An American sociologist, Professor Michael Kimmel specializes in gender theories and masquerading, and is an active advocate for gender equality - in the workplace, in society, in the family. He speaks about this both at numerous lectures, they have already been held more than 300, and on the TED Talks platform - for the international audience.
In 1915, at the dawn of the suffragette movement in New York, one author wrote an article for the magazine that was called "Feminism for Men." And the first sentence of this article was: "Feminism is the first thing that will allow men to be free."
I want to encourage men to support gender equality. Wait, wait, what? What do men have in common with gender equality? After all, even the word "gender" is about women. Generally I here even as the white man from the middle class.
But that wasn 't always the case. 30 years ago, I was a graduate student. Somehow we talked about the fact that there are many essays and statements about theories of feminism, but no one has yet given lectures on this topic. So we decided, as students usually do, to get together in a group and debate about the books read. So, every week 11 girls and I gathered.
at such meeting took place Once a conversation which forever changed my life. It was a dialogue between two women, white and black. It now looks anachronistic, but the white woman said: 'All women face oppression. All women have the same position in a patriarchal society, so we are intuitively in solidarity, we have sisterhood. " The black woman replied: 'I 'm not sure about that. Let me ask you the question: when you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?. " A white woman said, "I see a woman." And a black woman says: "That 's the problem for me. Because when I wake up and look at myself in the mirror, I see a black woman. My race is visible to me, and yours is not. " And then she said something completely stunning: "This is how privileges work, they are invisible to those who have them." It 's a great luxury that white people may not think about their race every second of their lives. Those with privileges don 't see them. And then I realized that I am the carrier of privileges because did not notice either the race, or a floor, or a class earlier.
A now I will tell you story not from the past, and from the present. I have a colleague who, like me, runs a gender sociology course at university. She once invited me as a guest lecturer to her band. When I went to an audience where about 300 students were sitting, some of them said: "Finally we will be presented with an objective opinion." That is, all semester, every time my colleague opens her mouth, all students see and hear is that she is a woman. And when she says, "In the United States, there is structural inequality based on gender," they think, "And what can you still say, you are a woman, you have biases." And everything that interests students, whether the topic will be on the exam and whether it needs to be inspected.
To Open Eyes
The first step to involving men is to make gender visible to them. Some of them, having heard about the problem, will say, yes, it is necessary to achieve equality, it is ethically correct. But not all men. Some of them will immediately take up mensplaying and come to tell you how you are oppressed, and believe that in this way they have already solved the problem. There is another group of men who see gender equality as something that has detrimental consequences for them. I once participated in one talk show where four white men angrily discussed how "a black woman took my job away from me." But let me ask, if you applied for a promotion and didn 't get this position, why do you think it should automatically be yours? If we don 't figure out how men represent their rights, we 'll never understand why they resist gender equality so much. We think that if the rules of the game change at least a little bit, it is already a disaster and reverse discrimination - against men.
Advantages to All
So, why should we support gender equality? Of course, it 's honest, right and fair. But, moreover, gender equality is in our, male, interests. If you listen that men say about what they want from life, then gender equality - just what will allow them to achieve the desirable.
Gender equality is useful for countries. According to most studies, countries with the best gender equality index also have the highest rate of happiness. And not because all of them are in Europe.
Gender equality is good for companies. Research by Catalyst and other bureaux shows that the higher the gender equality in them, the better the staff feel, the higher productivity and job satisfaction, respectively, less "flow" of personnel and their "burnout." I 'm often asked, "Listen, but this gender equality is an expensive thing, right?" And I answer that first it is necessary to calculate how much inequality already costs the employer. It incredibly expensive.
Gender equality is good for men. We have a new generation of men who are radically different from us. And they want a close relationship with children, expect from their partners that they will work and give to their career exactly as they do. Young men want balance of family and career, all want to divide with the partners and to be the active, involved parents.
Data of psychologists and sociologists demonstrate that if the man is involved in education of children, then they study at school better and have good progress, they are not inclined to psychological problems, they are healthier and happier - and is what is wanted by their father.
If a man shares responsibilities for the home and upbringing of children, his wife is happier. Partners of such men are less likely to turn to psychologists, less likely to experience depression, more likely to go to the gym and talk about satisfaction with marriage. And it is wanted too by the man.
When a man shares responsibilities for the home and upbringing of children, his health improves. He smokes and drinks less, he is not prone to depression, visiting a psychologist, but more often pays attention to the prevention of diseases. And what man of it does not want?
I would like to say that these data have accumulated over a long period of time. But I think they show an important thing - that gender equality is a win for all sides, for women, for men, and for children.