Women’s Rights – A Male Take

Collectively, women are pretty much in agreement with one another that we should have equal rights compared to men. As American women we have more rights than many other women throughout the world, and for that we should be grateful and never take our rights for granted.

However, the ideology around women fitting a certain mold or belonging in a role that she cannot break is very much still alive.

The United Nation granted women fundamental human rights seventy years ago, but women had put a movement in motion decades before that. Even after rights were legally granted, the implication and enforcement of those rights lagged.

Women still lacked basic rights into the 1970s, just fifty years ago. Women had no right to equal education to that of a man, and no voice to express her thoughts or opinions. A woman had to have a man act or speak on her behalf in a number of situations. Women were unable to get a credit card or loan without her father or husband. Women were unable to seek medical treatment of any kind without a man there to mediate between herself and a doctor. Women were barred from professional occupations related to law, military, or outer space.

The home and workplace are two places that women are typically seen as unequal. We have had to continually prove ourselves worthy of a job that men have always done just for the opportunity to hold the position, then we face unequal pay and harassment in those positions.

The effort put in before the rights we have today, were enforced and respected by the majority is uncanny, and news flash, women are still fighting for equal respect and treatment across the board.  The struggle to actually see those “equal” rights acted on exists still today.

Fighting the patriarchy, male dominance and the mindset that are stereotypically placed on males may be an effective way to make change. And before we jump to the conclusion that all men feel as though women are inferior, I went straight to the assumed source of our issue.

 

women fists raised in air

I asked a few men, ages 20-55, what they thought about women’s rights. Here is what I asked and what they said.

  • Do you believe women should have rights equal to that of a man?

  • Although women have equal rights by documented law, do you believe there is still a struggle for women to face in society for equality?

  • Is female empowerment something you see yourself actively supporting?

  • What do you think you could do personally to encourage the rights of women?

  • How is gender equality in terms of women’s rights important to you?

“I believe that women should have equal rights to men. [One of] the last line that needs to be crossed is equal pay for equal qualifications.”

 “I do believe that women should have equal rights to that of men. In all cases, whether that be in job opportunities, business, pay, sports, etc.” The home is still a place that we want men to see us as equals, not being expected to be caretakers of the home, children, or be responsible for either.

“Rights should absolutely be the same among men and women, however, there are some roles each are better equipped to handle.” Which proves my point made above. It may be fair to state, in regard to a tradition and biological ideology but may limit women of today consequently.

As far as battle goes despite legal efforts, men see too that we have obstacles. Actual implementation of rights whether it be rights for women, or any basic human rights is a battle between what the status quo has been and what is just.

“There are many types of legislation that have been put in place to discourage or eliminate in full the discrimination between sexes. However, it is still a struggle in today's society. In different scenarios, I think some people try to find loopholes around this legislation in order to give certain people an unfair advantage.”

“There is still a struggle, but we have made leaps and bounds over the last 20 years not only in the business world but in general society.”

Encouragement and empowerment of women isn’t something that only women are capable of. These men had some insightful thoughts when it came to supporting of women. An exceptional young man stating, “Being and setting the example would go a long way.”

“The support of women, not only in my life, whether it be through family or work, but all women I know and come across is something I strive for on a regular basis. This means treating women with the utmost respect and showing them that what they say, think, and do is validated and important to the contribution of society.”

 “I support female empowerment actively every day. Through mentoring at work, supporting the women in operations teams at our company and even through personal life choices by choosing the best person for the job or contracting work or restaurants that I frequent and not letting who owns or runs these choices.” 

As far as women in the workplace go, men were overly accepting. Through supervisor positions, working alongside women, and soon to be in the workforce with women a sense of equality seemed important to men.

“There are still major gaps in a lot of industries and careers that have this flaw. The motion picture industry, sports, and industrial careers still seem to have this opportunity. ‘Look at the US Women soccer team!’’’

 “Continu[ing] to support our female campus hire program and professionally helping to increase diversity in our leadership roles throughout the organization I work for. Attending public functions that I truly support that involve diverse communities and most of all helping to educate the next generation of leaders, i.e. our youth that what is here today has not always been the status quo and we still have a way to go.”

“If I were in a higher leadership position for a business or team, I would make sure I give those equal opportunities to everyone under that position. Not just because legislation says I must, but because I want to see how different people respond to leadership roles and bigger responsibilities. Due to unequal opportunities, some businesses, sports teams, or organizations may be limiting themselves and not even.”

One male kept it sweet and simple, stating, “I’m all for it, more hands in the workforce!” Meaning that joining forces can do wonders for the economy and the organization.

Gender equality affects men as well as women. It is critical that all genders are treated fairly and equally so that society has the opportunity to function at full capability.  

“I have seen the struggles that my mother and her mother have endured [over the last one hundred year] and I owe it to my niece to help continue to support this positive change for the future.”

It is important to me because equality creates a level playing field for everyone. A level playing field in any setting creates harmony among the organization [or whatever the situation may be]. If everyone sees no one person has an advantage, that creates urgency to work harder, smarter, and more cohesive than before. Allowing the right person to rise to those leadership positions.

Strong Arms Girl

Overall, the men asked about women’s rights were in agreement that women still face struggles with equality within society. Answers did vary slightly between those asked, being of different generations, backgrounds, and professions. Supporting women and working to have them be treated justly and fairly as men are, was an aspect that men are actively and willing to do, which is extremely promising.

With all this being said, we should never settle for anything. We should continue fighting for rights and equal treatment, respect, and empowerment. And while we often feel that men are who we should be fighting against, perhaps we should be joining forces with them. They may surprise us with their support. United forces can do the unthinkable.