In Defense of Men

 

This morning I read an excellent article by DC McAllister in The Federalist and came away with a feeling of despair. I appreciated what she wrote, but I felt there was even more to say about the abyss that has deepened between men and women as the result of the latest onslaught of accusations by women against men.

Please do not misunderstand. My heart goes out to women who have been sexually assaulted, intimidated and ignored by those to whom they protested. There are men who behave like idiots, uninterested in how their behavior affects others. But I’m appealing to all women to think about the best ways we can deal with these problems. And I don’t think we are taking steps in a helpful direction.

At the risk of upsetting many of you, the testimonies of abuse may be helpful, but they are also damaging. I am sure sharing stories with others makes women feel less alone and despairing. There are, however, many downsides to sharing these stories. First, it reinforces the victim mentality in women: a sense of helplessness and diminishment, at some level, could be reinforced, particularly because it may appear that sexual attacks are ubiquitous. Due to the vagueness of the definitions of sexual abuse (listing sexual tension in the same category as rape) could make many women feel fearful when they are around men. I also think the overwhelming number of testimonies, unlike the perceptions of many women, does not put men on notice about practicing unacceptable behavior: the ones who do it probably don’t care, and the ones who don’t do it may very well feel they are being put in the same category as the boors. I wonder if that’s the message we want to send. So I question the proliferation of testimonies.

Rather than testimonies, I think education is important—not just education of women, who need to understand that men’s preoccupation with the opposite sex is human nature, but reminding men specifically which behaviors will not be condoned. Everyone needs to be taught this early in life, by parents and if not within the family, other boys and girl groups. And the education should be as objective as possible, neither characterizing women as victims or men as animals. I don’t know how we do that in a society dominated by Progressivism (and don’t think this latest attack on men isn’t being pushed by them as well), but we must try. Otherwise, men and women will become even more polarized.

You see, I think that the growing polarization we are seeing culturally and politically is reflected in the estrangement between men and women today. Rather than feeding that frenzy, we have to find a way to rise above it. Otherwise, one type of separation infects the other. So we need to start with an amnesty of sorts, letting women know that they have always been empowered, not just in these times. And we need to let the men know, especially those we know in our own lives, that we respect and love and appreciate them.

Finally, in extending the importance of education, we must remember that any negative, angry and fearful impressions about men or women will only prolong and exacerbate the beliefs of the next generation. We will raise boys who are resentful toward girls, and girls who are angry and fearful toward boys. Those outcomes are not good for us, our children, or the future of this country. As D.C. McAllister says,

The problems we are facing today have nothing to do with masculinity, and everything to do with a breakdown in social trust. Women live in fear of men, and men live in resentment of women. We aren’t dancing. We’re fighting. I hope we can learn to dance again—a powerful, breathtaking dance that makes us feel alive, complete, and fully human.

Let’s try to bring an empathic outlook to the relationships between men and women. Let’s learn from each other, respect each other and elevate the people we can be for each other.

There are 58 comments.

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  1. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge
    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr.
    @BartholomewXerxesOgilvieJr

    Even though there is obviously a biological component here, this is still, at its root, just identity politics. So much anguish could be avoided if we could all think of each other as individuals, not just as members of groups.

    I feel sympathy toward any person who suffers an assault or abuse at the hands of another person. And I feel anger and disgust toward any person who would treat someone else that way. It is true that, as a rule, such assaults are perpetrated by men against women, but that doesn’t mean that all men are equally culpable, nor are all women equally victimized.

    As a man, I am incapable at any level of understanding the behavior of monsters who mistreat women. My Y chromosome does not make me one of them, not remotely, and the idea that I might in any way be grouped with them by anyone makes me sick.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. (View Comment):
    My Y chromosome does not make me one of them, not remotely, and the idea that I might in any way be grouped with them by anyone makes me sick.

    A very articulate comment, Bartholomew. And your last sentence is what causes my despair. Good men like you should not be “victimized” by women who want to paint men with an ugly broad brush. I don’t think a lot of women, especially Conservatives who have been hurt, realize that the Progressive Left is using them to make a statement. I expect my view on this will not be popular.

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    If they’re real men they should be able to defend themselves.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    • #3
  4. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Susan,

    I appreciate the nod to the less gentle sex. Thank you.

    But I think what truly needs defending is womanhood — that is, the idea that women are different, that femininity is a real and meaningful thing.

    I think de-feminizing women was the first step on the road to where we find ourselves today. Convince girls that they could play like boys without consequence. Convince women that motherhood was an unworthy occupation. Convince everyone that men and women are basically the same — and that they’re both basically just like men.

    When that failed — as it must, because it flies in the face of deep and near-universal human nature — the response was not to tell women that they have to reclaim their special status and men that they have to respect that. Rather, it was to convince men that the way they are, the way they’ve always been, is toxic, and that they have to stop being male and become something less, something emasculated and androgynous.

    We can continue to wonder why men are such jerks. Or we can acknowledge that men are inclined to be coarse and opportunistic unless strongly constrained by social expectations, and that women need to demand to be treated, not like one of the guys, but like the more vulnerable creatures that they are.

    Shoot, if I re-read that, I’d probably think it sounded anachronistic.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    We can continue to wonder why men are such jerks. Or we can acknowledge that men are inclined to be coarse and opportunistic unless strongly constrained by social expectations, and that women need to demand to be treated, not like one of the guys, but like the more vulnerable creatures that they are.

    I agree with everything you say, Hank. We went down that self-destructive path and now we can’t find our way back. I think women think that if they acknowledge they are more vulnerable (like I’m not taking on @bossmongo –or you–in an arm wrestling match), they will lose their supposed gains. I’d much prefer to have any of you open a door for me or pull out my chair. Just don’t any guy grab me–it’ll be bad news.

    • #5
  6. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    If they’re real men they should be able to defend themselves.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    Yes, until he is falsely accused. How does a man defend himself against a charge consisting of, “He said something to me that made me feel afraid.” There is no way to disprove such a charge. Then he is marked for life as an abuser.  And it is happening. Right now. In America. In the workplaces.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    Yes, until he is falsely accused. How does a man defend himself against a charge consisting of, “He said something to me that made me feel afraid.” There is no way to disprove such a charge. Then he is marked for life as an abuser. And it is happening. Right now. In America. In the workplaces.

    Indeed! That’s why I go nuts when I see that a man made a woman feel bad gets put in the same category as a real sexual assault. And let’s not forget (although some are reluctant to admit it), men have feelings, too. Thanks, Okie.

    • #7
  8. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I’d much prefer to have any of you open a door for me or pull out my chair.

    Like when I opened a door for a woman and was blasted for it? So I said, “I’m so sorry. I mistook you for a Lady.”
    No I didn’t I was too flabbergasted, but I wish I had.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    No I didn’t I was too flabbergasted, but I wish I had.

    Save it for the next time! A great rejoinder!

    • #9
  10. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Susan,

    We must not be naive. The left has undermined the relationship between men and women effectively for the last 50 years. First, they appeal to men’s desire to have women without responsibility by selling liberal insurance against charges of libertinism, harassment, and rape. Second, they are tempting women through advanced victimology to gain money, advancement, and power by the false accusation of men.

    An amoeba reproduces by splitting in half. This single sexed method of reproduction was superseded by two sexes about 1 billion years ago (according to the latest Evolutionary theory). As the sophistication of the species increases so does the differentiation of the two sexes. Humans reproduce by lifetime family relationships and the core of the family is the strong bond between husband and wife. To attack this bond is to attack humanity itself. The left is anti-human pure and simple.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Susan,

    We must not be naive. The left has undermined the relationship between men and women effectively for the last 50 years. First, they appeal to men’s desire to have women without responsibility by selling liberal insurance against charges of libertinism, harassment, and rape. Second, they are tempting women through advanced victimology to gain money, advancement, and power by the false accusation of men.

    An amoeba reproduces by splitting in half. This single sexed method of reproduction was superseded by two sexes about 1 billion years ago (according to the latest Evolutionary theory). As the sophistication of the species increases so does the differentiation of the two sexes. Humans reproduce by lifetime family relationships and the core of the family is the strong bond between husband and wife. To attack this bond is to attack humanity itself. The left is anti-human pure and simple.

    Regards,

    Jim

    It’s all disgusting isn’t it? I think of all the training that is done in the workplace–sexual harassment training. It’s just another type of conditioning to remind men how primitive they are, and to ensure that women see all men as potential danger. And it helps and protects no one. If anything, it creates more hatred and separation. And now we can’t even count on families to educate their children to overcome the brainwashing. They’ll just let the schools “educate” their kids. This is why I think we need, once again, to fight the brainwashing and speak to truth. Thanks, Jim.

    • #11
  12. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    Susan Quinn: Finally, in extending the importance of education, we must remember that any negative, angry and fearful impressions about men or women will only prolong and exacerbate the beliefs of the next generation. We will raise boys who are resentful toward girls, and girls who are angry and fearful toward boys.

    Whew.  Very, very, very big.  It’s implications are very unsettling.  I think I know a few young people affected like this.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Trink (View Comment):
    Whew. Very, very, very big. It’s implications are very unsettling. I think I know a few young people affected like this.

    I’m not around young people very much, Trink, but that effect would (unfortunately) make sense to me. Would you mind sharing a little about what you are seeing? If it’s awkward, don’t feel obligated.

    • #13
  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The left both denies women and men are different, and claims men are evil.

     

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The left both denies women and men are different, and claims men are evil.

    Every time I’m reminded of these Leftists “truths,” Brian, I want to tear my hair out. As usual, it’s the Left that is evil for putting this information out there. And we are guilty of allowing them to continue. But maybe it’s too late to shut down this thinking? Sigh.

    • #15
  16. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Here’s the issue that I face personally when trying to work this out.  My time span of attraction to the opposite sex, which is coextensive with that of my buddies and peers, ranges from the late sixties to the present.  With the possible exception of a few catcalls on a construction job or two, and maybe a drunken pass in a singles bar, I have never seen a man (friend or otherwise) act inappropriately with a woman of any age.

    Of course, I know this happens because I give (many) women the benefit of the doubt and because I’ve been exposed to sexual harassment conditioning training at work.  But there is still something of an experience gap when I ponder how prevalent this is and what it means to men (or women).  Either I’ve lived something of a charmed life or the younger generations behave a lot worse than my peers.  And because of that, I don’t think that “women of a certain age” need to do anything.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But there is still something of an experience gap when I ponder how prevalent this is and what it means to men (or women). Either I’ve lived something of a charmed life or the younger generations behave a lot worse than my peers. And because of that, I don’t think that “women of a certain age” need to do anything.

    Hoyacon, I feel sorry for men like you–I don’t mean I pity you, but I’m sick and tired of the railing against men. Until recently (I’m kinda naïve) I didn’t realize that this fit perfectly, and always has, with the Progressive agenda. So it would make sense to make any physical contact by men as an invasion. That means the numbers make a huge jump as every woman piles on with every kind of “sexual abuse” possible. Again, I’m not pointing at women who were truly accosted, but the ones who get some satisfaction in jumping on the bandwagon. And I suspect there are lots of them.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    By the way, I’m no great beauty, but I’m nice enough looking and in shape. Guys (and I worked with a lot of them) left me alone. I expect there was something in my demeanor that helped that, in spite of only being 5’2″ tall. To be more clear, I worked with street maintenance workers, engineers, cops and fire fighters, as well as others.

    • #18
  19. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I must have lived a pretty sheltered life.  The only instance of sexual harassment in the workplace I have ever directly encountered was about 40 years ago.  A female colleague complained to me about pressure from her supervisor.  I was among five of her male colleagues who then ‘invited’ the miscreant to the supply room to express our deep concerns about his behavior.  The problem was solved without enlisting the help of human resources, in-house legal counsel or counseling services.

    The absence of a masculine response to male misbehavior is one of the horrific side effects of the feminization and lawyerizing of our society.  It continually amazes me that there are no reports of British males pummeling Muslim abusers in Rotherham or Swedish men pounding Muslim punks who abuse or even rape women passersby.

    From my ancient perspective, women dealt with behavior of other women that invited bad male behavior and men dealt with men who act like they don’t have mothers or sisters.  That social authority is gone. We have now produced two generations who were taught told that sexual excess is never immoral or even ill-advised if it is pleasurable and consensual combined with the emerging new weird codicil that now that all sex is barbarous, pointless, impersonal and valueless, heterosexual contact is preemptively rape.  In any event, all issues must be resolved by whatever amorphous bureaucratic power centers exist in the absence of societal norms.  The only crime is to fail to defer to the new order.

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    I must have lived a pretty sheltered life. The only instance of sexual harassment in the workplace I have ever directly encountered was about 40 years ago. A female colleague complained to me about pressure from her supervisor. I was among five of her male colleagues who then ‘invited’ the miscreant to the supply room to express our deep concerns about his behavior. The problem was solved without enlisting the help of human resources, in-house legal counsel or counseling services.

    First, I am now completely overwhelmed at the pathetic place we have all reached, OB. It is so depressing. I love your actions quoted here: it is so honorable and right that (1) the woman knew she could come to you, (2) you handled it at the point of “contact.” And I simply won’t allow you to refer to your “ancient perspective” on this post! It is noble, direct and honest. Thank you so much.

    • #20
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    I must have lived a pretty sheltered life. The only instance of sexual harassment in the workplace I have ever directly encountered was about 40 years ago. A female colleague complained to me about pressure from her supervisor. I was among five of her male colleagues who then ‘invited’ the miscreant to the supply room to express our deep concerns about his behavior. The problem was solved without enlisting the help of human resources, in-house legal counsel or counseling services.

    The absence of a masculine response to male misbehavior is one of the horrific side effects of the feminization and lawyerizing of our society. It continually amazes me that there are no reports of British males pummeling Muslim abusers in Rotherham or Swedish men pounding Muslim punks who abuse or even rape women passersby.

    From my ancient perspective, women dealt with behavior of other women that invited bad male behavior and men dealt with men who act like they don’t have mothers or sisters. That social authority is gone. We have now produced two generations who were taught told that sexual excess is never immoral or even ill-advised if it is pleasurable and consensual combined with the emerging new weird codicil that now that all sex is barbarous, pointless, impersonal and valueless, heterosexual contact is preemptively rape. In any event, all issues must be resolved by whatever amorphous bureaucratic power centers exist in the absence of societal norms. The only crime is to fail to defer to the new order.

    How dare you protect women! That is sexist!

    The great funny thing to me, is how much the feminist rely on men with guns to protect them. They invoke government and law and law enforcement to protect them. It is just the classic women looking to men for protection. How ironic.

    • #21
  22. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    OkieSailor (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    If they’re real men they should be able to defend themselves.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    Yes, until he is falsely accused. How does a man defend himself against a charge consisting of, “He said something to me that made me feel afraid.” There is no way to disprove such a charge. Then he is marked for life as an abuser. And it is happening. Right now. In America. In the workplaces.

    If he’s falsely accused, no amount of defense from well-wishing women is going to save him.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    If he’s falsely accused, no amount of defense from well-wishing women is going to save him.

    The picture becomes even darker, as you point out, Mis. I wonder about a situation where a woman works with a man she knows to be upright and honorable, and she has every reason to think, given her knowledge of him, that he’s been wrongly accused. She may even know enough about the woman to question her integrity. Would she speak out against his accuser to the authorities? Or would she worry about being skewered for supporting him? And some women would say, how could she know for sure that he didn’t do something? And would the authorities want to even hear from her? Uglier and uglier.

    • #23
  24. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Oh, I think men live in fear of women. Divorce can strip you of your possessions. A false accusation can result in expulsion from university and severe damage to your reputation. When I was in practice, I never saw a female patient in an exam room without a female chaperone. A pediatrician I knew from the County Medical Association Board was accused of sexual abuse by a teenaged patient because he used the pinwheel device we all use to measure loss of sensation. He did the exam without a female nurse present in the pediatric ward because it was a weekend and he was seeing her before going to a family wedding.

    The result was a raid on his office by an aggressive DA who was seeking headlines. He was taken out of his office, in front of patients in handcuffs. He killed himself a month or so later.

    I have a grandson who will be 13. I am very concerned about him going to college in 5 years. I am considering suggesting to his parents that he enlist in the Marine Corps and go to college as a 23 year old on GI Bill. He will be older and more mature.

    My wife has three grandsons who are doing very well and who have not attended college. Two work for their father building custom homes and the third works with his uncle restoring classic Porsche cars. I’m not sure that college is as important as it was unless you want a STEM degree or are a premed.

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mike-K (View Comment):
    I have a grandson who will be 13. I am very concerned about him going to college in 5 years. I am considering suggesting to his parents that he enlist in the Marine Corps and go to college as a 23 year old on GI Bill. He will be older and more mature.

    My wife has three grandsons who are doing very well and who have not attended college. Two work for their father building custom homes and the third works with his uncle restoring classic Porsche cars. I’m not sure that college is as important as it was unless you want a STEM degree or are a premed.

    A lot of wisdom here, Mike. First, what a tragedy for that physician. Terrible.

    I think attending college later is almost always a good idea; my husband went into the Navy first and was much better prepared for college. I think it’s key that we let these kids know the realities of the world without scaring them to death. And certainly a reality is that college is not for everyone, and is probably a waste of time and money for many. I wouldn’t want the grandsons to do work they aren’t motivated to do, but certainly helping them focus on the possibilities in real life is important. It sounds like you are an engaged and caring grandfather. Kudos to you.

    • #25
  26. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But there is still something of an experience gap when I ponder how prevalent this is and what it means to men (or women). Either I’ve lived something of a charmed life or the younger generations behave a lot worse than my peers.

    My youngest daughter  graduated from college about 2008. She never saw any of the alleged “rape culture” and she is a very pretty and social girl. She worked in a restaurant as a waitress during college and did see a coworker and her boyfriend get into a fight. Annie called the cops and locked herself in her car when he threatened  her. She later testified against him. Those two were not students.

    She dated a black football player and was astonished to see him shown on TV as a sexual abuser. She had no issues with him but probably did not get very physical, which I think is a lot of the problem.

    • #26
  27. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I am so angry at the press right now for causing this mass hysteria. I know innocent people will be destroyed in the fracas. I am also sure that the editors in chief know there will be a lot of harm caused by what they are doing, and they do not care.

    I don’t like any of this, but I know of one counterforce that will stop it in its tracks: when men start publicly accusing women of sexual assault.

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I am so angry at the press right now for causing this mass hysteria. I know innocent people will be destroyed in the fracas. I am also sure that the editors in chief know there will be a lot of harm caused by what they are doing, and they do not care.

    I don’t like any of this, but I know of one counterforce that will stop it in its tracks: when men start publicly accusing women of sexual assault.

    I think that’s unlikely, Marci. A man would be crucified for making such an outrageous comment. I believe some already have tried and I suspect they are rarely taken seriously. It’s all so unfair.

    • #28
  29. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    I had a far-reaching conversation with my husband’s aide (a 41 year old stay-at-home dad) on Sunday. He’s intelligent, hard-working, funny, sweet and would do anything for us. We have great conversations and laughs.

    Last Sunday, I had my first real political discussion with him. I knew he was boycotting the NFL over their disrespect for our country, didn’t like illegal immigration and felt people should pull them up by their bootstraps like he did.

    During our hour long talk, I was shocked to find out how many progressive narratives he bought into, how liberal his views were. We talked global warming, but he drank long and deep from the Kool-Aid and couldn’t get past, “Its Science!” and “Nobody can question Science!”. I had no hockey stick to hit him upside the head with so we moved on although I may pay him to read my 4 books on the subject.

    The real shocker to me was the whole, “women are victims of sexual assault constantly, every day in every way and we must do something now!”. I told him that I used to be a feminist in ancient times but had moved on, especially away from the new iteration. I told him I worked mostly for large corporations during my career and that I even had a boss removed for sexual harassment in the pre-historic year of 1983 BC. I explained that, beginning in the 1990’s, the full-on indoctrination began to the point that men began to fear interactions with women colleagues.

    He continued to say there were millions and millions of women in this country now (including all those poor multi-millionaire actresses) who were victims of sexual harassment. I said that if women wanted to be equal, they shouldn’t be protected like delicate flowers, they should act like responsible adults and report assault and harassment. He said something to the effect that I had a confident, forthright manner (read: obnoxious) but that there were millions of women who were shy and afraid. Sorry. I repeated that it is their duty and responsibility to report it, that there were so many protections in place that women had no excuse.  Not reporting puts other women at risk. And for those too timid, it’s sad, but adults have to act like adults. People either take responsible, appropriate actions or live with the consequences.

    We didn’t get very far but he did seem to take in something he’d never reckoned: we should be empowering women, teaching them to address life’s adversities, not treating them like helpless victims. To avoid doing that is a complete disservice to both women and men. I’ve got my work cut out for me. And I guess he may not be a true progressive; how else to explain that we had an intelligent argument that remained friendly throughout and not once did he call me a doo-doo head.

     

    • #29
  30. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    I’ve had women at work make comments about my physical appearance which, if the tables were turned, would be grounds for a complaint to HR.  This is not equivalent to sexual harassment but it’s nonetheless irritating.

    • #30

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