Feminist High School Boys Declare: “I Am a Feminist”

Screen shot 2014-06-17 at 3.54.55 PMThink boys can’t be feminists? The seven boys who have taken my high school feminism class in the last two years disagree. They even got together to make a video to share the ways in which feminism has made an impact on their lives as young men.

“My reason for taking the feminism course is that, especially in high school, there’s not opportunities like this that come around, ever,” says Bruke, a high school senior who took my feminism class when he was a junior in the fall of 2012.

“At one point, we wrote an intersectionality essay, and that taught me that nothing is really one-dimensional. Like you can’t just be black. You can be black and gay; or like black, gay, disabled. There are many different things that don’t relate to the master narrative,” Nathaniel, a senior, who also took my course in 2012 and later appeared with Gloria Steinem on “Nick News” on Nickelodeon to talk about feminism and young people.

“Every time you read a magazine, every time you listen to a song, you can hear the misogynist undertone,” says Russell, a senior who took my class this past fall of 2013.

“It is a life-changing course,” said Luis, a senior.

Watch these seven boys share their thoughts on feminism. They’ve just graduated from high school and will be continuing their work on women’s and gender studies and feminist activism as they move on to their college years.

See if their stories can’t convince you to teach a women’s and gender studies class at your high school.

Reprinted with permission from Feminist Teacher

 

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Ileana Jiménez is an English teacher at a New York high school, where she offers courses on feminism, LGBT literature, Toni Morrison and memoir writing. She is the founder and sole blogger at Feminist Teacher.

 

Comments

  1. I just shed a happy tear of hope.

  2. So good to see this happening!!! Thank you! x

  3. Outstanding. This all puts me in mind of TV and film creator Joss Whedon’s reply to an interviewer who asked him why he continues to write stories with strong lead female characters: “Because people continue to ask me that question.”

    What surprised me recently was my brother’s surprise at my annoyance at his referring to me as a ‘male feminist,’ as if that term needed the qualification.

  4. Christina says:

    A good education is everything . Bravo Ileana!

  5. This is awesome! The impact that a feminist studies course in a high school would be astronomical. please, where are the petitions to make this happen?

  6. Amy Wharton says:

    Very nice, very nice. Hopeful.

  7. I’m inspired!!!!! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Rebecca Fairclough says:

    Ileana thank you for being an awesome teacher and educating these young men and others about the real meaning of feminism.
    Now please come to the UK and teach our young men. Thank you.

  9. This is brilliant! As Joss Whedon once said: inequality cheapens the lives of every man, woman and child who come into contact with it.

    Also, the patriarchy keeps men and boys down and unenlightened as much as women and girls, albeit in slightly different ways. Knowing about it and studying it will give us all the tools to see when we are being manipulated or spouting ideas and opinions that are not really our own but have been reinforced by, well, everything really. Feminism is about the freedom for us all to see the truth of the individual. To me at least. Good luck to all those who walk this path!

  10. Bonnie Zare says:

    Ileana, this made my week! What an inspiring video. Clearly your class was transformational. It will be great to show this in my Intro to Women’s Studies class at the University of Wyoming this fall.

  11. Whitney Adams says:

    Please change the first word to, “Think”. The rest is brilliant.

  12. Peg Schwartz says:

    Ileana,
    Thanks for doing this work, strengthening the minds and resolve of both girls and boys! I have hopes that when my 10-yr-old daughter is old enough to date she will have many, many smart, feminist men as friends and potential partners.

  13. Fabulous! Thanks so much to the guys! And thanks for sharing!

  14. Shahin Larhnimi says:

    The reason for some guys for taking the class is to see what women discuss and they often do not know what feminism actually is about. They may think that women take the class to argue about how they do not like men. As one of the guys said in the video that he thought that woman studies was all about “ a total hatred about men,” while some of the guys actually knew that it is much about equality. Education is a way to get messages across and it is a great way to teach those who have no idea about feminism and get them to understand that it is not about women and how they hate men. These guys that actually have knowledge about what is going on is giving me hope for the future, people have to be educated and understand what really is going on instead of making their own assumptions.

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