Michael Kimmel On Why Gender Equality is Good For Everyone

In this TED Talk, Dr. Michael Kimmel makes a case for gender equality.

Now, when men first hear about gender equality, when they first start thinking about it, they often think, many men think, well, that’s right, that’s fair, that’s just, that’s the ethical imperative. But not all men.Some men think — the lightning bolt goes off, and they go, “Oh my God, yes, gender equality,” and they will immediately begin to mansplain to you your oppression. They see supporting gender equality something akin to the cavalry, like, “Thanks very much for bringing this to our attention, ladies, we’ll take it from here.” This results in a syndrome that I like to call ‘premature self-congratulation.’

There’s another group, though, that actively resists gender equality, that sees gender equality as something that is detrimental to men. I was on a TV talk show opposite four white men. This is the beginning of the book I wrote, ‘Angry White Men.’

These were four angry white men who believed that they, white men in America, were the victims of reverse discrimination in the workplace. And they all told stories about how they were qualified for jobs, qualified for promotions, they didn’t get them, they were really angry.

And the reason I’m telling you this is I want you to hear the title of this particular show. It was a quote from one of the men, and the quote was, “A Black Woman Stole My Job.” And they all told their stories, qualified for jobs, qualified for promotions, didn’t get it, really angry. And then it was my turn to speak, and I said, “I have just one question for you guys, and it’s about the title of the show, ‘A Black Woman Stole My Job.’ Actually, it’s about one word in the title.

I want to know about the word ‘my.’Where did you get the idea it was your job? Why isn’t the title of the show, ‘A Black Woman Got the Job?’or ‘A Black Woman Got A Job?'”

Because without confronting men’s sense of entitlement, I don’t think we’ll ever understand why so many men resist gender equality.”


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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