The Game Between the Sexes is going poorly for men & boys and getting worse.
The suicide statistics might be the most compelling evidence of that.
When you’re way behind in a game, the only way to avoid being beaten is to stage a comeback. You have to go on offense.
Note first that a comeback is not a backlash. We’re more like a frontlash. We may be the very most progressive movement on the social scene today.
We don’t want to take women’s points off the board.
We’re going to put our points on, to insist and ensure that men and boys gain access to the traditional advantages of women and girls, just as women and girls have gained access to the traditional advantages of men and boys.
We will move the ball forward to allow men and boys to claim the same full range of life options and expect the same level of empathy and respect that women and girls claim as their due.
Our game will be assertive, offensive, colorful, creative and fun. An apt non-sports meaning of “comeback” is “snappy rejoinder.”
We are not “Angry White Men.”
We are about gender, not race — except insofar as discrimination on the basis of race and unfairness on the basis of sex compound and exacerbate each other.
We see clearly that many of our nation’s most difficult social problems are rooted as much in issues of gender as of race. If this were not case, marginalized African-American men would be faring no worse than marginalized African-American women. But by many important measures — poverty, incarceration, life expectancy, suicide, addiction, lack of health care, withdrawal from the workforce, educational underachievement, estrangement from their children — they are. Being male must be at least part of the troubles of our most beleaguered men. Certainly it’s the most unacknowledged part.
We are not homophobes.
We recognize that discrimination against gay men results most fundamentally from the fact that their sexual orientation does not put them at the service of women. They do not conform to narrow roles and expectations that are incompatible with their happiness and fulfillment.
Straight men can learn a lot from them about standing up for themselves.
And though we understand and champion the value of fatherhood, we take a macro view of the nation’s child-rearing ecosystem rather than focusing on each and every individual family. Just as the health of a forest ecosystem cannot be judged by examining each square meter of ground individually, we do well to ensure that respect for men, fathers and male generativity in the wider community is thriving. There is room in our child-rearing ecosystem for families headed by same-sex parents.
Expressing unhappiness toward women is not misogyny.
Do women ever do anything wrong?
Of course they do. They’re human.
Then why do we have so much trouble talking about it?
The expression of unhappy emotions toward women is not misogyny, but rather Misterogyny.
Men do not have “all the power.” Women are not “oppressed.”
While it may be true that men with power take care of their friends with power, most men have little power and powerful men are far more interested in taking care of powerless women than powerless men.
And tall is not the only big. While men’s power tends to be vertical and hierarchical, women’s tends to be lateral and social. A worthy thought experiment: Which building generates more power: a tall, narrow skyscraper or a two-story, three-acre convention center?
Here is what we want.
We want a seat at the table. Every table at which the balance of power, privileges, obligations and advantages between women and men, girls and boys is discussed and decided.
In this era of Inclusiveness and Diversity and Respecting All Points of View and Valuing Partnerships and Honoring Stakeholders, it really is quite astonishing how thoroughly men's experiences, points of view and opinions on what Gender Equality should look like have been excluded, dishonored and disrespected — in fact demonized to justify what should have been a negotiation but has in fact so far been a shakedown.
Making sure we did not have a seat at the table assured women that they would have to put nothing on the table, that no one would be in a position to challenge their insistence that the flow of privileges and advantages would be unilateral, entirely from us to them.
We want — and we will take — the time and opportunity to speak freely and assemble our own one-sided list of wants, needs and demands about which we will feel no more obligation to be balanced and empathic toward women than women have been toward us. The ideas on Our-Comeback under the headings of #ourcmbk and Toxic Femininity will be only a start.
Then, in our new seat at the old table, we will engage in a long overdue discussion with women to assert our ideas of what truly healthy and fair relationships between the sexes look like.
And that will be much more fun... and much more fair... than it’s been, especially for young men, since just about forever.