How to Be a Good Male Ally to Feminism

Male supporters of feminism make sure you know all the facts

I’ve seen an increasing number of men claiming to be feminists and, while I’m glad you guys care, there are a lot of things I don’t think most of you understand about feminism or your personal role towards the movement.

To make things clear, I’ve composed a list of rules for men to learn from if they want to be a good ally to feminism. If you won’t hear me out, then maybe you don’t care as much about feminism as you claim you do.

1.) Stop calling yourself a feminist. This isn’t just me being mean and exclusionary to men (oh no, misandry!). I consider myself an advocate for the LGBT+ community, but as a heterosexual female, I cannot be a part of their community. There’s a word to describe that: an ally. The same concept applies to feminism. If you are not female, you are not a feminist. Sorry, not sorry.

2.) It’s not about you. This is probably the most important thing for you to understand: you do not get a voice in feminism. If feminism helps you personally, that’s great, but understand that feminism is a movement by women for women. You are not our priority, especially when you benefit from our oppression, whether you like it or not. You do not get to speak over women in feminist circles no matter how much you disagree their viewpoints (even if they are wrong, as a man, it is not your place to correct them). You do not get to derail women’s conversations about their experiences with irrelevant comments like, “Not all men are like that!” Congratulations, my friend, on making this about you. Your job is to step back, listen to women’s voices, and educate yourself.

3.) Educate other men. Stop trying to prove to feminists that you are one of the Good Guys. Don’t tell us, tell your friends! Call them out when they make inappropriate comments, when they fetishize women based on body type or race, when they catcall women, when they are abusive, coercive, manipulative or just plain disrespectful. Tell them when their behavior isn’t okay with you and explain to them why they should stop. They’re much more likely to listen to you than to us “man-hating Feminazis” (by the way, there’s a major problem if you don’t understand what’s wrong about comparing feminism to the Holocaust).

4.) Stop watching porn. I honestly could not care less about your sex life or your masturbatory habits; that’s not what this is about. Porn is extremely harmful on so many levels. It warps watchers’ views of healthy sexuality and is responsible for the degradation, abuse and rape of women in the industry. I’m not going to do your homework for you, so visit or Please be aware that The Pink Cross is a faith-based organization, which may make non-Christians uncomfortable, and both websites contain graphic descriptions of sexual violence and drug use.

5.) Drop the word “slut-shaming” from your vocabulary. This is something I would generally like to see everyone do, not just men (same with becoming anti-porn, for that matter). The problem with the word “slut-shaming” is that it calls that very same woman you’re trying to defend a slut. Why don’t we call homophobia “f**-shaming” or the racial profiling of black Americans “n*****-shaming?” The answer is self-explanatory. I recommend replacing the term “slut-shaming” with “sex-shaming” or just plain ol’ “misogyny.”

6.) If you’re a “sex-positive male feminist,” get out of my face. I have a lot of problems with the sex-positive movement, namely how it tends to shut out rape victims and asexuals for whom sex is decidedly not inherently healthy or empowering. “Sex-positive” men, I know exactly what you’re really after. Stop pretending you give a crap about liberating women from oppressive social structures. You’re just in it for the sex, because feminists are “empowered” and are “less sexually inhibited.”