How The Wall Street Journal Is Spreading Negative Stereotypes About Men

No sooner did I put down Hanna Rosin’s insulting piece in Slate about stay-at-home dads (read our response to her story here), than a friend of mine told me I’d better go get a copy of this morning’s Wall Street Journal—and I’d better sit down before reading it. I was also advised to keep firearms, blunt objects, and breakables out of arm’s length as I dug in.

The cover story “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” is adapted from the forthcoming book Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys. In it, author Kay S. Hymowitz laments the fact that men today refuse to grow up—and that’s making it difficult for women to find a decent mate.

“Women in their 20s are more likely than men to be in grad school and making strides in the workplace,” she writes. “In a number of cities, they are even outearning their brothers and boyfriends. Still, for these women, one key question won’t go away: Where have the good men gone? Their male peers often come across as aging frat boys, maladroit geeks, or grubby slackers.”

It’s a prisoner’s dilemma of sorts. What are we to do? According to Hymowitz and the WSJ, a key issue of gender in the 21st century is men’s loserdom—and the desperate situation in which they put single women.

Hymowitz seems to have thrown in the towel on guys altogether. Here, the piece ends with this uplifting bit of analysis:

“Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does. Women put up with him for a while, but then in fear and disgust either give up on any idea of a husband and kids or just go to a sperm bank and get the DNA without the troublesome man. But these rational choices on the part of women only serve to legitimize men’s attachment to the sand box. Why should they grow up? No one needs them anyway. There’s nothing they have to do.

They might as well just have another beer.”

For the men who are part of the Good Men Project—guys fighting wars in foreign lands, working diligently to be good dads, recovering from economic hardship, striving to be loving spouses, searching their souls trying to figure out what it means to be a good man—the piece is one more example of mainstream media portraying us in an egregiously negative, quasi-sexist light.

Women are often described in the same universal, equally pernicious stereotypes. But combating the media’s outmoded, misogynistic logic doesn’t mean putting up with dreck like this. Why the free pass on a female writer’s conclusion that the opposite sex is a bunch of “aging frat boys, maladroit geeks, or grubby slackers” who “might as well just have another beer”?

None of this is to say that men can’t always be working harder to be better husbands, fathers, workers, and men. But women need to be there for us, just as we need to be there for them. So let’s work on this together—and leave out the stereotyping.


See more:

I’m Proud to Be a Slacker

Slate’s ‘Breadwinner Wives’ Misses the Mark

About Tom Matlack

Thomas Matlack is a venture capitalist.


  1. Man Up?

    Why should us men ‘man up’ based on the demanding terms of modern women and the anti-male media? Forever women were protected and cared for. Now they have supremacy on top of their previous special class rights. Why should men give women anything as all it will do is spoil them even more. Boycott marriage and providing women with kids. Be careful, many women will sabotage the birth control and then demand your money for decades.

    Men are learning to embrace their freedom from women. Women and government need us more than we need them. Each day, more men are waking up to the raw deal we have had forever.

    • Oh Joe,

      What you’ve written here is so sad and pathetic.

      That you consider oppression the equivalent of being ‘protected and cared for’.
      That you consider the position women as a whole stand currently as ‘supremacy’.
      That you consider propagating the species as ‘providing women with kids’.

      It’s all so very telling and I really do hope you will seek serious emotional help.

      • Code green and white.


        • Call it whatever you like Denis, it doesn’t hide the fact that this person needs serious emotional help.

          • What are your professional qualifications to make such an assessment of someone that you know nothing about and have never met?

            Apparently anybody who thinks marriage is a bad idea needs some brainwashing.

            Here’s another idea, MYOB and let people live their own lives.

          • I agree Dana, he appears to have been emotionally abused and is unwilling to enter into another abusive relationship.

          • Most likely emotionally abused by a mentally unbalanced and/or vindictive woman and then financially, emotionally and psychologically raped by a system that enforces a presumption of male guilt and female innocence rather than protect him.

      • rumplestilstkin…………………… can wake now!!!

        • Denis,

          The blind could see this man has issues. Also nowhere did I mention he should get married. Heaven forbid.

          I would happily MYOB but he put it out for the world to see. If more people got involved when someone seemed on the edge many bad instances could be averted.


          The key you’re missing in this – and an astonishing number of women as well seem to miss – is that of self responsibility. A person being mentally, emotionally, or physically abused by their partner can get up and leave at any time. They chose not to. The consequences of their not leaving are manifold – perpetuation as well as suffering. Burnt once, shame on them, burnt twice, shame on you.

          If it’s true your fellow human being has been abused in any way and still suffers from it, the kindest thing one an do is direct them to help.

          • Of the abused men who called domestic violence hotlines, 64% were told that they “only helped women.” In 32% of the cases, the abused men were referred to batterers’ programs. Another 25% were given a phone number to call that turned out to be a batterers’ program. A little over a quarter of them were given a reference to a local program that helped.

            Overall, only 8% of the men who called hotlines classified them as “very helpful,” whereas 69% found them to be “not at all helpful.”

            Sixteen percent said the people at the hot line “dismissed or made fun of them.” One abused man said:

            They laughed at me and told me I must have done something to deserve it if it happened at all.

            Another said:

            They asked how much I weighed and how much she weighed and then hung up on me…I was told by this agency that I was full of BS.

            Twelve percent of the hotlines accused the man of being the batterer or responsible for the abuse. One abused man said:

            They told me women don’t commit domestic violence — it must have been my fault.

            Another said:

            They accused me of trying to hide my “abuse” of her by claiming to be a victim, and they said that I was nothing more than a wimp.

            Of the men who sought help by contacting local domestic violence programs, only 10% found them to be “very helpful,” whereas 65% found them to be “not at all helpful.” One abused man said:

            They just laughed and hung up the phone.

            Another said:

            They didn’t really listen to what I said. They assumed that all abusers are men and said that I must accept that I was the abuser. They ridiculed me for not leaving my wife, ignoring the issues about what I would need to do to protect my six children and care for them.


          • What about the children…


            “You’re disgusting, just like your mother. Why don’t you go join her?” My mother spat the words at my father. Though spoken many decades ago, those words still ring in my ears. He had loved his mother very much, had agonized as her health had deteriorated, and now that she had passed away, he missed her. What could possibly hurt him more than just attacking her memory? Why, wishing him dead too.

            My mother’s attacks went beyond emotional devastation. Though her weight of 100 lbs. was no match for my father’s 170 lbs., he never responded with violence. And secure in the knowledge that he never would, she kicked and punched him with impunity.

            One incident in particular sticks in my mind. My father had chosen paint for the kitchen that was a shade too dark. My mother started out by insulting him, then yelling. As her rage grew she escalated to hitting him in the face with her fists. I watched him raise his hands, not to strike back, but merely to protect his eyes. But she wasn’t expecting it and her hand must have hit a bony part of his wrist. She immediately stopped, and then started whimpering, “You hurt me!”

            My father was not my mother’s only target. I was a small child when she shook me by the shoulders while my head hit the wall. But spending our entire childhoods walking on eggshells to avoid her wrath was even more destructive to us children than physical attacks. All of us, including my father, were driven to suicidal depression. After several attempts, my sister did take her own life.


          • Denis,

            Again, the key here is self-responsibility. I heard stories like this myself from women back in the day. I can recall even in the 80’s women in the neighborhood going to the police to report domestic abuse and being told by officers ‘Well your husband says you walked into a door. Let’s not get hysterical.’ So these women stayed and tolerated further abuse because they didn’t have support, or jobs, or money, or what have you.

            This is no excuse. It’s horrible of course, the lack of support. Still no excuse.

            You do not stay in a abusive situation. EVER.

            You do not allow your children to be in an abusive situation. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.

            You do what you have to do. Leave with your children and go to a shelter, go to child services, a church, a friends house, a hotel. Go to the police and report the abuse. Go to a lawyer. Go and keep going, tell and keep telling your story until someone listens.

            If you have no money, apply for welfare and food stamps, go to a food bank, soup kitchen, offer to sweep the floor of the grocery store for a bag of apples, whatever. You do what you have to do.

            If you stay the wrong is two fold – perpetuation and suffering. And now you are also to blame.
            Don’t give me any ‘blaming the victim’ crap. If you are physically able to leave and don’t you have chosen to be a willing participant. Case closed.

          • Dana, you’re blaming the victims.

            They have no social supports and nobody who cares.
            Even worse, dominant aggressor profiling will put them in jail.

          • Dana,
            Is the first response to abuse to run and hide? People have a lot to lose when they leave relationships, men in particular can take the abused kids and run, only to have the tables turned on them with custody returned to the abusing mother and with them out on the street paying child support.
            I can’t help thinking abuse is the symptom of a larger underlying problem. The system objectifies abusers and seeks to dispose of them. I work in manufacturing and understand quality principles. Every strategy that is used in abuse prevention has been tried and proven to fail in quality management. When you have a culture of blame the truth disappears very quickly and all you are left with is ass-covering.
            I haven’t got the answers to abuse in relationships, but I’m sure people are asking the wrong questions.
            Denis is right, you are blaming the victims.

          • The presenting case, that of David Woods and his daughter Maegan, now in her early 20s, was compelling because the evidence was irrefutable, the worst case of gender bias in this area I have ever seen. David Woods is a handicapped man in a wheelchair, incapable of livingAdvanced care directiveson his own, and dependent (or was during the relevant period, the 1980s, when Meagan was a young girl) on his wife Ruth, who is bi-polar with violent tendencies. David frequently attempted to get help from a Sacramento DV agency, who always told him “We don’t help men,” explaining that men were perpetrators of violence, never victims, the usual mantra so clearly inapplicable to his situation. Churches and various other programs were equally unhelpful.

            If David had fled with his daughter, he would have been arrested for kidnapping, unlike women with children who are offered shelter and sympathy. He would certainly have lost custody in a divorce, so neither flight nor divorce would have served Meagan’s interests. Bias in the law enforcement system exacerbated the problem. In one 1995 incident, Ruth aimed a shotgun at Meagan. David managed to wrest it from her. Ruth called the police, telling them she wanted to kill her husband, but when the police arrived, they immediately handcuffed him.


          • Sorry guys, the ‘blaming the victim’ story won’t hold.
            The ‘victim’ is a grown adult with the capability to leave.

            A parent leaving and taking their child is not ‘kidnapping’ under the law. If that were true anyone could call the cops on their wife/husband every time they left the house with children in tow.

            Again, I’m not saying it’s easy or that the justice/social services/welfare system is fair in these cases (or any cases), just that it must be done.

            I’m not buying into the victim crap, and it only enable those who see themselves as victims to do so.

            When I was in Junior High a friend of mine told me her father had been having sex with her. We told our teachers, parents, her brother, the principal, etc. NO ONE believed her. She went to social services, the police etc. NO ONE believed her. She didn’t stop – and we were 13 year old girls at this time, the early 80’s – she just kept telling anyone that would listen. Finally, after about a year, social services put her in a foster home, meanwhile her entire family ignored and abandoned her. Many years later, during our senior year of High School, her oldest sister came back to visit from India – where she’d lived with her husband for about 10 years – and during an argument with their mother screamed that her father had forced sex on her for years and ‘No one bothered to keep me away from him like they did my sister!’ Making it clear there hadn’t been just one victim or just one way to get out of the situation. She chose to get married young to get out, my friend chose to tell, and tell, and tell, deal with the fallout and the wrath of her family.

            As a grown adult your job is to separate yourself and your children from the abuse. Do what you have to do. If you need proof – tape record it, take pictures, hide a video camera – whatever.

            Get up and get out.

          • “As a grown adult your job is to separate yourself and your children from the abuse. Do what you have to do. If you need proof – tape record it, take pictures, hide a video camera – whatever.”

            On this I agree, but what I was trying to explain and you were trying to avoid is the FACT that men need evidence to take their children and women only need accusations.

          • Denis,

            I have quite obviously NOT avoided any FACT. I have stated that there is unfairness in social services – in fact I said it is horrible the lack of support. I have stated that the unfairness swung from being less on the women’s side to far more on the women’s side, (when in truth it should be on the side of the children).

            The only thing I haven’t done is give in to this ‘blaming the victim’ nonsense. And I won’t.

            As I have already said – No matter the circumstances it is NEVER, EVER, O.K. to allow someone to hurt your babies. I don’t care what it takes.

            I will admit to barely any sympathy to grown adults of either gender that choose to stay in abusive relationships, (as long as there are no children involved of course). You’re an adult, you can leave.

  2. I have a 28 year old son, he is single and entering his 3 year of celibacy. He has no intention of marrying or conceiving children. To speak to the caliber of his personage, he left a business that he shared ownership in to spend two years personally tutoring his autistic nephew, my grandson. He is an intelligent man that completed his entire high school 4 year curriculum at home in a year and a half, basically on his own. I have explained to him in no uncertain terms that the choice to conceive or have children can be exercised right up to the age of fifty and that his biological clock serves his own purpose first and last. After reading briefly on this site, his impression was that it was improperly titled. He commented that the site should be called the “good husband project”. I was quite taken with his immediate insight, and found myself agreeing.

    I am left therefore to suggest, that a “good man” is not the result of a marriage, as masculinity survives that paradigm successfully in our culture. As too the article and the accompanying declarations and definitions of masculinity, so what. My food tastes the same regardless of the whining and the sun is forever shining in the sky. It would seem that the best solution too such claims of masculine unworthiness is simply to take another ten years and refine it. Certainly the reduction in population would be no greater than those lost currently to abortion.

    “the desperate situation in which they put single women” why make a bad situation worse?

    Besides after all the accusation, shaming and distortion, what does any woman know about being a man, beyond their own unqualified projections. Misandry by the pound? I’m all stocked up thanks.

    • Are you giving him realistic advice though? Who is going to wanna have a kid with a 50 year old guy? I can say as a 26 year old woman, it’s not at all something I’d ever consider for multiple reasons.

      #1 being that men over 35 have sperm that is at risk of having serious chromosomal problems that can cause down syndrome or autism. Science has proven this. Time to stop onesidedly blaming women’s fertility. Men supply 50% of genetic material and theirs ‘spoils’ at the same rate. You’re not doing him any favors by supplying him with outright falsehoods.

      2# Someone who has a kid at 50 or older unless they plan on being immortal will miss a lot of milestones and a good chunk of their kid’s life because they will probably die at around 70-80 years old. Which puts their kid in their 20s. What if they don’t live to see their kids wedding? Their grandkids. Selfish if you ask me.

      • Really?

        My sister had a son aged 46, a (female) cousin is pregnant aged 46 and already has a 2 year old, her sister had children when she was 39 and 41. Different people make different choices, sometimes they work out, sometimes….

        When you are a 36 year woman you will be a lot more interesting. (I hope) Not your fault, just your age, you’ll understand when you are older. You are right that having children later will be a different experience for all concerned.

      • I think the simple solution is to freeze his sperm. As to the milestones, all of those milestones can be removed from a man by a disenchanted partner. As to giving bad advice, I don’t believe having children requires a one sided social contract that leaves a man vulnerable. Nothing prevents him from being a single father.
        I think what he sees is a disconnect between his personal security and the law. I happen to agree with him, the state no longer reflects his interests and concerns or mine for that matter. As a consumer I wouldn’t buy the product being offered. Characterizations by the WSJ simply miss the mark, with no true insight into the minds and hearts of younger men. These guys aren’t stupid and I would venture to guess they will survive the social disconnect much better than most. The media can rant all it likes about men, there are other channels and an off switch.

    • “He commented that the site should be called the “good husband project”. I was quite taken with his immediate insight, and found myself agreeing.”

      I agree with your son. This place does seem, for the most part, to be concentrating it’s efforts not on how to make things better for men, but rather, on how to make men ‘better’, i.e. more docile, more agreeable, more ‘presentable’ to polite society. For all the hype, it seems to be just a regurge of the same old male improvement projects that are going on worldwide in a suburb near you.

      • Keith and Natasha,
        I agree this site smacks of the “Good Husband Project”, but this article and a few others do signify a positive shift. Let’s hope it continues.

    • candidcutie says:

      LOL um OK, as a sperm donor a man has no rights over his biological issue. And another point, who is going to want to be impregnated by 50 year frozen sperm?

      • LOL.. Um.. like yeah!

        Men and women who have the sperm or eggs used in the conception of a child can have biological rights over the child. It’s actually pretty common. Ever heard of invitro fertilization or surrogacy? LOL

  3. Randolph Greer says:

    The Wall Street Journal is wondering where all the “good men ” are ?
    Did you expect to find them on Wall Street ?

  4. Peter C. (UK). says:

    @Peter C.
    “A civilization that chooses to sneer in the face of its young males, sneers at its own future”

    “Sneer? Colleges around America are employing a young male affirmative action program desperately trying to keep up male numbers. “

    I am not American. But If what you say is true – what must have led to this ‘affirmative action’ ? – people may ask.

    Um, your various posts to myself and others are a series of feminist, one-dimensional, hackneyed sound-bites which treats common sense as a virus .

  5. Dana – “If history is one sided it’s the fault of your gender.”
    The wars of the early twentieth century (when women were worrying about not being able to vote) is the story of a few men in power sending millions of men to die as cannon fodder in defence of nations. The women of the time didn’t seem to have a problem with not being allowed to die for their country in this way.

    Dana – “Women didn’t even have the right to vote in the U.S. until 1920.”
    This type of thing is often quoted as evidence of “opression” of women, however (in the case of the UK) what this overlooks is the fact that all men were only given the vote after world war one, after millions have given their lives. They were FORCED into the trences in WWI – where were their “rights”? I guess a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, right? Remind me – what does a woman gotta do?

  6. The denial of the vote for women was an extension of the denial to vote for the common man. In those days not only was there sex discrimination, but also class discrimination. In those days it was true women were not allowed to vote, it is true women were culturally denied education, work opportunity, but they were also denied the horror of front line combat.

    In the UK Common men were given the right to vote in England in 1918, that year in particular because over 700,000 British men had just given their lives in defense of democracy, a significant number of whom were denied the right to vote for the principle they had just given their lives to uphold .

    Women won the right to vote in the representation of the people act in 1928, but it has been overlooked all men had won the right to vote only ten years before.

    There were women handing out white feathers as a symbol of cowardice to men. The feathers were being handed out by women in general, but more specifically women of the feminist movement who were gathered at a rally to protest about the sex discrimination which they faced.

    They handed out their white feathers during a time when they were not required to fight, a time when It was inconceivable for a white feather to be handed to a woman by a man. With every feather they handed out, they handed out a token of their own sexist hypocrisy.

    Whilst those white feathers were being handed out, the Pankhursts, the undisputed leaders of the feminist movement were fuelling the call for men to fight and die for their country, whilst calling for the “industrial conscription” of women.

    Christabel Pankhurst was fuelling the call to go to war with Germany, the feminist movement was denigrating those who opposed the war, whilst deliberately popularising a culture of ridicule for those men who would not fight.

  7. candidcutie says:

    Here here @ Dad On The Run!

    Since we are getting all anecdotal – I have a lot of male married friends who are in creative feels which makes more sense for them to be at home with the kids. Their wives are grateful – I think the idea that women look down on a man who stays at home is more a generational thing. I get the feeling from reading these posts that some men got burned along with some feminist’s bra’s..

    Real talk, my male friends get more grief from other men. It would be interesting to hear a little about the pressure men get from men

  8. Reply from Feministe to this article:

    Where Have All the Good Men Gone? That is what Kay Hymowitz wants to know in her latest at WSJ. Her argument, which appears to be based largely on Judd Apatow movies and a (good) book about one woman’s dating life, is that the increasing success of women has let men off the hook when it comes to responsibility of any kind. She doesn’t go as far as to blame women explicitly, but Hymowitz is a well-known conservative writer whose work I’ve followed for some time — she’s particularly talented at not actually blaming women or people of color or whoever else for society’s ills, while still making an argument that requires that conclusion (see, for example, her piece on “the Negro problem” and how black mothers are the worst). So I’m not sure I totally trust her to address this issue in good faith.

    And really, she doesn’t seem to know what she’s talking about. Living and dating in New York, I’ve certainly come across a few man-children who don’t seem to have any goals or interests beyond video games and beer (though none with Star Wars posters in their bedrooms). I’ve also come across girl-women whose parents pay their credit card bills and who are looking for a nice man to marry them so they can live out their princess fantasies. But those people, men and women, have been few and far between. Maybe I’m hanging out at the wrong bars, but far more common is the twenty- or thirty-something dude (or lady) who has a wide variety of interests, a job he’s ok with but an eye for something better, a wide social network and few external pressures to settle for less than what he really wants, in love or family or career. He might also watch Comedy Central and enjoy a good dick joke and a beer every now and again. And you know, that describes me too. It’s actually pretty great. Dick jokes are funny. Good beer tastes good. I’m also a lawyer and a writer and I’m pretty self-sufficient and in no hurry to achieve any other traditional markers of “adulthood,” insofar as those markers are a husband and babies and a mortgage.

    Taking time to come into yourself, and to figure out what you really want, isn’t “extended adolescence.” It’s an intelligent and fair reaction to a new economy and new gender models. For the most part, young people in big cities no longer get their first job at 21 and move up the company ranks until they retire. We’re more mobile, less loyal to a particular employer, and more focused on finding a path that suits us — not one that we take because of lack of other options. We also don’t have the same pressure to get settle down and get married at 25 — and without that external pressure, a lot of us are choosing to delay or even forgo marriage entirely (which should tell you something about the way our culture has constructed marriage, not about our maturity). Those of us who do marry later have stronger marriages — marriages that are reportedly happier and longer-lasting.

    Also? I’m not sure if Hymowitz is aware of our country’s current economic condition, but a lot of people are unemployed. And a lot of people (I would venture to guess especially men-people) don’t want to get married without the financial security that a job brings. So if dudes are living in multi-resident proto-frat-houses playing video games all weekend instead of taking a lady out for cocktails, maybe it’s at least in part because jobs are hard to come by and playing video games is free.

    Of course, there are no doubt man-children across the country who are just lazy, and who aren’t trying to do much of anything despite the opportunities they have. Maybe there are even more men than women who fit into that category — I certainly know more than a few men who expect good things to come to them simply for existing. But to the extent that it is happening, is it new? And is it really the fault of female success, or is it because of life-long coddling of certain men?

    Hymowitz voices concern for women because there are no good men and we’re all apparently deciding to turkey-baster ourselves into motherhood. Our decision to go to school and get jobs have “allowed” men to languish as perpetual 14-year-olds, she says, because no one needs them to be responsible and head households. So, you see, women being responsible and smart leads to men being immature pigs.

    Thankfully, most of us don’t actually live the plotline of Knocked Up, and we can recognize that men (and women) delaying marriage until they’re in a position where they feel ready and until they meet someone they actually want to marry is a sign of maturity, and is a privilege that more of us should have. Hymowitz isn’t actually able to make the point that any of these changing social norms yield bad results — all she can do is point to the fact that fewer 25-year-olds are married today than were married in the 1970s. Which I think is probably a good thing? Of course there are people who, at 25, are both mature enough to negotiate a life-long commitment and lucky enough to find the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with (and are emotionally competent enough to know the difference between “a person I love” and “a person I can be with forever”), but I was not there at 25. I’m not there at 27. That’s not a moral failing; it’s a realistic assessment, and a recognition that, for me and many people in my demographic, marriage isn’t about settling. It’s not about hitting a certain age and deciding that It’s Time. Of course, that’s far from universal — I’d wager that more people settle into marriage because It’s Time than not — but for some number of people, it’s a good model. And even if people are going to get married because It’s Time, isn’t it better to set that Time back a little bit?

    I also don’t know many people who want to get married before they’re gainfully employed, and that takes longer these days. More people generally — not just more women — are going to college. One’s first job (or one’s second or third or fourth job) is very rarely one’s life-long career. People without higher education face new hurdles now that manufacturing jobs are drying up and well-paying blue-collar work is increasingly difficult to find. That’s a very different economy from the one my grandparents and parents faced. Toss an economic recession into the mix and it’s not hard to see why people aren’t chomping at the bit to make life-long financial commitments to another person when they can barely support themselves — especially in a culture where conservative views on marriage demand that the man is the breadwinner, and that he can support a wife and children.

    At the end of things, I’m not sure what Hymowitz’s point is. People aren’t getting married early enough, and that, in conjunction with Judd Apatow, is proof of men’s immaturity? Which is a bad thing because it means that they aren’t getting married early enough, even though everyone involved appears to be perfectly fine?

    Eh, not buying it. Hymowitz is a social conservative who thinks that the best model, for everyone always, is early heterosexual marriage and then babies. She has no problem with teen pregnancy, as long as teens are married (and white). She favors marriage, but only “traditional” marriages that cast the husband as the financial center of the family — a system that is increasingly untenable. She’s not particularly interested in helping women or men; she’s interested in holding up a particular social structure.

    Why? No idea. It’s an easy position to take? It doesn’t require a lot of thought? Perhaps it pays well, so that she won’t need to be dependent on an immature, emasculated man? Mystery.

    • Excellent!

    • From where is this article could you have possibly drawn that conclusion? I am one of those feminists, and I opt for a completely class-based distribution of state resources–that’s what the social safety net is for, and what is was designed for in the 1880s in the new German state (specifically for veterans and public health programs for cholera).

      Also, I am Canadian, so maybe things work differently where you are from, but I have never experienced affirmative action, nor have many other white women working outside of the public service since the 90s. The closest thing I can maybe guess is affirmative action is that I once had the chance for an employment equity seminar that I didn’t take during an internship at Environment Canada, which maybe I should have taken because I have been sexually harassed and assaulted at school and work respectively (but there were no means for recourse because my boss didn’t believe that his 35 year old employee would harass a 15 year old, or my teacher accused me of ‘teasing’ a boy and thus making him grope me).

      I suppose then I am just confused by your statement: I am a feminist, I live in Canada, I pay taxes, I make more than my common-law husband and have supported him through two degrees, I do a lot of non-profit work for men and women living under the poverty line, and I have never utlised affirmative action. What more could you possibly want from me to prove that I am not trying to systematically exploit men’s labour?

      • I think I would need a citation for that one, because after taking a women’s studies minor and working in public health, policy research, environmental consultations, and aboriginal affairs from a feminist perspective, I have never once come across this idea of deliberately slanting everything in women’s favour.

        I have come across numerous resources that aid in resolving endemic material disparities between social groups, and numerous resources for issues such as maternal health and mortality (which really benefits everyone), but other than that, nothing. In some public health systems, it is cheaper to get viagra than birth control–or acne cream is covered by medicare and breast pumps are not–so there is still a long way to go in terms of changing priorities at large in terms of looking out for people.

        For instance, right now I am doing a global case study/literature review on programs that transition youth with disabilities into employment from school for the OECD, and if you take a look at some of the the previous literature on the subject:

        …you will find that there is a huge gender disparity for youth with disabilities in terms of employment. My job, as a policy researcher is to address the “why” for that disparity and figure out how to provide better services for everyone in order to have a more equitable distribution of material aid. However, I don’t go into this only with a gender lens: instead, I look at rurality, class, race, religion, nation, sexual orientation in equal measure. Ask any third wave feminist, and you will find that that sort of intersectionality is the hallmark of the movement. You will notice that men are also included in the category of ‘people who have disabilities,’ and I am doing feminist work on the topic of disabilities, and therefore materially impacting the lives of men with disabilities. Again, I ask, how is this somehow depriving men? If we work for the economic and social betterment of all marginalised groups, how will that not make society at large a better place? Why does helping women somehow preclude helping men in your conception? And finally, what is up with the gender war mindset here? There is a lot more going on in the world than men vs. women, and it would do both feminists and men’s rights activists well to wake up tot the fact that there are more than two variables in this global equation of inequality.

        So no, I am not “deliberately slanting every available resource in society in favour of women,” (a bit of a melodramatic statement don’t you think?) because that is not only bad policy, but also does not take into account the other factors which marginalise people.

        From the sounds of this conversation, it seems like many of the Men’s Rights Activists would benefit from and “Intersectionality 101” course.

  9. Peter C. (UK). says:

    “I think the idea that women look down on a man who stays at home is more a generational thing.”

    I totally disagree. It is not a ‘generational things’ it is a consequence of the natural human psyche. There will of course be exceptions to the rule – but for most male-female human pairings primarily reliant upon one income – no matter what they may say to others or even themselves – they will always be papering over the cracks in the reality of their sub-conscious if they proclaim satisfaction with a situation of a bread-winning female. Particularly when offspring become part of the equation.

    It is certainly a ‘generational thing’ to pretend that this is not so. But for the majority who undertake such lifestyles, they are something whose roots can never go very deep and are simply contracts of feminist, politically correct, social engineering which will rarely deliver long term fulfilment to most who embark upon them.

    This reality is something that is an instinctive and inescapable foible of humanity, not of generational zeitgeist.

  10. @Carlos

    Stating facts and using logic are two different things.

    You said:

    “And just who in society made the rules? Were they made democratically by all men or by the Alpha Males? Were the Alpha Males showing consolidarity with the men that were the work horses of industry and society and protectors of woman, children and country? Just because the man on top has a penis doesn’t mean he will show good will towards men. Here’s a new flash for you, men on top don’t feel challenged by women — they are pursued by hordes of them. They don’t need to oppress women out of fear that women will topple their regime.”

    That the men who made the rules were not looking out for their fellow males can not be pinned on women. It’s their fault and theirs alone.

    The idea that the men on top did not ‘feel the need’ to oppress women is ridiculous and inaccurate but I’ll play along. Why then did they oppress females?

    Feminists always look at a man and top and claim discrimination in favor of men. Just because I’m king of the hill doesn’t mean I will show mercy for the rest of my sex, many of whom are just waiting to topple me over and take my place to get access to the best women. Alpha males make laws to oppress the men just as much, or more, than the women.

    Women don’t have to ‘claim’ discrimination, it’s obvious and evident. Your repeated point that Alpha males make laws that oppress men as well does not erase the fact that women have been oppressed.

    Your other statement earlier about how men in the Special Olympics can out do any woman in any sport of the Olympic games shows you clearly for the sad, angry, little misogynist you truly are. It’s unfortunate that you choose to be and behave this way. All I can offer is my condolences and suggest counseling. Of course you wouldn’t take that advice unless a man offered it anyway.

    Guys, help a brother out!


    “Life is unfair, learn to cope”

    In other words, “take it like a man?”

    Carlos, that you take a clearly gender neutral statement and immediately asses it as an anti-male statement says more about you then me, or the statement itself. Let me be more clear. LIFE. IS. UNFAIR. and therefore the only thing one can do is: LEARN. TO. COPE. There is just no plainer way to put that.

    Yes, how totally un-profound and unoriginal a suggestion.

    If you want profound please look up the teachings of Buddha. Unoriginal perhaps, but fitting.

    For all your claims of sympathy I don’t see you calling any of the radical feminists posting her to task. Perhaps you should question your own biases and assumptions.

    First of all I don’t ‘sympathize’ or claim to sympathize with anyone. I assess a situation and call a spade a spade. Very different. I don’t need to pity anyone to recognize an injustice.

    Second of all, I answer the comments that speak to me. I’m not interested in any radical point of view. let the ‘radicals’ brawl with the ‘misogynist’, it’s just not my thing.

    I’ll worry about my biases and assumptions and you worry about yours. Fair enough?

    • Yes you’re right of course. Life is unfair, “learn to cope” is a totally gender neutral statement since men are no more oppressed than women in our society and both groups are equally well supported by our tax dollars. It’s not as though affirmative action, the legal system, liberalized gender roles, health care spending, media portrayals, selective service, tax-sponsored support services or anything else favor one sex over the other. Phaw.. LIfe’s unfair. You’re absolutely right and I don’t think you are making a gross over-generalization that happens to gloss over the problems of one sex by pretending they are both equally disadvantaged in our post-modern society.

      • A gender neutral statement is exactly that. Attempting to attach one gender’s issues or the other to it doesn’t change that. Nice try though.

        Men are oppressed differently. Trying to make a case for ‘more oppressed’ or ‘less oppressed’ is as ridiculous as trying to measure suffering.

        Affirmative action helps many men, just not white men usually, is that your real complaint? The legal system historically favored men until the last few decades – where were the male complaints then? Interesting huh? Not that this makes it right but it’s a point, and in order to make the legal system more fair it would do more good to speak to your representatives than rail against 52% of the population.

        Health care research and spending overwhelmingly favors men. If you’re going to spout information at the very least make it accurate. From the

        “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in 1977, barred women of childbearing age from clinical trials. Hence, for nearly a decade and a half, most medical research studies, including breast cancer trials, were done almost entirely on men.”

        So your ridiculousness has been proven numerous times now. Maybe you should find a hobby.

        • In case my name didn’t give it away. I’m not white. Nice try though.

          Blacks have complained for decades about how facially neutral policies, such as the war on drugs, are enforced in a manner that is massively and pervasively biased. Just because something is gender neutral on the surface doesn’t necessarily make it so sweety.

          You should really stop reading so much Women’s Studies ideological nonsense.

          Health care spending vastly over-emphasizes females who already live longer.

          You could say making men the guinea pigs for medicine discriminated against women. You could also say that not letting women die in war discriminated against them too (and in fact i’m sure you would.)

          Maybe you should try to get some real data that didn’t come from a feminist echo chamber?

          • Just saying something is biased doesn’t make it so.

            The ‘war on drugs’ is a farce in so many ways it’s hardly worth discussing but you brought it up so we’ll give it a go. The facts are that drug dealers, drug lords, etc. are overwhelmingly male. That law enforcement profiles minorities for arrest has nothing to do with gender issues.
            This is like saying it’s unfair that most serial killers are male. It’s just a fact.

            Please try citing facts. Health Care ‘spending’ is what individuals spend on health care personally, and yeah, women spend more on health care services, of course women have babies and men do not so that’s many thousands of dollars right there. Also, women tend to live longer and spend more in the geriatric years.

            Health care research, as I’ve already proven, is overwhelmingly done on men. If you want to call it using men as ‘guinea pigs’ just to prove your blind bitterness towards women runs so deep you can take any example of benefit to men and twist it into an attack on women just accept that you’ve shown your hand. Tipped it mightily some would say.

            ‘Not letting women die in war’ is a big theme in these comments. Of course no one bothers to point out that the elite men that made the rules also forbid women to go to war in the first place. Or, that until the U.S. had an established military women actually did go to war and fought right alongside men. Or that during the Civil war hundreds of women went so far as to costume themselves as men just to fight alongside men. Or that women served as nurses and war correspondents right on the front lines during every war, and that many were held as prisoners of war during WWI, WWII, the Korean war, and Vietnam. Or that women have been fighting in the U.S. for the right to go to combat for decades. Or the fact that the ruling men have used the term ‘protection’ to prevent allowing women to do most things throughout history much to the detriment of women. Nice try though.

            I would suggest you not only get informed but that you seek help. Anger and bitterness are a self inflicted poison.

  12. @ The Moderator

    Are you also going to censor all of the hateful comments and personal attacks made by the womynz?

    Or are you just White Knighting to protect the womynz feelings?

    I already know the answer.

  13. Site just refreshed and ate my comment. smh.


    She’s obviously wrong… doesn’t deserve our energy or time. The only men hurt by this article are the ones she’s talking about. Me, I’m too busy being the opposite of the guy she loathes to care. What’s important is that my daughter won’t grow up having this worldview because she’ll have seen a father live, love and sacrifice for his own wife and family in the manner in which the author’s apparent hurts and relationship failures preclude her from seeing.

  14. ‘Dog can’t hunt’ is an expression that in no way alleges “mental health problems, misogyny, bitterness, living in moms basement, abuser, small penis ”

    But your response plainly shows your hate and bitterness which of course is quite often the basis for a lack of rational.. Please seek help.

  15. 8dozenroses says:

    Men built this society. In fact, they have built, currently build and will continue to build most everything in our world. Who are the engineers for the most part? The scientists? The laborers? The garbage collectors?

    I have no idea where would we would be without their contributions.

    I suspect we’d still be in caves – nicely decorated ones, but caves nonetheless.

    I do NOT hate women. I think we can be wonderful. I know there are many wonderful, generous, beautiful and loving women out there. I just don’t see much of it online anymore. I see hateful whiners who are, in reality, very lonely and unloved. Sh!t, I wonder why?

    When I was 16 in 1972, I was told I could not go into broadcasting because I was female. I fought that and rightly so. (I never did make it in broadcasting but it was a due to an unexpected pregnancy for which I took full responsibility Best, ladies, to learn to say no if you don’t really want to do it. You guys as well. But I digress.) Fighting for one’s rights is a fair and just thing to do.

    How feminism turned into this – this horrible anti-male movement, I have no idea. All *I* wanted was to be permitted a chance to work in a field for which I was very well suited. I just wanted fairness and opportunity and yes, my rights.

    How did this happen – where women have ALL THE RIGHTS and NO RESPONSIBILITIES?? This is a travesty and terribly unfair to the very men who helped US get OUR rights. Whom do you think voted in favor of WOMEN voting? Men.

    Yes, some men are slackers but let’s take a look at the girls. There are FAR too many women who are self-entitled b!tches who think men should worship them simply because they are female. And I have to say it – MANY are obese and do not take pride in their looks. Call me a catty bitch but this is what I see. And then they wonder why American men don’t want their fat, whiney, self-entitled bitch asses? Please.

    I’m middle aged. I’ve lived 55 years now. Fighting for the right to be a broadcaster was one thing. Attempting to turn men into second class citizens is quite another. I’m ashamed of what is being done to our men. It’s no wonder many want nothing to do with us and, quite frankly, I can’t believe they are still marrying us.

    Again, I’m not women-bashing. But I just wanted to point out that it’s getting harmful, all this male bashing. We cannot live without them, ladies, and they deserve the same rights for which many of you so loudly clamor.

    • I feel the same way as you in a lot of ways, but I think there’s a flaw in the argument here. Yes, men have done much of the physical building of society and much of social building as well. Leaving aside the fact that women have contributed a lot, too, there is a fault in that logic. Even if one could prove that everything society is made by men, there is still the possibility that maybe if it were all made by women it would be even better. (I’m not saying that it would be, but that is just as valid a conclusion.)

      Your message also runs the risk of implying that everything bad in society is from men. If men are the ones who did everything, then women won’t get any credit for anything bad or good.

      Besides, male-bashing makes me laugh. I think male-bashing is cute and sexy.

  16. Dana is a such a sweetie. I hope she’s st ill single. I am going to set her up with my ex. He deserves a sweetie like Dana. ……ROFLMFAO.

    • Awww shucks. Aren’t you sweet? And SO clearly serious about this and in no way being a jerk. Yeah.

      Anyway, I’m married to a Marine. He thinks I’m pretty fabulous and that’s all I need to know.

  17. Why should I be a “good man” (as defined by this article) when there is a distinct lack of “good women”? But of course, you’ll never see that article, will you?

  18. Amen.


    Awareness, among us all, is always a good thing.

  19. I fail to see how that isn’t a description of what you are doing.

  20. If the article author would be so kind as to provide a list of pre-approved jobs, hobbies, and beverages for men, it would be most appreciated. I could really use a Do List and a Don’t List so I can more easily transform my life to meet her exacting standards. Such a simple prescribed list would we perfectly consistent with the _Cosmo_ level of analysis expressed in the article. I see I have been trying to develop my own sense of the appropriate life to live, but in doing so I have failed to conform to what an entire gender has wanted from me. Please help me by informing me about what I’m doing wrong and educating me about how I’m disappointing the women who want to change me.

    Thanks to this article, I can see that when my wife says she loves me the way that I am, she is really lying. Maybe I can show her this article and confront her with how she really feels, or show her how she is supposed to feel as a modern woman. My wife may just be settling for less than what she deserves. Thank goodness for her there are consciousness-raising articles out there from bastions of gender equality like the Wall Street Journal.

    • Me again.

      On second thought, I can see maybe I’m being disrespectful and unrealistic. Of course it’s impossible to fit all the prerequisites onto two short lists, and these judgments need to happen on a case-by-case basis anyway. Forget the lists.

      Instead, I’ll make a different request: could I get the address of the Central Committee in charge of these matters? I would like to send in my personal information, fill out the requisite forms, and get a ruling about my “goodness” level. (I assume there is a quantitative rating of some kind?) I hope the Committee could also recommend areas in which I could improve, so I can purify myself of false gender consciousness.

  21. The Wall Street Journal is the least of the offenders. They did publish the Hymowitz article, and received about 1500 readers comments, mostly negative, that were readily available on their site.
    The worst offenders are in the mainstream media, publications like the NY Times, the Washington Post and most of the liberal cable news and academia. I have a form letter I send to the Times and the Post every fathers day exhorting the feminists dominant at those publications to let the men off of their hands and knees one day per year and allow them to say a good word about fathers. Never happens.
    Just about all the mainstream media articles on parenting, family, men, boys, fatherhood, sex, women and girls are written by women, and feminist women at that. That feminists aren’t qualified to speak for or about men and boys is like water off a ducks butt for the media and academia. There is little new information in any of the treatments I’ve read. One can’t solve a problem until it is identified and discussed, so for now we just have the official politically correct party line discussions and the official politically incorrect responses with no real interchange going on.

  22. In 2011, young men have insanely higher expectations of women than they did in the sixties and nowhere near the obligations. Strange how the young men aren’t complaining as loudly about all of this no-strings attached sex, women’s sexual expression as performance art, insane demands on women’s appearance and the ability to get this all done while playing Halo and eating T-Bell. Progress isn’t pretty.

  23. If feminism were truly about equality, the gender education gap would be on their agenda. But, since it’s boys and men who are being discriminated against and suffering, they don’t care. In fact, they are privately celebrating as if they won the world series.

  24. Transhuman says:

    “Growing up” or “Manning up” is just the latest attempt to shame men into behaving the way some women want. I think it has the most effect upon boys and young men as the “reward” for being good is the possibility of sex. What truly Good Men can do is counter this BS with assertive reinforcement of what good men are to those who are vulnerable to this form of harassment.

    Women don’t define whether I’m a good man; I measure myself against other men I deem to be good men.

    • CajunMick says:

      “Women don’t define whether I’m a good man; I measure myself against other men I deem to be good men.”

      Well said.


  1. […] Hymowitz would probably say yes. But is that necessarily a bad thing? In the same issue of The Wall Street Journal that […]

  2. […] families.” We’ve seen this somewhere before, haven’t we? Oh yeah, we’ve written about it here, here, here, here, and everywhere else. Over at Gawker, Max Read hilariously hit it spot on: […]

  3. […] Matlack weighed in on Kay S. Hymowitz’s Wall Street Journal piece when it first came out, as did Good Feed […]

  4. […] Good Men Project This entry was posted in 10 Things. Bookmark the permalink. ← Global Issues in Media Global issues in the media → […]

  5. […] And I got all excited about the male stereotyping when the Wall Street Journal led with the headline: “Where Have All the Good Men Gone” and responded with this column. […]

  6. […] importance as Fathers. The Wall Street Journal, the same paper that published a headline asking “Where Have all the Good Men Gone,” published a great piece by SUE SHELLENBARGER, “The Secret of Dads’ Success: How […]

  7. […] beyond equality and to state, categorically, that not only all of the good men have disappeared, as the WSJ recently reported in one headline, but men, as a gender, have degenerated into just one more Charlie Sheen YouTube video gone […]

  8. […] pieces. Stay strong, I told myself.  This is about goodness not evil.  I’d written about the Wall Street Journal headline bemoaning the lack of good men. How many times had I counter-punched the Atlantic cover story announcing the end of […]

  9. […] How The Wall Street Journal Is Spreading Negative Stereotypes About Men — The Good Men Project Mag… […]

Speak Your Mind