Take a look at any glossy women’s magazine, and there tends to be a couple of pages of man bashing that have managed to squeeze their way inside. Recently, there has been a trend to be more vocal about the issue of inequality between men and women whether this is the gender pay gap, the fact that more men appear on corporate boards or that there are more male protagonists in Hollywood movies. There is a notion that if you are born male, you will have an easier life than your female counterparts. Is this true? It’s time to look at the details.
Men are physically stronger. It’s a fact and a genetic inequality that we can do very little about. However, this neanderthal physical strength has slowly evolved into a domination within society. There are more male world leaders and a greater number of men as CEOs of the world’s largest conglomerates. Some may say that they were selected on merit and that you cannot simply place a woman into a senior role because of some half-hearted devotion to positive discrimination. But women hold merely 4.2% of the CEO positions in the U.S. The inequality is rampant.
The recent emergence of pay disparity amongst Hollywood’s leading thespians has proven what has already been known for decades: men get paid more than women for similar movie roles. This has been the case in every job throughout history from baking to banking. Only now are we starting to see not only a recognition that this is not fair, but also action to address the issue and change it. Emma Stone recently stated how male actors took a pay cut so they could work with her. Good for them, but surely it should be the film studios head honcho that controls the budget who can set this inequality straight once and for all through a change of policy and process.
Women often throw around the half joking comment that men have it easy because they don’t have periods, PMS or ever have to experience the act of giving birth. True, but what about the experiences that men do endure? When a couple has decided that they no longer wish to expand their brood, a man may choose to permanently halt his fertile days. The wealth of vasectomy information available shows that this operation can be traumatic with a risk of hematoma and chronic testicular pain. One might say the acute trauma of giving birth could be deemed the slightly better deal.
Whether you are male or female, life can sometimes throw you a curveball or two that may impact greatly on your physical, emotional and mental well-being. Women have avenues through which to channel their feelings. This could be heading to see a doctor, phoning a helpline or simply talking to a friend. Men still have a macho stigma attached to reaching out for help whether this is assembling flat pack furniture, asking for directions or needing support for their mental health. Even though women are more likely to suffer from depression, of the 38,000 people who took their own lives in 2010, a staggering 79% were male. This haunting statistic shows a vast disparity that demonstrates the need for specific mental health provision for men.
When it comes to gender stereotyping, there is inequality but not always in the way that you assume. Yes, men may get paid more, but this is changing. There is a stigma attached to men asking for help, but this is changing. Fundamentally, we need to ensure that men and women work together to bring about equality and fairness within society.