By: Jenny Foughner

The social jargon of the 21st century is mind-boggling, especially when you get anywhere near that complicated web of cultural do-not-disturb signs that is “feminism.” The intricacies of this sometimes-volatile word can be stressful to say the least; what’s a guy to do when he just wants to express his commitment to the rights of the fairer sex without getting involved in a gender war? Can you even be a non-ironic-yet-masculine-dude-feminist? Yes. And it’s not even as hard as you think.

10. Declare yourself a fe-man-ist. Loudly.
Militant man-hating stereotypes aside, all waves of feminism are rooted in a desire to liberate women by challenging the tyranny of traditional gender roles. What better way to support this noble cause, and in doing so assert your status as a rogue warrior in the battle against conformity in general, than by the very act of being a man and calling yourself a feminist? Just be prepared to field some questions about your ‘right’ to call yourself a feminist; in these instances, it’s helpful to throw the question back in the asker’s face by saying something like, “see? That’s exactly the kind of gender bias I do not support.” You: 1, other guy/girl: 0.

9. Become King of Your Domain.
There is something to this ‘house husband’ idea. If your partner happens to love her job and couldn’t dream of taking years off to raise children while you suffer through morning meetings and performance reviews, then liberate yourselves by taking charge of the homestead and let her climb the corporate ladder to her heart’s content. Pros: you aren’t enslaved by outdated social mores, you get to rule the DVR, you’re in charge of the dinner menu, and you get to mold your children into superstar athletes whose draft potential will pay for a nice retirement in Boca. Cons: none that we can find.

8. Support women’s reproductive rights.
It can be a touchy subject, but you might have already figured out that all forms of birth control benefit both your biological predisposition towards spreading your seed and your moral/financial predisposition towards not fathering multiple illegitimate children. The sexual revolution was a victory for both women and men, but unlike our female counterparts, we don’t have to confront the likelihood that a fun Saturday night might result in eighteen hours of labor on a monthly basis. Reproductive rights for women translate to sexual rights for everyone, so stick up for them like the man of conviction you are.

7. Own your emotions.
Why are you still letting people tell you that you can’t cry over shit if you feel like it? Being a feminist means taking the stigma out of completely natural acts that were shunned as “girly” in the past simply because they involve expressing emotion. So what if your dad was completely stunted and yelled at you for being sad at the end of “Lassie.” Seriously. Let it go. It’s ridiculous to brand any human activities (beyond childbirth, at least until science gets its act together) as uniquely male or female, and acting based on these archaic beliefs just as ridiculous (and not at all pro-feminist).

6. Give as good as you get.
Some traditional feminists maintain that oral sex is a load of gender inequality wrapped up in a whole mess of female objectification, but you have the power to challenge this theory and demonstrate that equality must not be limited to corporate pay scales and voting rights. Acing your own orals levels the playing field immeasurably and proves that this is a vital activity at which all people should wish to excel regardless of gender, class or creed.

5. Respect a talented businesslady.
Odds are (hopefully) good that you don’t go to the strip club with the direct intention of making women feel like they’re nothing more than sexual objects to you. You’re probalby just there for the free buffet, right? Odds are equally good (if not better) that your favorite dancers don’t sit around on their breaks wishing they could figure out how to break free from the iron grip of making piles of cash simply for being hot. Yes, there are things about stripping that probably suck a whole lot, but there are things about every job that suck a whole lot, and most people have learned not to define themselves solely by what they do to pay the bills. We’ve learned a thing or ten from the talented women at our favorite establishments – not only are they masters of their craft, but they’re fairly brilliant at providing a much-needed (and recession-proof, as far as anyone can tell) service at a profitable rate – and can attest to the fact that you’ll benefit from chatting them up like you would your stockbroker or barber. The feminist cred attained by looking beyond the bustier is just an added bonus. (ed. note: tehe…bon-us)

4. Admit how much you enjoy the opposite sex.
The most feminist guys we know don’t go around judging everything by what other feminists would or wouldn’t do; instead, they’re just balls-out ecstatic about ladies. In the same way you’ve already committed to releasing your soft-and-cuddly emotional center, it’s also time to step out of the ‘aloof male’ role and enjoy what the universe has bestowed on us in the form of hot/awesome females. There are so many of them, and most of them smell good and have nice hair and pretty eyes. Feeling self-conscious about divulging your affinity for over half of the human population is just another sentiment left over from decades of oppressive gender stigmas, and it’s silly.

3. Establish some porn standards.
Porn is another touchy (yes) subject in feminist circles. Like stripping, it can be an expression of female sexual liberation, but it can also extend into no-good objectification territory. Rather than give up your entertainment of choice, though, you can make strides for equality by choosing porn with some production value and a minimal amount of non-consensual bondage. As Mr. Jerry Bruckheimer proves with every movie he produces (even the hamster one, which we’ll never admit to seeing, but which we’ll probably find an excuse to watch on demand), a genre doesn’t define the quality of the films it produces. Stand up for what you believe in by choosing quality films over crap.

2. Discern “feminist” vs. “militant manhater”
Part of the ongoing feminist struggle is with the word “feminism” itself. Somewhat ironically, the term has come to be incorrectly defined in terms of its perceived relationship to men (as in, hating them), rather than for its original focus on women’s liberation and personal freedom. Knowing things is good, though, so knowing that ‘feminism’ isn’t in itself a dirty word and explaining this fact to those not blessed with such staggering intellect is also good.

1. Don’t become a feminist to meet chicks.
First, co-opting a value system for your own superficial needs is not very liberated. Second, you should be able to meet women using your sparkling wit and the potency of your pheromones without having to resort to cheap ploys. Manly feminists ought to be in it for the general rightness and karmic bonus it affords, not the ass-getting potential it might have. Plus, the girls of today see right through the fake feminist thing. Believe us. We know.