Ana Nogales, Ph.D.

Family Secrets

Equal Rights - The Secret Threat

Are Men Still Threatened by Women’s Equality?

Posted Nov 24, 2010

photo from 1923

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with President Obama that women are entitled to equal rights. Some say they agree, but in their hearts they harbor a secret fear that women's equality poses a serious existential threat. Although women now hold more positions of power than ever before, and are more prominently represented in every field of endeavor than in any previous time in our history, we are still up against a deeply held belief that has been around for generations: women and men are not equal and should not be treated equally.
For those men who hold to this belief, women's equality has had a negative impact on their self-image. When women achieve as much or more as they do, they feel a sense of inadequacy and resentment. Without the automatic superior status afforded them by traditional values, their sense of pride and self-worth are diminished. If a woman can do the same kind of work that a man does and get paid the same for it, where does that leave the man who believes that men ought to be superior to women-that male superiority is in the natural order of things?

- Dr. Ana Nogales