Are Teen Boys the New Face of Feminism?

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feminismWe all know what happens in most high schools: competition, name calling, "mean girl" typical teenager stuff. But sometimes it goes too far. Something interesting happened at Oak Park-River Forest High School after one (yet to be named) student created a Facebook list ranking 50 students (all girls) based on their looks and included sexually explicit details and racial and ethnic slurs.  

The girls decided to fight back and guys have joined them in the counter movement called RESPECT.

Feminism could be looking at a fundamental change, one that focuses on women as humans rather than a special segment of humans, with these teenage boys joining the efforts.

We’ve seen young men embracing their femininity in a lot of ways in recent years, proving that areas that were once considered “women-only” are no longer. Guyliner is still all the rage -- just look at Pete Wentz. Long hair is back in style and tons of guys use three times as much hair product as their female counterparts.

Beauty is in for men. As they borrow from women for their daily regimens, they are subconsciously breaking down gender lines. Blurring those boundaries goes so much further than just being pretty or willing to use girlie products.

Men are now wearing women’s clothes, even -- jeans being the most popular of course. The guys of yesterday wouldn’t have dreamed of donning a piece of women’s clothing, except in jest. That was purely the territory of the pranksters and transvestites. Once again blurring gender lines, guys are validating women by the simple act of wearing girl jeans.

Standing in solidarity with their fellow students is just a more concrete example of this change in feminism. Guys are starting to consider themselves part of the movement, instead of just bystanders. If this keeps up, we could be looking at a humanist movement, instead of one that remains segregated down gender lines. 

Do you think teens are leading the way in redefining feminism?

 

Image via jfrancis/Flickr

behavior, issues, school

15 Comments

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mom3956 mom3956

Wow. Check out Dr. Meg Meeker's book Your Kids at Risk! She also is under Dr. Meg in the advice column of Cafe Mom and ask her what to do. She is the best!

JTNMD711 JTNMD711

Solidarity!!

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

I am proud of those boys for standing up for the girls, and banding together to put a stop to bullying. I'm totally against the kind of blurring of the gender lines that you seem to be advocating here, though. There's more than biology and society that makes us different.

KTMOM KTMOM

I think every child should stand up for themselves and what they believe in.

Alicia Lili Mauer

This isn't redefining feminism. Anyone who has been an active feminist for the past ten years knows that most men are feminist, even if they don't say it. Also, dressing in girls' clothes doesn't make one feminist, it simply proves guys can wedge themselves into low-rise jeans. The way in which most high school and college guys support their female peers and fully believe that women are just as capable and talented and deserve the same respect, opportunity and treatment as the boys receive is what makes these guys feminist. There are times where I wonder if my male friends and classmates are more feminist than I am.

tazdvl tazdvl

I don't see how wearing girls clothes makes one a feminist. I am glad to see more boys respecting girls.

Peajewel Peajewel

How sweet of those boys to stand up for those girls and I think it speaks volume for what kind of men they will be when they grow up.  Girls can be so mean and hateful to each other, even when they are friends. 

frysh... fryshannon34

I think that teen boys are not afraid to show their feminine side and I dont think there is anything wrong with it

ethan... ethans_momma06

I hate the term 'feminine-side'. How condescending and sexist is that? Or are boys not allowed to have feelings unless it's a 'female' quality?

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