Male Femininsts - Life - Stylist Magazine

Ryan Gosling Feminist

The Male Feminists

Yay! Men!

While we're good at remembering the extraordinary women who have fought for gender equality and brought about significant changes in society, it's also worth thinking about the men who have also championed women's rights, which may not have otherwise been brought to the fore.

By no means is this us saying that we need men to fight our battles for us, but it's important to recognise that men are pretty great too. So, here's a whole load of chaps we like.

(Images: Rex Features)

  • John Legend

    John Legend

    Yes, we mean that John Legend. Yes, the bloke who… More details

    John Legend

    John Legend

    Yes, we mean that John Legend. Yes, the bloke who sung Ordinary People. At a recent press conference for Chime for Change, he said: "All men should be feminists. If men care about women's rights, the world will be a better place." [via]. He also added this: "we are better off when women are empowered –- it leads to a better society." Form an orderly queue, ladies.

  • Patrick Stewart

    Patrick Stewart

    A fervent supporter of women's rights, Sir Pat… More details

    Patrick Stewart

    Patrick Stewart

    A fervent supporter of women's rights, Sir Pat has spoken out various times about violence against women, as a result of seeing his mother suffer under the hands of his father, who was abusive. At Comicpalooza in Texas this year, a young woman named Heather Skye thanked the actor for a speech he gave to Amnesty International in 2009 on violence against women, as she'd been a victim of domestic abuse. Watch the video here

  • Dustin Hoffman

    Dustin Hoffman

    Despite the fact that this interview came out in… More details

    Dustin Hoffman

    Dustin Hoffman

    Despite the fact that this interview came out in 2012, this clip of Dustin Hoffman speaking about his experiences when he was in Tootsie went viral in early July this year. We don't want to spoil it for you, so watch the whole interview here, just make sure you have a couple of tissues handy.

  • The Dalai Lama

    The Dalai Lama

    We can probably all agree that the Dalai Lama's… More details

    The Dalai Lama

    The Dalai Lama

    We can probably all agree that the Dalai Lama's pretty ace. Not only does he have one of the best Twitter feeds, upon receiving the National Civil Rights Museum’s International Freedom Award, in Memphis, Tennessee, he said: "I call myself a feminist. Isn't that what you call someone who fights for women's rights?"

  • Kurt Cobain

    Kurt Cobain

    The late lead singer of Nirvana was well-known… More details

    Kurt Cobain

    Kurt Cobain

    The late lead singer of Nirvana was well-known for being outspoken on various subjects, and in particular rape: “Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.” [via NME]

  • Andy Samberg

    Andy Samberg

    Andy Samberg, made famous through his spoof band… More details

    Andy Samberg

    Andy Samberg

    Andy Samberg, made famous through his spoof band The Lonely Island, could be construed as being sexist but actually he's not. And here's why: when he went to the Spike TV awards (Spike TV is a channel just for men), he wore a National Organisation for Women, Berkeley t-shirt. When quizzed on it, he said: "I thought it would be funny, because obviously Spike TV is very in the opposite direction... but you know, I'm from Berkeley, California, I can't go into that thing wholeheartedly. I had to put a little wink in somewhere to let everyone know back home that I hadn't gone all the way." [via ]

  • Bill Bailey

    Bill Bailey

    Just look at his t-shirt, need we say more? More details

    Bill Bailey

    Bill Bailey

    Just look at his t-shirt, need we say more?

  • Peter Tatchell

    Peter Tatchell

    A staunch supporter of gay and women's rights,… More details

    Peter Tatchell

    Peter Tatchell

    A staunch supporter of gay and women's rights, Peter Tatchell has written an essay on why he admires the lesser known Sylvia Pankhurst. "I like the way Sylvia combined feminism and socialism, and love her feisty attitude and irreverent style of protest. She is much more inspiring to me than her better-known mother and sister, the other suffragette leaders Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst." [via]

  • Baaba Maal

    Baaba Maal

    Senegalese singer Baaba Maal has been a supporter… More details

    Baaba Maal

    Baaba Maal

    Senegalese singer Baaba Maal has been a supporter of women's music in Africa. "I'm so proud these days to see more and more women are in the frontline in music" [via guardian.com]

  • Antony Hegarty

    Antony Hegarty

    When discussing gender politics on Dazed Digital,… More details

    Antony Hegarty

    Antony Hegarty

    When discussing gender politics on Dazed Digital, this is what singer Antony Hegarty had to say: "Women have a full spectrum of potential, just like men do. It’s more about tendencies and reaching into the idea of archetypes. It’s just framing it semantically, so we can simplify the idea and begin to grapple with our options. There are plenty of women that work within male systems or support them: raising little kings, relegating their daughters to the kitchen. Women have conspired with men in this process because it served women’s interests in the past, when they needed men to defend the fortress – it was a matter of priority. But those archetypes are not serving our best interests any more." [via]

  • David Steel

    David Steel

    David Steel was credited with introducing, as a… More details

    David Steel

    David Steel

    David Steel was credited with introducing, as a Private Member's Bill, the Abortion Act 1967. With this new law, women were granted more power over their own bodies. [via]

  • Ryan Gosling

    Ryan Gosling

    We did a quick poll in the office and it turns… More details

    Ryan Gosling

    Ryan Gosling

    We did a quick poll in the office and it turns out that Ryan Gosling is every woman's dream male feminist. If you weren't persuaded by his credentials from feministryangosling.com tumblr, then perhaps the following might change your mind. When discussing the sex scene between him and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine he said: “ Black Swan has an oral scene between two women, and that’s an R rating,” he told the World Entertainment News Network, “but ours is between a husband and his wife, and that’s NC-17?” [via]. What he was saying was that when a woman performs oral sex on a man in a movie, the ratings board deems that R-worthy, but if the genders are reversed, the rating is stricter.

  • Barack Obama

    Barack Obama

    OK, we've harboured a crush for POTUS ever since… More details

    Barack Obama

    Barack Obama

    OK, we've harboured a crush for POTUS ever since we saw him singing Al Green. But that aside, he's also pretty straight down the line when it comes to championing women's rights. "I want women to have their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons." That's pretty brilliant, no?

  • Rob Delaney

    Rob Delaney

    Comedian Rob Delaney recently wrote this piece… More details

    Rob Delaney

    Rob Delaney

    Comedian Rob Delaney recently wrote this piece for the Guardian, in it he said: "I support a woman's right to safe, legal abortion because centuries of history shows us that women are going to get abortions whether they're safe and legal or not. And when they're not safe and legal, these women will often die terribly or be damaged irreparably." Full article here.

  • Seth Meyers

    Seth Meyers

    In response to the following question: Why do… More details

    Seth Meyers

    Seth Meyers

    In response to the following question: Why do Republicans seem so obsessed with female reproductive rights? He replied: "It's hard for me to say. 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." [via]

  • Jon Hamm

    Jon Hamm

    What a handsome man Jon Hamm is. Not only that,… More details

    Jon Hamm

    Jon Hamm

    What a handsome man Jon Hamm is. Not only that, he's also said some pretty ace things about women. "It is an important thing to instill in a younger generation about the impact of rape, the lasting impact of rape. Children from grade school to high school to college are incredibly susceptible and incredibly malleable, as we all know. To get them early, to teach them about the facts and figures and other realities of rape is key. It is an important issue to me as not only a man, but as an educator, as a human being and as a person on this planet." [via]

  • Louis C.K.

    Louis C.K.

    Louis C.K. came under fire for supporting fellow… More details

    Louis C.K.

    Louis C.K.

    Louis C.K. came under fire for supporting fellow Daniel Tosh when he made a rape joke. However, he did make amends and actually even incorporated jokes about how women are threatened by men in his stand-up routine]. And do you know what? It's funny.

  • Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

    Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

    Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa was a magician,… More details

    Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

    Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa

    Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa was a magician, alchemist and also a feminist. His infamous “feminist” text, De nobilitate et praecellentia foeminei sexus declamatio (On the Nobility and Superiority of the Female Sex), suggested that women have been excluded due to social conditioning, among other things, by their male oppressors and not due to any real sense of inferiority as propagated since the Greeks.

  • Jackson Katz

    Jackson Katz

    An anti-sexist activist and expert on violence,… More details

    Jackson Katz

    Jackson Katz

    An anti-sexist activist and expert on violence, media and masculinities, Jackson Katz's talk at TED created a real buzz and garnered over 600.000 views on YouTube. And for good reason. In his talk he discusses violence against women and about gender and asks why domestic violence is such a problem. Here is his full TED talk.

  • Fuekemshi II, the fon (king):

    Fuekemshi II, the fon (king):

    In Cameroon, women are stigmatised if they lose… More details

    Fuekemshi II, the fon (king):

    Fuekemshi II, the fon (king):

    In Cameroon, women are stigmatised if they lose their husbands and they become widows. However, Fuekemshi II, the fon was first ruler to sign an agreement to protect widows in the region in May 2008 and support the first Widowhood Rites Project in the area. [via]

  • Chuck D

    Chuck D

    This isn't an obvious one, but it's true Chuck D… More details

    Chuck D

    Chuck D

    This isn't an obvious one, but it's true Chuck D is a bona fide feminist. Chuck has spoken out against misogyny in hip hop and he actively mentors female MCs. Here he discusses the music of civil rights and women in hip hop.

  • Joss Whedon

    Joss Whedon

    The man who created our ultimate female hero ever… More details

    Joss Whedon

    Joss Whedon

    The man who created our ultimate female hero ever was always going to feature in this list. Joss Whedon, maker of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has always been our poster boy when we're discussing male feminists. It also helps that he was raised by a "hardcore feminist".

  • Ad Rock from The Beastie Boys

    Ad Rock from The Beastie Boys

    Back in 1999, there was great controversy… More details

    Ad Rock from The Beastie Boys

    Ad Rock from The Beastie Boys

    Back in 1999, there was great controversy surrounding the music festival Woodstock. This was because there had been a high number of rapes, which had occurred during the event. But no one was prosecuted. However, at that year's MTV awards, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys in his acceptance speech for best video addressed the fact that there had been so many cases of sexual assaults and rapes at the festival and the need for bands and festivals to pay much more attention to the security details at their concerts.

  • Yashir Ali

    Yashir Ali

    Why women shouldn't fake orgasms is a brilliant… More details

    Yashir Ali

    Yashir Ali

    Why women shouldn't fake orgasms is a brilliant piece by Yashi Ali. To sum up: women are still having to placate the male ego by faking orgasms and this isn't right. "Women are not simply a tool for our sexual pleasure, they are ultimately a tool for making every part of our lives easier." Read his full article here.

  • Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam

    Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam

    As part of the pro-choice movement in America,… More details

    Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam

    Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam

    As part of the pro-choice movement in America, there was a series of benefit concerts set up to raise awareness and to allow musicians to show their support for the campaign. Eddie Vedder was a staunch supporter of the cause and said: "The music is a fine reason to come, and the fact is it's spreading a message...you're getting through." [via]

  • Nicholas Kristof

    Nicholas Kristof

    Renowned columnist Nicholas Kristof has been a… More details

    Nicholas Kristof

    Nicholas Kristof

    Renowned columnist Nicholas Kristof has been a consistent champion of women's rights in developing countries. In many articles, he discusses what problems women and girls in developing countries face and how focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. "Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution." [via]

  • Ian McKellen

    Ian McKellen

    In an interview with the trade paper, The Stage,… More details

    Ian McKellen

    Ian McKellen

    In an interview with the trade paper, The Stage, Ian McKellen called for more older female parts. "People might have thought 'Who wants to see plays about older women?' Well, the general public do. An awful lot of older women and gentlemen go to the theatre, and the population is getting older." Ah, Gandalf, we knew we liked you for more than your beard.

  • William Morris

    William Morris

    William Morris was a designer who spearheaded the… More details

    William Morris

    William Morris

    William Morris was a designer who spearheaded the arts and crafts movement and a successful businessman. He was also a social reformer and a feminist. "As long as women are compelled to marry for a livelihood, real marriage is a rare exception and prostitution or a kind of legalized rape the rule," he wrote to George Bernard Shaw in 1885.

  • Pedro Almodovar

    Pedro Almodovar

    There's a debate about whether Spanish director… More details

    Pedro Almodovar

    Pedro Almodovar

    There's a debate about whether Spanish director is a feminist. But we're going to go out on a limb here and say that he is. And here's why: he's got the ability to portray women in all their forms. Whether that's femme fatales, business women, depressed girls, mothers, daughters and transgender, he's got the bases covered. Not only that he doesn't pretend that women are perfect and for that, we salute him.

  • Billy Cain

    Billy Cain

    When Texas recently decided that it would… More details

    Billy Cain

    Billy Cain

    When Texas recently decided that it would implement a new law that effectively closed down the majority of its abortion clinics, many Texan women were upset by this, including Billy Cain's daughter who held up this sign at a demonstration. However, Billy Cain's daughter was then the subject of anti pro-choice abuse, and so he took to Twitter to defend her. What a dad. What a man.

Tags: Feminism

Share on

or email.

  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Delicious

Add a comment

CONNECT WITH STYLIST

Our Most…

The rise of gin snobbery

The rise of gin snobbery

Knowing your cucumber from your liquorice…

More
Top 50 most romantic quotes from literature

Top 50 romantic lines from literature

Losing hearts at first sight, soul-entwining…

More
The Best 100 Closing Lines From Books

The best 100 closing lines from books

Don't judge a book by its cover - instead, try…

More
12 takes on Marilyn Monroe

12 takes on Marilyn Monroe

As soon as we saw the first photos (above) of…

More

London's most creative and challenging pub quizzes

Question: What's a better way to spend a chilly…

More

Panda triplets open their eyes for the first time

It's official: there's nothing in this world…

More

Supermodel delivery: Pizza for one at Fendi

Forget the stereotypical supermodel fare of…

More
Stylist back issues

Your Vote Counts

It's one of the chilliest Augusts in decades. Are you...

It's one of the chilliest Augusts in decades. Are you...