By Elizabeth Plank
May 17, 2014
Have you ever overheard an insufferable dude at a bar telling some really sexist-sounding story about "tapping that," and wished it would find its glorious happy feminist ending? Well, you're not alone. In fact, there's a meme for that.
Behold Feminist Frank, the most fabulous fem-bro you'll meet on Imgur. He's looks like the perfect cross between the insufferable Steve Stifler from the American Pie franchise and A.J. Maclean in the mid-to-late '90s, and he speaks just like your male women's studies T.A. With his oh-so-casually unbuttoned shirt and stunner shades, Frank looks like he's about to make a ridiculous comment about Kate Upton's weight gain, only to whip out Sandra Bartky's theory about the modernization of patriarchal power instead. And ends it with "amiright?" Yes Feminist Frank, you are so right.
In the same way that Feminist Ryan Gosling launched a million feminist fantasises about the idea of partners willing to go to farmers markets and woman-owned book stores, Feminist Frank allows women to imagine a world where even the douchiest douche has the potential to be an ally. Maybe women can have it all?
More importantly, the meme is a stark reminder that feminism is not exclusively for women. It's possible for all kinds of men, even the ones you'd least expect, to espouse feminist beliefs. The more we see dichotomous images like Feminist Frank, the less we will be surprised when men of quality don't fear inequality (and we won’t complain if they lose their stunner shades and do up their shirts a little, too).
As Jared Keller notes in the Pacific Standard, the bro is something of a historical accident, "a hostile social virus—incubated in the safety of homosocial bonding and bred in communal organizations—that has infected the bloodstream of the United States."
Although "the misogynist portrait of modern American masculinity" may be dominant in popular culture, he writes, there's still a way for men to actively take part in the conversation about feminism, to "fix it," despite their horrific sartorial choices. Let's hope Feminist Frank is the first step in that direction.