I have a friend who’s in his 60s, and he’s got an amazing life.
He’s married, has kids, has a good job, has health insurance.
He even got a nice house.
But there’s one thing that he loves: the local women’s magazines.
He can’t wait to read the stories of women who are working in their fields, are working at home, and are raising their kids.
He has no problem telling me how they’re doing their jobs, and how much fun they’re having, and they’re giving their kids everything they’ve got.
But his friend doesn’t like that.
He thinks it’s so condescending.
When I talk to him about it, I get this weird look on his face.
He doesn’t get it.
And he’s right.
But when I talk about how we’ve got this pervasive, persistent, pervasive stereotype of women in the workplace, it’s because of this one little thing.
That one little little thing: The men in our workplace are not women.
That’s the one little stereotype that keeps popping up in our conversations.
It’s a bit like the stereotype that men don’t have balls.
Men don’t get laid.
Men are bad fathers.
Men will do anything for you.
And that’s what we talk about in the offices all the time.
We talk about men being bad parents, bad fathers, bad dads, bad mothers.
And it’s all about what we think they’re missing out on in the workforce, or what they think is the reality of men.
We think it’s men who are bad at sex.
And then when we talk to men, it gets to a point where we start to think about it in a way that’s not about men, or about men doing things that women don’t do, or men doing the things that we don’t think women are good at doing.
That stereotype of what men are missing out is so ingrained that men think it should be in their vocabulary, that it should exist in their heads.
We’re so accustomed to talking about men in the work place, that we have to put a little effort into changing it.
The problem with the stereotype is that it’s been there for so long, that when you talk to a man, he’s going to be like, “Oh, I know a lot of guys who are terrible dads.
I know that they’re bad at making love.”
But you never hear a woman say, “I know a man who’s really good at being a good father.
I’m sure that he’s a good parent.”
And the problem with that is, that’s a huge, huge stereotype.
If you talk about a woman in the office, you’re not talking about a single man.
You’re talking about women in relationships, in leadership roles, and in the communities that they work in.
The fact that there are so many women in leadership positions and women in community organizations doesn’t mean that women are going to feel any better about being a father.
And if we are to change that, we’re going to have to do it for ourselves.
And so I’m not going to pretend that it is not a problem.
But I do think that we need to acknowledge the reality that there’s a lot more work to be done, and we need more men to get involved.
But the reality is that men aren’t going to change.
If anything, we need men to work harder, to be better, and to be more willing to put in the time and energy to change their own gender stereotypes.
It has to start with us.
We have to stop blaming men for what we’re seeing.
It starts with us, because it’s us who are the problem.
And we are responsible for this problem, and for the people around us who have this problem.
So, let’s stop blaming women.
And stop blaming us for our own gender norms.
This article originally appeared on National Geographic.