No matter what kind of animosity exists between men and women, we must put the guns away, writes Nicole Jonson, and realize we can’t live without one another.
I have lived by this axiom my entire life: good men are everywhere. As a sister, daughter, cousin, co-worker, friend, and wife of 10 years, I become enraged when I hear women say, “there are no good men,” “this is the end of men,” or “we are at war with men.”
Forbes.com is one of my favorite websites. In fact, I made a new friend at the Forbes family: feature writer, Meghan Casserly. I became acquainted with Meghan after I read her recent article, “Why We Need To Stop Bemoaning ‘The End of Men.’” Initially, I found Meghan’s article quite compelling; however, when I reached the final paragraph, I was horrified. It reads:
Let alone the fact that women only hold 3.2% of the top CEO positions and, across the board still earn roughly 79 cents to the dollar. Oh, and we’re still the only ones who can bear children (thanks, science!). The pages of Forbes aren’t yet filled with feminine faces. ForbesWoman still exists. We may be winning some battles of the sexes, but we still haven’t won the war.”
Wait a minute, why is my new Forbes friend bemoaning human anatomy and casting blame on science? Men can’t have babies, and there’s nothing anyone can do about this physiological fact. Newsflash: many women chose to not have children. Meghan, I am one of those women.
And what war? There is not a war between men and women. From my vantage point, there are not battles, bombings, or bloodshed between the sexes. Men and women are not plotting carnage against each other. Furthermore, men are too smart to declare war on women.
Most men understand they can not survive without women. Ladies, can you say the same about men? I hope so. The truth is we would die without each other.
If there is any type of “war” going on it’s the new anti-men movement. To the ladies waging this campaign against men, I’m begging you, please: drop your weapons. You are fighting a losing battle, and ultimately, you are harming yourself and the female gender. Regardless of your sexual orientation, you need men; you can’t live without men. Moreover, I believe a portion of your disdain for men stems from internal strife and discontent.
After reading Meghan’s article, I immediately alerted my beloved colleagues at The Good Men Project that another stove was stirring the gender pot and serving poached testicles for dinner. Good Men Project founder, Tom Matlack, and columnist, Hugo Schwyzer, have offered their thoughts on Meghan’s Forbes piece. My sentiments lie more with Tom’s position.
I think labels do suck. I think most men in 2011 are decent human beings who are not emasculated by cuddling their kids and doing the dishes (and actually think it’s the best part of their day—read just a sampling of posts here on GMP). The whole idea behind what we are doing here is to be, as men, partners to our wives and husbands. Why the piling on?
Labels are limiting and lugubrious. We label people as a way to contain them, as well as to create a consistent, pre-determined expectation. This is tremendously unfair.
It is common for men and women to be reserved with each other. In general, they are afraid to be vulnerable and reveal their true selves; they have a difficult time discussing emotions and expectations. Given men and women’s propensity to remain guarded and non-communicative, they prejudge.
I believe women have a greater need to prejudge men than men do women. The internal and external inadequacies women feel cause them to attack men. Case in point: Meghan is angry at science (and men) because women are the only ones who can bear children.
To further illustrate my point, here are additional examples: if a woman has become unsuccessful in the dating marketplace, suddenly all men are assholes. If a woman has not received a raise at work, she unequivocally has been suppressed by the paternalistic authority. When a husband doesn’t “pull his weight” at home, he is perceived as lazy and unsupportive.
I would like women to become more self-reflective instead of projecting their personal and professional unhappiness onto men. Perhaps it is something a woman is consciously or unconsciously doing to repel men in the dating marketplace. Maybe women would be paid the same as men if they routinely asked for raises and evaluations. Furthermore, women now have the status, education, and resources to work for themselves or other women. If a woman doesn’t like working for “the man,” start working for women.
When it comes to housekeeping and family life, how many women are expressing their dissatisfaction? How many women are asking their husbands to share the workload? How many women are asking their husbands to attend couples therapy if their needs are not being met? How many women are filing for divorce if they are in a miserable marriage?
I am not giving men a free pass. I agree with Hugo when he states, “Things are getting better, and we should celebrate it. But the work isn’t done yet, either in the home or in the boardroom.” Certain men need to ask themselves these questions: Am I proud of the life I am leading? Am I a good man? Am I worthy of a good woman?
There are groups of men who regularly provide fodder for the writings of Kay Hymowitz and Hanna Rosin. Unfortunately, the man-child and omega male live among us. I’m waiting for all of the good men to become mentors to these men. I know Tom and Hugo are up for the challenge. Who else is ready to join them?
Degrees of inequalities will always exist between the sexes. Ladies, stop fighting this truth. Concentrate on your strengths, and address the internal battle with yourself before declaring men the enemy.
—Photo bitzi ☂ ion-bogdan dumitrescu/Flickr