Context

Social networks and families destabilized by the patriarchy and not mitigated by feminism. People exist in context. The impositions upon men hurt the women in their lives. Incarceration and barriers to employment for convicted criminals, who are generally men, directly impact their families. Limiting the discussion to heterosexual partnerships, and there are lots of them, the woman directly benefits from a contributing male partner (and vice versa, in the nature of all partnerships). Exploitative working conditions he finds himself in will directly affect her, even if she has income of her own.

Access to birth control has had adequate coverage in feminist discourse, but supporting male partners and fathers has not. Planning a life and a family with a man is made that much more difficult when his options are limited. This dynamic is only aggravated by the expectation that men earn more than their female partners, an expectation that persists despite women having earned half or more of college degrees for the past three decades. If feminism is to help women, it will have to help the men in their lives too.

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