You know there is a disparity between the sexes when the Huffington Post has a clearly defined and populated “women’s section” but there is nothing comparable for men.
Some say it is not necessary to have a “Men’s Section” because men are already over-represented and in essence, every section is for or about men. It is true that men remain in power positions across all industries, consistently earn more than women for doing the same job, and have considerably more authority and autonomy than many of their female counterparts. However in this case, men don’t have a voice at all and this is a trend that seems to be growing with detrimental results.
Probably for the first time in history, it’s not a great time to be a man. It is a well-known statistic that currently boys are dropping out of school en masse. Many traditional male jobs have been outsourced off-shore or have become obsolete, consequently creating a huge swell of unemployed, unmarketable men. Many men are slower than previous generations to attain self-sufficiency and “get out there on their own”. This makes for a sizable generation of man-children and many disgruntled women. Worst of all, men are taught continuously to hate themselve’s. Through stories, media and the news, men are seen as bullies, buffoons, and cheaters.
It is an interesting time in our development when men’s thoughts and opinions are not considered worthy of discussion in authoritative publications like The Huffington Post. Of course, there are some wonderful man-centric blogs like The Good Men Project and The Art of Manliness but they have a specific niche and fairly modest audiences. As many mainstream media would have it, men’s outlooks are only relevant if they are sandwiched between ads with scantily-clad busty women and self-indulgent products. Where are men supposed to seek advice and counsel if not hitched to beers, babes and expensive cars?
Additionally, men currently lack role models and heroes. Rarely do we see a modern-day hero who is not marred by scandal. In the past, masculinity was defined as the heroic, valiant undertaking of being able to hunt, go off to war and build stuff. A lot of urban men aren’t masculine in that way so where does that leave men now? Frankly, it leaves a lot of them floundering, trying to find their place and purpose in a world that fails to provide one for them.
It is important for men to have a place for themselve’s to discuss what is important to further their growth. Women have communication finesse, intrinsic to our feminine natures but where does that leave men? It leaves them without a voice of their own. For example, the Huffington Post has articles in their women’s section on infertility, finances, and time-management. I believe that men would also benefit from articles on how to deal with a cruel boss, how to navigate the holidays without losing your mind and wallet and how to be a better, more organized father. I believe that they need to feel at one with their pack brothers to find out how others are succeeding in health, finances, sex, wellness, family and career.
Where is a man to go to find out how to be a better man?
I suggest a “Man section” for men to talk about what it means to be manly, not in an ironic Movember way, but in a way that gives men back their pride in masculinity. We need men to start counting on other men for advice and opinions to help shape their world. I welcome a place for men to pat each other on the back for a win or gentle kick in the pants for an indiscretion. Men deserve a place where they can mentor each other. We all know that coaching works to help us exceed our self-imposed limitations. Having a forum where men could counsel each other could do just that.
Everyone benefits when they feel heard and respected. I think it is high time for men to have a place where they can start talking with each other about their world and their lives. This will help to swing the pendulum back to a more balanced, buoyant, egalitarian perspective.