Feminism for men

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First aired on the Lang & O'Leary Exchange (18/01/13)

Feminism isn't just for women, says Michael Kaufman, co-author of The Guy's Guide to Feminism. In fact, he argues more men should care about it as it's important to the economy and society that men start understanding and embracing the previously female-driven movement.

"There is a bottom line to this," he said in an interview on the Lang & O'Leary Exchange. For example, a culture of workplace harassment can be expensive for a business.

"If women -- or men for that matter -- are feeling uncomfortable at the workplace ... you're going to have incredible costs of arbitration or investigation," he said. The average cost of a workplace harassment investigation in Ontario? Kaufman pegs it at about $100,000.

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"Invest a few bucks in preventing workplace harassment and you save yourself a lot of money."

But it's not just about money. Kaufman says men have a lot to gain from gender equality. 

One of the biggest issues women have raised in the workplace is achieving a work-life balance. In contemporary times, that is no longer a female-centric problem. Kaufman offers young fathers as an example of a group of men having similar work life issues.

Outside the workplace, Kaufman says men stand to gain from doing their share of the housework. He says more and more studies are finding that men who contribute to household tasks are:

  • Less likely to need to see a doctor.
  • Less likely to be on prescription medication.
  • In better physical shape.
  • Have intercourse more frequently in their relationships.
Contributing to household chores helps relationships become stronger over time, says Kaufman.

"There's lessons in this for all of us," he said.



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