WHY DO MEN NEED TO CARE?
Feminism is not a women’s issue. It’s a humanity issue. Through my name-changing journey, I’ve gotten a glimpse into a woman’s world. I’m not the first man to admit that we live in a patriarchy – a society that systematically favors men. How do I know? Well, let’s take a look around.
Even though feminism has only been publicly active for less than 200 years, feminists in the past have made significant strides toward closing the gap in gender equality in the last two centuries.
Unfortunately, we are not where we should be today because our history tells us the world has been run by just one sex –
What about Cleopatra and Beyoncé? Well, there have been some female rulers in history, but the list is extremely short compared with the list of male rulers.
No matter how many young women and girls Beyoncé inspires to run the world, we will not achieve full equality between genders if half of the population is not on board.
I will say it again. If we men don’t let go of our egotism, we will not see women running the world. Here’s the kicker: women having the equal opportunity to run the world may be the best thing in the history of humankind.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
Feminism is not simply about achieving equality; it’s about breaking the gender expectations that hold both women and men back. We are not here to perform our gender roles in this play called society. Our purpose is to live an unscripted life, and the word “live” is a verb. It requires action.
As advocates of fourth-wave feminism explain, gender equality isn’t just about the empowerment of women. It is also about providing opportunities for boys and men to show emotions freely as opposed to fulfilling the rigid ideal image of what a man should be in today’s world. Perceptions of feminism as man-hating are inaccurate. It’s not just a women’s issue but a matter of human rights, in which men also have a stake. Feminism is also about redefining manliness and freeing men to let go of the fear of not living up to society’s gender expectations.
Traditional stereotypes of masculinity often include words like self-reliance, dominance, and stoicism. Unfortunately, these characteristics are correlated with psychological problems such as depression, increased stress, and substance abuse. In every single country in the world, with the exception of China, men are more likely to commit suicide than women. There is a strong link between masculinity and suicide patterns; the need for power, success, and self-reliance sets men up to believe that they have failed, generating a vicious cycle of pain, for which we don’t seek help.
Yet, we men are expected to follow the masculine script written by society at all costs; otherwise, that society will revoke our man card. Research has shown that men who fear showing their emotions also display the most violent behavior. Men who identify most strongly with conventional masculine traits struggle more with interpersonal problems in their relationships than those who don’t. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps many men stressed and unhealthy.
Have you ever wondered why men die sooner than women everywhere in the world?
Why do we need to behave in a certain way only because we are born male? We men have been living with a script that dictates we must act tough, as though stoicism and violence were indicators of power. This is toxic and needs to stop. It’s a one-sided view of masculinity that leaves us with extremely fragile egos and disconnects us from others.
It’s time for us to detox.
Have you taken any significant step in your personal life or in the community to defy social norms, promote gender equality, or reduce gender-based discrimination? We would love to hear your story as we are looking forward to publishing such inspiring stories on our platform. We welcome you to share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.