It’s fairly easy to find feminist literature these days, be it fiction or nonfiction. Authors have caught on to the fact that the world wants strong female characters, and the world wants them now. To have a character on the page that’s a feminist is a treat, and a privilege. But what about the male feminists? Yes, male feminists exist. (See: Matt McGorry, Mark Ruffalo, Joseph Gordon Levitt, John Legend… the list goes on.) But often times, it can be tricky to find feminist male book characters. In feminist literature, it’s almost too easy to paint male characters as villains who are instruments of the patriarchy. Taking away agency and underestimating the value of a female character are surefire ways to get across the point that your main character is a strong feminist female.
But male feminists in books do exist! They live on the page and thrive in their stories. Not all male characters in feminist literature need to be villains. Male characters, and men in general, can exist to further plotlines, to lift women up, and to treat them as equals. And the more authors craft these types of men into their stories, the more actual men will read, and lead, by example. Without further ado, here are five fictional male feminists to introduce to any meninists in your life.
1. Dumbledore From 'Harry Potter'
Dumbledore knew that a mother's love was strong enough to save a life, and never stopped believing in its power. That's because mothers are complete badasses, and Dumbledore knew that. He also trusts Hermione with the timeturner, which not just anyone would be able to control, and use properly. Rather than giving it to say, Harry, he gifts it to Hermione, because he trusts her.
2. Mr. Bennett From 'Pride And Prejudice'
My all time favorite moment in any Jane Austen novel ever, is when Mr. Bennett stands up for Lizzie's right to choose who she loves, and goes against his wife's wishes for Lizzie to marry the miserable Mr. Collins. He trusts his daughter to make her own decisions, even if it means letting go of the possibility of keeping the family estate within the family.
3. Harry Potter From 'Harry Potter'
Harry repeatedly relies on Hermione, and has no issue with admitting that she's superior than he. He befriends Luna Lovegood, holds everyone to the same standards, regardless of gender, and he doesn't write off any of the girls in Dumbledore's Army. He knows the value of people, not biased by gender.
4. Four From 'Divergent'
Though there are a handful of moments where Four rescues Tris from her own demise, there are an equal amount of moments where Tris blazes through and winds up being the one to save Four. He is vulnerable with Tris, and he treats her as an equal, rather than a lesser being.
5. Atticus Finch From 'To Kill A Mockingbird'
With Atticus Finch, Harper Lee created a stand up gentleman whose main objective in life was to pass on his knowledge, and how to treat people, to his children. He raised his son and daughter as equals, and teaches them compassion over judgment. Rather than extolling traditional masculine ideals, Finch turns his back on violence, and uses reason, logic, and care