In some areas, men are far behind women in realising the immediate effects of equal rights. One of these is in the recognition of the achievements of our partners.
Women have learned to recognise, practically from infancy, that there are men who will have their achievements recognised as superior to their own. Women, however unfairly, have been prepared well to play a supporting role. This prepares better them for the hardest part of equality- realising that when/if you commit to someone, you and your partner could work as hard and be just as skilled, yet one of you could receive more recognition than the other. The indoctrination of submission and support prepares them for this more than adequately. This brings up its own problems that I’ll get back to later.
For men, the challenge of this is that there are very few domains where we are expected to play a supporting role to women1, and thus any time a woman out-achieves her partner in one of these areas, he’s probably been conditioned to think she’s doing something wrong.
One of the biggest challenges to equal rights is that men are encouraged to be disproportionately jealous of their partners when they’re in the supporting role. We’re encouraged to feel resentment when a woman tells us what to do or steps outside of her role. It paints an image of assertive women as nagging. It encourages backlash against women’s rights. And of course, it causes men to devalue their partners and in extreme cases, jeopardise their relationship.2
1Gay relationships, as you’d expect, have drastically different dynamics, which deserve dedicated posts. I’ll get there.
2Okay, so I just wanted to say “jeopardise”. 😉