5 Signs Your Brother Is A Feminist, Even If He Doesn't Call Himself One
It's weird to be the older sister to brothers. Of course you want all men to grow up with the belief that women are their equals and treat them as such, but it's especially close to your heart when you're blood-related to the person in question. I assume it's the same as being the mother of boys, or the younger sister to boys, but you catch my drift: no woman wants a misogynist as a brother. I remember being a kid and going to my friend's place and meeting her brother, and being stunned by his behavior. He made blatantly misogynist remarks, had the attitude that girls were "good for one thing" (sex, if you didn't get it), and something tells me he definitely wasn't on board to protect a woman's right to equal pay.
I always hoped my own brothers would be different — and luckily, they are. I mean, they're not organizing a drum circle to support feminism or running around at #PinkOut rallies waving signs, but I implicitly know they believe in gender equality. Here's how you know your brother is a feminist, even if he doesn't wear it on a t-shirt:
1. He Grew Up With Feminist Role Models
Having strong feminist role models isn't essential to being a feminist, but it helps. If your brother grew up with you, your mom, your dad, or any other strong feminist role models in his life, it was most likely instilled in him as well.
2. He Doesn't Treat You Differently Because You're A Girl
If your brother coddles you, mansplains, or thinks you're "delicate" or somehow incapable because you're a female, then he might not be much of a feminist. If your brother is a feminist, he will see you as an equal, and treat you as such in conversation and life.
3. He Doesn't Do The Tough Guy Thing On Your Behalf
It's nice to feel protected by your family, but your brother knows you're capable enough to look after yourself. If you need him, he'll be there. He cares about you and your best interests, but his protectiveness of you comes from a place of love — the same kind of protectiveness you feel for him — and not from a place of thinking you're incapable of taking care of yourself.
4. He Doesn't Argue With Him When You Explain To Him That He's A Feminist
A lot of men don't actively identify as feminists, but that is in large part to them not understanding what exactly the word means — or, more importantly, what it doesn't mean. All that matters to me is that they believe that women are equal, and deserve equal economic, political, social and cultural treatment to men. If your brother doesn't argue with you when you explain that he's a feminist because he believes in gender equality, then he's a feminist (even if he doesn't always call himself one).
5. He Listens To You
I mean, he really listens to you. He values your opinion and advice. He's someone who doesn't invalidate your feelings or dismiss you by calling you crazy when you raise your voice. He lets you have a voice and he fosters your growth because you do the same for him. Having your brother's ear means having his support, and feminist brothers will always give their support when other people might tear you down.