Feminism, and the societal perspective of the movement, is becoming more and more positive among mainstream and the wider public. We are, hopefully, coming closer to an equal society year on year, but there is always room for growth. Yet among feminist activists, few are men. 'Male feminist' or 'Menimist' clichés aside, debates about the role of men in feminism continue. Can true equality be achieved if half the population cannot help or does feminism lose its way if it becomes dominated by male voices? Debates aside: men all have mothers, many of them sisters, and even more have female partners. If not reason enough, then the following are examples of how gender equality will, and continues to, benefit men:
By removing the expectations of masculinity, men's mental health will continue to improve. According to the Guardian, in more gender-equal societies men are half as likely to be depressed, less likely to commit suicide, have around a 40% smaller risk of dying a violent death and even suffer less from chronic back pain. Men's Mental Health Month may as well be Men's Mental Health and Back Pain Month.
In an equal society, social issues such as sexual assault and domestic violence against men will be treated seriously. Violence against men is all-too-often treated as a joking matter, and sexual assault is no better. It is often expected of men as well. "Boys will be boys". Additionally, male violence and incarceration rates have always been so high they may always be the norm. But, if feminism continues to challenge said norms, we may start to see change. If men are taught how to sit with their emotions, everybody wins.
Workplace discrimination is also a problem for men. Stereotypes like "Male nurses are failed doctors and male teachers are sexual predators" are rampant. Men have to live up to the stereotype of the breadwinner, defined by their financial success and not their own fulfilment. The same can be said for stay-at-home Dads - a role which is becoming more accepted as women enter higher-paid roles. Even still, the role of the father is constantly downplayed by the role of the mother. But feminism is changing that; it has allowed men to have lengthier maternity leave and be full-time parents.
These are a few example of what feminism can and continues to do for men. And its up to men to support it in whatever way they can.
Feature Image Credit: Pixabay @Bones64