Men and women “have come a long way, baby” as Loretta Lynn said in the title song of her 1978 album of the same name. Ninety five years ago, when the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote was passed, it was not only the beginning of women’s civil rights, but it marked the beginning of more freedom for men. Until that day men had ALL the power. However, having ALL the power can also be a disadvantage. Maybe that’s why men should consider celebrating Women’s Equality Day, which is acknowledged August 26th of each year.
Most everyone knows the benefits of giving women the right to vote. Have you ever considered the ways men benefit from women’s equality? Here’s a short list of what men have gained through women’s equality:
1. Men want to combine family with work in their lives. Most enjoy spending more time with their children.
2. Men have a partner to share the economic responsibility of a household. Most married workers are dual-income couples.
3. Men who share in running a home and raising children teach their children cooperation and family values.
4. Men who are partners in home responsibility have happier marriages, more sex and live happier, healthier and longer lives.
5. Men’s emotional intelligence has improved enabling them to be more effective leaders resulting in more successful companies where employees and families thrive.
6. When male stereotypes and presumptions are challenged, this enables both men and women to succeed on their own authentic and unique terms.
7. Gender equal teams make better decisions and are more effective.
8. Men, families, communities and future generations benefit by women’s leadership in the areas of nutrition, health and education.
You may disagree with some of the benefits on this list, but let me assure you, most of them are supported by research studies. I encourage you to add to this short list of how men benefit from women’s equality. You might also want to include how children, families, communities, countries, economies and the world benefit from women’s rights. Can you imagine what life would look like today if the 19th amendment had not passed? Let’s acknowledge the suffragists who started in 1848 at the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY. It took almost 60 years of persistence to get the right to vote. Now let’s finish the job 167 years later and accept all people as people who are capable of doing what ever they are motivated to do. Happy Men’s Equality Day!
— Leslie Grossman, Chair, Vistage International, and author, “LINK OUT: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections” www.lesliegrossmanleadership.com