“White men in Europe and the US are the beneficiaries of the single greatest affirmation action program in the history of the world. It is called the history of the world,” quips Michael Kimmel in his new TEDWomen talk.
This is one of the ways that Kimmel, a sociologist and professor at Stony Brook University, responds to men who find the crusade for gender equality a bit unsettling. But making men feel privileged or guilty may not be the most effective way to get men on board.
Instead, Kimmel thinks we can inspire men to help better the lives of women because of the benefits they can expect from it.
1. More sex
According to research, men who share child care and housework have more sex, Kimmel reports. This is a fact that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is fond of quoting: “I tell men: if you want to have more sex with your wife, don’t buy flowers; do laundry,” she said on the Colbert Report.
2. More successful kids
The equal sharing of chores at home also benefits kids, Kimmel points out. Children of chore-splitting parents tend to do better in school and be absent less often. They’re also less likely to see a child psychologist, be diagnosed with ADHD, and be put on prescription medication.
3. Happier wives
Here’s a finding for the obvious column: women are happier and more satisfied in their marriages when men split the housework and child care. They’re less likely to get depressed, see a therapist, and be put on medication. They’re also more likely to go to the gym (maybe in that extra free time).
4. Healthier men
And finally, men themselves benefit directly. Their health improves as they drink less, smoke less, and take fewer drugs. They’re more likely to get routine check-ups and less likely to end up in the ER or be put on prescription medication. They don’t get depressed or see therapists as often.
Check out Kimmel’s entertaining and non-moralistic talk below – and share it with your man friends: