Are you a feminist? (Not a trick question)

Q. How many men feel comfortable calling themselves feminist? A. Define feminist.


UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson has launched HeForShe with an appeal to the world to reclaim feminism and to “galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for gender equality.” Since then, more than 130,000 men, including almost 9,000 from Canada, have signed the program’s online commitment to champion women’s rights.

But how many men feel comfortable calling themselves feminist? A number of recent surveys suggest it’s more than you might think, though only after the term is defined.

The number of men and women who identified as feminist more than doubled in a 2014 YouGov/Economist survey after respondents were provided with the definition. But 37 per cent of respondents to a 2013 YouGov poll felt the word “feminist” had negative overtones, compared to 26 per cent who felt it was more positive.

A similar question was asked in the 2014 survey: Is calling someone a feminist a compliment, an insult or a neutral description? A majority considered it was a neutral description, though 26 per cent believed it an insult. Fourteen per cent who took it to be a compliment. In Canada, 15 per cent of men very strongly consider themselves feminist. (That number was found to be 25 per cent in Argentina and Italy, by way of comparison. Three per cent in Japan and German identified with the label.)

Canada is not particularly high on the list when it comes to strong female feminists either (17 per cent), but this may be because on the same survey of 15 countries Canadians were mostly likely to agree women have equality.


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Are you a feminist? (Not a trick question)

  1. If you want men to see feminists in a positive light……..

    then don’t show people like:
    Judy Rebick or Heather Mallick as an example of them.

    Show real women with real accomplishments. Rebick and Mallick are an embarrasment not only to women, but to normal people in general.

    • Ah, dear Judy! I remember one time 20+ years ago, John Crosbie was announcing additional funding for physically disabled. He used a term – “crippled” – that was definitely not politically correct in most of Canada but was a term still very much in use among his generation in NL.

      Judy completely ignored the funding and tore a strip off Crosbie for his language – i.e. she was far more concerned with the terminology than with the help offered (and thus displaying a supreme ignorance and lack of concern for cultural linguistic differences).

      Being an “actions speak louder than words” kind of person, I thought her attack on Crosbie was over the top in the circumstances. Took most of what she said with more than a few grains of salt from that point on.

  2. The reason only 15% say they are feminists first, and 51% after a definition is given, is that the definition is obviously a false one.

    People perceive feminists based on their everyday experience of them, and that’s overwhelmingly male-hating hysterical nonsense. Hence the low numbers.

    If a (false) definition is made to put feminism in a very good light, more people agree they are feminists. But still only 51%, which is very low considering the definition given. I recall a few years ago a survey showed only 20% of people considered themselves feminists, but 80% believed in equality of the sexes. The obvious implication is that pretty much no one believes that feminism has anything to do with equality of the sexes.

    Feminism is as feminism does. And what feminism does is to promote a hateful anti-male ideology. This lame attempt at pushing what they want the definition of feminism to be will fail.

    Read this story:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/occidental-sexual-assault-2014-9 (TL; DR; guy gets drunk, girl gets drunk, drunk girl throws herself at drunk guy, they have sex, guy is accused of rape, girl treated like poor victim).

    This is feminism applied. Nothing to do with equality. Nothing.

  3. As defined, I am definitely a feminist. But the word has definitely taken on a negative connotation.

  4. All sane rational people are feminists….this shouldn’t even be a question.

    • But not all feminists are sane rational people – and it’s those small few who are neither sane nor rational and are loud about it that have left a sour taste in a lot of mouths.

      • I see. So you judge environmentalism, peace protesters, feed-the-children, the Anglican church and all other groups by what a few people say and do?


        • I’m saying others do. With all the above.

          Interesting you raise the Anglican church, given you frequently judge religion on the basis of the bad acts of a few and constantly refuse to acknowledge the good done in its name. A tad hypocritical there, Em.

          • Extra Silly on your toast this am, Bram?

            I mentioned ‘anglican’ because it’s what you are…..or should I judge all christianity by Pat Robertson?

    • Emily,

      During my university days, we had some “feminists” from the National Action committee on the status of women invade the campus for a day of speeches.

      they called themselves “feminists” and if they are an example of what a feminist is, then you are clearly deluded in believing that all rational people are feminists.

      the first two speakers were the stereotypical “bull dykes” complete with spiked short hair of varying colours; both fat and very unattractive, but that didnt’ stop them from kissing and groping each other as they spoke. The gist of the speech as that any married woman is actually a victim of sanctioned rape, and that ONLY women can truly love another woman. yadda..yadda..yadda. Then the phoney stats about 70% of women being sexually assaulted before their 30 (apparently, off coloured jokes being sexual assault, or basically anything a woman found offensive also on the list).

      Of course,……me being me, began to question and heckle them. “where’d you get your stats?” What do you mean by sexual assault..etc..etc..

      Needless to say, they were not impressed. These “feminists” heckled back and accused me of being opposed to their organization, to which I replied, “As far as I am concerned, the National Action committee for the status of women is simply a Government funded recruiting drive for lesbians”…..

      I barely made it out alive….but I made my point.

      emily, all sane and rational people have the ability to debate without resorting to violence, or threats of violence. The two “ladies” I spoke to that day, were incapable of neither. They represented what “feminism” has become today, as opposed to what it was supposed to mean.

      • James, I was a feminist before you were born….and I have met every variety there is.

        Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.

        Everyone rational agrees with that…..no matter what other things they believe in.

        And here’s a flash hon….Women don’t need your approval.

        • Emily,

          I think everyone agrees that women are human beings….in fact, I’m married to one. the word “feminist” has been hijacked by the loons who think men are a problem, and not quite a human being. That is the problem.

          I fully agree that women and men have the same rights, and responsibilities for the most part.

          I am a sexist in one sense however. I still insist upon holding open the door for a woman, or standing when she enters the room or approaches the table. I will also jump in if I see someone treating a woman badly.

          In your case….I would hold the door open for you because you are a woman, but also because you are a senior. Guess I’m an ageist too.

          As for needing approval….um. Nope.

          I’ve never sought approval from anyone; man or woman.

          • Since men and women are equal….they have equal opportunities and rights under the law.

            It has nothing to do with what men/women thing about other matters, whether you’re X, Y or Z….. what age you are….[or ferfuxsakes, holding doors open] it’s about equal rights. Period.

            PS Everything you say on here is a bid for approval.

          • Emily,

            Men and women are equal in all aspects except the physical.

            Men are stronger, faster, and have more stamina than women. That is simply a biological reality. Today’s “feminists” choose to ignore this, and insist that any woman should be able to do the same job a man can do. Sorry…it’s that ignorance of reality that gets people killed. (think firefighters, or special forces soldiers. What do you think the pass/fail rate is for women who try their hand at these jobs? (unless of course, as is happening, the standards are lowered))

            on average. Any guy who doesn’t help a woman lift anything heavy, or OPEN DOORs for them, is not only impolite…..he wasn’t taught properly by his father.

            As for bidding for approval….hmmm…..

            Methinks you haven’t been paying attention to what I post. If I was looking for approval, I would be spouting off the politically correct pap about “global warming” Islam is the religion of peace…etc..etc…

            You know? Sort of like you do?

  5. I’m a feminist as far as the dictionary definition goes. Unfortunately, today’s feminism goes beyond the definition to attain superiority and shaming of men. Personal experiences I had have unfortunately exposed me to the radical side where women consistently proclaimed their hatred of men. Some had even more sinister plans with visions of a decreased male population. I was immersed in this culture for several years until I had the sense to break up my relationship with my feminist partner.

    Today I’ve turned over a new leaf. Now I identify as a men’s human rights advocate because I see that the real battle for gender equality (at least here in the west) has shifted to discrimination of boys and men. Boys have been trending worse at school (only 40% go on to university vs 60% girls) and only make up 17% of valedictorians….yet where is the concern by society? Male genital mutilation (circumcision) is widely practiced while FGM is outlawed. Men receive 60% more prison time for equal crimes committed by women. They are also more likely to be charged in the first place. Men are constantly depicted as bumbling fools/idiots by mainstream media and in commercials. Masculinity is shamed while femininity is praised….and the list goes on.

    Many of the issues that feminists fight for in the west are non issues. Like the 77 cent pay gap….which was never calibrated to reflect actual pay for work performed. The gap is because women make choices that differ from the career choices men make. But do I think there is nothing left to change for women? No. I think there are issues in the west that discriminate against women….but I believe that men have it worse.

    Being a men’s rights actist has shown me just how toxic feminism can be. Feminists continually attempt to silence any MRA activism falsely claiming it as hate speech. For a while the mainstream media perpetuated that lie but today I see the movement gathering momentum and acceptance. Ideally I would prefer that a new movement take over that systematically kept the best intentions of all genders at heart….but I fear that is not any time soon coming.

    • Sorry, but your personal hang-ups have nothing to do with basic human rights.

      • Emily,

        Clearly, your response to Joe illustrates that you are not quite as concerned about the human rights of we XY’ers…………….but at least you try and talk (or write) a good game.

        Not really sure you’re fooling anyone though.

      • Emily,

        I suspect it would take several very spacious walk-in closets to store your apparent hang-ups.

    • Joe…

      While I understand where you are coming from, and agree with many of your points………you need to do something to decompress.

      Go watch”SPIKE” TV for a while……..

      Most women are not the hystrionic cranks as represented by Reebick or Mallick……they are just not as vocal.

  6. Anyone can call themselves a feminist or an environmentalist or (pick your favourite “ist”) and misrepresent the cause, so to speak. Feminism is the belief that women deserve equal rights to men. That’s it. Anyone who hijacks it and turns it into something else has a different cause. So everyone who points to odd examples of women who have identified themselves as feminists but have used the platform to espouse different ideas, well, as an engineer, my advice is to always look at the sample size. They’re really not statistically relevant and you shouldn’t base any opinion on the actions of a few.

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