Why neglecting male issues is bad for our culture and politics
Fierce criticism seems to be the number one top sport of our society these days. I guess fed by the influence of social media. It’s no longer left to people who actually know something about the subject at hand and it’s driven by archaic emotionality. That’s what I believe anyhow! As I criticize criticism itself!
But at least I do have some training/education in why people behave the way they do!
I’m very curious why demons haven’t poured (I love that phrase and the art you used!) into women when they were prevented from going to school or oppressed by society. Women are, as a group, at least in western nations, finally doing well in terms of scholastic achievement, but we are now having a crisis--actual or manufactured--about men. And I want to bring up the implicit threat of all of this and examine it: that if society doesn’t take special care of men, they will become Nazis, MAGAS, and terrorists. You may be right! But why is that?
I read your book when it first dropped. Great stuff! I am happy to find this spot where this topic is being highlighted. I just returned from my quarterly trip with JP4Men.org. We’ve been at it for years. I find our biggest challenge is scaling up this program. We currently sit at 36 men per event but will soon be doubling it to two groups of 36. I feel our next challenge will be expanding the program to other US areas. Thanks again for spotlighting this needed work.
It was Dicken's orphaned character Pip in Great Expectations that taught us about the trappings of cowardice. “In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.”
When we look across the world, nations with large numbers of disenfranchised young men, often described as military-aged males face the most violent unrest and often outright terrorism. We will quickly become one of those
nations if we don’t get to work on meaningful and honest changes at the policy AND implementation levels. Good ideas that are poorly executed are not what we need right now.
Thank you, Mr. Reeves, for the attention that you are bringing to these issues. As an educator, I am listening and doing what I can to support both our girls and boys.
I am receptive to your broad concern about the current state of men and boys. However, I think there's a difference between the historic barriers that women have faced, and the failures of men to serve their own best interests at the moment. Women were not long ago blocked from education, restricted in professional opportunities, etc. No one is blocking young men from college today -- they aren't going. So while I worry about that and agree it needs attention, it isn't directly comparable to the history of prejudice against women and their recently broadening opportunities.
Had one other thought as one who studies character virtue, boundaries and masculine and feminine instincts.
(I get the feedback not to be too wordy, btw)
Love the image of a vacuum where “demons pour in”.
It’s so artistic and you see it in the mind’s eye. The symbolism of Tates and such flowing in to satisfy a desperate male market need for feeling heard and valued.
However a second process occurs technically. Those consumers of info who are male have decisions they make in looking to feel better.
Instincts of survival, masculinity and femininity may be used for good or bad if not steered and directed toward sublimation and generativity. This is why so many decry the absence of “good fathers” and male role models.
The spiritually and psychologically hungry need to express their masculine instincts and are culturally disallowed. But if they lack character virtue and instruction and boundary instruction they may express the instincts in destructive ways or take up mentorship by destructive mentors.
This means “the devil inside “ is loosed not by the presence of masculinity but the absence of boundaries and character instruction.
The demons not only “pour in” but are already there.
In Jungian terms the shadow needs integrated instead of suppressed or shamed. Where passion is turned away from and expression of life but instead diminished, shamed, which is a dark force toward death, not life.
Such a great and thought provoking article thank you.
Thank you. I think of the word “Passion” as the key to understanding these issues. The word can refer to “fully living” and “full of life” but its absence means “empty of life” “near death”. From a poetic stance its absence is the universal cause of suicide which completed are almost 80% male today.
Absence of passion is absence (for males) of masculine energy, masculinity and sources of it and expression of it.
Think on this.
As a society, we're never going to help people who we see as toxic and privileged. Saying “You should help men or they’ll hurt you” is not going to change that narrative.
I very much appreciate the work you are doing. I have sat in many men's circles, and have seen this wounding of men. Also, the power of fellowship. Some friends and I have been writing about tonic masculinity, to counter the pervasive "toxic masculinity". This is my third installment on masculine archetypes.
Extremely important point about how power-hungry and destructive movements/people fill the vacuum left by “Gamma Bias” (Dr.Paul) and when public institutions abandon men and boys. I show this in my study showing how destructive cultural trends (eg society undermines positive fathering) and the psychological damage to men that they cause are behind events like attack on US capitol. Historical scholarship on the Father function - in individual families and institutions- show that when it is undermined, fascism/totalitarianism flourish! The result is total destruction of family and literal sacrifice/murder of millions of young men.
Great statistical presentation to match the advocacy thank you. Dr John Barry et al at UCL Univ college London discovered two things very pertinent: “Gamma Bias” and “male gender blindness”. Male gender blindness is of course not seeing stats at all - using one experience of one person to represent an entire group, or a group finding to negate the experience of one u related individual or even an unrelated group not part of the study - or not mentioning that on a bell curve a large number of men are for example victims of domestic violence, or are approaching 80% of completed suicides. Gamma Bias is very interesting in that in research and elsewhere there can be suppression of effects on women when it fits the blog headline, Or amplification of it when it fits (alpha and beta bias), but Gamma Bias is suppressing looking at the numbers for one gender while amplifying seeing the numbers of another gender in a study or story. Gamma Bias is seen rife in sociology research and many blog stories, media coverage especially, and formal and casual conversation between university graduates.
Thank you, Richard. Your work and writing is invaluable to all of us, and to me and my male counseling patients who exhibit struggles related to many of the topics you address.
Thanks for the perspective here. It struck a chord with me.