Feminists — Not Just Females

Contrary to popular belief, feminism is not “all about women”. One of the more popular (and insensible) arguments against feminism is that it is somehow damaging to men. However, many men have realized that feminism is about equality between the sexes. They have been unabashedly outspoken in their support for feminism and its movements. Sir Patrick Stewart is one of these feminists who has spoken about the impact a lack of feminism has had in his life.

Sir Patrick Stewart is an English actor who has acted on stage and television and in movies. He is best known for his work in Star Trek and the X-Men movies. Stewart has spoken about how he was influenced by his father’s domestic abuse of his mother. In a 2009 speech given at Amnesty International, Stewart remarks that his mother had nowhere to turn to. “I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say ‘she must have provoked him’…the truth is, my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured.” Stewart went on to talk about Refuge, a national domestic violence charity that he is a patron of. Aside from this speech, Sir Patrick Stewart has given many talks and even been in documentaries focused on women’s rights. He also discusses the challenges he faced when overcoming the “typical male stereotype” that he had been shown as a child growing up in the 1950s. Stewart has said that feminism is for everyone, has broken his family’s cycle of abuse, and has truly changed his life.

Although it is easy for critics to dismiss feminism as something just for women, it’s important to realize that the issues women face impact everyone. In Stewart’s case, the domestic abuse he saw at home led him to find solace in acting. Acting also helped him deal with the psychological effects of his childhood and encouraged him to help others. Although feminism is about making men and women equal, it’s also about making society more just for everyone. In the words of Sir Patrick Stewart, “more women and children, just like my mother and me, will continue to experience domestic violence unless we all speak out against it.”

By Ana, Grade 11

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