What do you think of male feminists

Feminism today

Why should men be feminists too? Feminism and the question of equality are a hot topic around the world that has preoccupied women (and men) not only since the #MeToo debate. Here six men have their say who campaign for equality in France, Germany or worldwide, help women who have been victims of violence or take a stand against sexism and thus speak out clearly in favor of feminism. By Stefanie Eisenreich

  • Photo: © Sung-Hee Seewald Photography

    Robert Franconia

    “As a man, I want to be part of the solution on the way to gender equality - and not remain part of the problem. Since I've changed my perspective, I've seen a lot more clearly. For men, dealing with these perspectives offers a lot of opportunities, especially the expansion of their own role repertoire. "

    Robert Franken advises companies in the areas of organizational culture, leading transformation and diversity and is co-founder of the Male Feminists Europe platform. He lives in Cologne.
  • Photo: © Emilio Poblete

    Bolewa Sabourin

    “To be committed to feminism means, above all, to stand up for the entirety of all human beings. The trauma women experience is passed on from generation to generation. Women need us men as allies in this struggle. By helping these women, you are helping everyone at the same time. "

    Bolewa Sabourin is a dancer in Paris and animates workshops for women who have been victims of sexual violence in the Congo and other war zones.
  • Photo: © Michael Ney

    Michael Ney

    “Feminism is the first step to the liberation of men‘ is probably THE central sentence that hit me in 2001 in the marrow of the masculine. Feminism changes the world we live in so that the masculine no longer remains subject to the imperatives of being strong. A compelling perspective for me while accompanying my 5-year-old son into the world. "

    Michael Ney, feminist, coach consultant and lecturer for communication and conflict resolution with a focus on gender issues, among other things. Lives in Magdeburg and is an author for the platform Male Feminists Europe.
  • Photo: © Vincent-Immanuel Herr & Martin Speer

    Vincent-Immanuel Herr & Martin Speer

    “As a man, advocating for equality is nothing special - it should be the norm. Do we want a better world? Then there is no way around feminism. "

    Vincent-Immanuel Herr & Martin Speer, team of authors and activists from Berlin, feminists and ambassador HeForShe Germany.
  • Photo: © Nils Pickert

    Nils Pickert

    “Feminism is also a men's business because it marks the difference between privilege and freedom. Even if I live as a man in a society that prefers me, I am not free to be who I am without feminism. "

    Nils Pickert, part-time rock wearer, author and editor-in-chief of Pinkstinks in Hamburg, full-time feminist.
  • Photo: © Anthony Ikni

    Anthony Ikni

    “My role at ONE is to sensitize as large an audience as possible to the inequality that girls and women in developing countries have to experience. Feminism is not a struggle that is confined to a specific area, but a means of achieving real equality between men and women. And that on all continents. "

    Anthony Ikni, General Representative for the French Youth Forum and Ambassador for ONE, an association that was co-founded by the singer Bono of the U2 group and is committed to fighting poverty in Africa as well as women's and human rights. He lives in Paris.

Children, children - who does my belly belong to?

“Whether children or none, we decide alone” - sovereignty over one's own body has long been one of the most important feminist demands. That is still the case - albeit under different circumstances. People can now have children who would have been denied this in the past. At the same time, statements about genetic anomalies can be made at an early stage. How are reproductive ethics and technological progress related? Six cultural workers tell their personal point of view. By Kirsten Achtelik

  • Photo (detail): © Frl. Wunder AG

    Frl. Wunder AG: "Endure irritation and open up paths"

    Whether abortion, artificial insemination or cloning: the more that is medically and technically possible, the more difficult it becomes to take a clear position - also from a feminist perspective. These debates, which are often emotionally charged, raise complex ethical questions on a subjective and societal level beyond important demands such as the right to self-determination over the female body. With theater and performance we can create other approaches, reveal normative structures and make them negotiable. They can be personal, touching, provocative and make you laugh at the same time. This creates a utopian space in which we develop something with the audience that goes beyond unambiguity and can withstand irritation and open up paths.

    The theater and performance collective Miss Wunder AG consists of seven people of different sexes, has had abortions as well as struggles with infertility and to date has seven (not only biological) children.
  • Photo (detail): © Nina Binias

    Ninia LaGrande: "Too small to have a child."

    Don't worry, it won't be like you, ”says the prenatal diagnostician and smiles happily at me. Not like me. Not that buggy. Not that small. Not so different.
    “Will it stay that small?” Asks the strange man on the street. As small as me. So small. Too small. To stay so small, it has to get bigger first. “How big is the father?” Is there still a chance for the child? Is it going to be normal after all? Is it getting big? “Is that your child?” The woman exclaims in astonishment. “You're still a child yourself,” she says afterwards. To a child at 34 to have a child. Too small to have a child. “No abnormalities,” says the human geneticist. No abnormalities. No need to act. A cause for reassurance. Everything as planned. Everything OK?!

    Ninia LaGrande lives and works in Hanover, among other things as a poetry slammer. For 34 years she has been experiencing the world from a different perspective and has been writing about it so that she doesn't have to keep banging her head on the table.
  • Photo (detail): © Sookee

    Sookee: "I'm working on creating awareness."

    Queer perspectives in the field of sexual and reproductive rights and family are particularly close to me; they also play an essential role in my music. As a pan * -cis * woman, I am happy that the possibility of getting pregnant and living as a family was uncomplicated for me [Editor's note: pan * describes a person who desires people regardless of their gender , cis * a person in accordance with their assigned gender]. It is unbearable that non-binary, homosexual and transgender people find it extremely difficult to start a family. With the song Queer animals and the seahorse as a symbol for (trans) male pregnancy and parenthood, I address the topic, again and again beyond my music, for example in interviews. It works very well: I've heard pennies drop in many conversations. I don't have any realpolitical solutions ready, but I'm working on creating awareness of the problem.

    Sookee lives as a rapper and feminist in Berlin and from there spreads idealism and critical analyzes on stages, podiums and in the biographies of many people.
  • Photo (detail): © IIPM / Thomas Müller

    Milo Rau: "Sorted out during pregnancy, celebrated in art"

    For The 120 days of Sodom, which I staged together with actors from the HORA theater at the Schauspielhaus Zürich, almost all of whom live with trisomy 21, I dealt with prenatal diagnostics: the possibility of examining the condition of the fetus. In itself a good thing (like anything that increases the freedom of choice for pregnant women or couples), but it results in nine out of ten fetuses with trisomy 21 in Switzerland being aborted. A paradoxical finding: the hard-won right to abortion becomes selection in practice. This paradox is exacerbated by the fact that the HORA troupe is awarded the highest prizes in the European theater scene. Sorted out during pregnancy, celebrated in art. We have this contradiction - or this dialectic of freedom - in The 120 days of Sodom made the topic.

    Milo Rau is a writer, film and theater director and artistic director of the IIPM - International Institute of Political Murder.
  • Photo (detail): © Anne Zohra Berrached

    Anne Zohra Berrached: "Many of those involved are ashamed and remain silent."

    Late abortion, surrogacy, egg donation: Hardly any other medical branch has developed as rapidly in recent years as reproductive medicine. It is now possible to outsource pregnancy and have your own fertilized egg cell carried to term by another woman. Women can bear children to whom they are not biologically related. Just like late abortion, these topics are rarely discussed in public in Germany. Many of those involved are ashamed and remain silent. I would like society to look at such topics together, without judging, but instead asking what fears, worries and desires are hidden behind them. In my own work, I try to make people and their stories tangible without raising my index finger.

    Anne Zohra Berrached is the director and screenwriter of the films “24 Weeks” and “Two Mothers”.
  • Photo (detail): © Moira Zoitl

    Moira Zoitl: "The way we look at the fetus has changed."

    The title of my workMisplaced Concreteness means the "concretion in the wrong, in the crazy place", as the medical historian Barbara Duden put it, and is an allusion to Lennart Nilsson's photographs of the origin of life. The pictures of the fetus ‘in the uterus appeared in 1965 in Life-Magazin: It was not possible to depict the fetus with photographic means, and so he created an interpretive representation of reality through montage. The fetus "in portrait" is already made into a living being worthy of protection prenatally. This changing view of the fetus legitimized the government to control pregnancy more and more. The personal responsibility and self-perception of the individual woman about the processes in her body was increasingly lost.

    Moira Zoitl is a visual artist. In her video installations she deals with ritual objects, images and depictions of fertility. She puts this in relation to the handling of the human body in health care.