“I am tired of hearing that the pain of my friends and brothers’ is their own fault.”

This is a comment by Mike L on the post “Dear Men and Women, I Won’t Apologize to You“.

“I regularly participate in the ‘Gender War’ but I do not do so out of any sort of personal pain. I do it because I have grown tired of hearing, over and over again, that the pain of my friends and brothers’ is somehow their own fault.

“I watch our media destroy male role model after male role model, demonizing male success. We live in a society where academics claim that men have earned none of their current status (apparently we were all ‘born on third base’ and our actual hard work is meaningless), followed by the claim that men are universally ‘architects of heir own adversity.’

“I have comforted too many male friends through troubles that were most certainly not of their own design, and I have worked as a tutor for too many male students who were failed by their educators to believe any of the current theories of academics and the media.

“I participate in the gender wars for the sake of those I love. I participate because someone needs to speak out against the lies spread by Gender Studies departments everywhere; and if I don’t, who will?” 

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  1. Not buying it says:

    Finally something positive & encouraging to look up to & discuss that doesn’t revolve around fricken feminism, hopefully.

  2. I disagree. Every one of us can look at the same event, and we’ll each have a slightly different understanding of what occurred. Therefore a lot of what is considered to to be “reality” is actually defined by what goes on in our own heads.

    It’s almost as if the clocks have been rolled back and you are now claiming that men are in the position women were years ago and how they are portrayed in the media.

    Men, real men, must rise above criticism, that is the only way to move forward. A lot of men do the rest a disservice, the tales I hear from women I know about how men “flirt” or attempt to “seduce” them online, reflects on all men, or could do, if each of us chooses to believe that is typical. In living our lives, women may think we are all like that, and that’s fine with me, it’s not my job to explain. I’m hear to live my life with authenticity, purpose and focus.

    David Deida writes a lot of valuable stuff in this area, I recommend all men should read and digest “way of the superior man”

    • Men, real men, must rise above criticism, that is the only way to move forward.

      Real men also stand up for themselves.

      It is not criticism to tell men that their pain counts less than women’s. That is just a put down. And while I agree that men should rise above such nonsense, I also understand how hard that is to do. When you put yourself out there and share your vulnerability, it hurts to have someone slap you down with a “women have it worse” comment, particularly after you were asked to share your experiences.

      I think your comment shows the double bind men are in: on one hand we are expected to share our experiences fully and be vulnerable, but on the other hand we are expected to have thick skin when someone, particularly women, want to lay into us.

      • Reading things like this makes me feel incredibly hurt. Not only because I’m a woman who supports and endlessly loves the men I’m with, but because you’re making men’s pain into something about women, and it shouldn’t be.
        The women who put down men’s feelings and say “women have it worse” are exactly like the men who needlessly put down women: they’re idiots. It’s quite simple.
        I think we should stop including gender when talking about jerks.

        • You’re right Manda. The author has hurt feelings clearly and that’s relatable. I hope you continue to be a good PERSON and support both the men and the women in your life and show them compassion. I overall I agree that there is a lot of blindness toward men’s struggles, but I also acknowledge there are plenty of men who do us the sad favor of earning the stereotypes. I think the same is true of women. I think the key is to unplug from the media and actually get to know real women and real men in the world… the wider your network of real people, the less these images destroy you. JMHO

    • Soullite says:

      That’s just absurd. You have no idea what a real man is. A real man stands strong for what he believes. A real man fights. A real man, above all else, does not simply stand there and take it – what you call ‘rising above’ criticism.

      A real man gives what he gets and expects to get what he gives. A real man never thinks that what others do reflects on him. A real man leads; he is not led by the actions of others.

      As for this ‘superior man’ garbage – stoicism was thought up a long time before anyone now alive ever drew breath. It was thought up by some – a snide, backstabbing bunch – that never wanted to be called to the carpet for their BS. It isn’t the sign of a real man. It’s a sign of someone who doesn’t know what a real man is, and as a result, is easily led astray by others.

      • So 1/2 of society is made up of leaders? or only certain men get to be real men and the rest should endure their wives and children lusting after other “real” men? I’m sorry but this is kind of silly.

        There is no such thing as a real man, there are many ways to be a man and they appeal to different people. Quite frankly many of the characteristics you describe are equally desirable in women…

        I actually think that a desirable quality in both men and women is to negotiate, compromise and engage in self-sacrifice when necessary to meet the needs of the most people possible (including their own)…

    • It’s almost as if the clocks have been rolled back and you are now claiming that men are in the position women were years ago and how they are portrayed in the media.
      No. The changing state of men and the freeing up of men to speak on things they have not been able to speak of before is not a matter of being in “the position women were years ago….”. There is no need for an attempt to compare. This isn’t about trying to pull a “man is the new woman” (in the vein of “gay is the new black”). This is about men speaking up and changing for the better.

      Men, real men, must rise above criticism, that is the only way to move forward.
      No it’s not a call to try to get men to rise above. The expectation is that men are to do this rising above in silence. As in men are supposed to take that unfair criticism and never say anything about it in hopes of showing that we are “real men”. This isn’t some new call for men to change. This is an appeal to the old ways of stoicism were men just stay silent because no one wants to listen to us.

    • @Mike I really like this sentence: “Men, real men, must rise above criticism, that is the only way to move forward.” I think that rising above the criticism *is* a way of standing strong for what you believe. No one says a man has to fight every mundane battle for the sake of not standing there and taking it. Some men do the rest of us a disservice–this is fact. It’s not any man’s job to explain until he’s blue in the face that *all* men are different; that honestly should be a given–all people are different.

      I think each man has a different idea of what it means to stand strong for what they believe in. Some men view confrontation as sport, and they thrive in it…they fight. Some men shrug confrontation: “My energy is better spent elsewhere, especially to someone who doesn’t understand all me are different. Some men lead, some men follow.

      No man’s word is gospel: none of us can tell another “you don’t know what a real man is”–especially if we’re all men here. The most we can do is be confident in our masculinity and respect others’, and if there’s any kind of opposition, we simply have a civil conversation–we’re all men here.

      In re the “I am tired of hearing that the pain of my friends and brothers’ is their own fault” is 100% valid. We, men, are often told that all of our success is attributable to our gender–to what degree is 100% debatable–but that kind of stuff hurts. Don’t tell me that just because I’m a man that my all the all-nighters I pulled to get this degree while working to support myself through college while networking my ass off to get a job after graduation in this economy is false because I’m a man. That sucks to hear, it’s pointless to say, and it’s just not true.

    • @ Mike

      Criticisms are made about you, they spread from person to person and now their interactions with you are done with the criticisms in mind.

      One woman’s thinks you’re weird, comments to her friends about your weirdness and now you’re known as “that weird guy” by the woman who interact with you.
      You say reality is what goes on in someone’s head, well now one woman’s “reality” has changed how multiple people interact with someone.
      Alot of people take one person’s “reality” and uses it as their own.

      • @William

        I totally see the truth in this example–rumors (based on someones criticism, naturally) spread. Honestly, a lot of what is spread about men is bullshit, and I think Mike is saying men must rise above that. Seriously, what are you gonna do about the woman telling her friends you’re that weird guy? Nothing. All you do is rise about the b.s. by being your self and the people who take teh time to know you for themselves are really the only ones worth taking into account.

        It’s not our job as good men to correct every person’s preconceived negative notion on us–they’re the ones judging, that’s they’re problem. A good man, in my opinion, just sets an example. Don’t let the gossip tear us down, down argue with shallow prejudice people until we’re blue in the face. Just be an example, the rest always falls into place.

  3. What I find ironic about this dynamic is that men are constantly chastised for not talking about their feelings, yet the moment they do, if they do not say the “right” things or put it the “right” way, they get silenced. This puts men in a double bind, and I think many men simply get their pain and problems to themselves because it is not worth the hassle.

    One of the things I always keep in mind is that what happened to me is not the worse thing ever. There are plenty of people who suffered more than I did or ever will, and not always in the same way that I suffered. I think part of the reasons so many women and feminists, discount male pain is because their own pain or their group’s collective pain is to them the pinnacle of how bad it gets, so it is hard for them to see how anyone can suffer as much or more than them.

    Sometimes we need to step back and actually listen to other people rather than waiting for our turn to speak.

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