The New Feminism?

We need to start thinking about manhood differently. And by “we,” I don’t just mean guys—I mean women too. Maybe what’s really going on is more of a role reversal than either men or women realize, or are ready to admit. But denying this reversal won’t help; it can only dig us all deeper into today’s male identity crisis.

Every time I approach major corporations about talking to their employees about what it means to be a good man, they steer me toward their executive women’s group—who, they insist, would be delighted to talk about manhood. When I ask why they don’t have a men’s group, the response is an unsatisfactory combination of legal rules (it could be viewed as illegally discriminatory against women) and pop psychology.

It’s a funny thing about men. We don’t like to complain. In fact, some would say that we don’t really know how to talk about anything other than a box score or stock table. Women have shelf upon shelf of books, and countless magazines devoted to how to juggle conflicting female roles in the modern world. On TV, there’s Oprah, Ellen, and Dr. Phil. Most guys wouldn’t be caught dead watching that stuff, but for many women the magazines, books and TV shows provide a forum to talk through the practical implications of the feminist revolution.

Before I go further, let me say this: I was raised by a mother who burned her bra and who instilled in me the importance of female equality. Nothing I’m about to say is meant to undercut the need for feminism. Women, on average, still do not make as much money as men. Sexual exploitation in the form of pornography and prostitution is a serious problem, and it’s only getting worse. Men control the top spots in politics, corporate America, and entertainment. Much more still needs to be done to rectify these inequalities. But gender politics is not a zero-sum game.

Women have just as much incentive to help guys to figure out the new rules of manhood as men have in supporting women in their quest to overcome the obstacles of overt sexual discrimination.

Many men are in crisis. Most guys I talk to quietly acknowledge that they’re struggling to “do it all.” Sound familiar? That’s what women have faced all along: how to have a career while also being a mom and wife. Well, we want to be more involved as fathers and husbands. But no one has set the workplace bar any lower, so that men have the time they need at home with the family.

Seventy percent of the jobs lost during the most recent recession were held by men. The vast majority of those fighting our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are men. Generations of boys are growing up without fathers. Boys are falling behind girls in school. Male incarceration and recidivism rates are higher than ever. Divorce laws in many states are grossly unfair to decent, loving dads who want to play a role in their children’s lives.

In spite of this, the media are still consumed with the old feminist battle cry, to the exclusion of the predicament of boys and men. Maybe guys need to complain more publicly about how hard it is to be a good father and husband, and still bring home the bacon. Maybe we should have our own cable network—not for ultimate fighting or pornography, but for guys to talk about trying to do it all while the wife, kids, and boss expect more than ever.

It’s up to us guys to speak out. Certain stereotypical behaviors are killing us: we don’t like to talk much and when we do, we compartmentalize. Maybe it’s some deeply embedded instinct to leave home and go hunt gone awry. But today’s caveman isn’t faring so well. It’s time to learn how to be the same guy at home as we are at work, to integrate the multiple challenges of male life, and to speak to each other candidly about ourselves, rather than suffering silently.

The most macho thing in the world is to be a loving father. To be a faithful husband. To put food on the table. Even more macho is to come clean about how hard it is to try to try to be all those things at the same time. Women have been doing for fifty years. Now it’s our turn.

♦ ♦ ♦

Tom Matlack, together with James Houghton and Larry Bean, published an anthology of stories about defining moments in men’s lives — The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood. It was how the The Good Men Project first began. Want to buy the book? Click here. Want to learn more? Here you go.

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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. Roger, Jim-

    I am angry. I am angry because girls and women have achieved an untouchable privileged status in society by beating down the opportunities of boys and men.

    I use historical quotes because Feminism circa 2010 is rooted in all the myths, assumptions, and tactics from Feminism circa 1950’s 60’s and 70’s.

    As an example of Feminist Myths-

    In early 2009, Obama’s Labor Department released the results of an exhaustive study proving that the “Gender Wage Gap” that Feminists insist are the result of bias is a Myth. Quote”The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.” http://www.the-spearhead.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Gender-Wage-Gap-Final-Report.pdf

    Women want a society with their gender is entitled to a privileged status, obtained through government-subsidized professions as well as favorable judgments in family and criminal courts. They have been profoundly successful, partially because of their status as the majority voting bloc in this country and also because men are much less inclined to think as a united front.

    If you are really concerned about the state of boys, you should also be very concerned that public schools have been organized to favor the learning style of girls. Also, there are dozens of governmental and NGOs supporting the education of women and girls, and very little comparable resources for men. Women also have the advantage of way more college scholarship opportunities, Title IX, and affirmative action.

    If you are concerned about boys without fathers, you should be very concerned that in cases of divorce, women are very likely to obtain full custody of their kids regardless of the facts of the divorce in question.

    If you are concerned about the abuse of children, you should also be aware that women commit the majority of child abuse in this country according to statistics. Such as this report Department of Health and Human Services http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm06/chapter5.htm

    I will agree with you that men tend to be more violent than women. Men also tend to be more innovative and productive over a lifetime. Statistically, men inhabit the low and high extremes and women inhabit the middle in a whole lot of ways. Just one of those things.

    I have been reading “Good Men” for awhile. And while many men seem good-intentioned, and I occasionally see ideas i agree with, I emphatically do not believe that spreading feminist myths about inequality and letting feminists help determine the male agenda will help.

  2. …Curse those green pants Tom! ;-)

  3. Jim Parkevich says:

    Hey anti-feminist…
    Sorry, you really did not score very many points with me tonight and I am quite sure, not many more points
    with a majority of men on this sight.. Again, your excellent ability to state what you perceive as fact is really open to a wide range of interpretations. And you defend the most narrow interpretation(s) of the facts as your righteous truth. BULLSHIT..
    You state that women want government “power” to equalize their status at all levels..Well, I checked my facts and out of America’s top 500 corporations, (13) THIRTEEN, are CEO’s of these companies. Does that percentage spread fill you with doom and gloom that women are taking over?
    Are you now or have you ever been a teacher? Where the hell do you get off suggesting schools are set up to standards only for girls or women? I have been substituting for several years now and can attest to the following. At a macro level, education in this country is failing miserably for both young women and boys. I have heard enough to make a sane man scream: my mommy is in jail, I don’t know my daddy, my ole’ lady is a prostitute, my dad killed someone in a drug deal and is on the lam’
    On a micro level, I was fortunate enough to have subbed in some fabulous schools. One school here in Columbus, Ohio is “Columbus School for Girls” Young women there exceed at the highest levels of education, not to become secretaries, which I bet is what you prefer. They toil in their education to become surgeons, researchers, bankers and corporate leaders. The Wellington School in Columbus is a private academy. Their female valedictorian earned a full ride scholarship to Brown University.
    Of course, several of the boys, a grade fraction beneath her are going on to MIT. That this young lady finished first, does that scare your machismo.
    Do I care about boys without fathers? As a compassionate human being, of course I do. But lets take a look closer at the underlying problems. Again you twisted the facts to blame women and the new “divorce” ethos, where women always win. That may well be true in the higher strata of society which really, on a fractional basis, is a very, very, very small percentage. The majority of “fatherless” boys originates in the lower levels of American society and seems to be a self perpetuating problem. I have tried to teach children who are hungry, emotionally disturbed because of their home life, sick with the flu and totally disinterested in education.
    So I will give one fact as being reasonably competent. Mothers trapped in these lower socio-economic
    regions do commit a lot of violence against their children. These women are learning this abuse by each generation. AND IT IS TIME FOR GOOD MEN TO STEP UP AND LEND A HAND, TO TEACH PEOPLE CAUGHT IN DESPERATE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT THEY CAN IMPROVE THEIR LIVES. I think though, that you would be perfectly content to let these people continue to kill each other off at alarming rates even beyond what exists today.
    Yes, you have your facts. BP has it’s facts and very little oil is leaking out and the damage to the ecology
    of the Gulf will be minimal. As I said before, facts can be bantered about forever. The one fact, I find in these posts, is that men are trying to figure out how to help other men, our spouses and our children.
    And how do we help a nation that is rapidly loosing it’s way in the world of the 21st century.
    The rest of the useless facts are just so much BULLSHIT

  4. Roger Durham says:
    June 11, 2010 at 10:21 am

    “A-F, Teachers come in all shapes and sizes. Feminism did not arise in a vaccum. Neither did this dialogue. Cultures evolve, in part, through public discourse. Thanks for weighing in. The quotes you included are extreme. My question is, “How did we so marginalize women that they had to take such an extreme stance?”

    If you, and/or others, are interested, here are a few books that you may like to check out:

    Power in Eden: The Emergence of Gender Hierarchies in the Ancient World
    by Bruce Lerro

    The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era
    by Steve Taylor

    The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy
    by Allan G. Johnson

    • To imply that men marginalized women or that marginalization forced women to become modern day version of KKK clansmen in all but white sheet is idiotic. No one marginalizes women but women and the same goes for men. For instance, Hillary Clinton really wanted to play house rather than run for President. Thank goodness she doesn’t inhabit the Oval Office now. This double-bind blame game comes right from the hate-full feminist playbook. As such it is ‘sameless’ for men to use on other men.

  5. Ah, Brian, you bring to mind a line spoken by Det. Somerset in the movie Se7en:
    “It’s impressive to see a man feeding off his emotions. ”

    “No, this is what women taught you.”

    Wrong again. This is what many years of being an anthropologist has taught me.

  6. Don’t you get the feeling Brian and Peter are the same guy, typing away in his mother’s basement and railing against marriage and women not out of some effort to be noble or address a societal ill, but because there isn’t a woman in her right mind who would agree to a date with such a clearly warped “man?”

    Take your meds and go away.

    I’m all for dissenting viewpoints and constructive disagreements, but you’re a rambling psychopathic moron who brings nothing to the table. Be gone.

  7. Wow, this is an interesting discussion. It started out sort of civilized and now it’s turned into a testosterone-fuelled war. Clearly, there is a lot of suppressed emotion rising to the surface here. I think that is a good thing.

    I really enjoyed your article, Tom, and agree with most of it. But there’s a lot of disagreement with you as this thread moves on and most of it is because on this paragraph here:

    “Nothing I’m about to say is meant to undercut the need for feminism. Women, on average, still do not make as much money as men. Sexual exploitation in the form of pornography and prostitution is a serious problem, and it’s only getting worse.”

    Personally, I think the need for feminism today is non-existent. There once was a need, but it is gone. I say that because women are doing better than men in virtually all measurable ways I know of. And in the ways where they don’t – such as the wage gap – it’s by choice, and not because of some evil agenda of female discrimination.

    I’m also curious why we think the women who do porn exhibit a unique lack of free will. As if they were forced to do it. Why is a woman automatically a victim if she decides to do porn? I’ve seen documentaries about this. I saw women surrounded by male managers, lost men who seemed like they were only managing porn stars because that’s the one way they had found to get close to beautiful women. The women knew how to take advantage of that and placed demands on their managers. They wanted a car, they got a car. They wanted more money, they got more money. The managers were only too eager to please. I’m not sure if that is representative of the whole picture, but that’s what I saw in this case.

    If we’re talking about a victimization through porn, what about all the guys who sit in darkness jacking off to mechanistic sex? Why are they never part of the equation? What do they learn about how matters of the heart relate to sexual intimacy? Instead of learning about true sexual intimacy, they turn into afraid premature ejaculators.

    Also, women don’t earn as much money on average as men because they choose more comfortable and less dangerous jobs. Warren Farrell has documented this all for us

    It may actually appear that men are, as a whole, much more the targets of discrimination today than are women. Women are uniquely equipped to shame men – mothers have been doing it with their boys since the beginning of time – and since men are now so incredibly ashamed, we are only too eager to rectify the situation. Problem is – there’s no situation to be rectified – only men and women making different choices – so any affirmative action we may take to help women is actually in effect discrimination against men.

    Equality means you have the same responsibilities and the same benefits. Gender equality in the feminist universe means that women gets all of the benefits of men, while getting none of the responsibilities, while men get all the responsibilities of women, while getting none of the benefits.

    I think it’s important to address these things, otherwise there will be some really angry men out there. Just look at this thread.

    Eivind

  8. Brian and I are definitely NOT the same person, nor does it seem that we even live in the same country (unless one believes that the United States of America encompasses the entire globe).

    What Warren Farrell has documented is, in my opinion, suspect, as he lays out his “facts” in too simplistic a manner. The “truth” behind the gender wage gap, for example, is more complex than his simple assertions. For instance, the capitalist corporate structure was designed with men and “traditional” men’s work, combined with cheap domestic labour (i.e., stay-at-home-to-take-care-of-the-workhorse-and-the-house-and-the-children wives), in mind. It was NOT designed with familial/social responsibilities that extend beyond bread-winning in mind. To be sure, there are women who take advantage of this arrangement, but for the most part, it was not women who designed the corporate structure for which only a handful of (mainly) men chiefly accumulate wealth from the fruits of other men’s labours.
    When women are employed in the public sphere, they tend to choose jobs that might allow greater flexibility to allow them to also be available to take care of family above and beyond economic support. Why is it a country that extolls the virtues of family and decries the demise of the family also holds fast to an economic structure that values accumulation of wealth over family. Ah, they’re talking about the “traditional” family, the family that bears the corporate structure in mind.

    Sure, men ARE the targets of discrimination……but MUCH MORE SO at the hands of OTHER MEN than at the hands of women!!! Even those victims of porn who are never part of the equation are victims of a predominantly “by men and for men” industry!! And a very profitable industry, I might add! How seriously do you think women are taken if they speak out against porn? They’re not, they’re branded as man-haters, wanting to take away men’s fun!

    How is it that MOTHERS have been shaming their boys since the beginning of time? Humans inhabited the earth before the rise of the honour/shame code which arose in the ancient Greek city-states, where mothers had NO say in the raising/education of their boys. In fact, boys were taken from home to begin their education and training (provided by men only) at the age of 6 or 7, this education and training sometimes not ending until they were in their late 20s or early 30s. ’twasn’t the mothers that shamed the boys……

    Yes, there are indeed some angry men out there, and far be it for me to deny these men their anger. But to continue to lash out and feed off each other’s anger ends up being counter-productive. To be sure, anger is a great motivator……. but then one has to take a step back from the anger in order
    to hopefully gain a broader perspective and not get stuck in the rut of push-pull, finger-pointing, stick-poking that seems to be the driving force behind BOTH reactionary angry women’s and angry men’s groups.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that, through the ages, men have, by and large, been the authors of their own demise, and we continue to keep ourselves blinded to the fact that the harms inflicted upon us have been, for the most part, by other men. And we will continue to be blind if we continue to focus upon and blame women exlusively for our ills rather than taking a good, hard look at ourselves!

  9. Okay, I guess it does make me look a bit schizophrenic when I appear to be quoting someone whose posts no longer appear on this thread.

  10. A few responses to ‘Peter':

    gdgm+ says:
    June 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    “There was an earlier poster here who asked, “How did we so marginalize women that they had to take such an extreme stance?”
    Are you KIDDING me?!? Many would say that the *opposite* of “marginalizing women” has occurred in the last 40 years…”

    The earlier poster MAY have been referring to the thousands of years prior to the last 40 years.

    Ummm, that’s not proven, certainly not in *this* thread.

    Brian says:
    June 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    “Now it is time for war.”

    Yes, that seems to be the definitive answer to the world’s ills, forcefully taking control over others.

    Meanwhile, the world’s wars go on…

    Peter says:
    June 13, 2010 at 11:47 am

    And we will continue to be blind if we continue to focus upon and blame women exlusively (sic) for our ills rather than taking a good, hard look at ourselves!

    I’m calling bullsh*t on this lazy cliché, which can be answered by another cliché: “It takes two to tango”.

    Finally, I *do* like and respect Eivind’s line of reasoning – I hope he takes it further. I’m not angry, just bemused by the nature of all this.

  11. ” I am for better or worse a stay at home Dad I do the majority of kid’s work-
    driving, chauffering, nurse maid, homework, staying home for the summer, cooking
    dinner etc while my wife works full time. It is unbelievably fulfilling and
    degrading at the same time.”

    Yes the transition to women as breadwinner will be tough but we must reverse
    gender roles in the globalized economy. Read “The End Of Men” article in The
    Atlantic magazine. In the future it is women who will work and men who stay home
    as this will be the most economically viable solution being that women will for
    the most part out earn men. Globalization is specialization and in the
    transition America has decided to focus on the growth and specialization in
    female industries which are mainly Service Sector related.

    Don’t think of it as degrading. The role of homemaker was never degrading that’s
    just what women were made to believe to get them in the workforce. The Soviets
    did the same thing during the communist revolution. Besides we will have all the
    power that women gave up. If we decide to leave them we get to take the children
    and make women support us financially from an empty apartment.. It’s a sweet
    deal if you ask me.

    —–

    “At school pick up the Women mostly snub me”
    Oh believe me they will, I’ve heard a lot of guys talk about this. Women resent
    men taking on their role and will try and ostracize you from their all girls
    club group. We must continue the social programming campaigns to habituate the
    gender role reversal the best we can.. Men and women are not designed to switch
    roles but the globalized economy along with feminism and “women first”
    Affirmative Action \ Title IX \ gender quota laws etc are to overpowering… We
    must become accustomed to the role change.

    —–
    “Stop judging others for accidents of biology. Be the best PERSON you can be,
    man or woman.”

    Dear lord sir, males are not accidents of biology.. The New York Times
    columnists tried to say that in her celebrated book “Are Men Necessary” and even
    cited studies showing that men were going extinct. This is simply not true.. Men
    deserve to live sir…. I wish there was something I could do to help the men
    here!

    —–

    “The womens movement is all about women being able to make their own choice. Men
    have to realise they can make their own choices as well Like for example, the
    choice to be the primary caregiver.”

    Very true, things are so fluid, androgynous and ambiguous that no one knows
    what to do. Everything must be discussed and planned out in detail between men
    and women BEFORE they commit. You can’t assume anything anymore. I say openly on
    my online dating profile that I want to be a stay at home Dad. Strangely it’s
    been about a year now and no response from women…

    Anyway, this means that men MUST demand the right to fluid gender roles as
    women have. Women must be willing to support us if we want to stay home
    especially since men will not be making as much money as women in the near
    future. Men MUST make the choice to not be the only gender who does not have
    choices. Women must take care of stay at home Dads and support us with alimony
    and child support should we decide to leave them..

    ——
    “A man, however, who takes the same amount of time off, is going to have to deal
    with suspicion and accusations of being a freeloader.”

    Yea it’s going to be an uphill battle with women but they must accept the
    fluid androgynous feminist gender role construct, that is to say their are no
    gender roles and everything is nebulous and subjective and relative not
    absolute. There is going to be a large amount of confusion before we convince
    people that there is no gender but we are luminous, transient and sentient
    beings.

    ——
    “I keep on thinking of my high school graduation where about 100 or so more
    women graduated than men in our class (we had around 900 people graduating in
    total) or how my college — a large public university — is nearly three-quarters
    female.”

    Don’t worry about this, if anything we need to continue catapult women to the
    top women female only scholarships and loans along with curriculum in primary
    schools designed to push females ahead, the transition must be aggressive and
    pushed hard. I think women first laws like “Affirmative Action” and Title IX
    are a good start.

    The Council On Women and Girls wants to expand enforcement of
    these which will help reduce men from the 40% representation they have now to
    somewhere in the 20% range. I believe it was the New York Times that published
    an article stating that we should expect 1 in 5 men not to have any job at all
    in The New Economy. This equates to about 18-20 million men.. I think the large
    preponderance of purposefully marginalized men can be used as cannon fodder in
    war or will make a great Revolutionary Army here at home….

    ——
    “There are thousands of academic studies that prove this. Therefore, they have
    used Government to unequal the playing field. Which shortsighted vote-chasing
    politicians have been more than happy to oblige.”

    Oh yes, the problem is negatively compounding in a type of gynocentric
    consummation. The dichotomy is quite interesting. I suggest watching the video
    WORKHORSES OF THE MATRIARCHY on YouTube to get a grasp on the phenomena of
    gynocentric consummation.

    ——

  12. “Recently I’ve personally been under the belief that too many men try to wrap themselves in this macho, aggressive manifestation of masculinity that is not only counter-productive for society but dangerous for people in general”

    Oh yes, we need to implement some sort of feminization project and perhaps chemical castration.
    The feminists have a lot of funding behind breaking down men but we MUST DO MORE..
    Here is what Men For Change and the conglomerate has to say:

    There’s a male relational paradox that happens at age 2, 3, 4, 5. After a few years of experiencing growth and connection, there’s a fork in the path. All the pressures in the culture demand that the little boy disconnect from his relationship with his mother to become a man. The culture says only in disconnection can you become a strong self that can grow.

    People tell me, “You’re just talking about the feminization of men! You just want men to become like women.” We’re not talking about the feminization of men, but about the “relational-ization” of both genders. If that, in this culture, is taken as feminization, we are in big trouble. That’s what we’re up against.

    In our work, we ask thousands of eighth-grade boys, “What do you want girls to know about you?” It rips your heart out to hear what they say: “I’m not really like this. I’m a nice guy underneath. I act like a pervert, but I really care. Don’t believe my behavior and my actions.”

    “Society has been trying to develop a model where these men can be reached when they are children and thus re-programmed to be submissive and not aggressive. There are all kinds of pilot programs in schools (most developed my feminists) to teach young boys to be less aggressive. Most of these programs fail because being aggressive is a part of being a boy. But if these boys can be taught and encouraged to be submissive to the female gender and to view the female gender with respect and admiration, studies show they stand a great chance of growing up to be law abiding and less violent.”

    We are doing well with isolating young males from contact with masculine culture. Sole female authority in early development is paramount in breaking down males and the male archetype. With the combination of single mother homes and all female school system we can systematically break down males and feminize them. We can then recruit these males, train them and send them into schools to break down and feminize more boys.

  13. “Maybe guys need to complain more publicly about how hard it is to be a good father and husband, and still bring home the bacon. Maybe we should have our own cable network—not for ultimate fighting or pornography, but for guys to talk about trying to do it all while the wife, kids, and boss expect more than ever…The most macho thing in the world is to be a loving father. To be a faithful husband. To put food on the table. Even more macho is to come clean about how hard it is to try to try to be all those things at the same time. Women have been doing for fifty years. Now it’s our turn.”

    Maybe you should undergo Sexual Reassignment Surgery and get a neo-vagina. Because, being a good beta male is not the most macho thing in the world.

    • Roger,

      Women have a vested interested in what is pejoratively known as “patriarchal” masculinity. Rather than babbling about new feminisms we need to be talking about new masculinities that is gender standards that serve us rather than the babes who need us to be big bad superheroes for feminine security. Joel Salatin one of our best natural farmers nails the whole thing in this YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHOYn6RjCLY Notice how one must be very masculine to strong enough to be feminine…and the reverse is also true for women. “Good” guys who have never really done the masculine work will never be worth anything because they bore women and disgust men.

    • Transhuman says:

      When men complain they are described as whinging, weak, unattractive or hating women. One of our first steps needs to be the abandonment of the socially acceptable desire to please women and to speak the truth regardless of whether it makes feminists and women unhappy.

      For example, the behaviour exhibited by married men, where they will accept matters and remain silent just for peace in the family unit, is destructive. Women do not have a corner on wisdom, they have no secret access to knowledge that is unavailable to men. If men want to improve the current situation vis a vis women then we need to stop treating them like semi-mature girls and treat them like fully functioning adults. Ensure laws are truly applied as gender neutral, benefits are gender neutral. Sure they may complain about it but sticks and stones and so-on.

      Second, a good man is most certainly not defined by a women’s focus group, or any female feminist. Men need to define themselves, collectively and separately. Unless you are a man, any conclusions you come to about masculinity is guesswork.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Why do you hate women so much? (sarcasm!)

        Yes to all this. I’m not sure where you’ll take this, but I like what it says so far.

  14. Conditional Male Apologist says:

    Tom,

    Please read Steve Moxon’s The Woman Racket before you try to talk ‘partnership’ to men. Partnership depends on respect, reason, and balanced responses. I’ll tend to believe in SEXUAL equality as soon as is see 50 female soldiers shipped home in boxes for every 50 male soldiers (rather than 2 for 98 now).

    Ironically men secure the freedoms that feminists now abuse to destroy boys as boys, demean men as men and ridicule masculinity. Feminists also trash other feminists (liberal and conservative) who dare to challenge the Party Line. When fainthearted men become to ‘good’ to defend fundamental male principles you gotta wonder what the hell happened to us.

    • CMA,

      Well said. Women have not so much been given equal rights as they have been granted special class privileges.

  15. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I’m more comfortable with the concept of a basically honorable man. I think some of the reprogramming cited above can never work for biological reasons– pretty simple. In spite of what people say here, and I really like GMP by the way, women in the long run will respond to fairly strong men (even if they [the women] are nominally feminists.)

    I’ve occupied some stereotypical female roles in my life. I have a PhD now, but I worked for 15 years as a vocational nurse on psych wards while putting myself through school. I was the primary or day parent for my daughter for her first four years or so.

    At the same time, I studied martial arts for many years and was a six-year Army vet. At the time, there were very few women in the military.

    I think we’re best off cleaning up men’s abusive behavior, not trying to reprogram men. Humans need what males have to offer.

  16. Feminism is anti-male. The only things feminists are interested in discussing related to males is how much they victimize women and girls. Per feminism, any imagined male problems are simply the just deserts for their trillions of years of oppression of females.

  17. “The most macho thing in the world is to be a loving father. To be a faithful husband. To put food on the table. Even more macho is to come clean about how hard it is to try to try to be all those things at the same time. Women have been doing for fifty years. Now it’s our turn.”

    I don’t understand why this is such an issue. My father always did all of those things and more. It’s not really that big of a deal. It’s part of the beauty and struggle of life. I am living that now and, while it’s not easy, it’s not even close to an impossible task, or anything to complain about.

    I have spent time in war torn West Africa where people have absolutely, positively nothing. The kind of nothing that people in the West can’t even concieve of unless they have spent time in Africa or part of India or other abjectly impoverished places.

    I say to people here who complain about jugging a job and family to stop whining and get down on your knees and be thankful that you’ve got something to juggle.

  18. Interesting article, Tom…I agree that men are in crisis…in fact, tonight I have taken in my friend’s family after her husband blew up at his 11 yo son (presumably about some B’s and C’s on his report card, but I think it has more to do with pressures from work and how his own dad used to blow up on him when he was a kid)….We are all shocked at his violence…and how he attacked his own son at the dinner table….and I am stunned at how a man could even have that kind of physical vocabulary to use on anybody, let alone his own son….The father’s reaction to stress (work-related, school-related, and financial) must come from his own father’s past ….How terrible to see that abuse get passed down from generation to generation….

    My own 11 yo son is best friend to my friend’s son and he comforts his friend the best way he knows how (by playing Wii, singing along to youtube, and watching DVD’s )….I had to break the news to my husband who is close friends with the husband…What can you say to a man who has an explosive temper? What can you say to a guy who takes out his frustrations in that way on his only son? How do address such rage at the dinner table? How do you raise a good son who will learn to mimic your rage and tantrums over stuff like a bad report card?

    • Leia:
      two things. Firstly, the evidence that shows those raised in abusive enviroments who tend to become abusers themselves I don’t believe ever said it had to mimic genderlines. In other words, a son raised in a home where the mother abuses the father, can grow up to become abusive. And a daughter who is raised watching a father abuse the mother can grow up to become abusive.

      In fact, I have seen the last instance myself in my sisters family. My sister is married to an emotionally abusive compulsive gambler. The abusive nature seems to have passed over my three nephews (aged 11,13, 15) but has taken hold in my niece 9. I credit the well-adjustment to the boys for the intervention of me, my wife, my mother and a couple of aunts (on my mothers side) to make them feel loved and to demonstrate what well-adjusted adults do with kids. However, my mother passed away a couple of years ago, and the two aunts shortly before that. So, my niece (much more than my nephews) has been suffused in only that culture with no breaks of any kind. She has also been exposed (in her early formative years) of my brother-in-laws dysfunctional family.

      The second is, the male equivalent of the mother in your tale would far more likely be suffering in silence. Thanks to lack of shelter access, and mandatory arrests paired with primary aggressor laws (which are designed for PD’s by feminist IPV advocates state that if more than 5% of DV arrests are women, then the PD and officers should be investigated for systemic anti-female violence) in most states, help for male victims of DV is almost nonexistent.

      Lookup the case of David Woods. He and his daughter were refused entrance into DV shelters because he is male. His daughter is only alive because when the mother aimed a shotgun at her head and pulled the trigger it was unloaded.

      All victims of DV deserve help. Tom may be advocating for social change of the narrow definition of the male role, but it will be meaningless if we continue to have laws that refuses male victims to come forward.

      • The last sentence of the third to last paragraph should have read:
        “Thanks to lack of shelter access, and mandatory arrests paired with primary aggressor laws (which are designed for PD’s by feminist IPV advocates state that if more than 5% of DV arrests are women, then the PD and officers should be investigated for systemic anti-female *BIAS*) in most states, help for male victims of DV is almost nonexistent.”

        I typed violence, but meant bias.

  19. It’s a funny thing about men. We don’t like to complain.
    What’s funny to me is that despite the truth of what you say here all I ever hear (from mostly women mind you) is that men just complain, complain, complain like a bunch of babies.

    In fact, some would say that we don’t really know how to talk about anything other than a box score or stock table. Women have shelf upon shelf of books, and countless magazines devoted to how to juggle conflicting female roles in the modern world. On TV, there’s Oprah, Ellen, and Dr. Phil. Most guys wouldn’t be caught dead watching that stuff, but for many women the magazines, books and TV shows provide a forum to talk through the practical implications of the feminist revolution.
    And its great that women have access to this stuff. What I’d like to see is something similar for men. But efforts like this for men tend to bring out the critics who instantly declare that efforts to help men MUST be rooted in a desire to exclude women. A year or so ago there was a college that started a men’s group and less then a week afterward women’s groups were already calling for them to disband. Interesting how folks that band together to look out for each other then turn around and actively try to prevent others from doing the same.

    Many men are in crisis. Most guys I talk to quietly acknowledge that they’re struggling to “do it all.” Sound familiar? That’s what women have faced all along: how to have a career while also being a mom and wife. Well, we want to be more involved as fathers and husbands. But no one has set the workplace bar any lower, so that men have the time they need at home with the family.
    Yes this is a problem that men have been facing all along.

  20. Through our choices of what we think and do, we evolve or devolve, as Pico so eloquently phrased it: either “to be reborn into the highest divine forms” or “to degenerate into the lower forms of life which are brutish.” At present most of humankind is regressing and devolving.

    The majority of humans at present are not developing the intellectual and moral characteristics that make a person genuinely human: rationality, understanding, self-awareness, and altruism.

  21. “The most macho thing in the world is to be a loving father. To be a faithful husband.”

    Why didn’t you just write ‘man-up’ in the most shrill shaming tone you’re capable of? The most foolish thing in the world is for a man in a westernized society to marry a woman. Tens of millions of American men were faithful husbands and they got burned badly in Divorce Court. In life, there is a fine line between being brave or hard core, and then being stupid.

    MRAs are often the ones who practice what JFK called the rarity of moral courage.We ghost, go our own way, and refuse to follow the paths of the social conservative white knights or the liberalized manginas who bow to modern westernized womyn. That takes courage in pro-feminist modern misandrist society. MRAs are macho.

    • ” Tens of millions of American men were faithful husbands and they got burned badly in Divorce Court. In life, there is a fine line between being brave or hard core, and then being stupid.”

      In my opinion, a good man does the right thing in being faithful even if others around him don’t, including his own wife. Hopefully, she will come to appreciate that his good behavior is not contingent on what she does. He is his own person, with core principles that transcend what others do, including her. He never quits in trying to do the right thing, even if she doesn’t. If nothing else, his kids will love and respect him for it, others will respect him for it, and he will respect himself.

  22. Good piece Tom. But PLEASE can you stop using the word ‘macho’ as a positive? it’s not! Machismo is the enemy of ‘good’ gender relations!

  23. “Every time I approach major corporations about talking to their employees about what it means to be a good man, they steer me toward their executive women’s group—who, they insist, would be delighted to talk about manhood. ”

    It is the harsh reality that manhood has been separated from the man himself. Manhood has become a product which is produced by men for the consumers, i.e. women. Therefore, if you want to develop new version of the product (manhood) your certainly have to interview the consumer focus group (executive women’s group). The members of these focus groups would certainly tell enthusiastically what new features they want in the product.

  24. John Sctoll says:

    Why in gods name do people who write articles about ‘equality’ put statement like this in

    “Women, on average, still do not make as much money as men.”

    This of course was a sly attempt to put in the “Gender Wage Gap” without calling it that.

    Of course anyone who can read or has read about the “Gender Wage Gap” realizes that for the most part is it bunk, pure and utter bunk.

    Of course women on average make less than men, because they also work on average less than men. They also make countless life choices, field of work choices, education choices that ALL lead to them making less.

    TOM please in the future , please please please stop inserting this “Gender Wage Gap” quote into your articles.

  25. I’m going to quote Tony Porter here: “My liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as a woman.” We’re all in this together. It should not be us vs. them. And continuing to argue that point is futile–it does nothing to move us ahead. That doesn’t mean we can’t discuss our differences, but we shouldn’t use them to undermine each other. Perhaps this is a naive way of thinking and completely unrealistic (it sure seems like it is), but I will continue to believe it.

    • Micheleyulo,
      That is indeed a great way to look at it.
      The problem is that now there seems to be no return on that investment. The return sentiment that:
      “My liberation as a woman is tied to your liberation as a man.” is nowhere to be found.

      Men are roughly 9 to 1 over women the victims of homelessness, suicide, violent crimes, murder, incarceration, on-the-job deaths. Men live 7 years less, men are 38% of college grads, fathers get sole physical custody 6% to mothers 80%.

      And yet despite men being much more the victims of violence we have a Violence Against *WOMEN* Act. We have a cabinet level Office of Women and Girls (despite the stats that show men are many times over women the most imperiled people).

      We have 7 health office for women vs none for men. We have a federal Commission on the Status of Women and nearly in every state. Men have 1 in Mass. and it’s unfunded.

      NOW and other feminist groups created a coalition of feminist groups called WEAVE. It’s purpose? To derail the $800 billion stimulus package for “shovel ready jobs” to go to manufacturing and construction.
      This group met with Obama and he agreed to divert 42% of the stimulus to medicine and education, despite the fact these are growth sectors and male unemployment was roughly double that of female unemployment at the time.

      NOW’s president stated: “we are against these jobs going to burly men”.

      In other words, NOW couldn’t even make the case women needed the help more, they’re just against helping men (despite the clear need) for no greater reason that they are men!!

      Researchers show in DV women attack and emotionally abuse as much or more than men. Yet the same researchers who showed 1 women is attacked every 15 seconds are now barred from VAWA reauthorization hearings and other IPV conferences. Why? Because the same research shows 1 man is abused every 16 seconds, and these researchers are stating we need gender-neutral laws.

      NOW has an action alert in every state in which fathers rights advocates try to get shared parenting passed (a presumption that parents will split time unless 1 is proven unfit or it is unworkable).

      We’re waiting for a return on our investment of 40 years of centering on women’s issues and waiting for the return sentiment that: “My liberation as a woman is tied to your liberation as a man.” and based on the groups that claim to speak for all women, and what they politically advocate for, we’re going to be waiting a long damn time.

      • And you have just illustrated my point. We can certainly all go on and on citing stats which seems to be a big part of how the comments are made. Change starts with us as individuals. All you have done is put me on the defensive to now go and come up with stats on women. Sorry, not going to partake in your game. As I said, you can call me naive if you like, but the fact is, it gets us nowhere. And I am only too HAPPY to say, “My liberation as a woman starts with your liberation as a man.” It absolutely goes both ways–the bottom line is one cannot exist without the other.

        • Then let’s take a moment to strip out the stats in John D’s comment.

          That is indeed a great way to look at it.
          The problem is that now there seems to be no return on that investment. The return sentiment that:
          “My liberation as a woman is tied to your liberation as a man.” is nowhere to be found.

          We’re waiting for a return on our investment of 40 years of centering on women’s issues and waiting for the return sentiment that: “My liberation as a woman is tied to your liberation as a man.” and based on the groups that claim to speak for all women, and what they politically advocate for, we’re going to be waiting a long damn time.

          I believe the stats were there just to bolster these two main parts of the comment.

          He seems to be saying this in response to you saying, “My liberation as a woman starts with your liberation as a man.” Well if your liberation as a woman starts with his liberation as a man then isn’t it worthwhile to address why his liberation is still in limbo despite you saying its a necessary part of your liberation?

        • Sorry, I don’t care about your liberation, as women’s liberation has been all about stifling and limiting men, not liberating them. When women start voting for joint custody legislation and the end of special treatment for women over men, then I’ll believe your statement.

          Until then, my liberation as a man has nothing to do with you as a woman. Nothing whatsoever.

      • wellokaythen says:

        In response to John D:

        Thinking historically: The movements to reduce violence against men have stalled, but they’ve actually existed for a long time in movements that are now unfortunately in disrepute: antiwar movements and radical labor movements. Many of them have tried to reduce the number of men killed in war and killed on the job, but no one really thinks of those groups that way. Or, another way to put it, the people who have tried to protect men as men have in the past been branded as peaceniks, commies, pinkos, etc. And now they are also branded misogynists, neanderthals, knuckledraggers, sour grapes, etc. There is a huge chasm between those coming at these dangers from the left and from the right, and so far never the twain shall meet.

        I’m struck by how much of this list reminds me of some of the old-fashioned labor militants like the Wobblies, who argued that society was treating its workers and soldiers as expendable resources. In the 1910’s, this message was NOT well received by the larger society, strange as that may sound….

  26. wellokaythen says:

    I don’t fully agree with everything in this piece, but even the parts I want to nitpick are pretty minor parts of the larger whole. I’d say this is a very good summary of many of the biggest issues men face as men. This is a pretty good manifesto, or at least a good set of talking points we can sink our teeth into.

    I have found myself thinking the same thing about all the advice books for women out there and so few for men. Many of the ones for women are no doubt totally bogus and shamelessly opportunistic, but at least women have a much bigger range of books to choose from. Even the worst ones have a few tidbits you could use. I find myself looking at self-help books for women and thinking, hmm, maybe there’s something in there I could use for myself. For example, all sorts of titles for women about how to get the most out of life, how to be married and still be an individual, how to avoid being overwhelmed by other people’s expectations, how to invest wisely, etc. No one taught me this stuff. I don’t know if society assumes that because I’m a guy I either don’t care about any of this or already know the answers, but there’s something missing.

  27. I like the zeitgeist of this article, Tom — now if only we could the practical application!

    Because despite all the pretty words, we’re still back to the hard reality that to do ANY of the things you mentioned would require men putting their privates next to the band-saw and hoping that nobody decides to push them onto the blade.

    Can we as men complain without instantly being discredited? Is there a way for that to actually happen in a way where change will directly follow?

    Can we get a mainstream societal focus on male issues, from prison rape to scholastic underachievement *without* an instant dismissal?

    Will anyone care? Will anyone listen? Will anyone not immediately attack us for voicing our concerns, showing our community, and demanding change?

    I want to believe so, but I’ve learned that the opposite is more likely true.

    The problem, the fundamental problem with the men’s rights movement, with masculism, with advocating for male issues in general has been that we’re still stalled at the inception point. We’re on the cusp of being a real movement, but we never quite get there. We’re SO CLOSE to becoming relevant in American culture, where we can actually Get Things Done For Men, but inevitably we backslide to an internet-based half-life.

    What can Good Men do if nothing’s happening?

  28. Richard Aubrey says:

    Wellokaythen.
    Can you think of a movement to protect men from violence that isn’t unilateral pacifism? To be metaphorical about it, if the lion can lie down with the lamb, guaranteed to work, there wouldn’t be any difficulty about me being the lion, right? Guaranteed to work and all, right? No, I didn’t think so.
    If unilateral disarmanent were guaranteed to work, you’d have all kinds of folks suggesting the Sovs go first, back in the day. I was looking around back then for such things. Asking around. Nope.
    Actually, if the very thought of messing with the US had a reaction similar to that of a great big glass of Mexican tapwater, only faster, nobody would mess with us and everybody would be safer. Didn’t think that would fly, either. Something wrong with it, somewhere.
    Personally, I think NOW and the stimulus money scam ought to be the end of organized feminism. Any woman of good conscience should be looking for a new name for her views. It’s not that there aren’t other crimes, VAWA, divorce court, sexual harassment rules on campuses with no due process. But the NOW move has no excuses. Not even lame ones. Not even lame ones nobody expects anybody to believe.
    Men ought to be about taking care of business. I don’t think it’s more complicated than that.

  29. Katie Simpson says:

    Love this, Tom! :)

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