When you think about feminism, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't men. But it's strange that most of us perceive gender equality as only uplifting ladies, when the women's liberation actually had a lasting impact on all of us.
According to Fox News, the empowerment of women is a "threat to national security", causes boys' utter failure in school and has turned men into "weeps and wussies" as well as "slackers." Female breadwinners are also apparently a "problem."
While that's one way of seeing it, another is to look at the host of ways that feminism has actually made the world a nicer place to live for everyone. Since Zerlina Maxwell so brilliantly explained how the movement has helped women, let's look at 23 ways it impacted men.
1. It gave our economy a huge, long-lasting boost.
Women's integration in the workforce after World War II translated into massive macroeconomic gains. Given that ladies make up approximately half of the workforce, their integration had huge positive ripple effects in all industries. And we shouldn't stop there: Incorporating even more women in the workforce can help keep our economy vibrant.
According to the Economist, the empowerment of career women is one of the most defining changes in the industrialized world: "Goldman Sachs calculates that, leaving all other things equal, increasing women's participation in the labor market to male levels will boost GDP by 21% in Italy, 19% in Spain, 16% in Japan, 9% in America, France and Germany and 8% in Britain."
2. It helped men achieve better relationships and more satisfying sex.
It's a well-known fact that women highly respect a guy who's willing to do his share around the house. Judging by the number of gawk-worthy "porn for women" slideshows, ladies are turned on when their partners reveal a little more of their domestic side. But what about men? What do they stand to gain?
Research shows that men who share domestic tasks with their wives report being happier and have more sex, so it looks like liberating women from the shackles of the double-day burden ain't so bad for men after all.
Men who date feminists also report better relationship satisfaction and better sex, which means that contrary to anti-feminist wisdom, feminist women aren't boner shrinkers after all.
3. It successfully overturned laws that discriminate against men.
As gender discrimination became more and more of a popular topic of discussion in the 1970s, people began noticing traces of unequal treatment in other aspects of American law.
In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to treat women and men differently under the law. The case, Craig v. Boren, was filled by a plaintiff in Oklahoma over its gender-specific drinking age policy, which prohibited men from drinking before age 21, but allowed women to drink when as young as 18. This implied that men are inherently more reckless and women are more responsible. After the law was struck down, the drinking age became 21 for all.
According to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the ruling determined much more than just Oklahoma's drinking age. It determined that the "familiar stereotype: the active boy, aggressive and assertive; the passive girl, docile and submissive" was "not fit to be written into law." So the next time you're drinking, raise a glass in honor of RBG.
4. It made life a little easier for single men.
Over the course of their lengthy legal careers, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband joined forces only once, to advocate for single men. The case, Moritz v. Commissioner, challenged the fact that not all men could request dependent care deductions. Although tax deductions were given to women, widowers and divorced men, single males slipped through the cracks. Ending this discriminatory policy was one of Ginsburg's many victories using the 14th Amendment to end the enshrinement of gender discrimination into law.
5. It expanded the possibility of more sexy time opportunities.
Last time I checked, men enjoy sex, and many of them enjoy having sex with women. The sexual revolution affected women as well as men: It gave women the ability to pursue sexual activities much more freely, which naturally altered sexual dynamics in this country. If more dudes knew that women's ability to have sex with them was dependant on the accessibility of birth control, maybe everyone would stop calling it a "woman's issue."
Anil Dash, an entrepreneur and writer in New York City, wholeheartedly agrees. "At a functional level, the widespread, inexpensive availability is a huge benefit to straight and straightish guys for an obvious reason: Sex is fun!" he told PolicyMic. But that's not the only benefit. "Beyond the selfish benefits for men, there's the basic human compassion of wanting people I love to have agency over the essential aspects of their health and their lives," Dash said.
And birth control is not just about sex: It's also about reproductive control. Most men enjoy determining the spacing of each child.
Dash certainly does. "I've been able to make smarter, more thoughtful decisions about how to time my career, my being a parent and my other obligations because of the flexibility and freedom afforded to me by having easy access to birth control," he said. "It let me hold off on becoming a dad until I had gotten closer to being a man worthy of being one."
6. It gave men more reproductive control through abortion legalization.
Although the burdens of pregnancy and childbirth biologically fall on women, men bear the consequences of chidren too. Because the expansion of reproductive rights affects their personal lives, they are a central part of the conversation. Anil Dash believes that liberating women ultimately gives men more freedom.
"I see as a husband, a father, and a friend to other husbands and fathers who have been in the same situation, that we've been able to better serve our families and our communities because our wives and partners have had authority over what happens with their bodies," he told PolicyMic. "Freeing women to have control frees us men who have built our lives with them."
That's why NARAL organizes events like Men for Choice, where men can coalesce around issues of reproductive justice. According to Samantha Gordon, director of public affairs at NARAL, they've been "a huge success." Men have showed up and raised money towards helping families get access to the services and information they need. Gordon told PolicyMic that it's a priority for NARAL to "reach out to men and really makes them feel involved, so these types of fundraisers have become a perfect way to do that."
这就是为什么NARAL（注：National Abortion Rights Action League即全美堕胎权行动联盟）组织“男性的选择”这样的活动，在那儿男人们联合起来讨论生殖公平问题。NARAL公共事务主任，萨曼莎.戈登声称他们已经获得“巨大成就”。 “男人们来到这里，为帮助每个家庭获得应有的服务和信息并募集资金。”戈登告诉Policy Mic， NARAL已经优先考虑这样的方式，“像男性宣传活动，让他们知道到生殖公平问题，自己也参与其中，这种募集方式已经成为一种完美的方式。”
Another important lesser known fact is that men get abortions too. When we only view abortion as a "woman's issue," we exclude gender non-conforming or trans people who need abortions every year.
7. It triggered the FBI to change the definition of rape to include men.
Did you know that until recently, the FBI's definition of rape was as old-fashioned as the horse and buggy? That is, until feminist activists decided to change that. Thanks to the "Rape Is Rape" campaign launched by the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. magazine, more than 160,000 emails were sent to the FBI pressuring it to change its archaic definition of rape. The old definition, "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will," hadn't been changed since 1921. It meant that many types of sexual assaults, including the rape of men, weren't counted as part of the bureau's annual Uniform Crime Report.
你知道直到最近FBI对强奸罪的定义还是像古时候的车马一样落伍吗？现实就是这样子的，不过女权主义者决定改变这种状况。多亏了由女权主义多数者基金会和女性杂志组织的“强奸就是强奸”的活动，有超过16万份电子邮件发给FBI促使他们改变他们对于强奸的陈旧定义。这个落伍的定义，即强行和女性性交并且违背其意志，它从1921年来就没有改变过。而按照Uniform Crime Report.的说法，真实的强奸意味着多种类型的性暴行，甚至包括男性之间的强奸，但这（男性之间的强奸）并未被视为强奸的一部分。
When the decision was announced, then-VP and General Counsel of the Feminist Majority Foundation Kim Gandy said, "This is a major policy change and will dramatically impact the way rape is tracked and reported nationwide."
The new definition now includes all forms of penetration and no longer excludes men.
8. It gave men some well-deserved time off from work.
Prior to the Family and Medical Leave Act, workers in the United States didn't have any protection under the law for family or medical-related leave. That meant that your boss could legally fire you for taking time off to care for your kids, yourself or a sick relative.
impetus for the law came after the formal recognition that "the lack of employment policies to accommodate working parents can force individuals to choose between job security and parenting," and that "due to the nature of the roles of men and women in our society, the primary responsibility for family caretaking often falls on women."
The law ensures 12 weeks of unpaid leave for all U.S. workers for every 12-month period to care for themselves or a loved one. Although women were at the forefront of this fight, it allowed all workers to acquire much-deserved time off for caretaking.
The National Organization for Women and many other women's organizations believe the law didn't go far enough, however, and it's fighting for expansions to provide workers with paid leave that would benefit all workers, male and female.
9. It helped male survivors of violence in the military pursue justice.
Despite the fact that most of the concerted efforts to eradicate sexual assault in the military has come from female politicians such as Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), laws intended to curb sexual assault affect men just as much as women. Women may be more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than be killed through enemy combat, but overall the majority of military sexual assault victims are male. That's why organizations like Male Survivor or Men Can End Rape are so important, to make sure that men have a chance to make their voices heard.
尽管在军队中，绝大多数根除性侵的努力是来自于女性政治家，比如 加州共和党众议员Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)和加州共和党参议员Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)，但是用于遏制性侵害的法律对男性所造成的影响事实上就如同对女性一样。和与敌人作战而被杀害相比，女性被男性士兵同事强奸的可能性更高。但总体来说，大多数的军队性侵案的受害者是男性。因此一些类似于Male Survivor（男性幸存者）和 Men Can End Rape（男人可以杜绝强奸）就显得尤为重要，它们可以确保男人有机会表达自己的心声。
10. It ensured that the burden of war doesn't only fall on male shoulders.
When the U.S. Department of Defense decided to end the discriminatory policy of banning women from combat roles in the military, it didn't only help female soldiers, it benefitted their male peers too. Allowing women on the front lines in 2013 opened up 237,000 military jobs that were previously off-limits to females, which gave relief to the male members of the military. Charles Clymer, a PolicyMic columnist and army veteran, said that everyone benefits from women entering combat roles.
"When we do this, we're doubling our potential for greatness in military leadership, instead of limiting ourselves by eliminating half of our available talent. Further, studies have shown that mixed-gender units demonstrate smarter thinking," he told PolicyMic.
Moreover, Clymer believes this takes some pressure off men. "Because 85% of our military is male, this reduces an unfair burden placed on men to take on dangerous assignments for our national security. Feminists have always recognized the injustice of drafting only men, and as a man and veteran, that shows me they are just as much about men as they do women," he said.
11. It made the struggle for civil rights a reality.
Women of color didn't only participate in the the civil rights movement, they were at the forefront of it. Without their sweat, blood and tears, the movement wouldn't have been successful, and yet their participation is often understated.
Even the role of iconic figures like Rosa Parks have been diminished in popular culture. Although we often remember her as a single-cause activist (refusing to give up her seat to a white person in a bus), she dedicated her entire life to racial justice. Among many other things, Parks spent many years serving as an officer of a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was intensely involved in the Scottsboro Boys trial.
Brittney Cooper, assistant professor of women's and gender studies/Africana studies at Rutgers University, says that women were invaluable in the struggle for equal rights. "There is no civil rights struggle without the labor of women. Young women and girls disproportionately were on the frontlines of school desegregation efforts," she told PolicyMic.
The Montgomery bus boycott, for instance, would have been impossible without women. Cooper explains, "It was successful in large measure because of Jo Ann Robinson and the Women's Political Council." She also believes Pauli Murray and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were incremental because they "helped ensure that the word 'sex' made it into the 1964 Civil Rights Act."
12. It kept prisons safer for male inmates.
Anti-sexual violence efforts don't just benefit women, they often provide accountability and services for male victims of rape as well. The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, spearheaded by prominent feminist activist Lovisa Stannow, advocated for the 200,000 inmates who are sexually abused in U.S. prisons and jails every year, most of whom are men. The organization she heads, Just Detention International, also helped draft and get the bill through Congress.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Stannow, who used to work as the executive director of the Pacific Institute for Women's Health, the federal government must carry out a comprehensive statistical review and analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape for each calendar year. This mandate extends to prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, military jails and Indian country facilities.
13. It enabled men to spend more time with their children.
That women can bring home a pretty big chunk of change through paid work means men can work less and spend more time with their kids, something that's good for both children and their fathers. The time fathers spend with their children is not only rewarding, it's also more purposeful, and contributes to happiness more than time spent working. Thanks to feminist activism, paternity leave exists, and more men are taking advantage of it.
The effects on children are immeasurable. Children who spend more time with their fathers are more likelyto succeed academically and less likely to abuse drugs and be delinquent. In fact, research shows that children whose fathers can do more than 40% of chores inside the home are more likely to excel in school.
Clearly, when men have the ability to spend more time at home, everyone wins.
14. It expanded the definition of hate crimes to include all identities.
The National Organization for Women, along with many other social justice organizations lead the efforts to change the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was passed in 2009 in Congress and expanded the scope of what counts as a hate crime. Before this law, only unlawful acts on the basis of race, religion and national origin were included in the category. Expanding what is considered a hate crime has offered well-deserved protection to the LGBTQ community under federal law.
全国妇女组织和许多社会正义组织正致力于转变人们对仇恨罪的定义，在定义中增加了对性别，性取向和残障的偏见。2009年国会通过了《马修 • 谢帕德和小詹姆斯 • 伯德仇恨罪防范法》，该法案扩大了仇恨罪的范畴。在此之前，只有出于对种族、宗教和国籍的仇视而实施的犯罪活动才被列为仇恨罪。在联邦法律下扩大仇恨罪的定义范围，为同志社群（男女同性恋者、双性恋者及跨性别人群等）提供了适得其所的保护。
15. It helped shatter stereotypes about HIV/AIDS patients.
Did you know that women were deeply involved in demanding justice for AIDS victims in the 1980s? Princess Diana, for instance, was hailed as a feminist icon for her involvement in "radical" causes like HIV. She was the also first high-profile figure to be photographed touching a person with the disease and to have HIV/AIDS charities among her patron charities, something that had a pivotal impact on the public perception of AIDS.
"HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it," the royal once told reporters, at a time where many fervently believed the disease could be transmitted through simple contact.
Challenging the commonly held notion that patients with gay men were to blame for AIDS were to blame for their illness, Princess Diana made sure to embrace patients, including gay men. Although thedemographics of AIDS have drastically changed over time, homosexual men were disproportionately affected in the '80s, so much so that the disease was labelled "gay cancer."
大众普遍认为艾滋病起源于同性恋，为了挑战这一观点，戴安娜王妃确保她关怀的人群中涵盖同性恋人群。虽然艾滋病患者参数已经随着时间激烈的改变了，但在八十年代，同性恋男子仍然被不同程度的影响着，如艾滋病本身被人们贴上同性恋之癌的标签。 And if Princess Diana's commitment to helping men with AIDS isn't enough to convince you, the major AIDS-fighting drug was actually also invented by a woman.
16. It ensured that men get the vital reproductive health services.
Planned Parenthood may have been founded by a woman and be generally perceived as a "women's health organization," but it provides services for men too. Planned Parenthood VP of Communications Eric Ferrero told PolicyMic that although a large number of men come to offer support for their female partner, many show up to get the vitally important services they need.
"Planned Parenthood health centers provide preventive health care for men, including testing and treatment of STDs, including HIV testing, and sexual health information and education. In fact, in the last 10 years, Planned Parenthood has more than doubled the number of male patients we see nationwide for health issues that affect men," Ferrero told PolicyMic.
”计划生育健康中心为男性提供防御性保健，包括性病测试与治疗，HIV病毒测试，以及性方面的信息与教育。实际上，过去十年里，到计划生育协会治疗的来自全国各地的男性病已经增加了一倍。“ 费列罗对PolicyMic 说。
According to Planned Parenthood's records, their male client base increased by a whopping 83% between 2002 and 2012. And this doesn't just extend to certain types of men: It's all men, whether they are straight, gay, bisexual, queer or trans. There's a real effort to integrate programs and services geared towards trans men and women and members of the LGBTQ community.
For instance, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte has a program for trans patients, while Planned Parenthood Ithaca offers specific services for LGTBQ folks. The organization also works to answer questions from the trans community, like this query from a man asking for birth control that can get rid of his period without increasing his estrogen intake.
Ferrero couldn't be prouder of his organization's role in helping men. "At Planned Parenthood, we realize that our incredible patients and supporters don't comprise any one identity, and we're grateful for the many men — volunteers, staff and supporters — who work every day to ensure that people in communities across the country get the health care and information they need," he said.
17. It built a more inclusive world, one feminist celebrity at a time.