Joe Bradywood – “Feminism advocates an equal society, central to which is the need to create equality between women, men and non-binary people”

How do you self-define? 

I’m a cis-gendered, straight male.

What does feminism mean to you? 

To me, feminism advocates an equal society, central to which is the need to create equality between women, men and non-binary people. It involves the end to gender discrimination in any aspect of society, and the full unfiltered acceptance of how a person wishes to self-define.

What do the words “woman” and “man” mean to you? 

The words “woman” and “man” are just words society uses to separate people based on objective appearance and sexual organs. We assign meaning to these basic appearances that are not always accurate.

When did you become aware of your gender?

I don’t know. When I was a child I was treated and raised as a boy, so I don’t really know when I became aware of it.

Do you ever feel unsafe due to your gender? 

No I haven’t. I have felt uneasy in certain situations but never threatened because of it.

Do you feel treated differently by men and women? 

Not really. There are different reasons for why people treat me the way they do, but the ways in which men and women treat me are always generally the same.

What do you think are the positive ways that the world views women? 

That the world sees women as kind, caring and clever individuals might overall be positive, but then again, these are just stereotypes, so I’m not sure if the word positive really fits.

Did you encounter any obstacles on your path to manhood? 

Well, I don’t think I’ve reached manhood yet, so I feel there are certain ways in which you are supposed to act as a man, or just an adult in general. Like to have confidence, and not to be overly childish, to be strong-willed and reliable; and I haven’t achieved any of those. In the sense of sex, losing my virginity was an obstacle in itself – the amount of stress and sense of needing to lose it was such a huge obstacle, especially as it’s supposed to be one of the most pleasurable experiences you’re meant to have.

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Photo Credit: Aysha Panter

What do you think about casual sex? 

I think casual sex is fine as long as it’s consented by all those involved;  everyone is clear where they are in terms of the emotional side. In that case it’s perfectly fine and should be enjoyed by anyone as many times as they want.

Are you pro-life or pro-choice, and why?

I’m pro-choice because the mother is the one that’s alive, and if that they cannot take care of a child; or just don’t want to at that point in their lives; not to mention rape, but that’s just ethically obvious; then they shouldn’t have to bear a child because they know themselves better than any priest, zealot or morally staunch doctor. What’s the point of standing for the sanctity of life if that doesn’t account for whether the child will actually have a good life, or if the mother’s life will be ruined.

 What are your feelings about contraception? 

That humanity should get on its knees and thank a thousand times whoever came up with the idea. Also, that unless its consented by all parties having sex that it isn’t going to be used and everyone is clear with regards to STD’s, it should always be used.

What are your thoughts on marriage and monogamy? 

If its works for people involved then great, but it shouldn’t be seen as the best and only way of having a relationship, and should never be imposed on someone.

What are your thoughts on parenthood?

Parents should raise their kids in the most open way possible, show them everything that anyone can be, anyone can do, anyone can believe; and teach them that all are valid and should be celebrated, as long as it does no harm to others. They should raise them to be caring, educated and accepting but also to want to live a life that makes them happy – not one that they feel they have to live. They should let them be whoever they want to be and love them all the same.

Was your sex education sufficient? 

We had a brief overview of sex organs in year five, and how to put a condom on a banana in year 11, which was not at all enough.

Do you feel comfortable communicating your sexual needs to a partner?

If I am close to them, then yes, but anything outside that no.

Has your sexuality ever been used against you? 

Sometimes, I’ve been viewed in a bad light because I’m straight. For example, it’s been assumed that the only reason I want to be friends with a girl is because I want to have sex with them, not because I just like them as a person. Other than that, no. Obviously I’ve experienced nothing near to those of people with a sexuality that’s outside the accepted heterosexual norm.

Is there anyone you would undermine your principles for?  

Yeah. In terms of marriage, life goals and political standing I’d probably undermine my principles for someone I care about. I wouldn’t take that to a moral level though. But if I’m truly passionate about a person, I would.

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Photo Credit: Aysha Panter

In which situations do you feel safe to speak your mind and stand up for yourself? 

When I feel like I’m definitely in the right, or I’ve been totally used by someone. But it mostly only happens if I’m drunk enough not to worry about retaliation from the person or people I’m standing up against.

Do you feel satisfied with how women are depicted in film, TV, advertising, etc.?

No, media marketing has used sex and body image to sell, and only sell. For one, this has made bodies and sex into a commodity, and two, it has created a set of standards for sex and women’s bodies that dehumanizes their physicality. You could say at least, in the west it has pushed forward the acceptance of nudity and the act of sex in society, which would be a good thing if it weren’t for everything I’ve just mentioned.

How do you feel about products marketed to women? 

Products marketed to women: if it’s food related is intensely sexualised. if it’s household-related it’s always depicting them in their patriarchal role of a woman. If it’s clothing-related it’s centered around setting an ideal image of what a women’s body should look like. So all in all, it’s just awful, and the suits who come up with this crap should find better use of their time than belittling half the human race.

What are your biggest fears? 

My biggest fears are not ever being able to travel, not living a life to which I can think “thank God I did that”, never finding love, and never being able to repay my friends and family for what they’ve done for me. And also death, not dying necessarily, but the uncertainty of what happens after.

What are your greatest accomplishments? 

Ha, erm…being able to play the guitar, writing 10,000 words of a novel, maybe? Oh, going to university, that’s one that I’m proud of and thankful for. Also having a great set of friends, but that’s about it I think.

What image do you think your project on a day to day basis? 

Shy and reserved, and to my friends – pretty obsessed with certain subjects. Boring, repetitive.

What image would you like to project in an ideal world, absolving social expectations? 

Chilled out, kind, caring, supportive.

Which are your most positive relationships? 

The ones I have with my close friends and my immediate family, basically any person I feel comfortable with.

What do you deeply love about yourself? 

I guess that I have a strong sense of empathy, as I think it’s helped me be as open as I am to the people in the world.

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Photo Credit: Aysha Panter

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