A Tale of Two Men—And What It Means for You

A Tale of Two Men—And What It Means for You August 23, 2022

Men are getting more and more cautious

This is a little snapshot of our culture, isn’t it? This dynamic has been running in the background for decades, but as I’ve spoken to men in the last few years, I have heard them getting more and more cautious.

They are particularly cautious about overstepping personal boundaries—which, of course, isn’t always a bad thing. It is great, for example, that the #MeToo movement helped many well-meaning men see how they might make women uncomfortable without intending to—for example, via regular personal compliments. (More on that in this article.) But that concern combined with the often male-bashing direction of our culture may have resulted in men becoming too cautious.

Too many good men are now second-guessing their natural instincts to step up. They wonder if a female stranger might take their offer of help as a slight or an insult. Perhaps they should probably explicitly wait for said female stranger to ask for help before they give it. And this, of course, collides with the reality that because we as women are quite capable, thank you very much, something in us doesn’t want to have to ask for help. (Since I still feel 30 years old inside, there is something slightly mortifying about actually needing more help, physically, than I did twenty years ago.)

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