Catherine Mayer, author of Attack of the 50ft Women: How Gender Equality Can Save the World is appealing to voters to understand that gender quality isn’t a zero-sum game, with negative consequences for men.
In the article for The Guardian, the co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party explains that mounds of evidence has indicated that increased female participation across all aspects of society boosts economic growth and improves mental health outcomes.
“Men would be wealthier and happier if women got to have their cake and eat it,” she writes.
Davies, who has been accused of attempting to derail equality legislation, she says represents and magnifies “a strain of confused thought that misunderstands equality as a zero-sum game: if women get a slice of the cake, there will be less for men”.
The article comes after the WEP leader Sophie Walker announced plans to run for the Shipley seat currently held by Convervative MP Phillip Davies. Davies accused Walker of pulling a “publicity stunt” to further an “extreme politically correct agenda of positive discrimination and quotas”.
Walker said: “Philip Davies’s track record of misogyny should have no place in Parliament.
“Shipley deserves an MP that will represent the needs and interests of all its constituents, instead of one who spends constituency time on a self-indulgent anti-women campaign.”
Mayer continues: “When women thrive, the entire population benefits. When women have their cake and eat it, there’s more to go round.”
Yet, equality under the law is mistaken for equality, but even this is under threat Mayer says. And Brexit risks rolling back rights and protections for women through secondary legislation.
“Other barriers are less visible: we are all marinated in cultures that normalise women’s second-class citizenship. Men often cannot see the problems – or comprehend that these are their problems too,” she writes.
“I’m often asked if there’s a silver bullet to slay the patriarchy – there isn’t […] because the mechanisms that keep women down are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. One example: fathers who would like to share parental leave with female partners often cannot afford to do so, because the gender pay gap means those female partners earn less.
“But men can and should be part of the solution, and the forthcoming election provides a rare opportunity to speed change, by backing WE and pressuring other parties to do more for women.”
Read the full article here.