Speaking up for men

Dear Editor:

Thank you for printing Stewart Epstein’s letter “Good men are not your enemies” in the April 25, 2019 issue.

As a woman, a graduate of an all-women’s college and a lifelong feminist, I find the prevailing attitude of hostility towards men very disheartening. I applaud Mr. Epstein for speaking up for good men, which are the great majority of men I’ve encountered. These men who care about and respect women are treated to a continual barrage of negative messages, with terms like “mansplaining,” “manspreading” and “toxic masculinity” imputing maleness as pathological.

If the script were flipped and women were referred to with such casual derision, the public outcry would be enormous. In contrast, men are supposed to shut up and listen, take it without complaint and suffer in silence. Women’s feelings of emotional comfort and safety are paramount, while men’s feelings don’t matter at all it seems.

By many measures, men and boys in our culture are struggling and falling behind: more men are committing suicide, dying on the job, and incarcerated in far greater numbers than women, and boys lag behind girls in grades, graduation rates, and college enrollment. Are men and boys so expendable that these problems will continue to go unnoticed and unsolved?

We could at least start with acknowledging that men are our partners, brothers, fathers, sons, mentors, and friends, and expressing gratitude for their presence in our lives. Only by working together can real progress be made.

Wendy Norris