FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT
stand for the principle of equal rights and equal dignity for all people, and
in particular for members of both sexes. Recent changes have moved society
toward equality in areas where women have long been discriminated against,
though more remains to be done in this regard. Men have also suffered
various kinds or discrimination because of their gender, and these are no less
harmful to their wellbeing. There cannot be real equality until both sexes are
freed from oppressive stereotypes and unfair treatment. The purpose of this
organization is to work in public and in private for greater understanding and
equality between the sexes. All of our official pronouncements will affirm our
commitment to full equality, and on any issue where either "side" is
not being given adequate consideration, we will attempt to promote a more
balanced view. All men and women who share these views and goals are cordially
invited to join with us.
I- Resolution on Gender Roles
value they may once have had, in today's technological and overpopulated world,
rigid external gender roles are obsolete. In fact, strict role expectations
have done vast amounts of harm to men and women alike. Individuals differ
greatly from one another in their needs, tastes and abilities, hence
moral equality demands that each person have the freedom to be different.
Be it therefore resolved that neither of the traditional sex roles, nor a
single "androgynous" one,
be enforced by law or social pressure; all three, and others as
well, are worthy of respect if freely chosen.
II- Resolution on Social Rights and
sexes have suffered under traditional social restrictions, and both have
special needs and problems. Moreover, individuals of both sexes have important
abilities needed by society, and all are indebted to society for what they have
received from it.
Be it therefore resolved that all the rights and responsibilities of
citizenship, such as public office and military service, be regarded as
belonging equally to both sexes, on the basis of individual ability to carry
Be it further resolved that there be legal and educational programs to
discover the needs and ameliorate the special problems of both sexes; e.g.,
government councils on both men's and women's issues, both women's and men's
studies in universities.
III- Resolution on Economic Equality in General
principles of equal access to jobs and equal pay for equal work are a matter of
simple justice. Women have historically been denied rightful opportunities in
employment, and they must be given full opportunity to develop themselves and
seek fulfillment. Sometimes, men have also been denied equal rights to
employment; moreover, the obligation
of being employed, so as to be the sole provider for women and children, has
often been harmful to the physical and emotional health of men.
Be it therefore resolved that continuing efforts be made to eliminate
discrimination on the basis of sex in paid employment.
Be it further resolved that in economic matters where burdens or
benefits are statistical, one single method of determining premiums
be applied to both sexes. For example, if men pay the same amounts as women
toward (and receive the same monthly benefits from) pensions even though on
average they don't live as long, they should pay the same amounts as women for
life or automobile insurance.
IV- Resolution on Economic Equality in Marriage
traditional undervaluation of unpaid labour in the home, and the absence of
laws governing shared labour between spouses, have often in the past cheated
wives of what was rightfully theirs. Similarly, the traditional attitudes that
it is a man's job to provide, and that he must pay for a woman's companionship,
have also led to many injustices.
Be it therefore resolved that childbearing and childrearing activities in
a marriage be considered of equal importance to working outside the home.
Be it further resolved that all
divorce settlements be based on a realistic assessment of actual contributions
of money and labour in each individual case, rather than on economic
need or on an automatic assumption of equal contributions.
V- Resolution on Equality in
traditional social roles of man as provider and woman as nurturer have caused
great injustice regarding both the rights and the responsibilities of both
mothers and fathers. In particular, men have to varying degrees been denied the
opportunity and the obligation to nurture their children.
Be it therefore resolved that continuing efforts be made to change social
attitudes in regard to this vital concern.
Be it further resolved that any arrangements made for parental-care leave,
day care and financial support to single
parents be equally available to members of both sexes.
attitudes concerning divorce have resulted in a situation where women are left
with the sole burden of childrearing, men are denied the rewards of parenting
and left with only its financial burdens, and children are denied the right to
be nurtured by both parents.
Be it therefore resolved that there be a legal presumption in favour of
joint custody, with social means employed to help it work. And,
where this is not possible, that there be no discrimination on the basis of sex
regarding the opportunity to gain sole custody or the responsibility to provide
child support; and that there be humane and reasonable enforcement of support
payments, of access to the children by non-custodial parents, and of
accountability in the use of support monies by custodial parents.
cases of unwed pregnancy, a special biological burden falls on the woman. But
under traditional laws, unwed fathers have no legal rights, only legal
Be it therefore resolved that unmarried fathers have a responsibility to
share the burdens of unplanned pregnancy, with emotional and financial support
Be it further resolved that whatever legal rights unmarried women are to
have to claim or to renounce legal parenthood of a child shall be matched by
corresponding rights for unmarried men.
VI- Resolution on Sexuality and Intimate Relationships
differences between the two genders in regard to sex and love are merely the
product of social conditioning and social expectations. Some of these
differences cause conflicts and misunderstandings, which can best be overcome
by eliminating the social differentiation. But equality doesn't always mean
sameness. There is evidence of biological differences between the sexes, on
average, in regard to the need for sex (including the ways in which sexual
desire is stimulated) and the need for love and affection. These differences
also make it hard for men and women to understand each other, and have long led
to serious conflicts. But the differences are not the fault of either group,
and neither set of needs is more noble than the other.
Be it therefore resolved that there be greater efforts toward tolerance
and understanding between the sexes in regard to these matters, and equal
acceptance of the needs and wants of both in all laws and social conventions.
VII- Resolution on Harm and Harmful Behaviour
person's safety and dignity are as important as another's, and no one should
suffer the stigma of harmful behaviour by others who happen to be of the same
race or gender.
Be it therefore resolved that there be equal public concern for harm
suffered by a woman or a man, either actual or in fictional portrayals, be it
over sexual assault (suffered more often by women), or non-sexual assault
(suffered more often by men), or any other kind of physical or emotional harm.
Be it further resolved that there be equal abhorrence of and punishment
for comparable crimes committed by men and by women, be they cases of sexual
assault (committed more often by men), or child battery (committed more often
by mothers), or assault on a spouse (committed equally often by husbands and
wives, but much more often physically harmful to wives), or any other
Be it finally resolved that there be adequate protection of the rights
of those accused of wrongful behaviour, be they men or women.
VIII- Resolution on Stereotyping and Sexist Attitudes
stereotypes are harmful to both sexes, and neither gender is immune to having
sexist attitudes. Furthermore, neither sex has received all the benefits or all
the burdens of the traditional social system. Finally, no individuals alive
today are to blame for creating the gender inequalities we have
inherited--though all must be encouraged to help end them. In solving the
problems that face them both, men and women are basically interdependent, not
Be it therefore resolved that all men and women renounce stereotypes and
sexist attitudes, self-seeking policies and simple-minded blaming, in favour of
good will, mutual concern, and cooperation in the task of promoting equality.
March 30, 1987
Those interested in learning more about M.E.R.G.E. please phone 488-4593, or else write us at