There is a lot in these two topics alone, but there are several concrete and definite areas to focus on that are damaging to be left alone and empowering to both men and women to move forward into. A lot of this will be some basics of feminism along with some of the more recent progressions into that field. Nothing really new, but I would definitely like to give what I have taken away from it.
Firstly, Emma Watson gave an excellent speech towards progressing feminism by trying to convince that feminism is more than just rights for women or removing the crushing patriarchy. Feminism is about (or should be) about restoring equality to the gender. While women lose out in a lot of privileges and rights (implicit or otherwise) that men enjoy, the equality needs to go both ways. There are definite areas where men are behind in women.
Gender itself is not only a dated concept, but a backwards and harmful view of who someone is. Biologically, there is little that can be done to change the hormonally expressed gender of an individual. It will shape their outward appearance along with some physical and mental attributes. The differences are, when comparing a healthy and fit biological man to a biological woman, rather minor and really not worth comparing in our modern society.
What really separates people is the social pressures that tell the individual how their biological self should act and think. These pressures are almost entirely attributable to the apparent differences in men and women today. One of the most obvious examples of this is color preferences for men and women. From the 1700s to early 1900s it was common for boys to wear pink or be given pink things as kids as it was the closest color to red, which was worn by nobility, but would wash out of clothes too easily and was too expensive to be afforded by the general populace, where pink was cheaper. It was considered an aggressive and energetic color for men. Girls were given blue, as it was considered calming and delicate. Over the course of the 1920s to 1940s, this trend was reversed to the current stereotypical colors for boys and girls. The color blue or pink has absolutely nothing to do with the biological gender, but is entirely a social construct.
If you look further, you will find that nearly every single attribute generally considered appropriate for men but not women, or for women but not men, is a social construct. Women are considered more caring and nurturing, because they are told to be that to raise kids. Men are considered more reserved and brutish, because they are told to be tough and emotionally “uncompromising” so as appear strong and supportive.
To the credit of these stereotypes, they are in fact the natural consequences for division of labor when the technology of society loosely required women to care for children and men to be bread winners. This delineation isn’t arbitrary (there are many biological factors that created that division), but today it makes increasingly little sense.
Of course, this is what feminism, to me, is about. Telling women they must care for children and have no other future outlooks means we lose out on so many potentially great scientists, engineers, bureaucrats, and many other highly contributing roles in society. It tells women that their dreams are second to that of supporting the family and the career of the other spouse. Telling men they cannot express themselves or outwardly express emotions creates a society of men totally unable to grapple with the realities of life or understand their emotions. While men may be more biologically predisposed to aggression, telling them they can’t express those emotions would turn that aggression into violence, depression, loneliness. Neither of those outcomes are desirable. Both genders have their own thoughts and goals in life, and we shouldn’t be telling the apparent gender of an individual what they should aspire to be.
Finally, we move on to sexuality. Who you love or otherwise be with is something that, once the idea of gender is abolished, obviously shouldn’t have any restrictions. Two of the same biological gender can’t produce an offspring, which is the only way for society and humanity to persist, but there is no reason why parenting should be restricted to the biological parents. Adoption or using the DNA of an individual outside of the relationship to have a half-related child is more than sufficient to maintain that need of society to continually grow and exist while keeping some of that primal biological need to pass on your DNA. This would of course require melding the idea of parents and offspring to be more flexible, but that by no means betrays the bond that a parent has with their children, just moves it away from a strictly biological bond.