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Happy International Women's Day! 23 Male Celebs That Prove Feminism Isn't Just Important For Women

Emmy Griffiths
by Emmy Griffiths Published on 11 June 2015
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We like to think most people know feminism as a positive movement which aims to achieve gender equality by now because y’know, that’s exactly what it is. However, there are plenty of misconceptions out there about what feminism is trying to do and sadly a lot of the time it’s women that we see trying to correct them (love you Emma Watson)…but not always. So in the spirit of gender equality, we thought we’d show the famous men who have spoken out in favour of feminism. Swooning.

Because you don't have to be a woman to be a feminist.

1. John Legend

Legend by name, legend by nature! Singer and husband to the incredible Chrissy Teigan is all about the empowerment of women and we love him for it.

He said: "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."

2. George RR Martin

The Game of Thrones author is well known to have written a wide spectrum of different, fully realised female characters in the fantasy series (even Cersei is 3-dimensional character even though she is a TERRIBLE person).

That being said, he had the perfect answer when questioned about why his female characters are so great...

3. Tom Hiddleston

Of course Tom Hiddleston is a feminist, handsome Asgardian Prince that he is!

He said: “I believe in the strength and intelligence and sensitivity of women. My mother, my sister [they] are strong. My mum is a strong woman and I love her for it."

4. Ryan Gosling

As if the 'feminist Ryan Gosling' memes weren't enough, the actor even bases his roles depending on the women in the movie (if they suck, he's not interested). Nice one Ryan, you suave angel you.

He said: "I'm attracted to films that have strong female characters because there are strong female characters in my life."

"My sister was my best friend and my hero growing up. Because I was home-schooled I didn't have a lot of friends, and I did ballet which was always just girls. All of that had an effect on my brain."

5. Ashton Kutcher

After Ashton Kutcher starred in 'No Strings Attached', (not to be confused with basically the exact same film, Friends With Benefits, starring his wife Mila Kunis), and he's particularly a fan of making sex fun and acceptable for women (we knew there was a reason we liked you Ashton).

He said: "I think there’s so much that’s not said about sex in our country, even from an educational level…the one thing they teach about is how to get pregnant or how to not get pregnant, but they don't really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women…

"Part of that creates a place where women aren't empowered around their own sexuality and their own sexual selves, and from a purely entertainment point of view, to create a movie with a female lead that's empowered with her own sexuality is a powerful thing."

6. Aziz Ansari

The Parks and Recreations actor and comedian has said he has been “a feminist [his] whole life”, and discussed his strong point of view on David Letterman (there’s even audience involvement)! Also, what he is saying could NOT be more true. Preach, Aziz!

7. Daniel Craig

Putting his money where his mouth is, Daniel Craig appeared in a short video to support gender equality dressed as a woman while Judi Dench narrates: “We’re equals aren’t we 007? Yet a man is still likely to earn more money than a woman, even one doing the same job. You have a far better chance of entering political office or becoming a company director…

"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.”

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8. Matt Damon

Forget his Academy awards, Matt Damon is all about raising his daughters right. When asked what his biggest goal in life was, he said: “If I had a bucket list, I'd say raising my four girls to be strong, good women would be number one." Matt Damon everybody. We can forgive you for Oceans Thirteen now.

9. Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart is a strong advocate for female rights, particularly due to growing up with domestic abuse. He said: “I heard police or ambulance men, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.”

"They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”

10. Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan campaigns for equal rights for women after seeing the hardship his single parent mother went through raising him in County Meath, Ireland.

The former James Bond star and general lovely hairy yet handsome guy explained: “And certainly in those dark days, in the '50s in Ireland, if you were a single parent living in that society, you were somewhat shamed and stigmatised. I can certainly relate it to my parents, especially my mother.

"The old man took to the hills and my mother never saw him again, and suddenly you are spoken about in the Sunday service in church, never directly but they would bring up the issue of being a single parent and of marriage falling apart.”

11. Justin Timberlake

Raising awareness using his proficient acting skillz, JT knows how to make you pay attention to the issues, this one being advert the campaign to end human trafficking and sex slavery.

In the short clip, the Suit & Tie singer tries to shave his face with a chainsaw to prove how he is a real man (the application of the shaving foam for a particularly, Oscar-worthy performance). If this all sounds a bit weird, the point is that men might do anything to look like a 'real man'. but no matter what they do, real women don't buy women for sex.

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12. Joseph Gordon Levitt

Star of (500) Days of Summer Joseph Gordon Levitt knows how it is, saying: "What [feminism] means to me is that you don't let your gender define who you are - you can be who you want to be, whether you're a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever.

"However you want to define yourself, you can do that and should be able to do that, and no category ever really describes a person because every person is unique. That, to me, is what 'feminism' means. So yes, I'd absolutely call myself a feminist."

13. Mark Ruffalo

The Incredible Hulk actor had a few things to say to anyone who participated in the ‘I am not a feminist’ Internet trend, pointing out that their comments were totally ignorant.

*FANTASTIC RANT AHEAD*

He said: First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, ‘I am not the feminist babysitter.’

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who is forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis centre, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labour union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (it is very much legal in many parts of the world. To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short. You know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorant spit on the sacred struggles of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”

RUFFALO FOR THE TELLING-IT-LIKE-IT-IS-AWARD.

14. Prince Harry

Prince Harry has royally risen in our books with his views on equality after delivering a powerful message at the women’s rights focused Chime For Change event in London.

The young royal and Britain's most handsome ginger said: “Thank you for showing your support for women’s rights…We know that 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 recognise the part we play too. Real men treat women with dignity and give them the respect they deserve.”

15. Jamie Foxx

Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx was brought up by his grandmother, who he calls “a very strong woman”, and he wants to ensure that he raises his daughter to be exactly the same way.

The Django Unchained star says: “Connecting with my daughter is the most important thing in my life - the priority. I want to be a man who shows up for her. I want to have such a big influence on her, so that she knows she can call me about anything, which she does.”

16. Joss Whedon

We've talked about Joss Whedon's fantastic female heroes before, but the screenwriter doesn't leave his ideas in his shows. When asked about why his female characters are so freaking awesome, he said: “I think it’s because of my mother. She really was an extraordinary, inspirational, tough, cool, sexy, funny woman. And that’s the kind of woman I’ve always surrounded myself with, my friends and particularly my wife, who is not only smarter than and stronger than I am, but occasionally taller too.

"I think it also goes back to my father and my stepfather, because they prized wit and resolve in the women they were with above all things and they were among the rare men who understood that recognising someone else’s power doesn’t diminish your own.”

17. The Dalai Lama

The spiritual leader proclaimed: “I call myself a feminist. Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?”

The Dalai Lama just SLAYED.

18. Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama has proven to be a strong advocate for women and a defender of the issues that are important to women.

He has publicly announced his dedication to improving the lives of the female sex, announcing: "Women can't wait for equal pay. And I won't stop fighting to address this inequality."

THANKS OBAMA. LIKE, SINCERELY.

19. Ezra Miller

We Need To Talk About Kevin actor Ezra Miller took part in the One Billion Rising To Stop Violence Against Women campaign in Times Square and held a placard in the crowd like a total badass.

He told the assembled crowd: "One in three women in the world will experience domestic violence or rape within the course of their lifetime. To me, I grew up in a household of women and I feel that all revolutionary causes should start with addressing misogyny."

WILL YOU JOIN IN OUR CRUSADE WHO WILL BE STRONG AND STAND WITH ME! VIVA LA REVOLUTION (etc etc).

20. Ian Somerhalder

Explaining why he took part in ‘The Real Man’ campaign run by Womens Aid UK, Ian Somerhalder said: “I wanted to take part in this campaign because it’s so easy to forget the many women who live their lives in fear because of domestic violence.

"Men have an important role to play in sending out the message that real men do not hurt or abuse their partners.

Team Damon everyone. Team Damon.

21. Simon Pegg

In response to Emma Watson's #HeforShe campaign, Simon Pegg tweeted: "Husband to a wife, father to a daughter, son to a mother. You bet I'm on board."

22. Will Smith

Will Smith weighed in on some amazing parenting advice about his daughter Willow. He said: "We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world.

"She can’t cut my hair but that’s her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives."

23. Daniel Radcliffe

The Harry Potter actor kept his views on feminism simple and to the point.

He said: I'm a feminist, just by the virtue of the fact that I believe in equal rights for everyone."

He probably also should have mentioned how he'd be dead several hundred times if it wasn't for Hermione. Come on Dan.

What do your males friends or partner think about feminism? Tweet us @sofeminineUK

Check out the faces of the feminists!

You might also like: Famous Feminist Men We Love

Feminist Men We Love © Getty

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