The ERA wasn’t just about women’s rights. It was about gender discrimination. These issues are so common that we often don’t notice them until we are victimized by them.
If you are a divorced man who has tried to get physical custody of his children, you may have found that the courts are biased in favor of the female parent, for example.
Gender bias shows up in sports all the time. There’s “World Cup Soccer” and then there’s “Women’s World Cup Soccer.” If you are going to have separate teams (which I can understand because of the physical differences), then why not designate the male team as “Men’s World Cup Soccer”? Are the women less “real”?
Why has Michigan recently banned male cheerleaders?
When a child is sick at school, which parent is called? Why?
Married men, do you help your wife with the housework? Are you sure? Why do you think of it as “help”? Why isn’t it your job as much as hers?
Think about the secretaries who work at your place of employment. What percentage are male? What percentage of public school teachers are female? What percentage of school administrators are female?
Who cooked Sunday dinner at your house? Who cleaned up afterwards?
These questions may reflect poorly on my generation more than on Gen X. I hope so! As college students in the early 1960’s, we were locked in the dorm at 8:00 every night unless we were signed out to the library. The men were allowed to roam freely. We could not wear slacks or jeans on campus unless we were on our way to play tennis – and then we had to wear raincoats over them. Women’s basketball was half-court because women were too delicate to run the full length of the court.
The sad thing is that much of this we just accepted as the way things are.. We didn’t question the fairness of it.