Are Men Needy? No, Men are Good!

 

Anytime we get into these vast summary statements about one gender or the other it is fraught with peril.  I have definitely learned that the hard way.  One can say that men are at an end, education rates and workforce figures demonstrate the rise of the women and the fall of the man.  But if you look more carefully at the data by socio-economic group, by region, by industry and you get a much more complex picture.  Just as one example, when you think about the changing role of dads in our country you really can’t generalize across all dads without looking at class as a central issue.  Middle and upper middle class dads are certainly trending towards a much more activist parenting style with an increasing number of men staying at home by choice.  At the lower end of the spectrum we still have a large number of children growing up without fathers in the home and the dads that do stay at home to take care of the kids aren’t doing it by choice.

In my most recent piece, “Male Yearning,” I tried to write about a particular panel discussion in which I participated and make some generalizations purely from my own experience (always predicating my comments by the phrase, “the guys I know,” since that is really all I can speak to despite hearing from a lot more men than most by virtue of my role as founder of The Good Men Project) about guys’ desire to connect with each other and the women in their lives.

I am always interested in how my words, written with a novice hand and more often than not from the heart rather than with an expert command of the english language, strike the readers of my work.  Sometimes I am very pleasantly surprised how much casual musings can have a positive ripple effect, like my recent piece about what I want my sons to know. Other times, either in the comments or in follow up pieces that reference mine, I clearly have not communicated myself well enough to get through.

Today was one of those times I am left scratching my head once again about how my intent to raise men up, talk about our collective goodness, and embrace the women in our lives, can possibly get turned around into something negative.  Hugo Schwyzer, writing in Jezebel today, says: “The contemporary female version of ‘male yearning’ isn’t just ambition, it’s exhaustion.”  He goes on in his piece, “The Rise of the Needy Man,” to say “a growing number of men expect women to serve as perpetually available emotional beacons in their struggle to navigate the transition to adulthood and self-sufficiency.”

The idea that all women are exhausted by their emotionally needy and immature male counter-parts frames out exactly the stereotype of masculinity that the Good Men Project was founded to disprove once and for all.  If we are all a bunch of BudLight commercials walking around with our knuckles on the ground, or emotionally stuck in the fetal position, there really isn’t much to talk about is there?  But we’ve found that there is a vastly complex and nuance male experience that defies the gloss of being needy or immature or dead inside.

Hugo finds a sentence which is far from perfect to both point out my mindset and discout GMP at the same time:

In a phrase as garbled as it is instantly descriptive of a certain masculine mindset, Tom writes that most guys are struggling to figure out what “it means to be a man and to be good and to try to do things that are impossible despite the long odds.”

Let me unpack that for you Hugo. The boys who I speak to on a regular basis are all trying to figure out what it means to be a man. They are confused by the onslaught of negative stereotypes in the media, the prevalence of porn, the questions of life and death, war and peace.  The men I know (granted a small sample in the grand scheme of things but all I have to go on) aspire to be good.  Good dads, good husbands, good workers, good sons, good men.  But they don’t always know how or even what that means in the context of this personal circumstance.

A good number of men I meet in places like prison or schools in the inner city are looking at long odds.  But they have dreams.  Not dreams of great wealth or influence but of well being and responsibility and education. In fact I would say that all the men in my life–rich or poor, black or white, gay or straight–have aspirations for goodness that bump up against the kind of negative rhetoric that you and Hanna Rosin put out.  And in that sense their view is that perhaps they are facing long odds.  But they don’t care.  The decision to be good isn’t one based on potential outcome but rather a commitment to right action.

I hope that helps.  Men aren’t needy.  As I said before, men, in my limited experience, yearn for love of all kinds—romantic, sexual, fatherly, in work, in friendship.

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image http://www.stephensheffield.com/

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

Comments

  1. Labelling men “needy” is as helpful as labelling women “shrill” or “demanding.” It’s unhelpful generalizing, at best, and specious caricaturing at worst. The difference is, men are expected to nod their heads like chimps and go “Uh-huh, uh-huh” and agree with it. Men are regularly lambasted by women for being uncommunicative and out-of-touch with their feelings, and when they do communicate, or take responsibility for articulating those feelings, they’re dismissed as navel-gazing “mansplainers.” At some point, it become about feeding the bitchery machine, and that’s usually the point at which any useful dialogue stops, and the screeching and sulking starts.

    • Tom Matlack says:

      Yes Michael I do find it hard to understand how men can be accused of “mansplaining” but any attempt at describing the interior life of men is judged as hog wash, unless of course it involves a Darwinian view that male evolution stopped sometime around 2k BC.

  2. Good piece Matlack. I happen to think there’s nothing wrong with your ‘style’ of writing. Because you write about what you know from all your interacting with men of all stations of life . Those in the ‘Ivory Tower’ of academia , only write an opinion based on OTHER OPINIONS that they read. (Plus, your pal Hugo feels the need to bash men as some sort of pennance for being such a douchbag when younger.) Besides, I’ve never seen anything positive about men EVER written in Jezebel.

  3. Quadruple A says:

    Saying men are needy is a little bit like saying Jews are capitalists AND communists. Wait you say that men aren’t excessively independent stalwarts that value autonomy at the expense of interrelating? Well that’s because they are “needy”. Got it?

    What does it mean to be a man? Its a good question but I think its more important to be treated as human rather than be thought in terms of contradictory gender stereotypes. I don’t think men are confused so much as angry that no matter who they are as a person they will always be put in a gender box.

  4. Men may not be at end, but in Girls their psychological dependency is on display like never before. Think of Charlie, Marnie’s boyfriend. While having make-up sex in his painfully neat apartment, Charlie starts begging “don’t abandon me, okay, don’t make me feel safe and then abandon me.” Marnie –- who wanted Charlie back -– is so horrified by his desperation that she breaks up with him mid-coitus. We laugh in both disbelief and uncomfortable recognition at Charlie’s childlike, frantic craving for safety. We empathize with Marnie’s disgust with this hopeless man-child who decorates -– and verbalizes — like a woman but who crumbles like a thoroughly modern dude.
    I wonder how many guys have heard the old yarn that men should be able to open up about their vulnerabilities because “it means they are human”, “‘real men’ aren’t afraid to show their feelings”, and other lip servicing lines that once believed and acted on are treated like this.

    Bait and Switch.

    Now let me add something. I’m not saying that the Marnies of the world are obligated to stay with the Charlies of world. What I am saying is that it’s not fair to say that the Charlies must be able to admit their feelings and then turn around and beat them over the head with them.

    Also I wonder if Hugo is really reading what Tom and the others here are trying to say.

    This isn’t neediness that Tom and crew are trying to do here. They are doing exactly what people have been wanting men to do for a long time and that is to open up, grow, heal, develop, and be the full men that are needed for this world.

    That type of change doesn’t happen if men are limited to just admitting male privilege and then pledging themselves to helping women, which is what Hugo seems to expect.

    But his op-ed reads like a variation on Charlie’s plea to Marnie: women (starting with Rosin and others who peddle the “man crisis” trope) need to stop being so hard on men –- and start doing more both to appreciate them and to make them feel safe. It’s not quite Dean’s “just tell me and I’ll do it,” but it’s a close cousin to that plea: “if you only understood how hard I’m already trying, you’d lay off.”
    You see, this is the interpretation that one gets of Tom’s piece when you read it through the eyes and mind of a person that has already decided that women are the real victims of everything and when men speak up they are just trying to pass the buck on to women.

    What he doesn’t say is that guys today have so much less emotional resilience than we need them to possess.
    Actually that has been said HUNDREDS of times around here. Seriously how many times has the fact that a lot of men are not emotionally healthy and that that is something that we need to work on?

    I swear it’s almost like Hugo is actively trying to perpetuate the “Battle of the Sexes” so that he can continue to say that men are always up, women are always down, and men owe it to women to come halfway.

    • Quadruple A says:

      “Men may not be at end, but in Girls their psychological dependency is on display like never before. Think of Charlie, Marnie’s boyfriend. While having make-up sex in his painfully neat apartment, Charlie starts begging “don’t abandon me, okay, don’t make me feel safe and then abandon me.” Marnie –- who wanted Charlie back -– is so horrified by his desperation that she breaks up with him mid-coitus. We laugh in both disbelief and uncomfortable recognition at Charlie’s childlike, frantic craving for safety. We empathize with Marnie’s disgust with this hopeless man-child who decorates -– and verbalizes — like a woman but who crumbles like a thoroughly modern dude.”

      You know I was confused at first as to why you wrote this. I thought it was your own creative writing rather than something that Hugo actually wrote. This is scary shit. “Painfully neat apartment”, WTF? That’s Hugo’s own spin not the “Girls” TV show.

      Jezebel weirds me out. Its not just about feminism. Its about a particular macho bullying kind of mean girl feminism that doesn’t tolerate wussy men with clean apartments.

      Is this where are culture is headed toward? A world where being macho and a bully is the only way of being for both men and women? While the kind of feminism that stereotypes men as macho bullies is bad this new brand of feminism that tries to incorporate a worrying subtype of masculinity as the new human ideal is even worse.

      • I can understand you thinking I made that up but as you can see I didn’t.

        Jezebel weirds me out. Its not just about feminism. Its about a particular macho bullying kind of mean girl feminism that doesn’t tolerate wussy men with clean apartments.
        Yeah it reminds me of the idea that, “Our brand of shaming is okay but yours isn’t because our brand is right and yours is wrong.”

      • In my opinion a lot of male feminists are way more macho than even most traditional conservatives.
        Male feminists are another in a long list of bullies who point at others and shout “loser!” to make themselves feel better.

        The only thing that’s changed is the litmus test by which they determine men’s worth (embracing of female victimhood everywhere theory i.e. patriarchy) by which they determine men to be losers and worthy of scorn.

    • Joe Cardillo says:

      “This isn’t neediness that Tom and crew are trying to do here. They are doing exactly what people have been wanting men to do for a long time and that is to open up, grow, heal, develop, and be the full men that are needed for this world.”

      Amen. That’s exactly what’s refreshing about this site. As has been said before, while women are involved and encouraged to participate (and there are some smart, thoughtful, and compassionate women who’ve taken up that call), GMP is a conversation primarily about men’s experiences (duh). Hugo’s certainly not wrong about everything, but I too have been left scratching my head that we’re supposed to view so much through a lens of what it first means for women. It seems impossible, disingenuous, and goes against what I consider to be most important (regardless of gender): speaking your own truth and being honest about what you see / think / feel.

      • …but I too have been left scratching my head that we’re supposed to view so much through a lens of what it first means for women.
        Maybe it’s just me but I don’t scratch my head over it anymore because I think I see what is happening.

        From what I can tell men apparently deserve to be caught in a double bind of having to fix our own issues while still making sure that fixing women’s issues come first. If there is ever a conflict then fixing women’s issues take priority and when you finally get down to those men’s issues they are supposed to be looked at through the lens of “how does this affect women”.

        I remember a while back some said (I think it was Toy Soldier) that this type of thinking is to the effect of men being force fed a shit sandwich and it’s only a problem when women have to smell the resulting bad breath. In other words the priority isn’t to stop force feeding men shit sandwiches but to save women from having to smell the bad breath.

        Basically when something is harming men the metric to measure it’s importance is to look at how that something affects women.

        But hey maybe it’s just me.

      • Tom Matlack says:

        Thanks @Joe. Agree in spades.

  5. Hugo seems so disconnected from the reality of men that I am surprised anyone really takes him serious anymore. I may be a lil critical here ;) But quite frankly I’m sick of his whole attitude where women are victims, men are the big bad wolf, and now men showing vulnerability = men being needy and expecting women to fulfill them? It’s like he sees men as these invulnerable gods and women are mere peasants under their feet, powerless against a man, and now these gods demand the worship of their women? Is that what I am meant to get from his writings or am I completely wrong here? I truly hope I am wrong but something seems awfully off…

    Newsflash world, men are vulnerable too, you are just finally hearing about it now. We yearn for love like women do, we yearn for acceptance, yearn for a feeling of belonging, feeling like we matter, feeling that we are worth something, feel that we are needed even. Many men these days are probably feeling like we don’t know what to do, where we fit in, what is expected of us, what we are good for….Doesn’t mean men like me expect women to make us feel better, but it would be nice to feel loved you know. I know plenty of single men who are depressed and feel like their only worth is to work, provide money, and then what? A sense of direction? Where do we go.

    I think the solution is to tear down the whole “man up” and “eat cement n harden up” bullshit, allow men to open up about their feelings, have women actually acknowledge and accept them (as we should for them, everyone should do for everyone), and to be told simply that we matter. I grew up with the expectation of being a provider, protecting my wife, giving her everything and grew into an age where women worked and can protect themselves for instance. I figured out we all matter and can work together, that we don’t have to be heroes n saviors, don’t have to provide but share our workloads, put in 100% effort, live to be happy, work to live, not live to work. Find hobbies n passions, be creative, take care of your health and throw away old notions of men having to put up a strong face constantly but accept that we too bleed and need help from time to time.

    We need governments and our people to address where men and women fall behind, such as boys in schooling especially english, etc, girls in S.T.E.M fields, address violence against all people and not just women, address the health concerns of both genders/all people. Mental health, especially for men, needs a shitload more support for instance….

    /endrant

    • All good points, Archy.
      But we’re the ones who made the world so harsh in the first place. It’s a little late to call a foul.

      • Joe Cardillo says:

        @ Mike seems to me Archy’s coming at it from a practical perspective, not looking to assign blame or call a foul. In other words, let’s stop giving people narrow labels and instead encourage them to be whole humans and try to be models for that ourselves.

      • Oh did we now?

        So other than all of us being male how exactly did you surmise that “we” are the ones that made the world such a harsh place?

        Archy seems to be trying to say that instead of trying to make this all about how is at fault (which I find it infinitely funny that “we know men as a group didn’t create the world we live in” can be said out one side of the mouth while “men are the ones responsible for the world we live in” can be said out of the other) and trying to pass it off as “responsible” let’s just get all the cards out on the table, see who needs help and start helping people.

        Still never ceases to amaze me how pointing out girls/women needing help is a call for action but pointing out boys/men needing help is call to blame them for their own demise.

        • Danny:
          “Still never ceases to amaze me how pointing out girls/women needing help is a call for action but pointing out boys/men needing help is call to blame them for their own demise.”
          One has to remark, that Hugo Schwyzer’s piece is not so much about men failing and needing help (for example being unemployed, being homeless or being mentally ill), as it is about men not fulfilling the needs of women
          Hugo Schwyzer:
          “What he doesn’t say is that guys today have so much less emotional resilience than we need them to possess.” (emphasis mine)
          It is an article on a woman’s website, so the audience will be mainly women. Hugo describes the failing and neediness of men not by giving some objective dara, but by giving the image women give.
          In my experience the powerful and self sufficient can be more understanding of needy people than a needy person.

          • One has to remark, that Hugo Schwyzer’s piece is not so much about men failing and needing help…
            True and I didn’t mean to point that part of the comment at what Hugo was saying specifically but making an overall point. Forgot to clarify that.

  6. Professor H comes back off his month holiday and booom, he ‘does a Hugo’ and slide tackles at your knees. Hugo shows his dark instincts again. *rolls eyes*
    Incredible. What is wrong with the guy.
    Well, you rode the tackle, and left him on the ground looking silly

  7. I cannot think of one possible statement or claim that could be made about ALL men that wouldn’t have some exceptions. I’m really wracking my brain here and cannot come up with one thing that all men have in common… other than, “all men are men.” Which is less of a description and more of a circular statement.

    That’s what makes it hard to talk about Men as a group, without stopping every other sentence with a “your mileage may vary” disclaimer. When men bristle at generalizations or article titles like “Why do men catcall?” I get where they’re coming from, I sense the frustration, but at the same time it’s like…the author or editor who titled the article, in most cases (see? can’t even generalize there), is not out to target you personally, so if you read it and take it personally, that’s your choice.

    And believe me, I bristle too when I read a “all women are/want/do/have …” generalization that doesn’t apply to me or the women I know. No one likes being pigeonholed. We are all distinct individuals shaped by nature and by nurture and as unique as our fingerprints in how we view and experience the world. But we can embrace our individuality and wear it proudly on our sleeve while still being able to hold discussions about the patterns that emerge among specific segments of the global population. The individual does not invalidate the group.

    • KKZ:

      That’s what makes it hard to talk about Men as a group, without stopping every other sentence with a “your mileage may vary” disclaimer.

      This is true for nearly any group under the sun. But to some folks it seems that they just ignore this and just decide to monolith said group anyway (I bet you money that some of the very same people that monolith men as a group have no problem recognizing that feminists and women are not a monolith…).

      I get where they’re coming from, I sense the frustration, but at the same time it’s like…the author or editor who titled the article, in most cases (see? can’t even generalize there), is not out to target you personally, so if you read it and take it personally, that’s your choice.
      I think the problem is the presentation. Hugo’s article didn’t seem to be presented in a “Tom makes good points but there’s this bit here also….” but rather “This is what’s really going on with men…”. Which of course ignites the fires of having one’s own experiences ignored. And it also doesn’t help to be told that “if you point out these generalizations that we make that just you taking them personally, but if we point out generalization that you make it’s becuase they are a problem and you need to learn that ______s aren’t a monolith”.

      It’s like being told that “since you’re a part of a group and there are some in the group that are _____ that actually does invalidate you the individual because you are part of that group.

      • Well, I’m not defending Hugo – I haven’t gone over and read his piece yet (I’m trying to avoid this habit I’ve slipped into lately of getting so wrapped up in GMP discussions that I lose hours out of my workday).

        But I think it’s fair to say that Tom is seeing certain patterns of attitudes and behavior happening with the men he knows, speaks to, and hears from, and he frames it a certain way based on his overall worldview. Hugo sees different patterns within the same attitudes and behavior that Tom observes, and frames it a certain way based on HIS worldview – which, yes, is *significantly* different from Tom’s. And there’s a personality difference, too – Tom seems more apt to allow for exceptions and variations to his experiences, while Hugo presents things a bit more black-and-white, “this is how it is” (vs. “this is how I see it”).

        So you’re right – presentation definitely matters. And so does perception: if you (you the reader, not specifically you Danny) are familiar with Hugo and have read his work and already decided you don’t like it, I think you’re more likely to perceive his positions negatively and maybe even actively look for the flaws you expect to see.

        “It’s like being told that “since you’re a part of a group and there are some in the group that are _____ that actually does invalidate you the individual because you are part of that group.”
        Yeah I hear you. And if the author’s intention is to actually say that his reader’s individual experiences matter less than the big-picture patterns of the collective, then yeah, I agree it’s a shitty approach to take. But, it gets pageviews…and to my original point, it is immensely challenging to write about the collective in an inclusive way, and there are always going to be authors like Hugo who disregard or deprioritize inclusivity in favor of making a clear and concise (if controversial) point.

        • (I’m trying to avoid this habit I’ve slipped into lately of getting so wrapped up in GMP discussions that I lose hours out of my workday).
          Agreed. I’ve lost hours of my workday around here before as well.

          Yes perception does matter and truthfully with Hugo I actually do manage to keep an open mind when reading his stuff. I know it doesn’t seem that way because I’m neither an extreme MRA that thinks he can do no right nor an extreme feminist that thinks he can do no wrong but to me reading his material is like rolling dice. No telling how it will land.

          But, it gets pageviews…and to my original point, it is immensely challenging to write about the collective in an inclusive way, and there are always going to be authors like Hugo who disregard or deprioritize inclusivity in favor of making a clear and concise (if controversial) point.
          I understand that. Please let me say again that I am not saying that there must be inclusiveness of all experiences and people. What I’m saying is there is a difference between, “That’s not what we are talking about.” and “That doesn’t happen.”

      • Agreed, some folks do tend to monolith, regardless of whether they are aware, or allow for, variations from their stated positions and views. And there are always gonna be people who do that, who favor black and white over shades of gray. Calling them out on it and criticizing them for it is also unlikely to get them to change their minds or amend their statements – in fact, more likely that they will dig in their heels.

        …though I beg the question now, why does validation from Tom, or Hugo, or anyone else, really matter, so much that some readers get *so* angry about it? You know your own experiences. You know what’s true in your life, and maybe have insights into what’s true for other men too. You as an individual are already valid through the sheer act of existing, at least in my opinion. Let them say what they’re gonna say; it doesn’t have to have any bearing on how you live your life or conceive of yourself or others. (In my humble opinion. Which you’re totally free to ignore as well.)

        • Apologies if my comment comes up twice – I didn’t see it after a few hours and it no longer said “awaiting moderation” so I thought maybe it got modded out.

        • …though I beg the question now, why does validation from Tom, or Hugo, or anyone else, really matter, so much that some readers get *so* angry about it?
          Because (at least from my perspective) it’s not so much, “You must validate me.” but “Quit actively denying me.”

          You know what’s true in your life, and maybe have insights into what’s true for other men too. You as an individual are already valid through the sheer act of existing, at least in my opinion.
          Agreed.

          Let them say what they’re gonna say; it doesn’t have to have any bearing on how you live your life or conceive of yourself or others. (In my humble opinion. Which you’re totally free to ignore as well.)
          Actually I’m not sure that is really the case. What I’m getting at is a matter of the issues being addressed in a way that certain people experiences are ignored and when they try to bring them up they are treated as if they don’t exist or because they go against the generalization they must be wrong. And the bearing on how one that is dismissed like that comes in the form of being treated as no existent or at worst being treated as an active problem.

          Sure not the worst thing in the world but if we are trying to get those who “fairness for everyone” I don’t think it’s too much to ask to not be actively dismissed or ignored simply for not fitting into the generalization. Again not a demand for validation or acknowledgement, just a desire to not be treated as non existent or as a problem.

        • Because some can frame it in a way that denies our experience I guess.

        • Tom Matlack says:

          @KKZ agree completely. I really try very hard not to speak for other men. The whole point of GMP is to allow men in all our massive variety to speak their own truth, even when it is contradictory. I have said it a million times but when I a speak in public I always get the question, “What does it mean to be a good man?” and I always say “I don’t know,” which people get really frustrated with. I go on to say that I have some idea what it means to me having lived through periods where I completely screwed up. But my belief is that goodness and manhood are purely subjective experiences. I am not God so I can’t tell you what they mean to you. I can only share my story and maybe some of my buddies experiences. And then try to listen to yours. It’s that connection and storytelling where the magic happens IMO. The teller and the listener are both changed, inspired, made more whole by the connection.

    • Quadruple A says:

      Hugo’s diagnosis of segment of the male population is offensive. Hugo is gender policing. He is saying “man up” and be a man so that a woman can be a woman. Don’t be like that wuss with the clean apartment that’s feminine in some ways but oh so predictably breaks like a modern man. Women can’t handle that. They are exhausted and your oppressing them with your emotional demands.

  8. It is funny that while Hugo is complaining, like a stereotypical woman, on a woman’s site, Tom is looking for solutions to concrete problems on a man’s site, showing stereotypical male behaviour.
    About the topic: To me it seems that most men cope fine, they have problems but they solve them, they are sometimes weak, but they persevere. Some men have indeed troubles and are in need of help and emotional support, but so do some women. The gendered difference is not men’s and women’s “neediness”, but more likely the societies expectations for men’s self reliance.
    Hugo bases his aticle on two films and a seemingly lurid book, not a very solid foundation, but he writes a remarkable sentence, which tells us a lot about himself and what he expects of his audience at Jezebel:
    ” Charlie starts begging “don’t abandon me, okay, don’t make me feel safe and then abandon me.” Marnie –- who wanted Charlie back -– is so horrified by his desperation that she breaks up with him mid-coitus. We laugh in both disbelief and uncomfortable recognition at Charlie’s childlike, frantic craving for safety. We empathize with Marnie’s disgust with this hopeless man-child who decorates -– and verbalizes — like a woman but who crumbles like a thoroughly modern dude.”
    The part I find most interesting is:
    “We empathize with Marnie’s disgust…”
    because I don’t empathise. If Marnie reacts with disgust to her boyfriend presenting himself as weak and vulnerable, then she obviously has no love for him. To me her disgust implies something like: “damn, this sex toy is broken, I got to get rid of it”. So my question is who is the “we”, who empathise with the disgust? And how do they form intimate relationships?

    • Tom Matlack says:

      Very good point and question Alberich.

    • …because I don’t empathise. If Marnie reacts with disgust to her boyfriend presenting himself as weak and vulnerable, then she obviously has no love for him. To me her disgust implies something like: “damn, this sex toy is broken, I got to get rid of it”. So my question is who is the “we”, who empathise with the disgust? And how do they form intimate relationships?
      Damn good point.

      Marnie is disgusted with her boyfriend admitting his vulnerabilities. Not just deciding that is not the kind of man she wants to be with, which is cool. But that he is digusting.

      Flip this around and say with a straight face if Charlie were to feel disgusted with something about Marnie it would play out the same. If this were Marnie saying that she didn’t need him to be her stoic rock and he found it digusting would we be seeing a push to sympathize with Charlie’s disgust or would we be seeing a push to say that Charlie is disgusting for feeling disgust over a woman admitting her strength?

      There seems to be a double standard that says would should be free to operate all over the board and while you may not like it you have no business passing judgement on it but men that operate all over the board can be judged accordingly.

  9. Are women “exhausted by their emotionally needy and immature male counterparts”?

    After 20 plus years of togetherness, I will admit it is overwhelming to see your husband have panic attacks (i.e.; losing his wallet on vacation, freaking out about missing an international flight while on line at the airport, and dealing with siblings in denial over a terminally ill family member)….its hard when I am going through personal crises of my own and he can’t listen to me, let alone support me…(that’s what your close friends and relatives are for, I guess)….I agree, with Tom, ….we all have our ups and downs….the cool, sexy dude I met in the late 80′s has revealed many of his vulnerabilities over the past few decades (lots of stuff I never expected to see!)…..

    I have known my karate sensei for a few years…but I have seen him regularly (sometimes once, sometimes 2 – 3 times a week)….through various crises: unemployment, illness, infertility, and now impending fatherhood…the strong impenetrable tough guy exterior has been ripped away….and it is scary and frightening to me to see the freaked out, vulnerable, anxious guy underneath….sometimes I wonder if he is fully grown up…

    All I know is that I will try my best to support my sensei through new fatherhood: listening, texting, and maybe even babysitting! I don’t think my husband was really ready for fatherhood when it happened to him…luckily, our family and friends were close by to support us and strengthen us….if a man is weak and needy, you just try to plug the holes and help out….even when he doesn’t know how to ask for help….

  10. I’m shocked he left the site on his own, let alone was apart of the site at all.
    I’ve read every article he’s done for this site and some of his recent ones.
    This isn’t a man i simply disagree with, this is a man who’s dangerous to anyone who truly wants to help men and improve the relationship between the sexes.

    • John Schtoll says:

      Well said William

    • Tom Matlack says:

      Yeah I am not far away from that POV William after he nickpicked my English in an attempt to pile drive me into the ground. But I am all about walking away from the fight this time. I learned my lesson last go round. Better to stay true to what we are trying to do here at GMP than get sucked into a giant gender war. That has no point.

    • I understand why you feel this way but like Tom says let’s not get sucked into that. All that will happen is that any and all valid critique of his work will just get written off as invalid on the grounds that it’s being pointed at him rather than what he is saying. In fact this is how a some of his criticism is written off now as it is. It’s not because his arguments may have holes, no its because we hate the poor male feminist that wants to “help women”.

      No thanks.

      • @ Danny
        You can only have a discussion with someone who’s open to hearing what you have to say, not someone who’s ready to cover their ears, walk away and dismiss you the moment you say something they don’t like.

        If you’re going to be told that you’re “Mansplaining” or that your “Male Privilege” makes you unable to discuss certain matters than why should you continue to debate with someone.
        Anyone using terms like “mansplaining” isn’t someone we should be having discussions with.

  11. This peace (Hugo’s not Toms) is hugely distressing as it appears that he has done almost a complete 180 from what he used to believe. This is the guy that once encouraged men to be open and vulnerable now saying actually don’t be that way you just luck pathetic just suck it up and take it.

  12. Mr H., at heart, is a very conservative gender ambulance driver rushing to the next gender bender incident. Critiquing a critique is the end product, and much like mortgage derivatives, the purpose is to push risk/responsibility elsewhere. This is what a conserved mind does.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] For a response to Hugo Schwyzer’s piece criticizing this piece read: “Are Men Needy? No, Men are Good!” [...]

  2. [...] in part by an article Tom Matlack posted titled Are Men Needy? No, Men are Good and Hugo Schwyzer’s The Rise of the Needy [...]

  3. […] in part by an article Tom Matlack posted titled Are Men Needy? No, Men are Good and Hugo Schwyzer’s The Rise of the Needy […]

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