Benefits of Feminism – For Men

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I just read an article on AskMen.com which was somewhat tongue-in-cheek about how feminism has benefited men. The author cites things like more casual sex (not having to work as hard to get laid) to the reclaiming of formerly “bad” words to describe women (much like African-Americans reclaiming the N-word) to the upholding of strippers, porn stars and hookers as the new models of self-empowerment. What are other ways that feminism has benefited men?

1. We’re here to do the work that men don’t want to do, to work the hours they don’t want to work and to work for less pay than they would accept. Of course, now that the economy is tanking, we may see more men moving back into “female” (less-desirable) jobs because less money is better than none. Where will the women go then? Back to the home? (Post-WWII, anyone?)

2. We have helped men to get in touch with their feelings. These days it’s more acceptable for a man to show emotions (like sadness or depression).  If only it was as okay for women to show their emotions (like anger and frustration).

3. We have given men the freedom to be house-husbands and to be supported by their wives or girlfriends.

4. More men are getting into parenting and some are even finding that they like it. However, most of the child care is still primarily the mother’s responsibility. (See “The Sacred Responsibility of Motherhood.”)

5. As women begin to receive higher pay and more promotions, men’s pay and promotions increase as well. Of course, this keeps the ratio constant (anywhere from 65%-85% of the male worker’s dollar) because the status quo has to be maintained.

6. As more females become bosses, the workplace becomes more stressful for female employees. Female bosses tend to get along better with males than with females, giving men an edge in the workplace. (See “Managing Women Bosses.”)

7. Women are sharing some of the dangers of war and other risky jobs. It’s not only men who are being maimed or dying.

8. As it becomes more acceptable for women make decisions, in the home, the workplace, or the legislature, that burden is lifted off the men in their lives. Then if things don’t go well, it’s not all the men’s fault.

9. Dual income families take a lot of pressure off the men. Now they can afford more toys than they’d be able to buy on just their incomes. And they have help paying for things that used to be all on their shoulders.

10.  As women become freer about what they wear (and reveal), men don’t have to work as hard for fantasy material. (Take the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.)

11. More women are choosing to go it alone when they get pregnant (either for their abortions or to raise the child as single mothers), which must be a big relief to the prospective fathers and husbands.

12. Men are beginning to enjoy sides of themselves that once would have branded them as gay. And those who are gay have benefited from the feminist movement, too: as there has been more acceptance of lesbianism, homosexuality as a whole has been more accepted.

My own list is a bit tongue-in-cheek as well. Because men still manage to come out on top, even after all these years of feminist activism. There’s nothing wrong with bringing benefits to all people regardless of gender, but why do women still lag behind others? I think men are still afraid that women are going to take over the world and then where would that leave them? It’s obvious, though, that the world still turns on male privilege. There’s only one thing that women alone can do, and that is to have children. And even that might be changing. (See here.)

Related article:  “Do Men Need Jobs More Than Women?

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

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