Why Gender Equality Is Good for Everyone — Men Included | Michael Kimmel | TED Talks

Why Gender Equality Is Good for Everyone — Men Included | Michael Kimmel | TED Talks

I’m here to recruit men
to support gender equality. (Cheers) Wait, wait. What? What do men have to do
with gender equality? Gender equality is about women, right? I mean, the word gender is about women. Actually, I’m even here speaking
as a middle class white man. Now, I wasn’t always
a middle class white man. It all happened for me about 30 years ago
when I was in graduate school, and a bunch of us graduate students
got together one day, and we said, you know,
there’s an explosion of writing and thinking
in feminist theory, but there’s no courses yet. So we did what graduate students
typically do in a situation like that. We said, OK, let’s have a study group. We’ll read a text, we’ll talk about it, we’ll have a potluck dinner. (Laughter) So every week,
11 women and me got together. (Laughter) We would read some text in feminist theory
and have a conversation about it. And during one of our conversations, I witnessed an interaction
that changed my life forever. It was a conversation between two women. One of the women was white,
and one was black. And the white woman said — this is going to sound
very anachronistic now — the white woman said, “All women
face the same oppression as women. All women are similarly
situated in patriarchy, and therefore all women have a kind
of intuitive solidarity or sisterhood.” And the black woman said,
“I’m not so sure. Let me ask you a question.” So the black woman
says to the white woman, “When you wake up in the morning
and you look in the mirror, what do you see?” And the white woman said, “I see a woman.” And the black woman said,
“You see, that’s the problem for me. Because when I wake up in the morning
and I look in the mirror,” she said, “I see a black woman. To me, race is visible. But to you,
race is invisible. You don’t see it.” And then she said
something really startling. She said, “That’s how privilege works. Privilege is invisible
to those who have it.” It is a luxury, I will say
to the white people sitting in this room, not to have to think about race
every split second of our lives. Privilege is invisible
to those who have it. Now remember, I was
the only man in this group, so when I witnessed this, I went, “Oh no.” (Laughter) And somebody said,
“Well what was that reaction?” And I said, “Well, when I wake up
in the morning and I look in the mirror, I see a human being. I’m kind of the generic person. You know, I’m a middle class white man.
I have no race, no class, no gender. I’m universally generalizable.” (Laughter) So I like to think that was the moment
I became a middle class white man, that class and race and gender
were not about other people, they were about me. I had to start thinking about them, and it had been privilege that had
kept it invisible to me for so long. Now, I wish I could tell you
this story ends 30 years ago in that little discussion group, but I was reminded of it quite recently
at my university where I teach. I have a colleague, and she and I
both teach the sociology of gender course on alternate semesters. So she gives a guest lecture
for me when I teach. I give a guest lecture
for her when she teaches. So I walk into her class
to give a guest lecture, about 300 students in the room, and as I walk in, one of the students
looks up and says, “Oh, finally, an objective opinion.” All that semester, whenever
my colleague opened her mouth, what my students saw was a woman. I mean, if you were to say to my students, “There is structural inequality
based on gender in the United States,” they’d say, “Well of course
you’d say that. You’re a woman. You’re biased.” When I say it, they go,
“Wow, is that interesting. Is that going to be on the test?
How do you spell ‘structural’?” (Laughter) So I hope you all can see, this is what objectivity looks like. (Laughter) (Applause) Disembodied Western rationality. (Laughter) And that, by the way, is why I think
men so often wear ties. (Laughter) Because if you are going to embody
disembodied Western rationality, you need a signifier, and what could be a better signifier
of disembodied Western rationality than a garment that at one end is a noose
and the other end points to the genitals? (Laughter) (Applause) That is mind-body dualism right there. So making gender visible to men is the first step to engaging men
to support 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.’ (Laughter) (Applause) 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. (Applause) Look, we think this
is a level playing field, so any policy that tilts it
even a little bit, we think, “Oh my God,
water’s rushing uphill. It’s reverse discrimination against us.” (Laughter) So let me be very clear: white men in Europe and the United States are the beneficiaries of the single
greatest affirmative action program in the history of the world. It is called “the history of the world.” (Laughter) (Applause) So, now I’ve established
some of the obstacles to engaging men, but why should we support gender equality? Of course, it’s fair,
it’s right and it’s just. But more than that, gender equality is also
in our interest as men. If you listen to what men say
about what they want in their lives, gender equality is actually a way
for us to get the lives we want to live. Gender equality is good for countries. It turns out, according to most studies, that those countries
that are the most gender equal are also the countries that score highest
on the happiness scale. And that’s not just because
they’re all in Europe. (Laughter) Even within Europe, those countries
that are more gender equal also have the highest levels of happiness. It is also good for companies. Research by Catalyst and others
has shown conclusively that the more gender-equal companies are, the better it is for workers, the happier their labor force is. They have lower job turnover.
They have lower levels of attrition. They have an easier time recruiting. They have higher rates of retention,
higher job satisfaction, higher rates of productivity. So the question I’m often asked
in companies is, “Boy, this gender equality thing,
that’s really going to be expensive, huh?” And I say, “Oh no, in fact,
what you have to start calculating is how much gender inequality
is already costing you. It is extremely expensive.” So it is good for business. And the other thing is, it’s good for men. It is good for the kind of lives
we want to live, because young men especially
have changed enormously, and they want to have lives
that are animated by terrific relationships
with their children. They expect their partners,
their spouses, their wives, to work outside the home and be just as committed
to their careers as they are. I was talking, to give you
an illustration of this change — Some of you may remember this. When I was a lot younger,
there was a riddle that was posed to us. Some of you may wince
to remember this riddle. This riddle went something like this. A man and his son
are driving on the freeway, and they’re in a terrible accident, and the father is killed, and the son is brought
to the hospital emergency room, and as they’re bringing the son
into the hospital emergency room, the emergency room attending physician
sees the boy and says, “Oh, I can’t treat him, that’s my son.” How is this possible? We were flummoxed by this. We could not figure this out. (Laughter) Well, I decided to do a little experiment
with my 16-year old son. He had a bunch of his friends
hanging out at the house watching a game on TV recently. So I decided I would pose
this riddle to them, just to see, to gauge the level of change. Well, 16-year-old boys, they immediately turned to me
and said, “It’s his mom.” Right? No problem. Just like that. Except for my son, who said,
“Well, he could have two dads.” (Laughter) (Applause) That’s an index, an indicator
of how things have changed. Younger men today expect
to be able to balance work and family. They want to be dual-career,
dual-carer couples. They want to be able to balance
work and family with their partners. They want to be involved fathers. Now, it turns out that the more egalitarian
our relationships, the happier both partners are. Data from psychologists and sociologists
are quite persuasive here. I think we have the persuasive numbers,
the data, to prove to men that gender equality
is not a zero-sum game, but a win-win. Here’s what the data show. Now, when men begin
the process of engaging with balancing work and family, we often have two phrases
that we use to describe what we do. We pitch in and we help out. (Laughter) And I’m going to propose
something a little bit more radical, one word: “share.” (Laughter) Because here’s what the data show: when men share housework and childcare, their children do better in school. Their children have lower rates
of absenteeism, higher rates of achievement. They are less likely
to be diagnosed with ADHD. They are less likely
to see a child psychiatrist. They are less likely
to be put on medication. So when men share housework and childcare, their children are happier and healthier, and men want this. When men share housework and childcare, their wives are happier. Duh. Not only that, their wives are healthier. Their wives are less likely
to see a therapist, less likely to be diagnosed
with depression, less likely to be put on medication,
more likely to go to the gym, report higher levels
of marital satisfaction. So when men share housework and childcare, their wives are happier and healthier, and men certainly want this as well. When men share housework and childcare, the men are healthier. They smoke less, drink less,
take recreational drugs less often. They are less likely to go to the ER but more like to go to a doctor
for routine screenings. They are less likely to see a therapist, less likely to be diagnosed
with depression, less likely to be taking
prescription medication. So when men share housework and childcare, the men are happier and healthier. And who wouldn’t want that? And finally, when men share housework and childcare, they have more sex. (Laughter) Now, of these four fascinating findings, which one do you think
Men’s Health magazine put on its cover? (Laughter) “Housework Makes Her Horny. (Not When She Does It.)” (Laughter) Now, I will say, just to remind the men in the audience, these data were collected
over a really long period of time, so I don’t want listeners to say, “Hmm, OK, I think
I’ll do the dishes tonight.” These data were collected
over a really long period of time. But I think it shows something important, that when Men’s Health magazine
put it on their cover, they also called,
you’ll love this, “Choreplay.” So, what we found
is something really important, that gender equality is in the interest of countries, of companies, and of men, and their children and their partners, that gender equality
is not a zero-sum game. It’s not a win-lose. It is a win-win for everyone. And what we also know is we cannot fully empower women and girls unless we engage boys and men. We know this. And my position is that men need the very things
that women have identified that they need to live the lives
they say they want to live in order to live the lives
that we say we want to live. In 1915, on the eve of one
of the great suffrage demonstrations down Fifth Avenue in New York City, a writer in New York
wrote an article in a magazine, and the title of the article was, “Feminism for Men.” And this was the first line
of that article: “Feminism will make it possible
for the first time for men to be free.” Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Why Gender Equality Is Good for Everyone — Men Included | Michael Kimmel | TED Talks

  1. Gender equality is about women…ok where dose the word equality kick in because I’m lost…are you stupid or just retarded…ohh wait I forgot your a feminist so you have cancer…I feel bad it’s not that hard tho I hear your already in stage four… I’m not normally mean but I’ll treat dumb liberals like you with the respect that you give to men the men that do the dirty jobs and get punished for it by dumb liberal son of a CUNY’s like you

  2. Beeing a woman seems to be a quite pittyful existence – they have all the power they need to change men with their choice of a partner but instead they sit down and cry and complain about the assholes they sleep with

    Men would change their behaviour quite fast if the majority of women would prefere the nice guys instead of punishing them by ignoring them
    and as long as this doesnt change – i keep laughing at their desparate trys to change men

  3. I am an Arabic Woman 👩🏻 but when I look in the mirror I see a human, Even if other people didn’t see me as only that I still do because I don’t place in my mind how others view me that’s in my nature.
    What I think is not only that I’m human but I’m a part of the universe.
    Nice talk by the way enjoyed the video.

  4. It has never been more popular, more normal, and more socially acceptable to hate ALL men. Women need to celebrate this! Say it loud, and be brutal!
    Men will continue to hurt and oppress all women unless women take action while it's so easy to be heard and believed.

  5. "Cosmic justice is not simply a higher degree of traditional justice, it is a fundamentally different concept. Traditionally, justice or injustice is characteristic of a process. A defendant in a criminal case would be said to have received justice if the trial were conducted as it should be, under fair rules and with the judge and jury being impartial. After such a trial, it could be said that "justice was done"—regardless of whether the outcome was an acquittal or an execution. Conversely, if the trial were conducted in violation of the rules and with a judge or jury showing prejudice against the defendant, this would be considered an unfair or unjust trial—even if the prosecutor failed in the end to get enough jurors to vote to convict an innocent person. In short, traditional justice is about impartial processes rather than either results or prospects.

    Similar conceptions of justice or fairness extend beyond the legal system. A "fair fight" is one in which both combatants observe the rules, regardless of whether that leads to a draw or to a one-sided beating. Applying the same rules of baseball to all meant that Mark McGwire hit seventy home runs while some other players hit less than ten. The "career open to talents" or "a level playing field" usually means that everyone plays by the same rules and is judged by the same standards. Again, if the process itself meets that standard, then no matter what the outcome, "you had your chance." But this is not what is meant by those people who speak of "social justice." In fact, rules and standards equally applicable to all are often deliberately set aside in pursuit of "social justice." Nor are such exceptions aberrations. The two concepts are mutually incompatible.

    What "social justice" seeks to do is to eliminate undeserved disadvantages for selected groups. … This is often done in disregard of the costs of this to other individuals or groups—or even to the requirements of society as a whole. When one considers a society such as Sri Lanka, where group preferences initiated in the 1950s led to decades of internal strife, escalating into bitter civil war with many atrocities, it is not purely fanciful to consider that other societies may become more polarized and contentious—to everyone’s ultimate detriment—by similar schemes of preferential treatment for one segment of society."

    – The Quest For Cosmic Justice by Thomas Sowell

  6. My school has an activity where we have to write a song with the theme “Equality is love” and we’re required to watch this video…wish me luck

  7. I just want to ask a question, if the society requires men and women to share the bathroom, will it be considered as gender equality or an assault on women??

  8. I wonder what emperors used to see when they looked into mirrors – the most powerful person in the empire, descendant of so and so, a leader, or just a common human being. It is just how they identified, not about that identity was oppressor or victim.

    But this idea is a comfortable trap to fall into ..

  9. Men and women aren't equals and women trying to be their equals is ridiculous. Women have a different role of equal value that's all.

  10. THe black people who don't think about race all the time are the ones who become mayors, head of a company or college respected professors at an ecducational institution. Those who do are the one that are unempoyed sitting at their phone all day saying racistto everyone who disagrees.

  11. absolutely agree with the main statement of his speech, but the arguments are just awful. When he talks about the correlation between gender equality and happiness, health, etc. it sounds like some kind of statistic manipulation to me. There may be a lot of factors that influence health and happiness rates it that case so you can't say things like that not showing actual data. And all those generalizing about white men, how can you call that person a sociologist…

  12. You Are Part Of "ONE HUMAN RACE"… People Are Still this fucking STUPID After 6,000+ Years??? Oh Okay… Go figure…

  13. If Humans Respectfully Accepted One Another B.S. Free then the Government Wouldn't Have to Write LAWS & Get In the Way… this Is Why Politics Will Alwaya take Advantage Of the DUMB Down Human Sheep

  14. We Were ALWAYS Equal But Humans Are OUT OF CONTROL & STUPID Refusing to Change their Ways

  15. https://medium.com/@bmcoston/reclaiming-my-fear-i-will-no-longer-stay-silent-about-michael-kimmel-bde8602fee55

  16. Gender Equality? What sick stupid idiot thought that up. I know the womens movement loves it. It basically bypasses them. You've got to be a pretty sick little puppy to think you can magically change your gender.

  17. Gender Equality by definition is a good thing but now these days I see it is only favoring women more

  18. I'm a blessed brown man speaking in liberal dominant California.


    seat to be a Victoria's person it's a matter of perspective when I look at Jesus Christ he didn't go around making things about The superficial like these deceivers..

    As a result of these pansy boys who call themselves men..men are now allowed to put on dresses and destroy little girls at sports and walk around without any conscience in female locker rooms and Sue women who do not desire to wax their private parts..

    all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God we're all equal in that situation can we all need the Savior Jesus Christ to get it right.

    Wicked Obomination has always been a liar. He was truly the one that was voted in that revealed the devil is welcomed in many households. As a result of his Antichrist leadership good is being called evil and evil is being called good. Darkness is being put for light, the White House was lit up like a rainbow. Mocking God who gave the 🌈 as a promise to never flood the earth again.

    Which is wicked Bruce Jenner was put on a pedestal.

    Look at America since that wicked man has left office. He's influenced so many people to rebel against God. Little girls are being destroyed by boys in running shoes with pink shoelaces. Grown perverts are going into schools and telling little kids that it's cool to be a pervert.

    Thank God for a reprieve with Trump but truly if people do not run to Jesus Christ and get on their knees and repent what's happening in California is a foreshadow of what's going to happen across America and wicked people will vote in a delusional radical like Alexandria who seeks to bully people to support her delusion.

    which is why people are being banned from Twitter and platforms outright to one other people and others are being shadowbanned who opposed their Antichrist agenda..


  19. Wait- i thought women had already all the rights men had! And actually, women have more rights and less responsabilities.

  20. News flash.. if you’re an American woman, you have no clue what oppression is. Try living in Saudi Arabia or Iran.

    Oh there he goes about Europe too. Hey another news flash.. if America is SO awful and unequal but Europe is so grand.. you’re not a tree, you can MOVE THERE. 👋

  21. I have no problem with treating women equally……..let them do all the jobs men do, without male help, ie: change a car tyre, march 10 miles with a 90lb pack, do the dangerous jobs men do. In 2019, I have so far been called a pig for not helping a fat pink haired weirdo move her DT downstairs [ I had chemo & cancer ], had a woman shout obscenties at me for using disabled parking spot because she wanted the spot, called a mysoginist for trying to help two women change their tyre [ I got in my car, drove off & left them to struggle]

    all men now are " rapey " apparantly……yes, it is wanted by the elites, women too as well..

    Yes…..I am fine with equality for women….

  22. What is gender equality? What does he mean with this word. It's sounding good of course, because how can someone be against equality, right?

    You are a man and want to be with your children? Go for it! Do it. Nobody is stopping you.

  23. Sorry i'm not commenting on what he said but..
    I keep hearing this ONE woman who's always forcing herself to laugh so hard and loud as soon as he makes a joke.
    How much does she get paid?(she's doing a great job btw)

  24. For the critics of this video, his book "Angry White Men" offers a very factual, detailed comprehensive analysis of the events and people that lead to some of his reasoning. Kimmel isn't a preacher but a researcher.

  25. I'm Puerto Rican with a eat coast upbringing. And now live in the west coast. This is a Zionist agenda…

  26. Michael Kimmel is an intellectual hack. He knows nothing about what is going on in the real world. He is an academic who sits in his office or classroom and theorizes on what is going on in the world. Anyone who believes what he says is being brainwashed by his Marxist, Leftist, Socialist, bigoted, sexist, propaganda. He knows NOTHING. What a bunch of BS.

  27. This is a fallacy, gender equality is IMPOSSIBLE and ruinous for the stability of society. What happens to a teen that grows up seeing his mom and dad leaving for work in the morning and returning at 6:30 PM?…

    And that child is the son of two minimum wage workers and live in a neighborhood of people in their same economic condition…What percentage of people in the world work on minimum wage?

    Feminism is a political convenience and a way to subtract strength from social cohesion. It puts women and men on a collision course and the child is in the middle.

  28. If women want equality they should be drafted in the war they should be put on the front lines and they should die just as much as men do also alimony must stop they don't need alimony they don't even then they can take care of themselves they don't need our money when I do that then we'll have a quality until we until that happens I don't want to hear about equality

  29. I have never once in my life felt that a woman deserves less respect, money, appreciation or acknowledgement. And I'm sure I never will.

  30. A lot of cheap and poorly reasoned arguments in this comment section lol. I like that a good portion of them are claiming equivalence and identity are…..identical lol and this is fused with misogyny and aggrieved entitlement rather than coherent counter arguments lol and this is supposed to dismiss the arguments from feminism lol. It's hilarious.

  31. BOTH side have challenges what problem would you like solved and why.

    I would like men and women to stop bickering. Both sides are sexist and it's getting toxic.


  33. In a disaster
    is women and children first right in an age of sexual equality. children of cause but is it right that elderly women should be evacuated before younger men?

  34. The main point is clear. "…the world of humanity consists of two parts or members: one is woman; the other is man. Until these two members are equal in strength, the oneness of humanity cannot be established, and the happiness and felicity of mankind will not be a reality." ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha'i Faith

  35. All those random arbitrary data claims…not one scrap of evidence? Gender division is what is happening today. Double the economy by doubling the work force with seperate careers and homes. If reversing the natural instinctual roles assigned to each genders DNA, makes for happier couples, why are their so many divorced, and single humans, preferring the single existence today? How about genuine domestic violence, depression and suicide data figures? That’s the reality – not this corporate sponsored video.

  36. Kimmel claims that the happiest countries are the ones that are most gender equal (8:35). Let's qoute the great Jonathan Haidt: CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION. The happiest countries also have the most anorexia. Kimmel proofs once and for all that gender studies is no part of science but an ideology.

  37. He didnt even touch on if he is talking about 'equality of opportunity' or 'equality of outcome'. They are totally different things, and you can't say both, because both is impossible

  38. I'm all for the equality at home thing.
    My wife is mowing the lawn tomorrow, while I play with my kids.
    If anything, the kids will have an awesome day out side instead of in front of the tv.

  39. Tuned out after he said 'mansplain'. Anyone that uses the phrase doesn't deserve to be given the time of day and shouldn't be taken seriously.

  40. searched online about the show ”a black woman stole my job”, i did not find any, could someone put a link. thank you

  41. Can a male feminist specialize in men's rights? If that's acceptable then feminism will grow rapidly. If not, then who cares about problems males face?

  42. Gender equality really. Women get maternity leave, they get time of for lady days at some places. Is there any place where they are actually paid less than their male counter parts. All postal workers, law enforcement and political positions all pay the same. The only place I see where men make more is in Hollywood. You know the place pushing all this equality stuff.

  43. Equality and equal pay happened in 1963, for those in the US. JFK signed the bill into law, which was the Equal Pay Act of 1963. If you think you're being paid less for doing the same job then you need to call the Police. Of course, that only applies if you have the same experience and qualifications, and put in the same hours as everyone else. Pay discrepancies are due to choice and a few other factors, also it depends on the job being done. Most women choose jobs that do not have as high pay as other jobs. Even in the same field, such as the Medical field, women tend to work less hours and do not focus on a specialty. Men also tend to do jobs that are dangerous but are also high paying. There is no pay gap, and there hasn't been in several decades.

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