Women need men. Feminists need men. Although some may not want to admit it, because one of the tenets of feminism is that women can do things on their own. This is because the fate of gender rights is held by the male majority that is in power in both the corporate and political arena. Some members of the “old boys club” don’t want to share their power with women, but some male executives and politicians identify with the growing male feminist movement. Male feminists realize that women’s rights are directly tied with men’s rights and that equal pay for equal work will stimulate the economy. The real challenge that will ultimately change the game for feminism is to get more male feminists to speak out and act on behalf of gender rights.
The average woman earns 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Not only is this unfair, it also spells doom for a robust economic recovery. If women had the income capacity that men have, more money would be pumped into the economy. More purchasing power means more orders have to be filled and more product has to be made. More purchasing power would help fuel consumer spending and that would act as a catalyst for economic recovery.
Gender rights in the most simplistic form are human rights. Millions of people around the world advocate for human rights. Men and women stand side by side in protest for the oppressed worldwide. Men and women write blogs accosting regimes that discriminate minorities. Men and women in academia study atrocities, their cause and effect, and how to prevent them in the future. Advocating for human rights worldwide is not gender specific. Since 1993, there have been as many women as there have been men in the United States top diplomatic post. Part of the U.S.' diplomatic policy is to advocate for basic global human rights and gender equality.
But gender equality will not be achieved through “girl power” alone. Feminists need men to advocate for them. Washington, D.C., student Yasemin Ayarci, herself a feminist says, “In order to ignite swift change, it’s crucial to have men on board, as well. What men often forget is that it’s our patriarchal system that pushes this fabricated idea that men are chauvinists and incapable of change. Feminism should play a great role in the lives of men because it’s feminism that shouts men are far more capable than that narrow-minded assessment.”
Our top leaders in government and business are mostly male. Men need to speak out for gender equality. Change will eventually come as more and more women crack the glass ceiling, but change should come sooner rather than later. More and more men who believe women’s rights are directly tied to men’s rights need to speak out on the subject. The myth of male feminism that males who support women’s rights are soft, gay, or just using the cause as a ruse to get the girl to date him needs to be debunked as well. This myth has been perpetuated on both sides of the gender coin. Some male feminists have served in combat, raised strong families, and married supermodels. Men who believe in women’s rights need to speak out on the subject without fear of ridicule. Without strong and capable men to support them, feminists will see real change come at a slower pace than what is needed.