It's a pretty good time to be a woman. We don't have to rely on rich husbands to achieve success and status. We can save ourselves from the dragons of the world. Our opinions are respected. We can, in theory, have it all.
After centuries of being silenced and undervalued, it's great that women today are recognized as viable human beings.
But something happened to the other half of the population in the process. Some men lost their way as women rose up and claimed what belonged solely to men for centuries. The pressure to support a family, establish a successful career, and participate in civic duties was alleviated somewhat, as women found ways to make their voices heard and their influence felt.
Without that pressure to drive them, though, men started to get complacent. For years, women have outpaced men in college graduation numbers, for instance. And it certainly doesn't help that people tend to tear others down when they are moving up. How many commercials or TV shows have you seen in the past few years where the woman is portrayed as a successful career woman while the man is portrayed as a messy, clueless guy?
I could write several posts on how women have endured negative stereotypes for far longer than men have, and how there's still a long way to go before men and women are on equal footing.
But you know what I want to see more of? Men being leaders. Men working hard. Men being good fathers. Maybe instead of focusing on encouraging women to pursue a career in male-dominated fields, we can take a minute to remind the men that they are still, in fact, strong, smart, capable, trustworthy people. Maybe instead of agonizing over the many places women are absent, we should think for a minute about why we have two halves of the same race.
Could we do better to ensure equal rights in this country? Sure. But let's do it without de-manning the men.