Men, Please Help Us Understand: Why Don’t You Care About Gender Equality?

man looking at water

Gender equality, equal rights, or women’s equality – whatever you call the issue, I don’t think I’m stretching too far to say that the progress we’ve made so far has been driven primarily by and for women.

Women drive the conversation and champion the cause. But as we try to figure out what it’s going to take to see the next great wave of progress, we know that it’s going to take more help from men raise awareness and help make sure gender inequality finally disappears for good.

The problem is, most men simply don’t care about these issues. It’s not that they disagree, they’re just indifferent.

So this is where I turn to the guys and ask – why DON’T you care? Here are a few reasons I could think of:

1. You don’t realize that there’s an unconscious bias
And that would be fair, a lot of women don’t even really realize there’s a bias. But take a look at this article from Time magazine. Transgender men (women who have transitioned to men) have come to discover just how bad it is. “They had no idea how rough women at work had it until they transitioned. As soon as they came out as men, they found their missteps minimized and their successes amplified…They seemed to gain authority and professional respect overnight.”

You also probably don’t realize the experiences and worries that women carry with them.

2. You think that we’ve made already made great progress
And that it’s not really an issue anymore. Yes, we have made great strides. Less than 200 years ago, women got the right to own property in their own names. Almost 100 years ago, women achieved the right to vote. And in 1974, single women were finally able to get access to their very own credit cards!

But I mean, c’mon guys. We’re still not paid equally—not even close. And let’s be real, this basic civil rights progress we’ve made hasn’t really infused itself into the rest of society. It wasn’t until 1993 that marital rape became illegal. And if the trends continue this way, women may not get equal pay until 2050. (By the way, let’s not even talk about paid parental leave.)

3. You don’t think women want your help
But we do (or at least we should)! Real change can’t happen without buy-in from everyone. It doesn’t do us any good if men don’t join in the conversation. Then we’re just talking to ourselves. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t men who are advocating for equal rights and gender equality – there definitely are. There just aren’t enough of them.

If we want progress and change, we need everyone’s support, not just those who are directly affected. And since only 19% of the seats in Congress are taken up by women, we’ve never had a woman president, there’s never been a majority of female representation on the Supreme Court and only 4% of Fortune 500 Company CEOs are women— yeah, we could use a little help.

4. Maybe you do care, but don’t know what to do about it
If that’s the case, here’s my advice: First, educate yourself on the biases and make a conscious effort to not let them affect your decisions. Next, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts. Attend a few women’s equality events, serve on a panel, or just be an advocate for a woman in your office.  We need all the voices we can get.

On the surface, I get it. These issues don’t directly affect you. But we really shouldn’t have to plea with you to stop being so apathetic. Think about it: You have mothers, wives, sisters, girlfriends, aunts, grandmothers, and friends—all who are affected by this. You don’t have to care about the “issues,” but you should at least care about the people you love whose livelihood is affected.

And even if you don’t care for them, you should at least care for the future and progress of this country. I hope you do, because we need your voice and your support. As Jane Goodall said, “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.”

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Katelyn Stiver

Katelyn Stiver is a marketing professional at a venture development organization. She has a passion for learning, a love for online shopping and an aversion to small talk. A proud introvert, she tends to be a homebody, but will never turn down the opportunity for a good conversation (except if it’s on the phone). While she lives in Akron with her husband and adorable pup, she loves working in Cleveland and treasures her commute as it allows her uninterrupted alone time.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Was this a fiction article? Reading about what the woman who wrote it does for a living explains how the author is so completely out of touch with the real world that people who do actual work exist in. It’s no wonder why so many men are going MGTOW. Besides having no accountability women lack all sense of self-awareness and are constantly claiming victim status which proves by their own claims and actions that not only are women therefore NOT equal to men. . . they aren’t even close. Women complain about how bad they have it when they don’t to such an extent that most men view you as annoying whineybabies now that just aren’t worth dealing with. Who cares about your first world made up problems? Get over yourselves. Stop blaming men for the fact that you women are always miserable. You are never happy and never will be. Now you are making men miserable, which is why (understandably) they are beginning to not care. I know I don’t.

  • I didn’t read the article. As a man who has never held a woman back from anything. I simply don’t care.

    I’ve never seen a man tell a girl not to do anything because she’s a girl/women/female etc.

    Who are WOMEN fighting? If you want a man’s help to fight a man…. Yet I don’t know any men “keeping women down”

    Women and men will never be equal.. we have the same.. but we will never be equal.

    Men aren’t equal to other men and women aren’t equal to other women.

    We’re not a math equation.. We’re people.

  • Its been over a year, but I’ll answer your questions and points as an individual male.

    1. Unconscious bias means I have a bias that I’m not conscious of. You’re crazy if you think I’d let anyone tinker with my unconsciousness. Watch Inception (2010) to see why.

    2. An conscious or unconscious bias/thought/feeling doesn’t accurately predict behavior or account for behavioral restrictions or rights to grievance.

    3. Women are paid less because they work less and don’t negotiate wage increases, which are choices. Make different choices and you’ll see a result. If you can prove that you’re paid less for the same work/time, you have lawsuit. File it.

    4. If an employer voluntarily wishes to pay for paternity leave, great. However, no employer should be forced to pay you while you stay home for months to have a child YOU decided to have. Can’t afford to? Then maybe you can’t afford children. That making you feel bad is not requisite for force, theft or mandatory conscription of outside help. Take responsibility for YOUR life and stop acting like a child.

    5. Its your decision not to run for office, and to not put in the necessary work/hours to sit on a corporate board. If you want that, EARN it. Giving you that place on the basis of your gender is not help. Its gerrymandering of an outcome you don’t deserve because you didn’t earn it.

    6. No, I do not care because your entire argument is based on ideological claptrap from pathological humanities professors driven by resentment and jealousy. You’re merely setting yourself up a victim in order to exploit public sympathies to gain control of bureaucratic instruments of power to rig the system purely in your favor. This is about revenge and power, not fairness.

    7. The greatest danger to the future is forced equity (i.e.: equality of outcome). The proof is the hundreds of millions who died in the endeavor to create an equity-based society in the 20th Century.

    8. You cannot appeal to my sympathies. I have none.

  • Of course we don’t care. The same way you don’t care about the billions of innocent babies that have been murdered by their mothers. Why should we care about what baby murderers want?

  • There is no such thing as ‘equality’. It’s a figment of the imagination. Men will never be equal to other men and women will never be equal to other women. It’s not possible by definition.

    As individuals we all have strengths and weaknesses. We can all do something that the ‘other’ person can’t do. For example, some people thrive and excel in mathematics, others do not. Some people thrive in physical sports, others do not. You can go on forever in a day.

    I don’t believe in ‘equality’ of anything. Whether you’re talking about equality of opportunity or equality of outcome. Because people are different – opportunities can never be dished out or afforded to everybody equally. We differ in terms of ability, interests, attitudes, outlooks – everything.

    Individuals must be judged on their own merits. One is either desirable or one is not. One is either suitable or one is not. One is either going to be successful or one is not. There is no middle ground.

    Individuals must be judged on their own merits. It’s that simple.

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