I’m a card-carrying feminist. I always have been. Even as a kid, I knew inequality was everywhere, and as my girl power transitioned into woman power, I became even more aware of how old white men are hell-bent on maintaining the patriarchy.
But that doesn’t change the fact that when I heard a group of them politely sing “Hey Jude” together, I wept. Yes, I’m a feminist, but the music of a men’s choir moved me to tears.
It’s weird — usually when a bunch of guys open their mouths at the same time, I seethe. But when I heard the Fron Male Choir, I felt a pressure behind my face and then, inexplicably, I started crying. What was happening to me?
Believe me, I know how damaging all-male communities can be for society. I know that they offer a place where men can say horrible things about women behind our backs all while casually reassuring each other that the patriarchy is safe and sound. But I also know I haven’t felt anything this pure since before I started numbing out in my early teens. This primal sense of emotion, this stirring of my humanity, those goddamn harmonies. Sure their Adam’s apples were bobbing up and down with male privilege, but so were my shoulders. From sobbing. These soft tenors, baritones, and basses just fucking broke me.
Not to mention, the visual of men singing and moving in unison was very emotionally stirring. Yes, if I saw this many senatorial looking men gathered on a college campus or outside a Planned Parenthood, I would lose my shit. But when they’re clustered on the rooftop of some decrepit castle in Wales against a gray sky, I feel nothing but wetness on my cheeks and snot on my hands because this.shit.is.fucking.beautiful. Can somebody back me up here?
Please don’t get me wrong, this changes nothing about my unwavering stance on fraternities and the proverbial boys’ club. If anything, briefly having access to my own feelings lets me express my convictions on a deeper level. I will continue to call out male privilege and shine a flashlight into the dark corners where it festers—except for the basements where this choir needs to practice.
I think a sign of true feminist progress is living in a world where women are able to have full agency over their lives and what they do with them. For me, I guess that means watching old dudes in red bowties sing sad classics that make me weep — that’s just what feminism means to me.