I think doing social/emotional work with boys is one way to address loneliness, feeling "adrift," and declining college participation.

I coordinate a program in SF public schools that brings middle and high school boys together to talk about masculinity, social pressures and life struggles. The boys in the group get a chance to expand their ideas about "the man box" in a safe environment where it's ok to make mistakes/change your mind about things. They also connect deeply with one another and with the facilitators, who are mostly caring, college-educated men. The result? Boys who are more supportive, more empathetic, less sexist, and more connected to school - and more likely to see themselves going to college (and maybe going into a "caring profession" like teaching or social work.)

Expand full comment

My agreement was with Austin Thornton's post of Oct 31. I've never responded to Incel Theory.

Lance Walker's angry, immature comments provide the perfect illustration why feminism is necessary...for all the wonderful men out there (the majority) there are enough Lance Walkers to poison the discourse and society itself.

Expand full comment

Your thoughts have merit. I don't disagree.

Expand full comment

The best thing is to get single men of financial means to foster and adopt boys. There are so many boys languishing in the foster system who need to be adopted by a father. Or they are even waiting to just be fostered. It is so sad. I've been observing the Manosphere for years and haven't seen any of them do this. It's not even talked about. All these lonely grown men out here crying about "boys' and men's issues" and yet none of them are fostering or adopting boys?!

Make it make sense.

Expand full comment

I’ve been using Reeves’ work as well as Christine Emba’s WaPo article (along with the show “Sex Education”) to help my college class think about how we as a society, and they as (mostly) young people, can adapt to a changing world. So much about how we think about gender has changed so fast. It’s no wonder our collective heads are spinning. I appreciate Reeves’ work to help us all be on the side of, as he says, “human flourishing.”

Expand full comment

In any period of change you can find anecdotes such as Rice to support your resistance to change. Eizabeth Ware Packard's husband put his perfectly sane wife in an insane asylum, rendering their 6 children motherless, because she voiced opinions different from his. In the 19th century, a woman could be incarcerated on her husband's whim alone. This has changed, in part because after she finally got out, Elizabeth campaigned for changes in the law.

Expand full comment

"positions that define and enforce the bounds of behavior and achievement from the time we're 4 or 5 years old through retirement " Please elaborate. I"m not sure what you're talking about.

Yes, women occupy a lot more positions of influence now than in the past. If this makes you feel you're operating under a matriarchy, you're getting a hint of what it's like for females operating under the patriarchy.

Expand full comment

Most women don't describe themselves as feminists. Of those that do, if you ask them to say what feminism means, they will say it means equality between men and women.

Its only when you go further and ask what equality looks like that it gets complicated. Because you can have equality between things that are the same, but what does equality look like when the "things" to be compared are not things at all, but complex people with a different biological make up, an evolution given mutual dependence and who exist in a dynamic relationship with eachother.

It is IMO to avoid this problem that the fundamental assumption of critical theory based feminism is that men and women are the same and the extant differences are the result of social conditioning. This absurd simplification gives rise to very poor understanding.

The science supports, and the great majority of adults think, that men and women are not the same, neither physically, in their behaviour or in their internal worlds, but they have more in common than matters that separate them and this permits their relationships.

Misogyny is a cultural discourse that degrades and humiliates women. This discourse does exist globally in various forms and with varying levels of intensity.

Probably most self defined feminists who have not been educated in critical theory, think of feminist equality simply as society respecting the full personhood of women. To them, a man who says he is not a feminist is probably a misogynist.

Critical theory feminism (woke feminism) channels some fairly sophisticated philosophy about the relationship between cognition, language and power. It is dismissive of biology and evolutionary psychology, seeing these fields as aspects of a discourse of white male power. In practice, most male opinion, unless adopting the main tenets of critical theory, is regarded as a manifestation of male power and can be dismissed on that basis. It does not regard the theory as up for debate.

The televised debate between Chomsky and Foucault is still imo the clearest demarcation of the biology based and historical

materialist view of social relations.

Chomsky criticised Foucault for his nihilism. This remains a major problem with critical theory. It can undermine and destroy, but has no coherent programme to build. It repeats the flaw of historical materialism in creating an activist cadre (similar to a priesthood) which is miraculously free of the relativism of historical materialsim by virtue of its understanding of its governing principles. It is not really interested in listening to men but is rather a faith intent on spreading its programme of radical equality through all social institutions. It has no real vision for social relations other than the adoption of a hegemonic group think, in common with the end point of all essentially communist ideologies.

For these reasons, the dilemma for men attempting to engage the womens movement in men's issues, is that the term feminism means very different things to different people. Some people you can talk to, others you can't.

My opinion is that its better to acknowledge that fact and leave the meaning of feminism to be debated within the women's movement. Men need to develop their own language. But what does matter, a lot, is for men to oppose misogynistic thinking and actions ,as women can rightly reject any movement which wants to set women back. And that is where so many of the "mens movement"

activists are going wrong. Their own misunderstanding of the sociology leads to resentment which gets the better of them. An approach of mutual respect is the best way forward.

Expand full comment

I have high interest in this subject. It's why I acquired the book. I have a son and two daughters, five grandsons and two granddaughters. Beyond that, struggles of all men, boys, women, and girls are of high interest to me. But you are among the many men who insist women's insistence on a level playing field equates to hating men. And that's just wrong. It's an excuse for opposing feminism.

Expand full comment

It's not level. It's more nearly level than it used to be.

Expand full comment

Seems one logical conclusion is that, on a more nearly level playing field, women outcompete men.

Expand full comment

I read Richard's book a few months ago, and it was a profound insight into the real issues facing a generation of men being raised in the shadow of feminism. Boys and men need more representation as we are becoming ever more marginalized and disenfranchised. I would urge anybody with an concern for the long term social effects of this culture shift to not only read Richard, but to also read George Gilder's Men and Marriage. Well done Richard on the great work. More sensible voices are needed. I will be writing about this in due course.

Expand full comment
Oct 2·edited Oct 2

Do most men want (or care about) #Sheforhe?

What does women's allyship look like and does it help or hinder the conversation or spaces men want to create?

Expand full comment

Why is the head of Movember female?

That right there seems like a big part of the challenge.

Men have to care about mens health. Start there. And I mean care enough to go to the doctor and dentist. Get counseling and advocate for counseling accessibility to other people with the time to do it.

One of the big things we've learned in raising the ranks of women in the workplace is that representation matters. But if men are not availing themselves of the healthcare infrastructure (and they don't, even controlling for access to insurance) they will not see themselves as being a professional in those settings.

Don't just grow a mustache for Movember. Go to the doc and get your physical. Go to the dentist. Avail yourself of your company's EAP and do a mental wellness check up. Then be really brave and urge a buddy to do the same.

My boys need examples of men who know how to take care of their health. That's what that 'stache they so wish they could grow means.

Expand full comment

Mr. Reeves, your project is appropriately pitched from a political standpoint. Well done on that front. However, to move beyond surfaces and palliatives, we need to change the application of family laws in the courts away from prejudice and in the direction of true equity. Removing the incentives of entrenched bureaucracies benefiting from the status quo will not be easy, but unless the perverse incentives are removed, our efforts would not amount to anything more than grasping for the wind.

Expand full comment

Thank you for the important work your doing.. Your pro-feminist position may bring some of the moderate feminist along. If only in small increments. It's an important piece of the Mens movement. I do realize no group gives up power easily or willingly. Fortunately for us, many of these women have husbands and sons. All of them have fathers. Feminist will never admit it, but the fact is that it was men; partnering with women that made equal rights possible. If these men could have foreseen where it lead us, I wonder if they would have been so inclined to participate.

''But where is the equivalent work to at least arrest the decline in the share of men in our classrooms, in psychotherapy, in the mental health professions?'' Instead of arresting decline, how about increasing the # of men in these fields?

Expand full comment