All The Ways Feminism Is Fighting For Men
Part one of a two part series: Man hating, wage gap, career roles, and toxic masculinity
There are ongoing, pernicious and persistent myths about the aims of feminism. One of the most persistent is that it is solely for the benefit of women. Some people even believe feminism is anti-male. This makes no sense, as in the challenge for justice, exclusion is the enemy!
Since the seeking of justice that is true justice does not favor a gender, but a mutual respect and regard for a fellow human, men will benefit, too. Many feminists are men, and many more are just men (and women, too) who don’t realize that in actuality, they do support feminism. It is upsetting that misandry, or man-hating, is associated with feminism, because love of all humans, and the human struggle for love of justice, including feminism, is what real progressive movements, such as human rights, are actually about.
Who is “The Man?”
The phrase “The man” used to indicate the boss, usually a man, and almost always a white man, and almost always a richer man, and almost always a more powerful man.
Logically, men who want fairness also benefit from a fair system. Both males and females suffer the consequences of over-entitlement. Who is hurt most is not a competition.
One example is the wage gap, you can argue –and face it, we all will — that statistics can be twisted to always fit an “agenda.” However, when the agenda everyone agrees upon is better pay for hard working people regardless of sex, we all benefit. Better opportunity for advancement, better family leave, better health coverage, (even for parenthood planning, and personal autonomy), more comfort and safety at work and commute, and more representation in all levels of service, industry, political office, and management jobs, benefits society. So, then, it makes no sense for men to suspect their wives, daughters, or mothers are out to dominate any of these places in the world.
Conversely, men don’t want to be told they can’t or should not be teachers, parents, or nurses, hair stylists, flight attendants, etc. They also don’t want to be told that truck driving, logging, military careers, or any dangerous type of work can only be done by men. There are very few jobs, indeed, that are limited to what kind of genitalia one has.
When it comes the wage gap, it is measured differently depending upon who is doing the measuring, but what is seldom examined is that most men want a female partner to feel as appreciated, compensated, and confident as he does. Men want a choice to be the stay at home parent, just as much as women want the choice to not have to quit her job if it is the lower paying of the two. Women can, and do, stop earning, (not to be confused with working) to have children, but most women, a much greater portion of the time, do NOT have an infant at home. As a matter of fact, there are millions and millions of women who never give birth, yet they remain under-represented in CEO and governmental positions. When all of these options are the norm, freedom of choice to be mommy, or a daddy, and/or a CEO, then feminism can sit back and relax. That day is not here just yet.
The phrase “toxic-masculinity,” just the as the term “feminism”, is fraught with hazards. People recoil at the word “toxic” as an adjective. We can talk freely about a toxic lake, or a pure, and pristine lake, but that is because as an adjective describing a lake, people do not freak out and take it personally. Therefore, I prefer the term “toxic conditioning, or “toxic social programming.” After all, raising either sex to privilege and entitlement is toxic to all who are punished by their lack of entitlement.
Opportunity, and not outcome, is what we all work for together. Understanding the celebration of equality requires people to stop stereo-typing and start celebrating sex and gender.
Part two will discuss #Metoo, false allegations, choice, and biological “roles”