September 30, 2014 by Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director, National Parents Organization
As usual, we can count on Cathy Young to “get it right” on issues of gender equality and she does it again in her recent column, Sorry, Emma Watson, but HeForShe is Rotten for Men. Cathy Young summarizes the problem with HeForShe, “…the revolution in women’s rights over the past century has been a stunning success – and, while there is still work to be don, it must include the other side of that revolution. Not “he for she,” but “She and he for us.”
Young quickly and succinctly touches upon the current issues that divide us and continues gender inequality:
- “covert anti-male biases in the (family) court system”
- “male victims of these crimes (domestic abuse and sexual violence) still tend to get short shrift, from the media and activists alike.”
- “…feminist commentators have taken great umbrage at suggestions that soccer star Hope Solo, currently facing charges for assaulting her sister and teenage nephew, deserves similar censure to football player Ray Rice”
At the root of the problem is the lack of real dialog. Young states, “A real conversation must let men talk not only about feminist-approved topics such as gender stereotypes that keep them from expressing their feelings, but about more controversial concerns: wrongful accusations of rape; sexual harassment policies that selectively penalize men for innocuous banter; lack of options to avoid unwanted parenthood once conception has occurred. … And it would include an honest discussion of parenthood, including many women’s reluctance to give up or share the primary caregiver role.”
It is time for the rhetoric to be set aside and for feminists to put into action the words and beliefs of one its most well-known activists. It is time for “She and he for us.” It is time for everyone to work together with open dialog for gender and parental equality and feminism for humanity.
According to Gloria Steinem, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
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