It’s Fun to Be Vindicated! A Feminist Calls for Help for Men
For years I have been advocating for greater social attention to the needs of men and boys, most of who are struggling to find their place in the world. I have suffered ridicule and harsh push-back.
Masculinity is now a dirty word. “Toxicmasculinity” is now one word. Boys and young men are falling far behind girls and young women in education. Males continue to die at a higher rate than females in every age group. The last time I remember blogging about this crisis of masculinity was my review, about a year ago, of the book “Of Boys ad Men” by scholar Richard Reeves.
Now, the prestigious Washington Post has published a lengthy and compelling opinion piece by an African-American feminist scholar entitled “Opinion | Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness.” The author is Christine Emba and her column was published by the Post on July 10, 2023.
Emba expresses the obligatory horror at the extremes of the “men’s movement,” but then goes on to provide statistics proving that boys and men are in trouble and that society needs to do something to help besides telling them to “man up.” Sure, men still dominate in corporate board rooms and governments. But the vast majority of boys and men are languishing in a “no man’s land” of uncertainty, unable to detect a place for them in the world. At the same time, and for a long time, now, girls and women have been racing ahead of the vast majority of boys and men especially in education and health.
The U.S. federal government has now had an Office for Women’s Health for 30 years with no corresponding office for men’s health. There are numerous initiatives and organizations to promote girls and women into high-paying professions; most these exclude boys and men. I’m glad they exist, but I’m not glad so few exist for boys or men.
”Male privilege” is no longer the “thing” it once was. Patriarchy is all but dead. The women’s movement has succeeded for girls and women. The unintended (?) consequence has been the fall of boys and men into societal neglect.
Don’t believe me? Question me? Doubt me? Then read the Washington Post column for yourself. I’m not sure it provides a “map out of the wilderness” (writers don’t assign headlines), but it is almost unique because of its author. She pokes fun at Jordan Peterson and his mostly male followers, but she also acknowledges his message contains some truth and that he/they are making an important contribution to the gender discussions.
Well, I won’t drag this out. Just read the essay. I’m sure you can find it online simply by “googling” it. Don’t respond to this blog essay without first reading the column in question.
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