Why is feminism all about men?

Renaming the feminist movement is a hot topic, particularly among those in the equal rights movement. The more politically correct among us wax on about being inclusive to trans, intersex, and other kinds of self-identified women who don’t want to be pigeonholed, but what I often hear is, “We should be more like men.” Usually, when equality is mentioned, it often frames women’s achievement in terms of men’s, or is muddled in order to achieve inclusiveness.

It’s shortsighted to focus on becoming men. Equality should be a checkpoint, not the end goal.

Feminists often encourage equal representation in male-dominated fields, rather than giving value to what is feminine. We encourage women to become programmers, but don’t address “that marketing chick” in tech start-ups who gets hated-on. Our post-gender fantasy world includes gender neutral kids’ toys that incorporate blue but resist pink.

The overarching sentiment is that being a man is imperative to being a liberated person  — that masculinity is freedom. Yet, in some ways, the social code of men’s conduct still has harsh penalties. Women may get called a “crazy bitch” for being bullish bosses, but “crazy bitches” still get promoted; men who cry at meetings, however, not so much. The masculine-code may have it better, but it is not great.

Aside from equality with men, feminism also often pivots on advocating men’s issues, in an attempt to achieve true equality. These issues, for example, include the fact that dying for one’s country has only ever been mandatory for men; fathers are seen as incompetent caregivers, meaning they rarely get full custody of their kids, but they are stuck with child alimony; suicide rates among white men over 50 are higher than women’s, though they are equally likely to be depressed — a fact often attributed to the expectation of men to bottle-up their emotions.

It’s shortsighted to focus on becoming men. Equality should be a checkpoint, not the end goal.

Even though the aforementioned is scary, women have plenty of issues on their own to worry about. Take, for instance, the facts that women who volunteered in wars were almost completely written out of history; or, because women are seen as natural caregivers, their work is usually undervalued, resulting in a smaller pension for them — the human population statistically shown to live longer.

It doesn’t make sense that feminists still haven’t fixed women’s issues yet want to get involved in men’s.

Men have the resources to fix their own problems. As we have heard many times, men overwhelm the C-level suites at 96 per cent of Fortune 500 companies. They dominate fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and the media industry. Men are in the decision-making roles capable of reversing the bumbling dad trope in films and ads. They are the politicians who can reverse conscription laws (and the lobbyists to pressure them), and have the money to funnel into suicide hot-lines.

Men’s rights activists — the supposed equivalent to feminism — seem more interested in complaining than actually diverting energy into creating habitable spaces for the discussion of men-centric problems. If they’re so uninterested in doing anything about their problems, what makes any women or feminists think they care to do anything for women’s problems?

Including men’s issues on the feminist agenda is a waste of energy — we have enough trouble as it is giving ethnic and sexual minorities fair coverage. Yet somehow the onus is on us to provide men with a space at the table when they have no problem finding a chair.

So, as it stands, modern feminism’s fight for equality is a contradiction of aiming too low yet jumping too high.

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