To celebrate Father’s Day, we at NOW wanted to highlight the many ways in which everyone in our society – yes, including men – have benefited from the feminist movement.
Though the feminist movement primarily focuses on ending discrimination against women, the policies that the movement has fought for has and continues to help change the lives of men for the better. How you ask?
LGBT rights are women’s and men’s rights
Feminist groups have fought and continue to fight for LGBTQ equality.
Feminist groups pushed for an end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, and they continue to push for equal marriage rights across the entire nation.
In 1987, NOW’s “Campaign to Free Sharon Kowalski” successfully brought attention to the rights of lifetime partners in making medical decisions for each other. That same year, NOW also participated in organizing the National Gay and Lesbian Rights March that drew hundreds of thousands to D.C., positively affecting all members of the LGBTQ community, including men.
In 1991 NOW demanded fair hiring practices after employees were fired from Cracker Barrel Country Stores because of their sexual orientation.
Changes in sexual mores
When feminist groups changed the norms of sexual behavior, it benefitted men as well. In addition, the accessibility of birth control allows men with female partners to decide when or if they have children.
Ending sexual and domestic violence
Feminism has fought against sexual violence, including sexual violence against men. Feminists fought to change the federal definition of rape to include male victims, they fought for the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, and they continue to fight to end sexual violence in the military.
In 1994, NOW was a leader in the fight to pass the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Though the law includes women in its title, VAWA protects male victims of domestic violence.
NOW fought to expand the definition of hate crimes to include all identities. That includes men of color, LGBT men, Jewish men, Muslim men, etc.
Ending discrimination in the work place
Feminism fought for an end to gendered segregation at work and in school. Because of this men can be nurses and primary school educators.
Since 1972, NOW has been a proponent of Title IX, legislation that bans all forms of gender discrimination in federally funded schools, making it so that boys and girls have equal access to education. Title IX prohibits the sexual harassment of any student, boys included.
Better family policies, for men and women
NOW fought for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows for as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12 month period in order to care for a family member or loved one. We are still fighting for paid leave and trying to pass the FAMILY Act.
NOW advocates for comprehensive immigration reform that will keep families united.
Economic justice for all
Feminists have long fought for economic justice for both women and men.
NOW advocates for raising the minimum wage to at least $10.00, but above all wants the minimum wage to be a living wage. Now has also fought to raise the minimum tipped wage from its woefully inadequate $2.13.
NOW campaigned against Social Security cuts that would have been devastating for some of our most vulnerable citizens. NOW also advocates for a credit under Social Security that would recognize child care years for both men and women.