Why Men Need Equality Too

Life in modern society’s a man’s game. Men get a better education, are paid more, get more professional opportunities, and are less likely to fall into poverty than women.

Why, then, would any man want to promote gender equality? Simply because, like the so-called feminist, Ryan Gosling, they “think women are better than men”?

Can we honestly expect men to support the drive for gender equality, and to what extent would such equality, should we ever achieve it, help or hinder the male population?

What Impact Will Gender Equality Have On Men?

It’s easy to assume that any gains made for women will come at the expense of men and that, in losing their male privilege, they are somehow being punished for women’s equality.

However, in a somewhat ironic twist, evidence suggests that men would benefit from equality just as much as women.

How can that be? Just as women are supposed to be submissive, so logic states that men must therefore be aggressive. If women need to be controlled, then men must do the controlling.

In a world of gender equality, such stereotypes would fall by the wayside, positively affecting men’s physical and emotional well-being.

According to a 2018 report from the World Health Organization (WHO), society’s desire to make men strong and brave leads to them taking more risks and neglecting their physical and mental health.

“Men’s risk-taking behaviors and underuse of health services are consistent across many countries, and are linked to socioeconomic factors and norms around masculinities and hegemonic ideals.”

In a gender-equal society, the WHO concluded, men would experience “higher well-being, half the chance of being depressed, a higher likelihood of having protected sex, lower suicide rates, and a 40% reduced risk of violent death”.

What Are The Genderless Benefits of Gender Equality?

Experts believe establishing gender equality would benefit women,  reduce poverty, and positively impact the economy.

A report by McKinsey Global Institute in 2015 showed, if women were allowed to “participate in the economy identically to men,… it would add up to $28 trillion, or 26 percent, to annual global GDP by 2025 compared with a business-as-usual scenario.”

A correlation between gender inequality and violence has also been noted, suggesting that, in a gender-equal society, not only could we see a reduction in domestic and gender-based violence, but also a potential end to mass shootings.

Similarly, gender equality could see us make significant advances in our understanding of climate change and our efforts to combat it.

A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature states: “Women have the knowledge and understanding of what is needed to adapt to changing environmental conditions and to come up with practical solutions. But they are still a largely untapped resource.”

If gender equality can means advances in all these areas, it is surely to the benefit of all humanity, making it as crucial for men as women.

5 Things Men Can Do To Promote Gender Equality

#1 Withdraw Your Support For The Likeability Penalty

Women are meant to be kind and nurturing rather than ambitious and driven. Any woman showing typically male characteristics, like assertiveness or courage, is immediately dismissed as either aggressive or bossy.

By supporting assertive women in the workplace and petitioning for their promotion and recognition as leaders, you can take the first small steps towards gender equality.

#2 Share The Domestic Chores

Women do the lion’s share of unpaid labor in our society, with many coming home after a full day at work only to embark on several more hours of housework. Instead of relegating your partner to the role of slave, give her a hand, and you’ll soon be reaping the rewards.

Research indicates that couples who share domestic chores equally “are having more sex than they used to and more sex, on average, than those where one partner does the majority of the chores.”

Suddenly, gender equality doesn’t sound so bad.

#3 Work for Workplace Changes

Campaign for family-friendly policies in the workplace so you can spend time with your family without being penalized for it.

In the US, at present, few companies offer paid paternity leave or cultivate an environment in which taking unpaid parental or compassionate leave is acceptable.

#4 Volunteer for Office Chores

Taking notes at meetings, showing new employees around the office, organizing events, and tidying up the conference room are all duties that fall to women more often than men.

Women are assigned 55% of work in the office and do 10% more work than men, and yet, are paid 83c to every dollar earned by their male colleagues.

Instead of expecting women to take on those tasks, volunteer for some yourself. Tidy up after yourself, collaborate with others, and develop new skills.

It may not make you more promotable, but it will make you more popular and help alleviate the unfair distribution of unpaid work.

#5 Be A Dad – Not Just A Father

Being involved with your children has enormous benefits for you, your kids, and the fight for gender equality.

A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) uncovered “some evidence that children with highly involved fathers tend to perform better in terms of cognitive test scores.”

Other studies have shown that positive male engagement within the family can also positively affect “their female partner’s emotional well-being, help redress gender inequitable relationships and power imbalances in decision-making within the household, and is essential for women’s participation in the labor market.”

Conclusion

Gender equality isn’t about knocking men off their pedestals so women can take over. It’s about creating social systems that support men and women equally, giving them the same opportunities for education and employment, parental leave and caregiving support, and the same freedom to be ourselves and enjoy a similarly beneficial work-life balance.

It may mean men no longer enjoy opportunities based purely on their sex. Still, it will also give them the chance to play an equal role as carers, fathers, and domestic workers that, in turn, would lead to better mental and physical health and a happier world for all.