Round of Applause
The "F" word. Yes, Feminism. Many men fear it — let alone choose to label themselves with it.
But here are 10 famous men who truly get it, and by “it” we mean that men and women should enjoy the same rights and respect. These celebrities have used their place on the public stage to show their support for women on every level. We appreciate them for it and hope they inspire many, many more men to follow their example.
From Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Joe Biden, explore our list of leading men.
Joe Biden has been a champion of women's rights long before he became our VP: He drafted the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, which provided funds and support toward violent crimes against women, among other things.
Often called a "closeted male feminist" (because coming outright with it could be bad for his political image, sadly), he continues to speak out on women's issues, making them everyone's issue. Check out his memorable speech on violence against women from 2012 here.
Fashion photographer Nigel Barker showed his feminist colors in an interview with HuffPost Live, in which he took issue with supermodels being called divas. "If they were successful men at the top of their business ... and they were heated, or were serious with what they had to say and raised their voice ... [people would say] 'That's because he's successful,’” he said. "Because these are very pretty women all of a sudden they get called a 'diva.'"
The Thor actor interviewed co-star Natalie Portman for ELLE UK, sneaking some feminist discussion into the dialogue, and he's been hugely supportive of pal Emma Watson's #HeforShe movement on Twitter.
“I stand with you. I believe in gender equality,” he tweeted along with a selfie and a sign bearing the #HeforShe hashtag before sending out a follow-up tweet of Watson's powerful quote: “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.” Preach.
The comedian was recently on Letterman talking about why he's a feminist — and how a lot of other people are too, without knowing it. "You're a feminist if you go to a Jay-Z and Beyoncé concert and you're not like, 'I feel like Beyoncé should get 23 percent less money than Jay-Z," he said. "'Also, I don't think Beyoncé should have the right to vote and why is Beyoncé singing and dancing? Shouldn't she make Jay a steak?'"
After explaining why he identifies as feminist in multiple interviews, the Don Jon actor created a video explaining why he's a feminist (he got it from his mom, he says) as an attempt to further the cultural conversation. Addressing men (and women) who don't believe feminism is for them, he explains that as long as women continue to make less than men do, feminism is a "really great thing for us to be talking about."
In 2009, Patrick Stewart gave a speech about ending violence against women for Amnesty International where he explained that "the people who could do most to improve the situation of so many women and children are in fact, men."
He continues to champion the cause, notably speaking again in 2013 at Comicpalooza, during which he paused his talk to embrace an audience member who was affected by violence. The video of his speech went viral, garnering over 4 million YouTube views and cementing Stewart's place as a male feminist icon.
The Glee star was an active participant in Watson’s #HeforShe campaign on Twitter, telling his nearly 2.5 million followers that it's a great cause to get behind. Openly gay, Colfer has been outspoken about bullying (something he himself experienced) and equality for the LGBT community as well.
The former NFL player has been quite vocal about a "misogynistic core" that lies at the heart of the current #GamerGate movement, highlighting the fact that women who speak out against violence and female objectification in video games get scathing comments and death threats while no harm comes to men like him for doing the same thing.
He also uses Twitter as a platform to talk about gender equality and gay rights. (He notably told CNN that having a gay teammate is not a "distraction" as some have purported and that the idea that it would be is ridiculous.)
As the writer of the popular blog UnTangled, this psychologist pens thoughtful essays that typically center around gender equality and women's issues using his daughter as a jumping off point for the conversation. Two of his most notable pieces are "A Father's Letter to Young Men on How to Treat a Woman," and "Words from a Father to His Daughter from the Makeup Aisle." You won't regret reading them.
The vice president of communications and outreach at Women Thrive Worldwide, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring change at the government level, Burley regularly tweets about niche women's and human rights issues that get little attention from mainstream media. He also encouraged his followers to post pictures of themselves tagged with #BoyLikeMe and #GirlLikeMe to show their support for creating a better, safer world for girls.