Your New Feminist Role Model Is Actually a Dude

Bae doesn't even begin to describe OITNB's Matt McGorry.

Matt McGorry is a man. Matt McGorry is also a feminist. Like, he’s a badass feminist. Are you getting the picture? The Orange Is the New Black star is our new go-to celeb to get a daily dose of inspiration from on social media. He uses the platform to discuss the importance of gender equality, and to explain that, yes, dudes can be feminists, too. The actor spoke to Jezebel about his recent journey learning what being a feminist means. He admitted that at first, he “didn’t really know that a male could be a feminist.” Now, he’s here to prove himself, and all of you, wrong.

“The definition of feminism is so simple, and this many people are this excited and stimulated by it; I have a unique position as a heterosexual white male, also, and there aren’t a lot who make this their thing, and this needs to be,” he told the site.

And in case you’re thinking this is a big, fat PR play, Matt really did his homework and wants to make a change. “The more I learn about gender inequality, the more I know that there are things I need to know if I’m going to help make a difference. And they’re gonna be related to, probably, policy changing and all that stuff,” he said. “Whether it’s the pay gap, whether it’s genital mutilation in different parts of the world, there’s a lot of s–t out there that’s really important to me.”

He wants you to know that it’s OK to be a feminist newb — you’ll get there eventually. “What I’ve been trying to do is have a conversation and sort of, making it okay for people to f–k up,” he explained. See?

Beyond his efforts to promote gender equality, Matt supports the entire LGBTQ community, and wrote an insightful, touching passage about Caitlyn Jenner last week.

He thanks his diverse, largely female OITNB cast — including Dascha Polanco (who plays his character John Bennett’s love interest) — for being part of his inspiration. “She is awesome, she’s amazing,” he said. “I am surrounded by so many really strong, powerful, empowered women and that’s really wonderful and refreshing. And it makes me want to fight more for her and everyone else.”

Update: 7/8/15 4:30 pm

Matt continues the slay by posting the following pic and message on Instagram in support of #FreeTheNipple.

Hi. This is a photo of me from my bodybuilding years, circa 2010. And these are the nipples of @mileycyrus and @chrissyteigen (I hope you don't mind me borrowing them!) from their Instagram posts that were removed due to the dangerousness of their visible female nips. Can’t you tell by how perverse my photo has become without my asexual male nippies? Sarcasm. If you're new to the #FreeTheNipple movement (like I am!) let me tell you what I think I understand about it. The banning of women's nipples may sound normal or even inconsequential as you think, "well, women's nipples are more sexual than men's nipples”. But that’s not some scientific fact. It’s because of how our society so heavily sexualizes women. And it should be up to the individual woman to decide if she wants to show them, just like men have the choice. Part of the stand of #FreeTheNipple is about the right of women to claim what their breasts and nipples mean to THEM, and not have that be defined by how men and much of society decides what their boobies mean. At this point, if you’re still clinging to the notion of “well, that’s just the way it’s been,” then you might reconsider thinking of yourself as a rational and progressive person. If you have breasts, you might think, “I’m not interested in showing my niplets on social media or in public,” in which case you should feel free to keep ‘em swaddled! But shouldn’t you support the freedom of CHOICE of the INDIVIDUAL woman to do this even if YOU don’t want to? Like, even if you’d never be interested in joining a protest, wouldn’t you think it’s important to have the CHOICE to be able to legally protest, if one so chooses? The answer is yes. You might be thinking to yourself, there are way more important issues out there than women being able to expose their bumpy buttons whenever men can. But it’s not just about getting an even tan; it’s one piece of the puzzle of creating deep change in the way our society objectifies women and creates these different standards for men and women (and other genders). At the heart of it, it’s simply about gender equality and equal rights. – #FreeTheNipple and photoshop newbie

A photo posted by Matt McGorry (@mattmcgorry) on

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