Our boys are being bombarded with messages on how to be “manly”—not all of them healthy. Here’s how parents can support their sons’ healthy development.
RSVP for #StopSexism Weekly Calls
It’s pretty common for us to worry about how women, especially our own daughters, are put into gender boxes and encouraged to engage in behavior that hurts them, simply because they’re female.
It’s far less common for us to worry about men, including our own sons, and what gender boxes and harmful behaviors they’re taught, simply because they’re male.
But they are. Boys as young as 4 year old are told to “be a man!”, usually in response to them crying or showing fear.
And as they grow up, they’re bombarded with messages that say to be a “manly” man, they need to:
- Be big and strong
- Be physically aggressive and ready to fight
- Show no emotions – especially fear or pain but anger is just fine
- Feel entitled to objectify women and sexually pursue women regardless of whether or not she’s interested
You only need to look at our thousands year old history of warring groups that pillaged, looted, and raped to see where this dominant idea of masculinity comes from.
It doesn’t take a leap of faith to see how this history has led to our society and media promoting images of masculinity as inherently obsessed with fighting and sex.
And then having some men turn that image into a reality where they feel entitled to be assault and dominate others, particularly women.
Yet we seldom hear about how this male violence is connected to our traditional notion of masculinity.
And at the same time, while most violent acts are committed by men, most men are NOT violent.
So many men are caring, responsible, and non-violent people. But while many men don’t use violence to express their feelings or control others, many don’t feel comfortable showing the other sides of them for fear of being called “gay”, “girly”, “soft,” or “emotional”.
That’s why we need to change the conversation around masculinity. We need the definition of masculinity to reflect the diversity present in men beyond the narrow box they have now.
Not only to reduce the level of male violence but to also support men in accepting all parts of themselves and expressing themselves fully—without being shamed.
One organization fighting to do just that is Men Can Stop Rape. Through their Men of Strength Clubs (MOST Club), they have pioneered a violence prevention program that provides young men in middle school, high school, and college with a structured and supportive space to build individualized definitions of masculinity that promote healthy relationships.
Based on their highly effective program, here are some ideas of how to talk with your son and other men in your life about what masculinity means for them and its relationship to their lives and violence.
1. Meet Them Where They’re At
Many men may not have thought critically about how society portrays masculinity. It may be assumed to just be normal – that this is just part of being a man.
So they may not see why it’s something important enough to discuss. At the same time, many men may be uncomfortable with how they are represented in the media and don’t identify with the beefy, fighting, womanizing men in the movies.
So it’s important to not assume anything about their beliefs, make them wrong, or attempt to change them. The point is not to create another narrow box for them to fit into but to expand the choices they have and support them in exploring what masculinity is aligned with their values.
2. Help Them To Identify Male Role Models They Know
While the media may glorify violent men, in real life, they are usually not the ones we admire. Men who are responsible, empathetic, caring, and contribute to the community are usually admired.
Ask them how these men show strength in their relationships and how they treat people. Helping them to see how the men they respect do not fit this traditional notion expands their understanding of masculinity and gives them more options.
For many, this may be the first time they’ve thought consciously about how strong good men they respects do not fit that mold.
3. Discuss How the Media Presents the Ideal Man
The media is filled with portrayals of fictional male characters who are primarily rewarded for fighting and getting the girl.
Ask him how this affects his idea of how men should act and compare it to how men he respects act. Often times men haven’t really compared the two and hear the traditional notion much more strongly to the point where they don’t see other ways of being a man.
4. Discuss How Traditional Masculinity Shows Up In Their Own Behavior
While many men are not be violent, traditional masculinity encourages other behaviors that are normalized in our society, such as street harassment, a sense of sexual entitlement, use of physical intimidation over smaller people, etc.
So it’s important for them to connect the dots between more violent acts and more socially sanctioned behaviors stemming from male domination. The more aware they are about their own behavior, the more they can choose whether or not they want to continue doing it.
5. Discuss the Role of Traditional Masculinity in Violence, Particularly Against Women
Since they have been socialized to think traditional masculinity is the ideal, it can take time for them to connect it with something they’re against like violence. So work backwards and discuss what can lead a man to feel comfortable with becoming violent.
While traditional masculinity does not necessarily always lead to violence, it does support male domination over others. And this creates a permissive culture where “boys will be boys”, “he can’t control himself sometimes”, and “she was asking for it”.
6. Discuss How Nonviolent Men Can Be a Part of Ending Violence
Many men who are not violent think that because they’re not doing it, that’s enough. But that should be the floor and not the ceiling for men’s engagement in the efforts to end violence. Sharing statistics about domestic violence and sexual abuse with them can help them see that they probably know several women and men who have been abused but never knew.
Show them different ways they can be involved – whether it’s learning more about the issue, volunteering at nonprofits, or discussing it with their male and female peers – they can do something to stop the violence.
These discussions aren’t easy. In fact, they can be extremely tricky and you may find yourself judging him or getting upset at different times.
So remember, you’re challenging years of society and media telling them what a “man” is. These concepts run deep on the subconscious level and by even engaging in the conversation, they’re taking a big step.
And more importantly, remember that it’s not your place to tell them they’re wrong and make them agree with what you believe “masculinity” means either. That would be the same type of domination you’re trying to eradicate!
But keep challenging their ideas in service of them engaging in their own critical thinking process about what type of man they want to be. Your goal is to help them see other options so they can consciously make their own decision for themselves.
What Next? Talk with others. Take action.
RSVP for #StopSexism Weekly Calls
We are proud of our SOCIAL INTEREST GROUPS—WEEKLY PHONE CALLS to discuss #StopSexism and help solve some of the most difficult challenges the world has today. Calls are for Members Only (although you can join the first call for free). Not yet a member of The Good Men Project? Join now, below!
Join The Good Men Project Community
The $50 Platinum Level is an ALL-ACCESS PASS—join as many groups and classes as you want for the entire year. The $25 Gold Level gives you access to any ONE Social Interest Group and ONE Class–and other benefits listed below the form. Or…for $12, join as a Bronze Member and support our mission.
Register New Account
Please note: If you are already a writer/contributor at The Good Men Project, log in here before registering.
ANNUAL PLATINUM membership ($50 per year) includes:
1. AN ALL ACCESS PASS — Join ANY and ALL of our weekly calls, Social Interest Groups, classes, workshops and private Facebook groups. We have at least one group phone call or online class every day of the week.
2. See the website with no ads when logged in!
3. PLATINUM MEMBER commenting badge and listing on our “Friends of The Good Men Project” page.
ANNUAL GOLD membership ($25 per year) includes all the benefits above — but only ONE Weekly Social Interest Group and ONE class.
ANNUAL BRONZE membership ($12 per year) is great if you are not ready to join the full conversation but want to support our mission anyway. You’ll still get a BRONZE commenting badge, a listing on our Friends page, and you can pop into any of our weekly Friday Calls with the Publisher when you have time. This is for people who believe—like we do—that this conversation about men and changing roles and goodness in the 21st century is one of the most important conversations you can have today.
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.
“Here’s the thing about The Good Men Project. We are trying to create big, sweeping, societal changes—–overturn stereotypes, eliminate racism, sexism, homophobia, be a positive force for good for things like education reform and the environment. And we’re also giving individuals the tools they need to make individual change—-with their own relationships, with the way they parent, with their ability to be more conscious, more mindful, and more insightful. For some people, that could get overwhelming. But for those of us here at The Good Men Project, it is not overwhelming. It is simply something we do—–every day. We do it with teamwork, with compassion, with an understanding of systems and how they work, and with shared insights from a diversity of viewpoints.” —– Lisa Hickey, Publisher of The Good Men Project and CEO of Good Men Media Inc.
Have you thought about what masculinity means for you and its impact on your behavior? Share in comments below!
Originally appeared at Everyday Feminism
This article was written in collaboration with Men Can Stop Rape, an international organization whose mission is to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women. MCSR provides agencies, schools, and organizations with direct services for youth, public service messaging, and leadership training. Follow on Facebook or Twitter.
Sandra Kim is the Founder & Editor of Everyday Feminism. She brings together her personal and professional experience with trauma, personal transformation, and social change and gives it all a feminist twist. Follow her @SandraSKim.
Would you like to help us shatter stereotypes about men? Receive stories from The Good Men Project, delivered to your inbox daily or weekly.
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock
I feel like this is quite a narrow viewpoint, with the only intention behind it to benefit women. When actually the domestic violence ratio is nearly 50/50 these days. Perhaps we should be helping men for benefit of themselves. Clearly gender equality still has a long way to go and prejudice of the violence and rape stats and voices for these. – It has taken me a while to get to this mindset, especially when I have been at the hands of violence myself, but we need to see it for what it really has become, or perhaps how it… Read more »
I think this is a foolish misunderstanding on the author’s part. There is such influence on masculinity in media, but it’s not as though this influence wasn’t occurring before advanced media. Men have always been bred as hunters, gatherers, and more importantly warriors. There is nothing wrong with having or seeking the power naturally stored in the body, as we naturally seek, that is a large part of manhood. The aspiration to attain strength, power, and skill to protect our comrades and kin. The author mentions our species’ history of war and conflict that introduced these violent urges as though… Read more »
Very well said.
There is a lot more violence against men and boys. ALL men have been a victim of male violence at some point. 90% of stranger perpetrated violent crime has a male victim.
The way to create a violent man is to beat him up when he is a boy. It is a cycle. To break that cycle you need to protect children, and discourage all violence, not just sexual violence with a female victim.
I reject your blanket statement on male violence; I grew up in a blue collar, working class Italian neighborhood and fought with other boys (usually as the challenged) and have seen how few of them grew up to be the ‘violent men’ of the present of your post.
There is a place for violent, decisive action in defense of others and yourself, so the answer is to teach boys to be defenders and champions of the weak, *not* little girls with penises.
We need to quit teaching boys that being “girl like” is a bad thing. Essentially you are telling boys that girls are less and being one is bad. Yes we are different, I get that. My son cares about people and telling him that he is “a little girl with a penis” is telling him what? Turn him into a man who thinks caring about others makes him weak or soft. Being a kind caring person is for everyone, no matter what their genitalia.
This is a fantastic article! rather that focusing on victim blaming and women learning how to avoid being harassed, it explores the concept of teaching men how not to! A wonderful first step to combatting this male chauvinism. Also the effects that this “ideal masculinity” has on men and young boys. My niece (8 years old) had a male friend round and the young boy started crying, now all children cry because they’re still very dependent on their carers and when they feel uncomfortable they need looking after. My brother saw this as a sign of weakness and never allowed… Read more »
There’s a place and time to cry and men have to learn when and where that is; the team/tribe/platoon/company can’t rely on someone who is emotionally paralyzed; we still have wars and it’s the Infantryman who fights them and the ability to grieve, to cry, and then pack it up and go back to killing the Bad Guys is intrinsic to our biology as males. We can’t ignore that the requirement that men ‘do the hard things’ is still the case in our society.
Ogwriter … FYI, I’m doing well. It’s gonna take a while for the rotator cuff to mend. Sounds like you’ve been pretty busy too. Good luck to your guys…. Not sure how we can communicate our emails to each other in that they are not shown. Like to touch base with you at some point,
Back to topic at hand … as I suspected, this article didn’t draw the attention that I would have hoped.
Tom B…Well, Tom as you note feminism does feel like it will lose something by simply dropping the labels ; power.Feminism is a political institution and thus has one main purpose,to stay in power.Their power depends on exascerbating gender differences and seeking to control outcomes,not on compromising. Feminism acts as if it and it alone should define standards of equality for the world;scary imperialistic.
“Feel entitled to objectify women and sexually pursue women regardless of whether or not she’s interested”
I’ve never felt that way though, where are these messages?
I have nothing to add to this- but suggest that this article as a reminder of the consternation the discovery of an isolated people’s [, unaffected by video games, fried food, comics & the Judeo-Christian warmonger head,] propensity for violence.
War, evidently, just for the hell of it. Yeah I believe it is very much nature, not nurture, and that a couple hundred thousand per-adolescents got out of bed this morning, grabbed a Kalashnikov and prayed that today they get to kill a kid just like your’s……..
Again, we see and advocate for the emasculation of the American male by Radical Feminism and as the father of three boys, I am absolutely disgusted by, and with, it. I’ll share our experience: 1) Be big and strong – in my house, we encourage boys to become men of strength physically and in their character. Despite what Radical Feminism teaches, men and women **are** different in every way and a strong man physically and in their character is the kind of man they should strive to be. 2) Be physically aggressive and ready to fight – Radical Feminism ignores… Read more »
Dude you’ve just made your own generalities and then claimed that your view is the only correct definition of “masculine” and anyone who doesn’t accord to it is “emasculated”. In that respect you’re being part of the problem – while trends exist men and women aren’t necessarily different at all, both groups are extremely diverse. I see what you’re getting at, but please realize that yours isn’t the only way. Also worried by the whole chaperone thing – sounds like a kind of benevolent sexism where men are these stoic figures who must protect women from other men. We have… Read more »
There were no generalities other than the one’s I quoted from the article and I was offering the example at my own home with my own sons; my view of what is masculine is pretty historical and traditional in the West and, until recently, here in the US. There’s a reason we have the phrase ‘cowboy up’ here. Reread what I wrote in #4: The boys watch out for their little sister, something every big brother has done since the beginning of time. Heck show me an older brother who *isn’t* watching out for their sister and I’d say that’s… Read more »
Men and women *are* different biologically and mentally so blowing that off doesn’t make it any less real; I was in the Infantry and very, very, very *few* women could do this on a day in and day out basis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w846UcmIo5o&feature=share&list=PLKGrk-wIqDL-UHT_hiLQgPlupAnEXU93v
That isn’t ‘diversity’, that’s biology.
Netiquette question –
What’s the protocol for posting the same or highly similar comments on multiple articles? I’ve come across the same questions several times from different people on different threads AND I’ve noticed some of the same commenters are reading and commenting on the same articles I am. So – how acceptable is it to repeat answers to the same question when at least a number of the people following the thread have already heard it elsewhere?
@Keri, there are times that different articles with follow a common thread with others. For example thing article speaks of violence ….. common thread with how many other articles? Many articles bring feminism into the discussion …. Sam thoughts, different articles.
i agree with tom, i think it is an acceptable practice
Why is it necessary for men to embrace feminism? If it were such a boon for men there would be no need for this discussion.
Feminism is male oppression writ Politically Correct where every male child is a is a rapist or misogynist in training and every man *IS* a is a rapist or misogynist despite facts to the contrary. Feminism is an evil propagated upon society by women who seek to emasculate men into short haired women with sensible shoes.
Why is it necessary for men to embrace feminism?
I feel like feminism had really good intentions. To bring women, who were considered lower than men, up to the same level as men. That’s a really worthy cause. To try to equalize people. I think where we run into a problem, though, is when we divide freedom. Justice is justice. Freedom is freedom. We all live together and we all have to get along if we want peace. I’m really more of a fan of the idea of humanism. Separating our justice, our freedom… well, that just makes us blame and argue. We need to come together, not drive… Read more »
To bring women, who were considered lower than men, up to the same level as men. That’s a really worthy cause. To try to equalize people. The problem with that line of logic is that it presumes that all that needs to be done to equalize men and women is fix the areas where women were not on the same level as men. The imbalances of gender are not that black and white (and I mean that figuratively and literally as a nod to race relations). With that presumption even things that harmed men were spun until they looked like… Read more »
“To bring women, who were considered lower than men, up to the same level as men”
That is a basic assumption of feminism. Did all women throughout history assume they were being oppressed? Did they see all men as oppressors?
Most ideologies look back into history and project their assumptions on people at the time.
GirlWriteswhat lays out very well where this flawed thinking comes from, that women were lower than men and “got the short end of the stick”. For make a long story short, Women got the short end of the stick because they weren’t carrying the same stick as men, mens stick was much more expensive in terms of social cost , heavier in terms of obligations to society and WAY MORE dangerous in terms of risk to health and safety.
@ Vironika: Feminism didn’t want to equalize people, they want to bring women up to the same social status as men, with all the same rights and privs in society BUT without all the same responsibilities of that society, ie. draft, dangerous work, and the requirement to provide a living for everyone in your family. Remember too that when we look at voting rights, the time between full mens suffrage and full womens suffrage is approx 1/10 of a percent of recorded history, the rest there was no full suffrage for either men or women.
This is a serious and important subject. But the assumption that masculinity=violence is false, and these extremely negative views of men will only increase the already enormous divisions between men and feminists. Traditional masculinity can be used in a terrible way, in the form of violence. It also builds, creates, protects and encourages and supports. Power and strength and the willingness to fight for what is right are not evil aspects of masculinity. The idea that only passivity is appropriate is false, and not something any father will teach his son. The idea of men protecting women is now mocked… Read more »
Eagle35…The splitting you speak of, whereby communication breaks down along gender talking points, is part of a political strategy:Thrust,parry and never admit that you are wrong.The responses to criticism, from feminists are very often canned and reflexive. This is, in particularly true, of women who don’t openly profess to be feminist but enjoy the benefits of feminism. These women are among the most difficult to deal with and are “the have my cake and eat it to crowd”.Most women know don’t much about feminism, but are supportive of it when it benefits them. These talking points speak to them.This way… Read more »
Wow, ogwriter, I think the same thing.
That’s what drove me away from supporting it 100%: The inability to admit that the movement, to reach their goals, employed means that have brought serious repercussions we are seeing now and their reluctance to outright say it, admit it to themselves.
There were other reasons but I’ve already stated them before.
It seems that a great number of comments are going into moderation… So as not to waste an inordinate amount of time on a carefully articulated idea that won’t be posted anyway, I will be succinct. Male gender roles instilled from an early age are a natural preparation for what will be expected of them later in life. Fighting and being “tough” has its place. Any civilized society needs to have a certain percentage of men to fulfill certain roles – soldier, police officer, firefighters, etc… They NEED to have been instilled with a mental toughness and degree of aggressiveness… Read more »
@Eagle … are you being a baaaaad boy again? For sham. Hang in there.
Edit: The above was a response to YET ANOTHER comment stuck in moderation.
Eagle- i dont know how the moderation filters work but if your protests are getting through, maybe you could try rewording your other comments and post them again.
Okay, I’ll respond one more time. Kari, in regards to the criticism towards feminism, maybe it’s best to consider that some people have had experiences where certain feminists who say they are welcome towards mens issues then those men, whom I must add are quite venerable when expressing their issues regardless of the stereotypes, lay it out on the table and the next thing you know they’re shot down with “That’s not my department” or “That’s such a rare case compared to what women go through” and even the dreaded “you’re a priveledged white male who still benefits from the… Read more »
I thought what you shared there with your experience was very open, honest and profound – Why was that put in moderation?
That one addressed to me?
Eagle35- Yes, I was responding to your comment.
Actually, Kari, I was asking Mostly_123 that question. But in regards to your response, yes I hope we can move beyond generalizations. The thing is, though, it can’t be one party alone. It needs both parties. That includes people who were taught to think of men as “Brutes”, “Stupid”, “Dangerous to children” and “Privileged White Males benefiting from the oppression of women”. It also means listening to the struggles of men without semantics as a reflex reaction to shut down debate. The problem is, we’ve had these semantic shut downs and ignorance from the other side for a long time… Read more »
Eagle35 – Ah, I see now – the order of comments once they came out of moderation put mine in between your post and Mostly_123’s.
Yes, both of us!
I’m not clear on what you mean by “semantics.” Sometimes people use gendered words even though they don’t necessarily mean to generalize by gender. But sometimes the choice of words is part-and-parcel of their argument (like Dan Flower’s latest comment about a “strong male in the role of protector”). In those cases, disagreement over language is key.
When I say “Semantics” i’m talking about when people employ “Women have it worse” in the arena of abuse. They measure worth of support for male survivors by looking at statistics, then see that they’re scaled towards female survivors, and conclude “Well, male survivors aren’t on equal levels statistics-wise. So women have it worse and it’s an issue not worth worrying about”. I experienced the same thing. So have other men: Dismissal of their hurt and calls for support because of the desire to dole out empathy in accordance to statistical relevance. Though with the CDC report, things have changed.… Read more »
“That one addressed to me?”
Yes- sorry, I should have written it more clearly as: ‘Eagle35 I thought what you shared there with your experience was very open, honest and profound – Why was that put in moderation?’
Eagle – I do understand, really, that personal hurts can be conflated with similarly situated people. And I don’t mean to imply that personal hurts are to be minimized in the least. As I mentioned in other comments, the lived experience of real people is what informs any theory and any advocacy to help improve things. The lived experience of men are quite valid in understanding how gender operates in the world today – both good and bad. As I said, I’ve only been following GMP for a while and only just started reading the commentaries. I’m sure I can… Read more »
Eagle35…if one drinks from a poison well, one is bound to get sick.And that’s what feminism does, repeatedly. Rather than invite men to dig a new well in partnership with them, they bring us to the old well, saying the waters is fine, when we can see the dirt and they tell us to drink.
What’s interesting or I should say “revealing” when I read a lot of what’s written in many of the sites similar to GMP is that you begin to see a pattern. There appears to be a clear intent to pull men away from making their own tracks and pulling them into the feminism. How many times have you heard feminists say things like, “that’s not me, I don’t think that way” or “feminism has changed and it includes the well being of men?” In other words, come back to our well and drink. If feminists truly intend on making their… Read more »
Kari…I think if feminist changed tactics it would help open communication.If they approached issues of violence from a holistic place,men would be more apt to communicate.The question should be why are humans-men and women violent,but it isn’t.The current focus is too narrow and overwrought with partisan politics.
Now I’m in moderation again.
I do not quite understand why neo feminists presume so much.It does not represent the views of and power of mainstream feminism.By Kari’s own admission things are changing slowly from the Betty Freidan, G.Steinam varietal to a smoother,less bitter,full bodied blend of flavors.
@SF … I noticed that the other day….. glad you brought it up.
I find it extremely odd that the pop up ad displayed on this article was “Call of Duty: Black Ops” hyper violent game! Ummm. You might want to rethink that message guys.
Kari…Feminism has three problems of itms own making:Lack of credibility,poor messaging and privileged fueled arrogance.Trying to understand feminism is akin to unraveling a multicolored ball of yarn thats been played with by an angry cat.
So, I’ve only been following GMP for a few months, but I’ve been fairly impressed with the articles so far. While controversial, at times, they generally seem to live up to what GMP claims is their goal, as stated on the “about” page, to offer voices “from the front lines of modern manhood” and from a community of “21st Century thought leaders.” Then several weeks ago I started reading the comments on a few different articles that are close to my field of study. And I must say I’m somewhat shocked at the amount of outdated feminist bashing on here.… Read more »
And I must say I’m somewhat shocked at the amount of outdated feminist bashing on here.
This seems to be the common response to people who are critical of feminism. I’ll agree that sometimes it can get out of hand. However when people are developing these criticisms from dealing with current active feminists and current feminist ideas that can’t be explained away with claims that people don’t understand feminism.
Is there some misunderstanding going on? Perhaps. But there are plenty of genuine criticisms as well.
Danny – I agree that some of the criticisms of Feminism I’ve encountered on GMP are genuine and relevant, both to the article and to today. But then there are moments when I feel like I’m repeating conversations I had 20 years ago, which baffles me. Maybe I’m just naive about online forums.
But then there are moments when I feel like I’m repeating conversations I had 20 years ago, which baffles me. Maybe I’m just naive about online forums.
I’m wondering if that is because those conversations were on topics that you think were settled 20 years ago, but actually weren’t?
Of course that is not the total answer because some that are overly critical of feminism are beating the proverbial dead horse.
And maybe the thing that surprises me most is that the criticisms are sometimes leveled while in a conversation with a real life person who is a prime example of a current active feminist acting in exact contrast to the criticism. The cognitive dissonance was amusing at first, but after a while it got me thinking that maybe this is a bigger trend and ought to be addressed directly on GMP.
And maybe the thing that surprises me most is that the criticisms are sometimes leveled while in a conversation with a real life person who is a prime example of a current active feminist acting in exact contrast to the criticism. Yes that does happens sometimes. But I’ve interacted with some of those prime examples and I’ve noticed how they use themselves as a prime example to claim that the thing the critics are talking about doesn’t happen. And also it doesn’t help that said prime example has nowhere near the following as the ones that are representative of the… Read more »
Danny, I’m with you on all points. It is just plain hard to talk about gender and real people because it seems like there are verbal landmines in every direction.
Yes and to make it even hard it seems that there is an active interest in keeping those landmines in place and demanding that others just deal with them.
@Kari: For me , I crit feminism because at times it claims (they) that feminism is not a monolth , iow, they don’t all think the same all the while making assumptions about the monolith called MEN. There are also a fair number of feminists who use terms they consider to be axiomatic and feel no need to defend them or their use. Some that come to mind are “gender wage gap and how it is proof of discrimination”, how womens suffrage was also proof of discrimination. I will always be very critical of modern feminism because they fail to… Read more »
@John Gottman Schtoll – Suffrage? Really? And I thought conversations from *20* years ago were baffling! Again, I think generalizations such as “men are this” or “feminists are that” tend to be unhelpful. I also think oversimplification is not very constructive. The wage gap is a complex symptom of a complex system. As I’ve said in other comments, in the US it is pretty small (among whites) for childless workers. After the birth of the first child, mothers tend to make less than fathers (for similarly situated work), and with each additional child the gap widens. This is due to… Read more »
@John Gottman – I really don’t think generalizations or monolithic characterizations are helpful. Saying “men are this” or “feminists are that” just tends to polarize the conversation instead of moving it forward. Oversimplifications are also not very constructive. The wage gap, for example, is a complex symptom of a complex system. It is relatively tiny (for whites, at least) until the birth of the first child, then mothers tend to make less than fathers (for similar work) and the gap widens with each additional child. This is due to a number of factors, but I see the main culprit as… Read more »
Now it appears I have two versions of my comment awaiting moderation, so I apologize for repeating myself if they both show up.
Not all feminists are like you. There was a feminist campaign to shut down the good men project.
“…At worst, they seem straight out of 1987…” HEY! What did 1987 ever do to YOU!? Sniff. Try to show a modicum of respect there: We had to live through that year, and the Hell that it was, coping with the breakup of the awesome rock super-group ‘Wham!’ (sorry, as you may remember, even in 1987 that joke sucked). Seriously though, I’m also old enough to remember 1987 (albeit as a teen). Every decade, be it the 70s, 80s, 90s, or last year, is going to have social mores that seem dated, quaint, or downright backwards by the present (relative)… Read more »
I totally agree. Except about Wham!
No serious ‘Wham!’ disrespect intended there.
[I needed a quick 1987 reference and that was just about the time that they had split up]
@Mostly – Oh I know! I was kidding too! 🙂
Feminism = emasculation into short-haired women with sensible shoes.
I find it interesting that my previous comments are no longer visible… Not PC enough?
Dan – maybe I missed something, but the comments I’ve read of yours seemed thoughtful, relevant, and no more controversial than others. Curious.