If Justin Timberlake can bring sexyback, I see no reason why the rest of us can’t bring gender equality back… or at least make an active commitment to bring it up. The status of rights for women is a major indicator of the overall social well being of a country: the more gender inequality that exists in a country, the lower the quality of life overall is likely to be. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report predicts it’s going to be around 81 years before we fully close the gender gap. Ain’t nobody got time for that! There is money to be made and innovation to be had when men and women compete with equal footing. So get in there, control the controllables, and let’s show them what we’re made of, guys!
Here is a list of 4 things men can do to help fast track society towards gender enlightenment.
1. . If You See Something, Say Something
If your buddy is being a douchebag, let him know. And if another one of your buddies is also being a douchebag, let her know, too. You don’t have to be one hundred percent PC, but you also don’t have to laugh at every racist joke you hear. Feel free to chime in if you notice too much white male-ness going on, or women who continue to get overlooked for promotions or other opportunities in the workplace. Go all Bradley Cooper and disclose your salary in the workplace so that if there is a pay gap between genders, everyone will be able to see it. What are you, chicken? (And if so, please recognize that fear and self-doubt are totally natural, and you don’t have to feel alone… see number four on this list.)
2. . Fight For And Take Advantage Of Paternal Leave
Taking time off puts money in your pocket and helps your kids do waaaaay better in school. When a mama-bird takes advantage of maternity leave, she is often faced by the mommy tax: an unspoken assumption that a woman who chooses to be a parent doesn't take her career seriously. It's often as justification for overlooking her for promotions, etc. Sharing the stigma of taking time off may be the best way to make it go away entirely! Reducing the stigma against parental leave will help counteract the depression in women’s wages which helps to increase family income over all. In other words, taking time off to be a dad means dollah dollah bills, y’all. Oh, and statistically, men who choose to take paternity leave are more diligent parents overall, too. Everyone wins.
3. . Watch Your Mouth
What you say matters. A lot of language is male biased, so feel free to mix it up from time to time. The best man for the job may be a woman. Every man for themselves isn’t even grammatically correct. Your cleaning lady may very well be a dude, and you don’t always need to add a diminuitive “ess” or “ette” to a profession to let everyone know it’s a woman: actor/actress, waiter/waitress.
4. . Take Your Personal Happiness More Seriously. It May Save Your Life.
The suicide rate for men is nearly four times higher than it is for women, making it the 7th leading cause of death for men in The United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. It's not entirely clear why, but some theories exist. For one, men have fewer socially acceptable outlets for their emotions, so they are more likely to feel isolated or alone than their female counterparts. The expectation for a man to be the sole provider for his family narrows the ways in which a man learns to value his own life, which may explain why male suicide rates go up significantly in times of economic recession. Remember paternity leave? Well, having a deep connection to one’s family makes an individual less likely to take his or her own life. The standard of the man of the house as sole breadwinner is bad news, guys. Sharing the burden means sharing the wealth!