WOMEN
10/22/2014 11:01 am ET Updated Oct 22, 2014

So You Want To Be A Male Feminist? Here Are 11 Simple Rules To Follow

Tibrina Hobson via Getty Images

Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Aziz Ansari. John Legend.

These are a few of many male celebrities who have recently come out as feminists. Emma Watson's high-profile #HeForShe campaign and the White House's launch of #ItsOnUs against sexual violence have encouraged many more men to think critically about feminism. More importantly, about why it's necessary to affirm and practice gender equality, given the many ways institutional sexism and the patriarchy havecreated environments where conventionally white, masculine, cisgender men have power and privilege.

Keep in mind that a feminist, as defined by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes (and various gender identities). Although some believe that men have no place in the movement, others argue that strategic social movements should build bridges of solidarity. It's not about focusing or coddling men, but instead about recognizing that people who have privilege can operate with respect and understanding by taking the leads from those who have been marginalized.

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