Should men be involved in feminism, and if so, how?

Men are super involved in feminism these days – and there appears to be a cultural trend in getting men involved in the fight for gender equality.

We’re seeing this daily: be it the UN’s HeForShe campaign which is all about this, or male celebrities like Pharrell Williams and Ashton Kutcher talking about rights for women (and of course, tennis player Andy Murray’s recent stand against casual sexism), and it seems like everyday there are articles in the world’s leading publications about all this too (a recent hit being the New York Times looking at how to raise feminist sons). It makes sense; men also need to change their attitudes and biases if we are to live in a world with gender equality, so of course they need to be part of the fight.

But what about when some men mean well but end up doing more harm than good? This episode explores that.

We look at male feminists – do they actually help the cause of feminism, or do they end up making everything about them, and in essence do they just talk over women, whose voices aren’t heard as much in first place? And should women ask for help from men to increase gender equality, and if so, how should they ask for this help so that it’s carried out most effectively? Or is catering the message so as not to upset men a problem in itself? We explore and untangle all this. And we also hear about the darker side too: the things that even progressive men don’t want to share publicly about their fears and resentments towards feminism…

Host: Nas aka Nastaran Tavakoli-Far


Anonymous male essay writer from England 

Lucy, woman from England 

Michelle Lim, Relationship coach from the US and based in Sweden

Shea Wilson, American male living in Sweden

Related links: 

The Gender Knot

Jackson Katz’s Tedx talk “Violence against women, it’s a men’s issue”

Sheila Kelley’s Tedx talk “Let’s get naked”

Music: Government Funded Weed by Black Ant (used under Creative Commons) Sourpatch by Glass Boy (used under Creative Commons)