The Multi-Dimensional Modern Man

This week’s news has been dominated by Emma Watson’s groundbreaking speech at the UN headquarters which took place over the weekend. Every time I turned on my computer or looked at my phone, yet another media outlet was praising, debating, or simply reporting on Watson’s speech—and for good reason. Watson pertinently turned her focus on men’s roles in the fight for gender equality and really sealed the message behind the HeForShe campaign.

But doing a bit of research this week, I discovered that traditional gender roles—and ways of thinking surrounding those roles—are already significantly changing. A 2014 US survey by Mayflower Transit found that Gen Y men are happy to take a backseat to their female partner’s career—72% are willing to move for their partner’s job, compared to 59% of Baby Boomers. Meanwhile, a report from the Working Mother Research Institute (a great organization) found that Gen Y men are more proud of their mothers’ career choices than the older generations.

And it doesn’t stop there. A 2014 report by JWT London, “Masculinity & Modernity: Investigating the Men of Britain Today,” found that modern-day men no longer feel encumbered by accustomed roles, with a large percentage taking on roles that are “traditionally reserved” for women. In a survey of 500 men, 77% said they pride themselves on their home décor skills, 74% on their cooking skills, and 71% said they loved doing household chores. Men also felt proud of their DIY skills (78%), the fact that they could fix technology (78%), being able to carry heavy items (61%), and playing sports (61%). A fascinating read all-round, what this report really highlights is that men, like women, shouldn’t be pigeonholed into certain roles, and that the modern male is more multi-dimensional, open minded, and versatile than ever before.

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