Guys, Stop Whining

Ken Solin wants men to stop pitying themselves and find a way to move forward.

The sexual paradigm is morphing rapidly. Evidence of the progress women are making in every venue is abundant. As the number of women enrolled in the graduate schools of business, medicine, and science, has increased to half or more, the ranks of men have decreased proportionately. More women are serving in government, and some are fighting our wars. While their progress in every arena is laudable, it has led some in the media to the wrong conclusion.

The “demise of men” is a hot topic. While some men are lost and angry and feel as if men are on the decline compared to women, many understand that the ascent of women didn’t depend on the descent of men. Most men understand the shift in the balance of sexual power and aren’t threatened by it. But there are a fair amount of men who apparently do resent empowered women, and their attitudes, while antediluvian, are made publicly and frequently.

Nowhere is the empowerment of women more evident than in relationships. Women aren’t so keen to marry, have children, and stay home. Many view marriage as a one-way ticket to single motherhood, and the divorce statistics support that. Women are far more circumspect about their partnering selections, and some men complain women are unceremoniously dumping them. The comments left by jilted men on HuffPost50 regarding articles about relationships reflect the anger some men are feeling. But the genie is out of the bottle, in terms of empowered women. Where does this leave men? That depends on whether men view themselves as victims or partners in the new dynamic.

I urge men struggling with the changing sexual dynamic, to stop whining about how women are treating them. First, it’s unmanly to whine. Second, no one is listening except other whiny men. Women have long suffered second-class citizenship, especially in relationships, so it falls on deaf ears when men complain women aren’t treating them well. There’s often a temporary swing to the other extreme during a cultural shift.

Every time I write about men behaving inappropriately with women, there’s a contingent that reminds me that women sometimes behave badly in relationships, too. Of course there are women who aren’t particularly interested in being the best relationship partners possible, but that’s a flimsy excuse for men who insist their dysfunctional behavior is a quid pro quo. It’s a circular argument with no winner.

Taking the high road is most effective. Men who treat women with respect and dignity will find few who will mistreat them in return. Men need to stop excusing their behavior and cynicism about women because a woman once mistreated them. If men behave in a manner that will inspire women to appreciate them and treat them with the respect they deserve, they will be rewarded most of the time.

If you’re in a relationship with a woman who treats you badly, walk away. If a woman unfairly dumped you, let the pain in, allow yourself to feel the sting, and then move on. Men suffer greatly after failed relationships when they refuse to feel their pain and work it. There’s nothing new about men sucking it up instead of putting their painful experience to rest.

I appreciate all the comments from readers, and I’m not averse to opposing attitudes. But, pointing your finger at women who have mistreated you as your rationale for doing the same to them only increases the emotional distance in relationships, and it won’t win any hearts.

The first principle to honor is that women are equal to men, and until men fully accept that premise, the angry finger pointing will continue, and relationships will remain contentious. Make the first move. Be open and honest and state your needs clearly. Most women will respond in kind and treat you with the same respect. Whether or not the demise of men becomes a reality has nothing to do with women, and everything to do with men’s attitudes.

My men’s group doesn’t allow whining because everyone knows from experience that it keeps the pain alive instead of addressing it and letting it go. Evolved men don’t hamstring themselves with self-pity. If you’re feeling hurt about the way a woman treated you, talking it out with other men will help you move beyond the pain and disappointment. Other men can also help put you on a better path with women. My new book, Act Like a Man, clearly demonstrates how men can successfully improve their relationships with women, and make lifelong men friends in the process.

Originally appeared Huffington Post.

—Photo dumbledad/Flickr

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About Ken Solin

For twenty years, author and lecturer Ken Solin has worked with men to help them process their gender-specific issues. Before devoting himself to this work, Ken enjoyed a successful twenty-five year career as an entrepreneur, financing high-tech companies and wineries. He raised two sons as a single father and lives in California, with his wife, Sheri. You can read more from Ken at his blog www.kensolin.com.

Comments

  1. DavidByron says:

    Men, START whining!
    That’s another word to start taking back. I am proud to say I kick ass at whining. Other great whiners? Thomas Paine, Martin Luther King, William Wilberforce, ….

    Or should I say Men start whining for YOURSELVES for a change.

    • I’m not sure how you made the stretch between my suggestion that men stop whining about how women are treating them, and Thomas Paine, Martin Luther King,, etc. If those great men had been whiners, they never would have succeeded. They were doers, who did far more than whine. They were activists and leaders who wouldn’t tolerate being treated unfairly. They wrote books, let demonstrations, etc, but their issues were equality and freedom, not the occasional woman who treated them poorly. Calling them whiners is an insult, not a compliment. They were far more than whiners.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        ” They were doers, who did far more than whine. They were activists and leaders who wouldn’t tolerate being treated unfairly. They wrote books, let demonstrations…”

        all things which MRAs and masculists do. And I, for one, amn’t ranting about the odd woman who looked at me funny or a bad breakup, I’m not fighting neccessary change to our idea of gender, I’m working for equal rights for all men and women.

        He mentioned MLK and Paine because your arguments could be equally applied to them (and would be equally wrong).

    • I appreciate the sentiment of your comment, but I was going to say “don’t let them call you whiners when you’re expressing your valid concerns!”

      Semantics. Keep talking :)

  2. I assume since you are suggesting that women are doing well and its not sexism if they are doing better than men that you will also say “Girls, Stop Whining” or are you the sole arbitrator of when or when its not justified to whine?

    ” First, it’s unmanly to whine.”

    Game over you are sexist. Can we please remove this sexist article please?

    There is no more reason to comment this article is sexist…. Otherwise we can get a woman to discuss what is appropriately womanly for women? if not why not?

    • Women didn’t gain their equal rights by whining. They demonstrated, got legislations passed, met in groups to figure out how to succeed in a male culture, etc. Whining wasn’t a part of their success. Whining isn’t a part of anyone’s success. That was my point.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        Your article didn’t make that at all clear. What exactly did you mean by whining?

        • I advocate for men’s groups as the most effective way for men to work out or vent their issues. In twenty years working with men, it became clear that whining was self-defeating. I advocate for men to talk it out with each other on a regular basis. In an atmosphere of absolute trust, men can help each other by sharing their experiences in situations other men are struggling with. Unlike advice, the honest and open sharing helps men move past self-pity, and towards a healthier emotional attitude. I don’t ever judge a man’s feelings. It’s how men work through those feelings that makes the difference between healing and whining. I hope I answered your question Peter. Thanks for asking.

          • Peter Houlihan says:

            No problem, thanks for answering, but I still don’t get what you’re talking about when you say whining (as opposed to “doing” or “healing”). I also don’t see any particular difference in tactics or behaviour between MRAs and feminists. Do you? If so, what do you see?

  3. If its unmanly to whine then what gender is it appropriate to whine?
    If feminists actually agree with this book then there you go feminists hate men.

  4. This is a troll right?

  5. “Relations­h­ips require both people to be emotionall­­y conscious and in control. That’s what the book cover implies.”

    You mean the book cover where she, with fists clenched, is screaming at him to “Act like a man”? That one?

    “Yes, that one.”

    Okay this guy is hilarious. There is no way anyone would take him seriously i feel so silly.

    • I agree and don’t…. Read the comments at Amazon for this book. The cover, and title, seem so shaming and disrespectful versus what people are commenting about…

      Weird.

  6. Julie Gillis says:

    I dislike all whining and all passive aggressive behavior. I don’t always like aggressive behavior, but at least it’s direct and straightforward.

  7. The third option in relationships is to opt out. Neither women or men need to choose to be in relationships if it doesn’t work for them. People don’t have to partner if they don’t wish to. Another cultural mythology that should be dispensed with.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Sure, if a person doesn’t want to be in a relationship then maybe it makes more sense for them not to be. But if they’re consistantly forced out of relationships due to unfair expectations based on their gender it might not be unreasonable to challenge those expectations.

      • I agree that men should challenge any part of the status quo that they feel is unfair. How they challenge the status quo is my point. Whining just doesn’t come into play when serious men want to accomplish serious change. Whining is self-pity, and that goes nowhere.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          I really don’t see any difference between the way MRAs are operating and feminists, but you seem to think one is whining and the other is working. What exactly are you referring to?

          • I don’t typically peruse sights like spearhead. I typically read angryharry dot com, mensactivism dot org, hisside dot com and fathers and families dot org.

            These are the organizations that are truly egalitarian (like feminist groups like NOW declare themselves to be) and are taking action.

            However, I did read 1 good article on the spearhead.
            The author linked to an article from a feminists web-page in which they belittle MRA’s for fighting for equal parental rights for men.

            Then the next article was detailing the incredible wrong done to women when in a department store the rulers (as in 12″ yard sticks) for female scientists were labeled “great female scientists” but the rulers for great male scientists were simply labeled “great scientists” instead of great male scientists.

            At the end of the post he made it clear what the (predominant) feminist view is:

            Women’s whining = womens rights
            Men’s rights = men whining

            Feminists routinely dismiss men’s claims of disenfranchisement in VERY serious issues like:
            Homelessness, suicide, education, parental rights. etc..

            But then they turn around and bitch and cry about 50 year old clorox commercials or some other inanity to work up the faithful.

            Feminists whining is their go-to move when dealing with government goodies for women only.

            • The truth is, a lot of people whine about a lot of stuff. We seem to live in the age of whining. No one is immune.

            • I agree, Jill. We’re fortunate enough to live in a society in a time when we rarely worry about food, shelter, etc. and we have the luxury of looking deeper into life to dig up problems to solve.

  8. I hope you don’t classify men raising awareness about men’s rights as whining. It certainly wasn’t called whining when women were raising awareness for their equal rights. Because if you do then I have bad news for you – it is only just beginning. Men have a long road ahead of them to achieve equal rights and raising awareness plays a big part in that. Men won’t achieve equal rights in this society until discriminatory laws against men are changed to treat both men and women equally. It is through raising awareness of men’s issues and gaining broad support with the populace that it will become politically feasible to treat men as equals in this society. It also means that women will have to give up their privileged status in the eyes of both society and the law.

    • Women didn’t succeed in getting their equal rights by whining. They wrote books, demonstrated, and got legislation passed. Probably the most abused men in our culture are divorced fathers, whose rights get trampled and their wallets emptied every day.
      They won’t change their status by whining, but by forcing changes in legislation by writing, demonstrating, and meeting with local lawmakers.
      Whining just doesn’t come into it.

      • Define whining?
        What I see is many men who speak up on MRA issues, instead of writing books though they use the internet as it can gain them a very wide audience, very quickly without needing the whole drama of publishers, distribution etc. So what exactly is whining, voicing an opinion of a problem in the hopes of finding other like minded people so that one day you gain enough followers that the letters you write actually have weight?

      • Morrisfactor says:

        Ken- in regards to MRAs you said:

        “They won’t change their status by whining, but by forcing changes in legislation by writing, demonstrating, and meeting with local lawmakers”.

        For fifteen years I’ve been writing, demonstrating, donating and meeting with lawmakers – all absolutely to no avail. We can’t even get the slightest nod towards shared parenting or additional time spent with our kids after a divorce, despite hundreds of studies which show active fathers help anchor a child’s development.

        Why? Because women have so much power in society now, between their majority of votes, millions and millions of public dollars tossed their way for all sorts of women’s issues, their majority in college professors and degrees, the manginas who support them, not to mention politicians who cater to them to get elected.

        Over at femhub.com they are actively promoting genetic modification of males/reducing male population to 10%.

        This has been going on for forty years now.

        Telling us its “unmanly to whine” isn’t helpful.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. But whining is mental masturbation because it won’t accomplish any of the rights men need protected.
      Divorced dads are perhaps the most ill-treated members of our society. Organizing, demonstrating, pressuring legislators to change laws, writing articles and books, are all legitimate tools for change.
      The dictionary definition of whining is, “complaining, often in a high pitched tone”. What good could ever come from that?
      Men are going to have to stop crying on each other’s shoulders about the way the family courts treat them, and insinuating that women made this happen, and begin creating real change. That’s how the women’s movement and the civil rights movement worked. I’m an activist, not a whiner. There’s a huge difference.

  9. Go peddle your snake oil elsewhere guy. I won’t stand to be told to “man up!” by you or anyone else, male or female.

  10. Peter Houlihan says:

    Were civil rights activists whining when they were addressing racism? Do feminists whine when they attack gender biased social dynamics? The only difference I can make out between “whining” and “campaigning” is that people campaigning are working on issues you agree with, whereas the whiners are people you disagree with.

    • Civil Rights activists weren’t whiners. I was there. I never heard one leader whine. Women didn’t gain their equal rights by whining either. Their issues were too important to relegate to whining.
      Positive change comes from activism, writing, demonstrating, leading, and legislation. Whining never accomplished anything for anyone.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        Again, all those activities are being performed by MRAs, and most of them can be seen on this site alone. Where are you seeing the whining?

  11. Whooooosh, and the subsequent comments miss the point. Ken Solin is half truthful and superior to many others on this website.

    Guys – and by guys I mean those with penises – your pity party is not coming. It could be unfair, immoral, incorrect or inadequate but it’s not coming. It’s like reinforcements to the Alamo. The battle for equality is over and men lost.

    Where I disagree with Ken Solin (and this is likely due to the age differential between us) is that feminism “doesn’t hurt” men or that women are histories victims and this all justified payback. Women are not going to give up their evolutionarily ingrained privileges they’re just going to raise the bar for men’s. That is what the exercise of feminism was about – raising the bar to accelerate the killing of the weak for the strong. It’s not fair, but it’s the way it is. The sooner you accept that this is life is the sooner you can begin to put the pieces back together.

    Men complaining about women’s infringement on them is going to net you *no* points. You could have a logical, moral, truthful, egalitarian argument and it will simply make you weaker. The weak will die and the strong will live, the only factor is time. Solin and myself are asking you to ask yourself how much time you’re willing to invest in being weak?

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      “The battle for equality is over and men lost.”

      100 years ago most democracies didn’t allow women to vote. Nothing is set in stone and nothing is unchangeable.

      I’m not asking for sympathy and if someone threw me a pity party I’d turn up for the cake and leave. ;) I want equal rights and responsibilities, end of.

      I don’t think your charactarisation of feminism is fair. While I agree it can be one sided I don’t think their motivation was to grab power, feminism has addressed many genuine issues of gender equality and won victories for men and women.

      I don’t think fighting for what I think is right is a sign of weakness, and I don’t think putting up and shutting up is necessarily strength. Men throughout history have whined and complained and achieved great things as a result, why should we stop now?

    • Thanks bobdole, you said it perfectly.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        “The battle for equality is over and men lost.”

        You really think equality happens when one side can be said to have “lost”? O.O

  12. Ken, I enjoyed your article. You addressed the fallacy of the zero sum game and did it well. I’m sorry the comment thread is going in the usual direction, but I’m sure you expected that and are not whining. But if you want to whine, that would be ok too. :-)

    I appreciated what you wrote.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      The usual direction of people disagreeing with him? Seriously, switch guys for girls and women for men in the above article. I suspect it won’t read as favourably (seriously, try it :) I use it as a standard test when for alot of gender related stuff), If he’d expanded on what he meant by whining as opposed to campaigning it might be a genuine critique of MRA working techniques. As it stands it looks more like he wants people to stop disagreeing with him and to take feminist theory as gospel, which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t exactly enlightened.

    • MorgainePendragon says:

      Hear hear, Lori Day.

      Thank you, Ken.

    • “Ken, I enjoyed your article. You addressed the fallacy of the zero sum game and did it well. I’m sorry the comment thread is going in the usual direction, but I’m sure you expected that and are not whining. But if you want to whine, that would be ok too. :-)

      I appreciated what you wrote.”

      Feminism truly fighting for equality. By showing that women are indeed no better at empathy than men.

  13. The headline says: “Guys, Stop Whining”

    Ken said: “It’s unmanly to whine.”

    Really? Who defines what constitutes whining? As Dan Griffin says in another recent (and very excellent) article on this site (“When Trauma Triggers Are Everywhere: The Hidden Impact of the Jerry Sandusky Trial”):

    “We have this pervasive disparaging opinion about boys and men who suffer abuse and honestly express how it has affected them as weak and whining. That keeps a lot of men — especially those men regarded as ‘macho’ — silent and stuck in their suffering.”

    The blanket characterization of men who are attempting to express their pain, whatever the source, as “whining” is unhelpful at best and harmful at worst. It only serves to shut down men who are trying, often haltingly and clumsily, to give a voice to injured places in themselves that have been silent for years precisely because they’ve been told to “act like a man” from the time they were little boys.

    Men are hungry for ways to access their emotions safely. No man wants to open up and be shamed or scared into shutting back down again. I don’t know Ken, haven’t read his book, and don’t want to make unwarranted assumptions about his approach or his intentions simply on the basis of this one article, but I do know this: telling men “stop whining” and “it’s unmanly to whine” is horribly shaming and will shut down a lot of guys who are trying, however tentatively, to begin to learn some kind of functional language for expressing their pain.

    • I advocate for men to join men’s groups where they can talk about their issues with women in a constructive manner. I never said men don’t have valid issues, but that whining about how women are treating them is pointless.
      I think men have a valid issue to address together and in the courts of law, and that’s what happens to men with children after divorce. That’s one of the most damaging issues men face, but whining about it accomplishes nothing.
      I’m an activist who believes whining is a form of self-pity that doesn’t lead anywhere except more self-pity. It’s an insult to call a famous man like Martin Luther King a whiner. He was so much more than that, and had he been only a whiner, you would never have heard of him. He was a leader. writer, demonstrator, etc,, and I watched his speeches. He never once whined in his speeches. He was a great man, not a whiner.

      • I’m having a very hard time finding a correspondence between my comment and your reply. At no point did I mention Martin Luther King. My comment was about who defines what constitutes “whining” and how the use that language shames men, discourages them from attempting to express pain, and shuts them down. I stand by my remarks.

        I also advocate for men to participate in men’s groups and have participated in many groups myself, but I would never accuse another man in a group of “whining” and I wouldn’t want to be a part any group that encouraged or tolerated the use of that kind of shaming language against its members.

        • Maybe it’s that a large a segment of “male feminists” use shaming language to push, cajole and in extreme to bully other men to come around to their point of view.

          When as a society we put down the victorian era Idea of “Women are inherently good / pure ” unless they’ve been defiled in some way and accept all humans in general are just as capable of both good and ill, it will be better for all of us.

          • Peter Houlihan says:

            You mean they make arguments and try to convince people? I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but Martin Luther King was well known for this kind of “whining” “bullying” behaviour. In fact he was so good at whining that he managed to introduce legislation which helped end an entire era of aparthide and discrimination.

            How is this any different from what MRAs are doing?

            If your issue is with the few hysterics and lunatics that come with any movement, then why was your article not also directed at women and feminists? They have them in spades (just read the scum manifesto).

            I also take issue with your assertion that men, as a group, are trying to stand in the way of progress and women’s rights. Some men are, just as some women are. Far more of the men I know stand up for womens rights, not against it, most of them stand up for men’s rights too. Are they whining?

        • Belden’s post is the best analysis “Men, Stop Whining.” The ambiguity of the statement causes more harm than good. While the article has potential to challenge men to be hard working human beings, — who are undoubtedly capable of competing with successful and empowered women if they put their minds to it – the article fails to explain what certain men are doing wrong and why: “whining.”
          There is a huge difference between repetitive self-pitying and constructively expressing emotion. Solin, I think, would hopefully encourage men to discuss their feelings in a healthy way with their partners, family, employers, employees, etc. in order to constructively address problems that can lead to self-destructive byproducts of stoicism and stifled anger. He does a disservice to men, though, by simply stating “whining is unmanly.” Some men haven’t learned how to express their emotions in the most productive way, which may look like whining to some – in fact it might just “whining”. The danger in posting a statement like that, though, is that it encourages even non-whining, healthy men to muffle their complaints. With time, the feelings that would cause the complaints will find other, possibly more harmful, outlets: violence, substance abuse, anger explosions, etc.
          So, Solin, I challenge you to define “whining” better, while empathetically understanding where some whining men are coming from. To be able to express and deal with emotions effectively, especially in a relationship, is a real privilege, and one that should not be held over others. Empathy is the manliest, womanliest, and/or most humane practice either sex or gender can exercise.

        • A men’s group that tolerates of encourages whining isn’t doing its members a service. The dictionary definition of whining is, “complaining, often in a high pitched tone”. I don’t believe men’s groups should promote or allow that because it gives the whiner a pass. A man in pain needs to be prompted to look at his pain, figure out how much of it is his responsibility, heal, and move on. Whining doesn’t promote any healing or evolving. It simply keeps the whiner, whining.
          Men’s groups aren’t a soft and fuzzy place for men to point fingers, blame others, and complain. They are a place for men to dig deep into their issues and own their own stuff.
          There’s no shaming in telling a whiner that he needs to focus on his issue and not complain about how other people are treating him.
          My book, Act Like a Man follows the journey of 8 men over 20 years in a men’s group. Every single man improved the quality of his life, and none accomplished this by whining. Sorry, Rick, but men are bigger and better than whining. To suggest otherwise is to keep men down.

          • You said:

            “The dictionary definition of whining is, ‘complaining, often in a high pitched tone’.”

            I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard a man do this. And how on earth do you determine that someone is doing it in writing?

            “A men’s group that tolerates of encourages whining isn’t doing its members a service.”

            At what point did I suggest that a men’s group that “encourages whining” would be helpful to men?

            “Sorry, Rick, but men are bigger and better than whining. To suggest otherwise is to keep men down.”

            I never suggested or made that assertion in any way whatsoever. Your implication that I did is incorrect. You’re either misreading what I’ve written or you’re being rather disingenuous in trying to make your point.

            “Men’s groups aren’t a soft and fuzzy place for men to point fingers, blame others, and complain. They are a place for men to dig deep into their issues and own their own stuff.”

            Agreed. That’s exactly how every men’s group in which I’ve participated over the last 20 years has operated. But how is one man in a group accusing another of “whining” not finger pointing? In my experience (both in and out of groups), it’s just as likely that the person making the accusation has some unacknowledged resistance to seeing another man express his pain as it is that the other man is “whining” and I would expect any group in which I was a participant to explore both sides of that dynamic.

            I understand that you have some experience in the men’s group arena and that you’ve written a book about it, but I have a good deal of my own experience as a reference, and in this case it simply does not jibe with what you are saying. I suspect that you and I probably have more commonalities than differences philosophically when it comes to men’s work, but I still haven’t seen anything in any of your responses that would cause me to rethink or modify my original statement in response to this article.

    • Great post Rick. Also if it is unmanly to whine and selfpity, does that mean whining and selfpitying is something only women and children can do?

      • Thanks, jameseq. It’s good to know that my remarks have connected with some other folks.

        • I totally agree with Rick.

          Ken, this article is very inarticulate. “Whining” to me, is the corresponding “slut shaming” issue for men. You don’t get men to be empowered, balanced and responsible emotionally by shaming them into something… WTF. Whining is unmanly? Act like a man? You seem very sexist, judgmental and shaming yet also talk about respect and dialog. I hear people trot out “whining” when men’s feelings are inconvenient. It’s a “just get over it”, STFU kind of compassion, lol. I almost didn’t read your article from the title.

      • Every time I suggest men stop whining, someone suggests I’m in favor of women who whine.
        Whining is complaining, and its value in the human dynamic is nil.
        Just because I tell men to stop whining doesn’t mean I support women who whine. That’s just foolish.

  14. It seems that Ken isn’t able to define “whining,” but he knows it when he sees it. Any sort of awareness-raising, discussing, book-writing, or activism is okay–but “whining” is not. And only Ken, it seems, can tell the difference.

    Do we have to buy the book to learn the secret, Ken?

  15. “Men who treat women with respect and dignity will find few who will mistreat them in return. ”

    Ah, blaming the victim. Some things never go out of style.

  16. I believe in doing, never giving up or giving in. Ever. Due to hard work and some good fortune, I’m doing just fine. Happily married for 20+ years now, two beautiful, happy daughters, large home in one of the best school districts in the country, with a career in cyber security – one of the few truly growing fields. I say that to say: that’s not good enough. I’m not at all satisfied.

    It would be wrong for me to go on about my business and not care about others. I am also a black male, and am keenly aware that the young black male today is in serious and worsening decline in every measurable area. There but for the grace of God go I. And, who exactly gives a damn? These boys are told, even here, on a daily basis, that they enjoy male privilege, and that white women are the underdogs, and are the ones that need the social, education, employment assistance – despite the fact that in every single possible measurable way, they are far and away achieving far more.

    I can do, I can fight, I can act; many of them can’t, literally. If anyone doubts where black men stand in relation to white women, I can easily cite statistics. Bottom line, Ken: making it clear that the current situation is unfair disenfranchisement of a weakened, vulernable population is not whining; it is stating a fact that people in general, including the government, could not possibly care less about.

    Someone’s got to speak up for these kids. Speaking up and whining are two very different things.

  17. There seems to be a great deal of whining about whining and not being able to define whining, and even whining about readers not getting with the program!

    We’re All Doomed! P^)

    … and for the record I do take exception to the idea that men expressing emotional pain is linked in any way to the term whining.

    It is also an interesting point that child abuse can lead to behaviors learned in childhood being continues into adulthood. This can manifest as behavior perceived as whining in it’s dictionary definition, but it is far from what seems to be implied by the use of the word whining here.

    I’ve also heard the term used to undermine both men and women with PTSD. That was huge mistake as the person who did it whined all the way home – a bit like little piggies.

    I do hope that anyone in any group who is seen as a pathological whiner is advised of suitable professional medical services they may need to consult.

    “There’s often a temporary swing to the other extreme during a cultural shift.”

    I would hope that people in need are not left swinging because of a label.

  18. I think you need a whiny voice to be a true whiner. I can’t see someone with a heavy British accent being a whiner. It’s perfectly possible that whining can be ridden with a good ear/nose and throat specialist.

  19. It seems like the large majority of people that have commented on this post are focusing on the definition of whining rather than what the rest of the article is saying. Everyone knows the difference between constructive conversation about emotional pain and whining, whether they can define it or not. I personally read the “whining is unmanly” comment as being rather facetious- especially in light of the discussion on gender. Would it have made everyone happier had he ended this article with “Ladies, the same goes for you.”? Basically- the vast majority of people, men, women, intersex, children, spend more time dwelling on how individuals have wronged them and rather than moving on from those particular incidents, take it out on everyone they meet that they feel they can put in the same category as that individual. If a man mistreats a woman and she goes on to mistreat a man who goes on to mistreat another woman, the cycle is potentially unending if everyone doesn’t figure out a way to essentially get over themselves.

    • There’s a crucial difference, though.

      When men spend all their time complaining about the wrongs women have done to them, it’s called “whining.”

      When women do it, it’s called “feminism.”

    • “Everyone knows the difference between constructive conversation about emotional pain and whining, whether they can define it or not.”

      That’s not true.

      While suggesting that men should discuss their hardships with other men and their partners, Solin muddies the waters of emotional expression and stagnation; this leads some of the audience to rightfully ask, “Am I whining?”

      “First, it’s unmanly to whine. Second, no one is listening except other whiny men.”

      “There’s nothing new about men sucking it up instead of putting their painful experience to rest.”

      “My men’s group doesn’t allow whining because everyone knows from experience that it keeps the pain alive instead of addressing it and letting it go.”

      “If you’re feeling hurt about the way a woman treated you, talking it out with other men will help you move beyond the pain and disappointment.”

      The above statements aren’t clear.

      I truly believe that the statements might confuse some men, especially those that need help. Humans have different rates of healing. For individuals that take longer to heal, the thought that they might be acting “unmanly” or “whiny” when returning to a particularly bothersome issue will cease the healing process.

      “No one is listening except other whiny men” suggests that some men’s groups are full of whiny men… but not Solin’s groups because they don’t allow whining. Is that a ground rule? Don’t whine in my group? Issues can only be addressed twice or else we’ll have you removed.

      Men’s groups ought to be a space where men can safely return to an unsolved issue with support from other men in finding a solution.

      I’m not saying that the message of his article is completely lost, but the points are limited by contradictory and broad statements.

    • @Danni

      “Everyone knows the difference between constructive conversation about emotional pain and whining, ”

      Well I’m sure if thats the case, it should be fairly easy for you to articulate the difference for me right?

      Please, humor me.

  20. Whining is just complaining, and has never resolved anyone’s pain. A frank, open and honest dialogue in which men dig deep into their male psyches to discover their part of their problem isn’t whining. A man can’t change a woman’s behavior, and whining only serves to continue a man’s pain. An abusive relationship is intolerable, but a man would do better to leave that relationship than complain endlessly about something he can’t change.
    Men’s groups can encourage emotional growth through the confidential sharing of emotional experiences. Men’s groups are the best path for men to work through the issues that hobble them, women and relationships included. I’m sorry guys, but whining just doesn’t play a role in healing and change. It takes valuable time away from the real work. Allowing a man to whine isn’t doing him a favor. Encouraging him to open up and own his part of his issue is doing him a favor. Constructive dialogue promotes emotional growth.

    • I joined, and was kicked out of three men’s groups after my divorce. The men were with either very self-effacing, weak-willed and whiny or just bitching and saying nasty things about the women in their lives.

      None of the divorced men seemed to care about trying to voice their concerns about their children. Many of them seemed to have embraced the bigoted “rape-culture” meme cited in Hugo Schwyzer’s article earlier. They hated themselves for being men, and the feminist shaming they encountered in family court made them hate themselves.

      The people that helped me during my custody battle were men and women who were truly interested in equality. interestingly, none of them labeled themselves as “feminist”. This was at a time California NOW and other feminist groups were lobbying for bills to help custodial moms separate their children from their fathers and prevent state resources being used for male victims of domestic violence.

      When you judge people and movements by the actions they take, those actions reveal the true face behind a person or movement.

      The men and women who helped me during that trying time were fantastic friends and advisors. The organizations that were (and still) lobbying to destroy fathers’ relationships with their children reveal “feminism” for what it really is.

  21. Whining is just complaining.

    face palm….

  22. Men are avoiding the financial/legal deathtrap of marriage and starting to think for themselves.
    They are embracing women without losing themselves to the State’s Kafkaesque nightmare of “partnership” that comes with the signing of a marriage license.
    It is a liberating journey of sexual and spiritual self-discovery.

    “If a young man gets married, starts a family, and spends the rest of his life working at a soul-destroying job, he is held up as an example of virtue and responsibility. The other type of man, living only for himself, working only for himself, doing first one thing and then another simply because he enjoys it and because he has to keep only himself, sleeping where and when he wants, and facing woman when he meets her, on equal terms and not as one of a million slaves, is rejected by society. The free, unshackled man has no place in its midst.”

    Esher Vilar – The Manipulated Man

  23. Ken, you are being too vague. You have not, in my opinion, clearly articulated the difference between what you term as “whining” and “Encouraging him to open up and own his part of his issue. . .”
    Are you saying there’s little benefit to complaining about one’s mate ad infinitum, and not facing one’s own? If so, you are correct in that. You can’t change her but you can change yourself, and thereby influence (but not change) her behaviour for the good.

    You also make another incorrect statement, because it is far too broad, and simply not accurate:

    “Men who treat women with respect and dignity will find few who will mistreat them in.”

    That is only true if he has selected a partner who treats people in general, especially him, with respect and dignity. Sorry, Ken, but if she’s a selfish son of a gun before marriage, she is very likely going to continue to be a selfish son of a gun after marriage. If your wife has been a selfish son of a gun her whole life, sadly, there is nothing YOU can do to change her. Only she can.

    It is a foolish and futiile mistake to imagine that you can change someone else. You can only influence them; they and only they can change themselves. I have told many, many people that the #1 key to marital success is to marry well in the first place. Marry a person who has the majority of the qualities that you want and need, such as /he treats you and others with respect and dignity.

    Also, there are multiple forums in which to discuss problems, men’s groups perhaps being but one possibility. I have personally worked with couples and helped them each face their own part of the problem. Problems are very seldom if ever 100% one person 0% the other. Even if it’s 90% to 10%, that 10% needs addressed as well. And, the 10% person needs to acknowledge their 10% and no keep pointing at their mate’s 90%. That doesn’t work.

    When a couple is having problems, it can be equally or more effective for them to work together and work independently, perhaps with an experienced and objective counselor/confidant of the same sex.

  24. Learn your share of history before making such ignorant comments again. Get your mind around patriarchy and male privilege – and come back then.

    • You’re the one who needs to learn history. Getting your mind around patriarchy and male privilige is a process of seeing that these terms are manipulative and depict men in a sexist and stereotypical light to facilitate a political agenda.
      It’s called critical thinking.

  25. The title “Guys, Stop Whining” implies the author thinks all men (or all men here?) are whining when they voice concerns, and also, the term whining is always aggressive when adults accuse each other of it.

    The article made some good points (e.g., women achieving higher status doesn’t mean men are relegated to lower status), but the title and theme re:whining pretty much guarantees a comment section war zone.

    I agree with the author that it’s time to cooperate and grow up and stop being so damned scared of those who don’t share your gender. I just find that using the word “whining” is somewhat demeaning to men. The article is otherwise so positive, and I hate to fixate on one word, but words are powerful, and I think in this case there was a more compassionate word (or probably a set of words) to address the insecurities some men have to deal with in a changing world.

    “Whiner” or not, these things are rooted in insecurity. You can’t tell a man to “snap out of it” any more than you can tell a woman to “get over” her body issues, and in any case, those issues and insecurities are valid, and when someone is suffering in our society, physically or mentally, I’d rather end a hand than chastise them.

    That sounded pretty critical, but I’m just finding the choice of the term “whining” questionable. Whining usually comes from some internal feeling rooted in some kind of valid experience.

  26. this article is very stupid, and belongs on a feminist website.

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