Tag Archives: Smart People Saying Smart Things

Where is the discussion headed for women and men?

Good morning friends, have you got a cup of coffee or tea? Bring it to the computer and enjoy the following column by Courtney Martin writing for the American Prospect.

In Don’t Call It a ‘He-cession’, Courtney writes,

Just in time for Father’s Day, Men’s Health editor-in-chief David Zincenko penned a USA Today op-ed heralding the “Great He-cession” as one more example of how men are “an endangered species.” Citing statistics about men’s declining job security, shorter life span, and lack of government attention, he pits women against men in a delusional race for resources. He writes: “Let’s think about men. It’s about time we caught a break, and a he-covery would be just the thing.” As if thinking about men would be a big societal shift.

Zincenko’s ingratiating use of cutesy prefixes and total neglect of historical fact aside, this sort of polarized punditry is exactly what keeps both men and women from making true progress. The truth is our fates are inextricably tied together, not running on two parallel tracks. When men lose their jobs — and, indeed, they have at a higher rate than women recently — American families all suffer, just as they suffer when women are paid unequal wages or fired for missing work to take care of sick kids or an elderly parent. Newsflash: Men aren’t from Mars and women aren’t from Venus; we’re all struggling to make healthy, meaningful lives on the same damn planet — and it’s time we started acting like it.

The article discusses the possibility of men and women working together to point out that gender stereotypes suck for everyone, and the possibilty of men taking a stand against sexual assault without it implying that all men are bastards.

Another great passage from Courtney:

Some men worry that decrying sexual assault is weak or vilifies their own kind, that taking a stand against gender-based violence means admitting that men are scum. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Working to end violence against women proves that men can do better than the “toxic masculinity” — in the words of author Stephen Ducat — that pervades so much of contemporary male culture. There’s nothing inherently cruel or deviant about guys; when men stand up against violence, they reinforce that more evolved reality.

Enjoy the article and let me know what you think in the comments.