Any definition of feminism will tell you that the goal is simply to end the oppression and/or discrimination of/against people according to their gender. Historically, feminism has fought primarily for women; but today feminism also, and will continue to fight for children, the LGBT community, as well as, believe it or not heterosexual men. Patriarchy, the raison d’être for feminist movement, includes rigid standards of patriarchal masculinity which put men, especially cis gendered heterosexual men, in a perpetual crisis. The need to constantly dominate women, children or even other men to prove their manhood, or the fear of expressing emotions like hurt, sorrow, or pain has created a breeding ground of men who do not know how to deal with their emotions, leading them to lash out, very often in physically violent ways. Women, on the other hand, are allowed to feel and express emotions men couldn’t even imagine. Even if it’s at the chagrin of our male counterparts, we have the humane liberty of being able to laugh, cry, and everything in between, and in the process, to heal and move on with our lives.
You would be hard pressed to find any feminist theory or movements that don’t seek to extricate men from the burdens that patriarchy has handed them. Today, freedom movements continue to be part of black feminist agendas; as Boko Haram continue their wave of terror in Northern Nigeria, some vigilante groups of women have taken up arms in order to help stop Boko Haram’s deadly spread. These women, are mothers, daughters, sisters, and feminists; fighting for the safety and livelihood of women and men alike. An even more noteworthy example is a group of men in Cape Town, South Africa, working under the Sonke Gender Justice organisation, who are tackling the epidemic of violence in their country, and taking traditional gender roles in South African households to task. These men are fathers, sons, brothers, and feminists; striving to create an environment where women are safe, and treated equally to men, right down to equally allocating household chores that would traditionally be done by women.
Feminism welcomes everybody, advocates for the human rights of everybody, and is an important part of African history. In order to one day win the fight against the ubiquitous and often pervasive effects of a historically patriarchal world, the movement must, and will continue to exist, grow, and to fight.