With Father’s Day approaching, it’s time to look at how fatherhood is tied to feminism.
The reason why it’s so important to acknowledge how feminism is inherent to fatherhood is because it highlights the collaborative component necessary for the growth in society. It takes an army of people to create change in society. It takes the same amount of people to help raise a single person. Feminists are collaborators. So are fathers.
In the past, mothers have been primary caregivers while fathers were expected to be breadwinners. But that’s simply not the case today as more mothers want to uphold and continue their careers. So, what’s one of the solutions to helping mothers maintain their jobs, besides giving mothers better paid maternity leave? Encouraging fathers to take paternity leave.
Research has shown that when paid leave is available, men are more likely to take paternity leave and serve as caregivers, which has many positive effects for families. This suggests that fathers sincerely want to be part of their children’s initial upbringing, but still want to maintain a career. It seems that fathers also encourage mothers to maintain their own careers. In 2015, it was reported that 37% of fathers with children under age 17 said the ideal situation for young children was to have a mother who did not work at all outside the home, in comparison to reported 54% of fathers in 2009.
Research findings like these demonstrate how modern fatherhood is connected to feminism. Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. A growing number of fathers are recognizing the antiquity of gender roles and it shows in how they want to approach caregiving and careers. So now, being a father isn’t being the “man of the house”—it’s simply about being a good parent.
Fathers have responsibility to be part of a child’s life, guiding them forward and helping them live a fruitful life. What makes a feminist father a feminist is his support for a culture that promotes gender equality in communities and around the world. He wants a better and equal society for everyone. He isn’t a feminist simply because he may have daughter, a wife, a mother, or a sister. He is a feminist father because he sees women as people who deserve equal rights and opportunities. Feminism is not a female-only domain. And neither is parenthood.
Here are a few famous feminist fathers! Celebrate feminist fathers with the hashtag, #FeministFathers and tag us on Facebook and on Twitter with @LipstiknPolitks!
Actor Mark Ruffalo is extremely vocal and supportive of abortion rights and consistently advocates for a future that supports gender equality. Ruffalo most often comments on how he wants his daughters to have a freedom of choice and for them to have female superheroes to look up to.
"I trust [women] with their choices, I trust them with their bodies, and I trust them with their children. I trust they are decent enough and wise enough and worthy enough to carry the right of abortion."
The celebrated musician and recent father has made it incredibly obvious that the world needs to care more about women’s rights. With his wife, Chrissy Teigen, they are certainly a duo ready to change the world for both men and women.
“All men should be feminists. If men care about women's rights the world will be a better place. We are better off when women are empowered – it leads to a better society."
The Facebook CEO took a two month paternity leave after the birth of his first daughter at the end of last year. He is thus leading by example for the rest of his company (and many other businesses) in changing traditional gender roles in family upbringing. This, along with his numerous philanthropic actions, has demonstrated his dedication to creating a more equal future.
“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families. At Facebook we offer our US employees up to 4 months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year.”
President Barack Obama
The POTUS has shown continuous support for the women in our communities and encourages everyone to do their part to change the gender inequality that women face everyday. Not to mention his unending support for his daughters!
“Communities that give their daughters the same opportunities as their sons, they are more peaceful, they are more prosperous, they develop faster, they are more likely to succeed.”