lawson. Lucha Corpi. Maya Angelou. Sandra Cisneros. Brene Brown. Gillian Flynn. Toni Morrison. Ursula K. Le Guin. Margaret Atwood. Hell, read J.K. Rowlings if you want to take baby steps. But read books written by women, because reading a good book offers points of view that we men don’t have in our everyday lives.

In other words, you’ve been on one side of the island all your life. Why not read a book that describes what the other side of the island is like? You may be surprised at how different things can seem.

3. Embrace biology. Look, guys. Let’s be serious here. That whole “passing a kidney stone is as painful as giving birth” thing? That was probably concocted by men to feel less guilty about the fact that women, and only women, have to experience something as painful as giving birth. So you really think that a person who’s biologically designed to endure levels of pain that would probably make us pass out are inferior? Yeah, uh-huh.

4. Embrace facts. I know that facts are fast becoming more of a suggestion these days. But the fact is, facts don’t lie. (Case in point: the last sentence.) Unless they’re spouted by a five-year-old on a sugar high or any member of the current administration.

Still, the fact is, when given the chance (i.e., when male society stops being such an a-hole), women have done remarkable things, things that only men were supposed to be able to do. For example:

  • Women have fought in wars.
  • Women have helped us go to space and gone to space.
  • Women have governed tribes and nations since humans were old enough to say “Og make fire and secure WiFi network.”
  • Women gave us beer. Which they probably regret, but still, they gave us beer. So I don’t even know why you aren’t praising every random woman you run across this second.f_fearless_girl_statue

5. DON’T be a feminist.  Finally, the best way for you to be a feminist is NOT to be one. And by that, I mean, forget the labels and forget telling the world that you’re a feminist. There’s nothing noteworthy or praiseworthy about believing in the inherent equality between men and women.

You can believe this and go about your day acting upon this belief through unnoticeable acts of decency and respect. And if you need validation for being a decent person, well, here it is. Great work respecting women! Gold star! Now get back out there and fight for equal pay and women’s health.

Look, at the end of the day, we really are all equal. But I won’t say “We’re all equal in the eyes of God” because I’m not religious.

But I do believe in zombies, so I can say, “If the zombie apocalypse happens, we’re all in it together to save humanity, and it won’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, gay or straight, black or white or turquoise. We’re all in it together equally, though it sucks that you had to learn this basic universal truth through zombies, but it’s better late than never, so go kill zombies!”

And respect women. Because if nothing else, women gave us Michelle Obama. And if that doesn’t make you want to sign up for feminism, I don’t know what will.


 

ulisesUlises Silva does a little bit of everything but is most passionate about writing and storytelling. He began his writing career—such as it is—with truly horrific Anime fanfics but has since devoted his efforts toward writing heartwarming stories about the end of the world and zany satires about Latinos, time travel, and guacamole. He’s also serves on the More than Latina Advisory Board.  Find him at www.ulisessilva.com,

Women of Color create art to raise awareness about street harassment

Elephant

“Elephant a short choreo-film entirely produced by women of color against street harassment. The video is the collective effort of a group of interdisciplinary artists from New York City who came together to highlight the importance of looking at street harassment from a lens of reclamation of power.

Through interpretative dance, visual art and figurative language the video guides us on an experiential journey that invites the viewer into what women go through by simply walking down the street. The idea is that a woman’s body is often not her own, it is often whatever a patriarchal society has claimed it to be. We believe that all people who identify as women as well as gender nonconforming individuals who are impacted by street harassment have a right to their bodies and in this video we take our bodies back.

The video is a film adaption of a poem written by Nuyorican Poet Elisabet Velasquez and it is performed by dancer and choreographer Keomi Tarver. The video was directed, filmed and edited by Connie Chavez and produced by Wendy Angulo.”

Kate Solis Silva: Coaching, Dancing, Meditating for life

Kate Solis Silva

Meet Kate Solis Silva, a dynamic Latina who has a lot going on. She’s lived in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago since 2013 and loves it. Hails from outside Detroit where she served in the Americorps program in 2011. She’s 39, a Scorpio, and wife to Ulises and Pet Mom to their adorable senior cat, Indie. She was a retail manager for a decade before making the switch to fundraising. The Associate Director of Development at Chicago Lights, she’s passionate about causes that provide life-saving services to our most vulnerable populations locally and globally. She serves as Mentorship Program Co-Chair with the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago and wants to travel EVERYWHERE she’s never been.

And that’s just the beginning! Get to know her in her own words. [Read more…]

Wendy Angulo: Living a lasting legacy

Wendy Angulo

Meet Wendy Angulo, founder of Wendy Angulo Productions. She’s a a New York City born Latina, raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She returned to New York in 1998. Get to know her in her own words.

I am inspired by my mother. All of her teachings, from moral values to her business etiquette are lessons I apply into my everyday life as a woman, mother and entrepreneur.

[Read more…]