Updated: Jun 21
Positive Masculinity Contributor - Mac Scotty McGregor
Founder of Positive Masculinity, Author, Former US Karate Team Champion, Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee, Speaker, Author, Coach
We at Positive Masculinity want to do all that we can to empower women. As a group of masculine-identifying people, we understand the importance of men speaking up and out in support of women in all areas of life. We believe in lifting women up and standing with them in removing the obstacles that have held them back — in other words, being masculine feminists.
A key part of being a masculine feminist is realizing that women succeeding, doing well, and feeling actualized enhances our lives as well. When the women in our communities are happy and fulfilled, we are going to feel more happy and fulfilled as well. Their success can compound and build everyone up.
Feminist activist Gloria Steinem claimed, “Once men realize that gender roles are a prison for them too, they become really valuable allies. Because they're not just helping someone else, they are freeing themselves.”
I believe Gloria is right. How freeing it is to let go of this idea that masculine people can’t support women? We can also distance ourselves from the idea that people have to take down someone else to look and feel strong or successful. Being able to rid ourselves and our communities of this toxic idea is a big step toward a healthier society as a whole.
Not only do we need to move away from tearing women down, but we have to go further and build them up. I’ve gotten the chance to support an important woman in my life as my wife has been working towards her doctorate degree. When she first asked me what I thought about the idea of her going to graduate school, I paused for a minute. My mind quickly turned to the student loans that we would have to take out for something like that, but after taking a breath I realized every penny would be worth it if this achievement would make her happy.
She thrives in the journey and takes every challenge head on. I’ve never seen anybody enjoy school so much and I do everything I can to support her because I love seeing her happiness. Her joy makes me come alive. A friend of mine asked me, “Are you going to call her doctor when she completes her doctorate?” I thought, “Of course I’ll call her doctor.” Going back to school and doing your thesis is intense, but she took on this trial with grace and has earned her new title.
Her determination and success also speaks volumes to our grandchildren and our nieces. They can say their grandma went back to school and got her doctorate degree and that’s something to be proud of. She’ll be the first person in the family to get a PhD and this will help send the message to the girls that they can accomplish anything they want to.
Being a masculine feminist is about supporting women reaching their goals and doing what makes them happy. I have six nieces, two granddaughters, and five chosen-family sisters. I just love the hell out of them and do everything I can to lift them up. Supporting them makes my life better, and to me, it is a no-brainer. Even though it might seem selfish to gain happiness from supporting women, but everything I do is enhanced when all these women in my life are flourishing. It makes the world a better place. We need to understand when those around us thrive, it makes our entire sphere have better energy.
Thinking about supporting the women in my life made me reflect on more ways to be a masculine feminist. One approach is to speak up to other men about comments and innuendos that are not supportive to women. We can communicate with those who feel the need to tear women down. Men need to hear from other men that this is not healthy and that it causes damage to everyone. We can’t shy away from speaking up. My approach the first time I hear someone spout something derogatory about women is to say something gently in front of others. I present a different take on their comment that is positive and then take the individual aside and talk to them about their words. Unfortunately, sometimes this softer approach does not work and if they continue to be disrespectful, then I address it more head on in front of others. I recognize that this might make them feel defensive, but sometimes the help of a group is a useful tool in teaching new ideas.
There are countless other opportunities to be a masculine feminist that come up everyday, you just have to look for them. If you truly want to lift up the world and create real change, then raise up women. It can help everybody.