The only way for feminism to prevail is to have cooperation on both sides — because ultimately, men and women are forced to coexist either way. Therefore, we might as well try our best to get to know each other even though we’ll never really know what it’s like to be each other. Having respect for someone else does not require empathy, but unfortunately this is not the case for many men who have baseless presumptions about the modern-day female plight.
Women’s rights have undoubtedly come a long way, and the nations that have been relatively open about promoting the cause and include female-friendly policies tend to be more developed and have a higher GDP. This translates into a micro-sense as well — a man that supports female rights will likely be more successful overall. Self-assurance is the key to accepting the fact that there are people “better” than we are, whether it be a man or woman. But since the latter is traditionally seen as weaker, the most pathetic men try to uphold the stereotype so they won’t be at the bottom of the human race in general. It’s unfortunate that men are discouraged from exploring their feelings and consequently lack emotional intelligence, because having sufficient E.Q. to confront our own faults is the first step to supporting others.
We also have a derogatory perception of women in relationships based off of mainstream romantic movies. Too often a male lead sweeps the girl off of her feet, and it’s implied that the pair can’t live without each other. The main discrepancy here is that the man is doing the work while the woman basically waits for him to come into her life. In other words, she can’t live without him. One of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Hayao Miyazaki, deliberately counters this trend in his works by often establishing a female lead and a male co-lead, who both genuinely need one another in their lives to exist. For example, in the 2001 award-winning film Spirited Away, the main character Chihiro is saved by the co-main character Haku in her early childhood, but the reverse happens when they are much older. They also grow as individuals throughout the film based off of their time together. That is real romance.
We as men will never understand the opposite gender-specific struggle and vice versa. But women in general have a far-better grasp of what men are thinking than the other way around. The reason is because they’re taught to not be as outspoken, and consequently have honed their listening and observation skills to a tee. I remember when I first joined the military back in fall and thought the girls had an easier time getting roasted or being punished until I realized they simply received orders far better than we did. This applies to life as well, and women make educated and fairly accurate guesses as to the reasons behind our actions. Therefore, they can preemptively do things for us we didn’t even realize we wanted to get done ourselves. We need to reciprocate.
Feminism is not that hard to get behind in theory, but the too-often fragile male ego makes it so. Emotional intelligence has been taken for granted in the past, with the ancient world focusing on physical superiority and the ability to produce income to ultimately populate the earth, overshadowing the male’s ability to connect with his emotions. But we’re moving ever so closely to a modern society, and the only way to solidify this transition is with the unanimous support of over 3 billion other people in the world.