Men can be feminists
Can men be feminists?, asks Aspazia of Mad Melancholic Feminista.
Hell, yes! If you live by feminist principles, work for feminist goals, and identify yourself as a feminist when it really counts, then you are a feminist. (Update: Let me stress that male feminism isn't just some remote theoretical possibility, it's a fact that I observe daily. Granted, I probably know more feminists than the average American, but even so...)
Obviously, there is a big difference between standing in solidarity with an oppressed group and being a member of that group. However, I don't know many male feminists or feminist allies who are unclear on that distinction.
Some men who support the feminist movement hesitate to call themselves "feminist" for fear of being presumptuous. I admire their hesitation. It bespeaks respect for women and what used to be called "the women's movement." However, I don't think that much reticence is called for.
Sure, some guys who call themselves feminists are poseurs or opportunists--but that's just a commentary on the prevalence of fakes and users, not on the possibility of sincere male feminism.
It takes a lot of courage for a guy to self-identify as a feminist outside his women's studies class. A man who's willing to tell his drinking buddies that he's a feminist is taking a risk. He's putting a little of his privilege on the line when it counts. That's a choice that commands respect.
Some feminists argue that men don't deserve "extra credit" for doing the right thing. I don't consider it extra credit to acknowledge the distinctive obstacles that men in our society have to overcome in order to get right with feminism.
Any guy who's willing to stand up and be counted as a feminist deserves to march under our banner.