7 Male Stars Championing Women’s Causes 7 Male Stars Championing Women’s Causes Cover Photo: Elle While at SWAAY, our time is primarily devoted to women making strides in the world, there are those hardworking men whose dedication to leveling the gender playing field must not go unrecognized. Below are seven male influencers that have used their celebrity and status to vouch for women’s rights throughout their careers. Whether it be against domestic violence, sex trafficking, or other men taking control of female reproductive rights, they are testament to a new generation of male advocates for furthering women’s rights. While obviously the Obama/Biden administration made wonderful strides for women during their terms we felt their presence on the cover would suitably display how our love for the pair. 1 Mark Ruffalo Ruffalo’s devotion to the pro-choice campaign is as heartwarming as it is personal. In 2013 he penned a letter explaining his personal connection to the cause, whereby his mother had to pay $600 for an illegal and painfully traumatic abortion at a time when women were considered ‘second rate citizens’. He also spoke out on the first anniversary of Roe Vs.Wade in advocacy for its standing and importance within the American constitution Planned Parenthood helps all different kinds of people. For #WomensDay @DannyDeVito and I #StandWithPP! Thanks Caren x pic.twitter.com/VpqDPO51XF — Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) March 8, 2017 2 Ashton Kutcher Natalie Portman revealed this year that Kutcher was paid three times more than she was for their 2011 romcom No Strings Attached. In response, Kutcher tweeted “So proud of Natalie and all women who stand up for closing the gender pay gap!” This is not however the only reason he gets a coveted spot on SWAAY’s list. Kutcher’s speech on behalf of his foundation Thorn had ramifications worldwide and hit a sore spot for those that have cast a blind eye on sex trafficking in the U.S, of both sexes, but in particular the female sex trafficking epidemic. Emotionally, he implored with Congress to help him end the exploitation and abuse of women and children. “I actually trust the women I know. I trust them with their choices, I trust them with their bodies and I trust them with their children. I trust that they are decent enough and wise enough and worthy enough to carry the right of Abortion” – Mark Ruffalo 3 Daniel Craig Photo: Pinterest Craig’s support for women came in the most creative fashion when, back in 2011 he dressed in drag in anticipation of the hundred year anniversary of International Women’s Day. The disparity between Craig’s appearance as the eponymous James Bond versus his feminine dress in the video came as a breath of fresh air at the time, especially considering how misogynistic entirety of the Bond movies and novels have been. Craig’s most shocking statistic reeled off was perhaps – “women complete two-thirds of the work in the world yet only earn ten percent of the total income and own a mere one percent of the property.” Since its release, he has spoken openly about wanting to change the misogyny inherent in the Bond repertoire in future films. 4 Matt Damon Damon’s charitable exploits in Africa on behalf of water.org are well known thanks to a well publicized partnership with Stella Artois. His work is aimed firstly at promoting clean water for everyone in Africa, but are more specifically aimed at efforts to relieve women of the travel they have to make to get clean water everyday, relinquishing of their right to an education and the independence to grow within the community when they’re older. Damon began his public support of feminism back in 2011 when he did a segment called ‘Why Should Men Care’ on PBS’s Women, War and Peace. Continuing on the back of this for the past six years, Damon has made great strides in his belief that women and men, especially in Africa should be treated equally, looping back to his girls for reference on a ONE campaign blog post: “My daughters do not know what it is to spend hours collecting water,” he wrote. “My girls may suffer the occasional stomach upset, maybe even miss a day of school because of it, but they will never lay dehydrated and dying with only the water available.” “I want to see the day all women have the opportunity to realize their potential” -Matt Damon 5 Alan Alda Alda was widely known as one of the progressive Hollywood feminists back in the 1970’s, having emblazoned the cover of Gloria Steinem’s magazine Ms. in October of ’75, while championing the cause for the Equal Rights Amendment to follow the year later. Back in 2014 talking to The Huffington Post, Alda told of misogyny, “I think it’s [misogyny] like a disease that needs to be cured. And we could eradicate Polio, I don’t see why we can’t eradicate misogyny.” 6 Harry Belafonte Belafonte, 90, perhaps one of the most successful African-American pop singers of all time, has been an advocate for women’s issues his entire life. His most recent exploits involved counseling the women’s march committee on peaceful and effective protest at the post-inauguration marches this January. He was subsequently named an honorary co-chair, but he has rallied for women’s rights for many years now. Back in 2014, he made a speech to a predominantly male crowd, at which he implored for the oppression of women to end. Photo: Oscars 7 David Schwimmer Although Schwimmer’s Friends character was in a constant state of mansplaining to the women in his life, he’s actually a true champion of women. In his real life, Schwimmer is one of the most important male stars speaking out to help rape victims in the U.S. He serves as a board member on The Rape Foundation working mostly out of L.A, and his 2010 film Trust, starring Clive Owen began a narrative about child rape cases many had never experienced before. “The idea is to make guys see that it is okay to flirt, to party… but not to be silent, to be passive, to witness a drugging of drink or a rape and not intercede” – David Schwimmer Amy Corcoran Head of Content at SWAAY: Amy is an Irish writer, avid foodie and feminist with an insatiable appetite for novels and empowering women's writing. She has enjoyed calling Dublin, Paris and now New York her home.