Do men have it easier? Gender stereotype example or not?

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Gender stereotype example or not
Are the scales tipped in favor of one gender over another? Pixabay (CC0).

Take a look at a glossy women’s magazine and the chances are good that there’s a page or two of male bashing in its pages. But do men have it easier in reality? Or is it an example of a gender stereotype?

The conversations

It’s great that conversations are starting about gender pay gap and other issues. After all, women are still earning less than their male counterparts in many industries in the US and elsewhere.

And the glass cliff is another issue. It keeps many women from gaining positions on corporate boards.

Another subject of dialogue is whether there are more male protagonists in Hollywood movies than female.

Running through these conversations is a common thread – The notion that if you are born male, you will have an easier life than your female counterparts.

But, is this true?  Do men have it easier? It’s time to look at the details.

Power differences: Gender stereotype example or not?

Men are typically physically stronger than women. It’s a fact and a genetic inequality that humans 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 people might say that those individuals 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 there’s no refuting that women hold merely 4.2% of the CEO positions in the U.S.

The inequality in leadership roles in America is rampant.

Money

The recent emergence of pay disparity amongst Hollywood’s leading thespians has proven what has already been known for decades: men often get paid more than women for similar movie roles. Jennifer Lawrence recently spoke up about the pay disparity in the film industry.

And this disturbing difference in wages has been the case in every job throughout history from baking to banking. Only recently is there starting to be recognition that this phenomenon is not fair, but also action to address the issue and change it.

For example, Emma Stone recently stated how male actors took a pay cut so she would get equal pay. Good for them, but surely it would be better if everyone made the same respectful pay.

Furthermore, wouldn’t it be better if the changes applies to the entire movie industry rather than just the ones involving Emma Stone? If so, the head honchos at film studios would have to change policy and process to support gender equality.

Life

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 family, for example, 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.

In comparison to those health issues, one might say the acute trauma of giving birth is the slightly better deal.

Whether you are male or female, life can sometimes throw you a curveball or two that greatly impact your physical, emotional and mental well-being. Women have avenues through which to channel their feelings and are typically not criticized for talking through their emotions, unlike men.

Maybe she sees a doctor to check-in about a potential problem, phones a helpline, or simply talks with a friend. Meanwhile, guys still face a macho stigma about reaching out for help.

And that gender stereotype applies to both physical and mental assistance, by the way. Maybe it’s assembling Ikdea furniture, asking for direction,s 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.

Gender stereotype example: Answering the question of do men have it easier?

When it comes to gender stereotype, there is inequality but not always in the way that you assume. And assumptions can be hurtful, as with the suicide numbers discussed above.

Yes, men may get paid more, but this occurrence is changing as more people speak up and encourage change. There is a stigma regarding to men asking for help, but hopefully this changes for the better too.

Fundamentally, it’s essential to make sure that men and women work together to bring about equality and fairness within society. Doing so is for the sake of everyone.

32 COMMENTS

  1. My chap has often said to me that us women are great at helping each other because we talk to each other, really talk to each other. We let it all out to our best friends and we get and give support. Men don’t let go in the same way it seems. A close friend of my chap passed away earlier this year and still my chap has not been able to really open up about how he feels. Do we expect our Men to be too strong about things sometimes?

  2. Interesting post Christy. Men do have some tough stuff too to deal with too and it’s good to see this discussed on your blog. In my view women are pretty tough cookies. Even though we aren’t as physically strong as men we do have to put up with a lot in our lives which perhaps makes us stronger than a lot of people would give us credit for. At the end of the day we need men and women to procreate, and carry on the day to day stuff of living so why not celebrate all that is female as well as all that is male. That in my view is the way forward to a harmonious attitude which can only be a good thing, guys and gals rock! :)

  3. In this day in age it’s incredible that there is still inequality in pay for women. But in reality. woman are defo the stronger sex in so many ways even if not always the most physically strong. :) xx

  4. As a woman who is a qualified chartered accountant and married to a man with the same qualification, Christy, I have strong views on this. Men do have it easier and that is a fact. They get paid more and they have more opportunities, generally, in the corporate world. The question is why and that boils down, in my view, to the fact that women have children and we are hard-wired to put them first. If you want to climb to the top of the corporate ladder you have to put this first and most women, when they have children, chose not to do that. If I think of myself, if my boys are ill, I sort it out, I sit in the hospital with them and I take time off work to do this. I will change meetings to accommodate my children but my husband doesn’t. He leaves it to me. We women, in my view, often don’t have the top jobs because we don’t really want them.

  5. Christy, I think you have dug up some very significant facts in this post. However, I don’t think the question is answerable. None of us has lived a life as a male and a female (from birth to death), so none of us can bring this to the table as a valid comparison. I know what the social pressures have been on me as a male, but I’ve not experienced life as a female. I do agree that gender equity is LONG overdue in all fields, and I firmly believe that there is no collective human activity that has a chance at excellence unless it is planned, organized, and executed through joint and equal gender participation: government, education, business – everything.

  6. An extremely interesting discussion. I had no idea as to the statistics, concerning depression. I guess there are still many differences when it comes to opportunities… But, also, there have been so many changes in the last centuries!… “Change is a powerful thing” (as Lana says)… I guess soon the differences will vanish, as we already have the basis for paving the way towards overcoming them… Wishing you a great week, CB xxoo ;) <3

  7. Great post Christy. I grew up with 11 brothers and raised 2 boys. I have said for many years, that I believe men have it harder than women. Men are supposed to be strong, even when they don’t feel strong. I could go on and on…but I agree with what you

  8. You covered a difficult subject so well here, Christy. There’s no excuse for men getting higher pay for jobs that women do equally well, as most people would agree, and there will always be more physical jobs that women just couldn’t do so well. I enjoyed reading your thought-provoking arguments for the various issues and can only hope the inequality issues – particularly in some parts of the world – will eventually be ironed out.

  9. There are pros and cons of everything,men and women boh fight their own battles, yes there is inequality in pay grades everywhere around the world but rightly said that it is changing. I totally agree with your point regarding reaching out for help. Loved your article

  10. I couldn’t agree more. I think men do have it easier, but some may have major struggles. I think men are less likely to get help for depression, because they are seen as not only physically strong, but emotionally strong as well. They don’t want to be seen as weak. There is much pressure on them to provide for their families too. They are the foundation holding everything together at home.

  11. Great post Christy, it is a perfect example of how the sum of two is so much more powerful than exclusion and sexism. The lack of women in power (political and in business) is a detriment to society, and while the archaic stereotypes are slowly being eradicated ~ there is still such a long way to go.

  12. I have to say, this is more of a first world comparison. I completely agree, that men and women both face challenges and enjoy certain perks. But the environment matters, and some cultures still have a lot of catching up to do in order to throw away the medieval norms.

    I have to say, while men definitely do have it easier as a status quo in many parts of the society, there is a slow dialogue happening to correct it. To reduce the pressure on men and to give power to women to take it!

  13. Luv your equality approach to understanding and a peaceful, wholehearted outcome. I’m thinking the equality is evening out in our first world countries. I think the issue has become more global.

  14. I recently read that the philosophy of individualism that white men used to refuse social welfare for women or POC has come to bite them on the ass, because now that changes in the economy are leaving those men in the lurch, they don’t have the intellectual tools to do anything but turn those feelings of failure against themselves, leading to increasing rates of drug use and suicide.

  15. Equality should be a given – no debate. Evolution was the cause of inequality, it can no longer be the ’cause’ for defeat of half+ the human race. A pretty simple concept.

    • I don’t think evolution caused inequality. I do think competition over women and resources led to men having greater physical strength, but human cultures didn’t have to turn physical differences into cultural inequality. Vietnam had a female-centered religion before the Chinese occupation (the one a thousand years ago) and even today Vietnamese women seem more independent to me than Chinese women (and served in remarkable numbers during their wars of independence).

  16. Kudos for taking on such a tough subject, Christy. The old ways may be changing, albeit slowly. My hope rests with the Millennials, who have grown up with more awareness of these issues than previous generations. Perhaps they will tip the balance once the old vanguard retires!

  17. Totally agree! Awesome piece on the subject, Christy. In a way we also found a way around all that in our own little world, as women entrepreneurs these days – at least in opinion, there has been some amazing progress. That is encouraging even more and on it goes. It is hard to believe though, that companies still get away with that crap!!!!!

  18. I really loved reading this article. I think it is crazy that there is still an issue between equal pay. In terms of Hollywood, I think they should be equal but the problem is that there is far more roles out there for men to take the lead. You end up with male actors who are more famous or have more box-office success than female and therefore get paid more. But also, men seem to be allowed to age whereas women’s career can decline in movies as they get older.

  19. Hi Christy…

    Any company, organization etc who fail to realize the strengths and capabilities of the female portion of society are missing the mark completely.
    Over the years I have had and or worked for companies and it has always been my opinion both genders have the ability to become productive contributors.
    My vote is for equal pay and recognition for a job well done…

    Rolly

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