Male Celebrities Who Have Proven Men Can Be Feminists
“Men — I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too.” Emma Watson’s invitation for men to embrace feminism through her HeforShe campaign has taken the world by storm. Many men, including celebrities, have joined Watson in her campaign for equal rights. However, some still aren’t really sure about what feminism even means.
For a movement that is all about equal rights, it gets a pretty bad rap. Feminism is often seen as a dirty word, causing many men and women to shy away from the risk of being associated with angry people who yell all day about hating men. In reality, that’s not what the movement is about — at all.
The feminist stereotype leads people to believe men can’t possibly be feminists. Luckily, these 15 male celebrities are here to shatter that stereotype and prove those people wrong.
1. John Legend
As if we needed another reason to love John Legend, he’s a proud supporter of women’s rights. Not only this, but he urged other men to be feminists during the Sound of Change Live concert in 2013.
He proclaimed to the crowd, “All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights, the world will be a better place … We are better off when women are empowered — it leads to a better society.”
Next: This actor has a great explanation for men as to what a feminist actually is.
2. Aziz Ansari
If you’re still unsure as to whether or not being a male feminist is a thing, let Aziz Ansari’s explanation on The Late Show with David Letterman break it down for you:
If someone asks if you’re a feminist, you have to say yes … You’re a feminist if you go to a Jay-Z and Beyoncé concert, and you’re not like “I feel like Beyoncé should get 23% less money than Jay-Z. Also, I don’t think Beyoncé should have the right to vote. And why is Beyoncé singing and dancing? Shouldn’t she make Jay a steak? I’m sure he’s very tired after walking and rapping those two songs.”
Ansari even urged members in the crowd to look up feminism in the dictionary. As he explains, “It just means someone who believes men and women have equal rights.”
Next: This actor hopes a male-dominated society stays in the past.
3. Jon Hamm
Mad Men has claimed a number of Emmy Awards for its portrayal of working at an advertising agency in the 1960s. Female characters constantly get shut down, with few climbing their way to power. That’s not to say they didn’t endure multiple failures because of, you know, being women.
Don Draper may not treat women particularly well (to say the least), but the actor behind him prefers equal opportunities being available for men and women. Jon Hamm compared the ‘60s to today’s society in a 2011 interview with Daily Mail:
The women who did work were treated as second class citizens, because it was a male-dominated society. That was a fact of life then. But it wouldn’t be tolerated today, and that’s quite right in my book … People look back on those days through a thick veil of nostalgia, but life was hard if you were anything other than a rich, powerful, white male.
Next: He’s a huge advocate for male feminism.
4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been one of the most prominent faces in the world of male feminism, which we are more than OK with.
As a guest on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Gordon-Levitt preached to the choir with his stance on gender roles: “I feel like, whether it’s a woman or a man, that you don’t have to be defined by your gender. You can be whatever you want to be. You don’t have to fit into the boxes that someone might tell you you have to fit into. That’s what [feminism] means to me.”
Next: This comedian respects the strong women he works with.
5. Seth Meyers
Making his way in the world of comedy, Seth Meyers has undoubtedly spent a lot of time with hilarious, career-driven women. After all, some of his Saturday Night Live co-stars included the likes of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
In a 2012 interview with ELLE magazine, Meyers expressed, “When you work with the sort of really strong women that I work with, the idea that anyone would want to make decisions for them is hard to wrap your head around.”
Next: He believes the world of comedy isn’t just for men.
6. Andy Samberg
Like Meyers, Andy Samberg agrees that the world of comedy isn’t just for men. It’s not uncommon for people to complain that women aren’t funny, but in 2013, Samberg told Glamour magazine why those people are wrong.
He ranted, “It’s crazy. Since there have been men and women, there have been funny women … f*cking idiot-ass men keep saying that women aren’t funny. It makes me crazy. I find it disgusting and offensive every time.”
Next: This royal family member empowers women.
7. Prince Harry
We always knew Prince Harry was a fan of women, but he’s officially proven just how much he respects them. During a speech at the CHIME For Change concert in 2013, the prince delivered a powerful message about how men need to be held accountable for empowering women:
When women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of everyone around them — their families, their communities, and their countries. This is not just about women, we men need to recognize the part we play, too. Real men treat women with dignity and give them the respect they deserve.
Next: He made a bold statement to get his message across.
8. Daniel Craig
James Bond star Daniel Craig made a bold statement to get his message across on International Women’s Day in 2011. He actually dressed as a woman for a short video, in which Judi Dench voiced over this feminist message: “Women are responsible for two thirds of the work done worldwide, yet earn only 10% of the total income and own 1% of the property … So, are we equals? Until the answer is yes, we must never stop asking.”
Next: This actor wasn’t happy about how women are perceived on film.
9. Ryan Gosling
The MPAA rated Blue Valentine as an NC-17 film, and Ryan Gosling wasn’t happy about it. The film includes an oral sex scene between Gosling and Michelle Williams’ characters, which clearly made the media uncomfortable.
In a statement, Gosling criticized those who deemed the scene X-rated, but wouldn’t bat an eye if it didn’t involve female pleasure:
You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen … The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.
Next: This actor doesn’t believe in the friend zone.
10. Daniel Radcliffe
While many guys are busy complaining about being put in the “friend zone” by women they’re attracted to, Daniel Radcliffe is over here providing solid proof that the friend zone doesn’t even exist.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Radcliffe explained how the friend zone is a way for men to feel better about themselves when they get rejected: “Have you ever heard a girl say she’s in the friend zone? It’s a thing I think men need to be really careful about using … I definitely think the idea of friend zone is just men going, ‘This woman won’t have sex with me.'”
Next: His Harry Potter co-star shared his feminist beliefs.
11. Alan Rickman
Actor Alan Rickman was a man to admire for more reasons than his portrayal of Snape in Harry Potter. He voiced his feminist opinions proudly, urging the benefits of treating men and women as equals.
He expressed, “There’s nothing wrong with a man being a feminist, I think it is to our mutual advantage.”
Next: He doesn’t believe in the “men’s club” attitude in comedy.
12. Ben Stiller
We can’t get enough of the men standing up for women in the world of comedy. In May 2009, Ben Stiller addressed the issue of the “men’s club” attitude in comedy that needs to change:
I think that in general, there’s a certain “men’s club” sort of attitude about comedy in terms of how men see women. But it goes deeper than that. I think men want to see women in a certain light, it’s subconscious and they’re not even aware of it. It has to do with men’s outlook on women. Hopefully that will change.
Next: This ex-president stood up for women’s rights.
13. Barack Obama
When Barack Obama was in the White House, bettering the lives of women was a priority. On Jan. 29, 2009, Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act bill into law. The act “[allowed] women to file equal pay lawsuits against their employers for up to six months after receiving their last paycheck,” according to the Huffington Post.
During a speech in January 2012, Obama discussed his support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, stating, “Too often women can’t access the information they need to fight the pay discrimination … Women can’t wait for equal pay. And I won’t stop fighting to address this inequality.”
Next: This actor refuses to move backward.
14. Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo deserves a round of applause for the numerous times he’s stood up for women’s rights. On the 40th anniversary of a U.S. abortion ruling, Ruffalo delivered a powerful speech.
“There’s a common sense and a wisdom and a decency in women that needs to be upheld,” he argues. “[That] doesn’t warrant being pushed back 30 years into the whole nightmare that brought about the abortion rights movement … As a man, I see no wisdom in going backwards.”
He shared the story of his mother, who received an illegal abortion, to prove why women need to have safe options available.
Next: This comedian delivered a feminist message during stand-up.
15. Louis C.K.
While Louis C.K. may have been making a joke that involves feminism, he was serious about his message. In his 2013 HBO stand-up special, Oh My God, he spilled some truth while making people laugh:
How do women still go out with guys, when you consider that there is no greater threat to women than men? We’re the number one threat to women! Globally and historically, we’re the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women. You know what our number one threat is? Heart disease.
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