Nip Talk: Boys Are Feminists Too
Body talk conversations are back. Enough with the girls for today, we also want to know some experiences the boys had. Growing up as a girl there are some advantages to openly express feelings, to be emotional and insecure publicly and not to be shamed for that.
It’s a different path for most boys, the right to be sensitive and show the signs of weakness is taken away. The image of strong, untouchable and distant from feelings man is an ideal. Here we have Karolis, to tell us a little about perspective of a guy, ideas, challenges, and stereotypes he faced while growing up.
Where are you from?
Lots of places. I’m from Lithuania. I was born in Marijampole, after school I moved to study in Kaunas & now I live in Vilnius.
How old are you?
22 & a half.
What do you do in life?
I’m a photographer, fashion, food, COFFEE, vinyl & Twin Peaks lover.
Does body talk exist in your family?
Yes. When I was about 11 my parents gave me a book about body and puberty and told me if I have any questions they would help me. I was afraid if I like boys instead of girls, so I talked to my parents about it and they told me there's nothing bad about it and it’s all natural the way it is.
Was it an open topic among your friends?
Yes, everybody talked about it. There were some talks between boys, sharing what each of us heard from older teens. It was secret talks, sometimes by the joke, but mostly between classmates of the same age.
What is sexism for you?
One of the things I hate and wish that wouldn’t exist.
Do you face sexism in your everyday life or anytime?
Yes. Mostly I hear it from random people that I don’t know. About the clothing, looks or behavior for example how a girl or boy should act, look, what is proper to do for one or another sex, or that a guy looks girly and vice versa.
What do you think about Instagram banning women’s nipples?
I think it's nonsense because they're the same as men.
Are you a feminist?
Yes, I am. I follow blogs and listen to interviews what’s happening around, I try to tell my friends what I've read or found out. When I see some inequality I try to point it out, but there are times when I catch myself doing things from a habit not even thinking it could be disrespectful.
For example, when meeting people I used to shake hands only with guys and for girls only say ‘hello’.
Where there 'gender roles' in your family when growing up?
A little bit but not as much to bring to the fore.
Did you have a strong father/mother figure?
Yeah, they both have been and are my figures. They always help me no matter what, they have never done anything major that made me feel sad. Their actions are always reasonable & logical.
I like what they do in general: my dad basically formed my taste in music, mom involved me in fashion and expressing myself through fashion, to shop elsewhere than fast-fashion shops & experiment. They are always tolerant & respectful with my decisions or whatever I do.
What challenges do you face being a male? Does it bother you?
Hmm… Living in society is challenging because of the stereotypes that I should be strong, ‘manly', tough, earn money and support the family, can’t cry.
Describe what feminism is for you.
Destroying boundaries between gender roles, what is masculine & feminine. Equality. For me, it is not only a movement somewhere far away. It's active in my environment.
Feminism inspires me to live stereotype-free, also it’s inspiring how it changed the society over the years. My friends & people, I know often discuss sexism/feminism topics, which makes me happy.
Do you remember facing gender roles in your childhood? I mean, when you were expected to 'act like a man' & etc.
Yes, it was more popular among other children than grownups.
It’s common for girls to borrow clothes from their girlfriends and boyfriends. What do you think about boys borrowing clothes from their girlfriends?
It is absolutely the same and amazing. I borrow clothes from my girlfriend pretty often.
Does sex talk exist in your family?
As I remember no. I was left to find things out by myself.
What would you like to say (for this topic) whoever is reading these words?
Whatever you’re facing, everything is going to be alright, just believe in yourself!!!