This is written in reply to the article Three rules could make you a better man — and save your life by Stephen Marche, published today in the New York Post
Dear Stephen, you say in your piece that you have unsuccessfully tried to reach men with your writings on gender. As someone who has studied language and literature, you should be aware that communication is a two way street. If men are not interested in what you have to say on gender issues, it is very likely that what are you saying has no to relevance to them. This is where you should start listening to what men actually have to say.
But instead you are employing women to talk men into accepting whatever you think is good for them. I am honestly appalled by that. Women are not your pawns in the issues that you are experiencing with your fellow men. The last thing that a woman who worries about the men in her life needs is condescension for them. I am speechless when you mention the astronomically high male suicide rate and shortly thereafter call men ignorant and ask women to meet men with the very same attitude. Nobody has ever killed themselves out of ignorance. The will to live is the strongest instinct we have. As a trained lifeguard I advise you to not approach a drowning person when they panic but to wait until they have become unconscious or there will be two of you at the bottom of the sea. A person’s life has to be unbearable for them to overcome the strong instinct to live.
Swap the words ‘men’ and ‘women’ in your article and maybe it will become apparent to you that you would never call women ignorant and ask other men, who care about the women in their lives to put their ignorance in front of them. That would rightly be considered misogyny. I do not see such articles anywhere despite your claim of hordes of men who are treating women like garbage. The only times I ever feel devalued as a woman is when I am asked – sadly very often in the media – to call the men in my life ignorant and to look down on them. In fact, it pains me to hear the men in my life to be spoken about in this way. They are anything but ignorant. The men in my life are people who look out for me. They make an effort to make me laugh when I am feeling down. The men in my life are people I look up to. They are people I learn from. Not a day goes by on which I don’t feel inspired by them to aim higher and become a better version of myself. Men have always encouraged me to not give up when I was struggling to acquire some new skill. They have racked their brains to find ways of explaining the front crawl to me, that would get me to finally understand the movement that seemed incomprehensible to me. To be able to do so requires men to attentively observe the people they are interacting with. If men were, as you claim, ignorant and had their eyes closed to reality, we would be living in a very different world. When I hear people say that men lack empathy, I always wonder who they are talking about.
The only men that I have ever witnessed a lack of empathy in, are men who are on a crusade to save women. Not only are they ignorant to the daily struggles and achievements of their fellow men, they are also blind to how women feel about seeing their men put down like that. It pains me to read your article and others like it. And I am far from the only woman who feels this way. Historically, men have been the protectors and providers of women in a physical sense, but likewise women have always stood up to protect their men in the social sphere. And why would they not? Why would they stand by and watch their men be degraded and have their life blood sucked out of them?
There is a new generation of women standing up against this daily casual misandry in the media because women by nature want to raise their men up and see them live their full potential. Men have a lot to offer our society. We cannot continue losing them at the rate we currently do to depression and suicide. It is time we start listening to men and stop talking down to them. High time to end our ignorance when it comes to the lived experience of men.