Sure, we look around today and think ‘wow, men have so many rights!’ But it wasn’t always like this. Much like feminism, men got their rights in waves. A few brave men had to fight really hard for the freedoms men enjoy today. Here, we take a look at the timeline of how men got to be the empowered individuals they are today.
- The first wave of Men’s Rights focused exclusively on property rights. It’s really tough to come up with a time-frame for when men first earned the right to own property, but some historians date it to around 48,000 BC when Neanderthals first took ownership of their caves. Grq snorted at Rrkl to get out of his cave, thus setting the stage for the modern-day man to point, grunt, and own property. Others date the formal concept of private property back to around 1600 A.D. when Thomas Hobbes started talking about ‘enclosure.’ Whenever it came about, one thing is for sure: men would never have gotten the right to own property had the concept of private property not existed.
- The second wave of the men’s rights movement was all about reproductive rights. Wow, this one is big. When did men first gain the right to not have to bear children if they didn’t want to? Anthropologists date this right back to around 100,000 years B.C. when they discovered the first trace of sperm. At least, they think it was sperm – it also could have been proof that honey does, in fact, go bad. New advancements have given men even more reproductive freedoms. For example, “coitus interruptus”, otherwise known as the “pull out method” dates back 2,500 years to Onan in the Torah. It was deemed ineffective 5 minutes later when Onan forgot to pull out and his wife told him that he was literally so dumb. Unfortunately, Onan had already stopped listening to her, and so men have continued pulling out for the last 2,500 years. And what do you know – none of them have had to give birth if they didn’t want to.
- The third wave of Men’s Rights started when men decided that they deserved the right to vote! Here, we must thank the great Athenian Pericles, who lived around 2,500 years ago. Pericles famously coined the phrase that the government “should be in the hands of the many and not the few.” And so, men had the right to vote, and we thank the brave, bold Pericles. Indeed, for centuries after, democracies did putting government in the hands of the many white men instead of the few already-very-rich white men.
- The goal of the fourth wave was to reduce inequality in the workplace. This wave started around 1960 when men decided that no, they weren’t going to do all the work. It was time women stop just being secretaries and stay-at-home moms and instead contribute. Men have the right to be lazy at work and have women around whose work they can take credit for. This wave is well-documented in the hit TV series Mad Men.
- During the fifth wave of men’s rights, men earned the right to land on the moon. Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon in 1969. Can you believe that for all those years men didn’t have the right to land on the moon? What sort of crazy gynocentric-world are we living in? Of course, women weren’t landing on the moon before then either, but they did get to sync their menstrual cycles to the lunar calendar, I think.
- In the sixth wave of men’s rights, men were finally able to send disappearing dick pics. It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago men had to live in fear of their dick pics getting stored and sent around — this is something no other gender had to deal with. Finally, the founders of Snapchat said “You know what! Men don’t have to stand for this any longer! We WILL create an app!”
- Now we get to the current wave of Men’s Rights. Believe it or not, it’s actually really embarrassing to be seen as a Men’s Rights Activist today. Still, men’s rights are under attack from all sides – they’re no longer allowed to sleep with whoever they want, they don’t always get to work in offices of all men, and some even have female bosses. Will men get all these rights back? Only time will tell, but yes, probably.