The question of whether men can be feminists raises a variety of broader issues. Some of these relate to whether men can have the kinds of understanding, solidarity and political commitment necessary to qualify as feminists. Others concern the role that men can and should play within the feminist movement. This talk begins by exploring some of the psychological and social barriers men face in understanding and supporting feminism. It then concludes with some practical suggestions as to how men might seek to engage constructively with feminist ideas and objectives.
Feminism brings a focused and specialised perspective to discussions of social justice. It focuses specifically on women’s interests, experiences and concerns. In this respect, the feminist movement seeks to bring to light gendered issues that are overlooked or underemphasised within mainstream debates. Another way of putting this is that feminism is gynocentric: it is a response to the androcentrism of mainstream culture, including prevailing views of justice and fairness.