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Dr. Helen

Why Are Men Silent?

March 23rd, 2013 - 6:00 am

I just noticed that the Harvard Business Review magazine had a pretty decent article called “The Silent Sex,” which mentioned my forthcoming book Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters. From the article:

I recently heard a surprising story: A female CEO was briefed on a stellar candidate for a top job at her company. “Sounds ideal,” she said to the group in the room. “Male or female?” Male was the answer. “Damn” was her audible response. The guy wasn’t even interviewed.

Anecdotes like this one lend credence to an argument that’s been gaining steam for more than a decade. It started with Susan Faludi’s 1999 book Stiffed and continued with dozens of similarly titled books, from Liza Mundy’s The Richer Sex and Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men, both released last year, to Helen Smith’s forthcoming Men on Strike.

The message is simple and provocative: The feminist movement has been so effective in advancing women over the past several decades that the ability of men to thrive—indeed, their fundamental role in society—is now in peril.

Strangely, however, most of the people who seem to be promoting, or even debating, the theory today are women. If men are indeed getting stiffed, becoming the poorer sex, and facing their “end,” particularly in the world of work, why aren’t more of them talking about it, going on strike as Smith suggests, or strategizing about how to recover the ground they’ve lost?

The author of the article asks some men she knows to speculate about whether men are losing ground, and I think answer #3 is the most plausible:

The thesis is right, and even white-collar executives are affected, particularly in sectors like marketing or media, where more women have reached the top. But none of those men will speak up, because they recognize the historically strong position of men in the corporate world and, again, don’t want to admit their own weakened position. No man wants to be branded a whiny antifeminist by the growing sisterhood of leaders who are women. So, for example, when a female CEO openly discriminates against a male job candidate, no one says a word. Conferences and events geared toward helping women in business remain commonplace, even in industries where they’re reaching parity with men. Research centers focused on women win grants, but no one demands comparable funding for studies on men. And the National Organization for Men (NOM) in the U.S.—yes, there is one—remains a group that many potential members might be embarrassed to join.

Commenter to the article Sam Armstrong also seemed to have the right idea:

Men don’t join the conversation now for the same reason that women didn’t in the ’50s.

In the ’50s if a woman complained about her sexist boss then the entire weight of the organization and society came down on her for not playing her part, and being uppity enough to challenge the real power.

Now after decades of the government and corporate legal counsel’s actively stamping out sexual harassment, a new paradigm exists. If a woman complains about a sexist man then the man is presumed guilty until he can prove his innocence (usually because the company would rather fire him on the spot rather than risk a lawsuit or government interference in their operations). In other words, “the entire weight of the organization and society come down on the uppity man for questioning a powerful woman.”

Maybe someday we’ll achieve that actual equality we’ve been seeking, but for now it’s just safer and better for the man to move on to a less dangerous place and continue his career there.

Perhaps this is why only women seem to be speaking up. It’s safer and they typically have a feminist bent anyway. Come on–The End of Men? Seriously? That’s easy. What’s hard is speaking up about the war against men in our culture, especially if one is a man with a career.

Do you speak up when you see injustice against men in public, at work, or out in the world?

Also read: 

5 Ways to Forfeit Your Man Card

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Top Rated Comments   
I'm retired now, thankfully, but my last boss at a very large Fortune 200 company had the following "qualifications:"

1. Female
2. Lesbian
3. Over 50 yrs old
4. African American

Oh, I left one important one out: She was totally incompetent both from experience and leadership standpoint and as a bonus played the "favorites" game to the hilt. Sadly, this became the rule, rather than the exception. A pattern became obvious in my company in its bizarre quest for "diversity". Product quality took a second seat. We were actually measured on how many women and minorities we hired by our "human relations" department which itself was completely overrun by diversity queens.

It was really disgusting having to explain over and over to "leadership" what it is you actually do.

I held my nose, closed my mouth and stuck it out. Of course, had I said anything at all, I would have had to attend some "training" in order to get my mind right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm an adult white male. According to the modern media I'm responsible for pretty much every problem in the world.
I'm the reason why African Americans are poor and angry.
I'm the one preventing the Obama administration from turning this country into the utopia it should be.
I'm why women are so miserable.
Even though TV commercials portray me as an out of touch, bumbling man child who can't dress himself in the morning, I still control everything, so I have no right to complain when I get screwed over.
Go me!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What men should really look into is independent work, self-employment. I worked as a translator, then went back to school (law school), and jumped in as an independent attorney. That took a LOT of work, because you don't know crap about the business (of law) when you graduate. But you find a foothold, something you can do that is easy, and then you build from there. You don't have to work for a soul-sucking company.

That should be the goal of every man. You are just going to be overrun today if you work as an employee in a some company. Start learning to suck dick, I guess, if you want to be an employee.

I don't know how else to fight this illogical monster. It's everywhere. You have to pretend a whole series of pretend crap. It's like the Catholic Church at the time of Galileo.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (97)
All Comments   (97)
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Greetings! Looking forward to ordering "Men On Strike"

I am a 42 year old white guy. I have never been married, no children, and I date rarely. It's not that I don't want to, but EVERY conversation with women (Generation X 1965-1979) is: women have it worse.

I can't IMAGINE how much worse it is today with the next crew coming up.

My dating options now are slim. Most women around my age are divorced, separated, have a tow of kids in line and are looking for "daddy" which means to most of them: Have a really good job. Don't judge me by my tattoos, my weight, my snarly attitude, my bad choices and STILL bad choices I am making.

They want me to feel SORRY for them because they have had to "endure" so much because they are a woman. They have the misplaced idea that I (as a man) only want sex, and I'll do anything for they can be as nasty, entitled, mean, and have "daddy" (the court system) use the muscle of law to get what they "feel" they deserve.

I always heard (in college and grad school years) that women are "smarter than men, it's been proven."

Why then so miserable? Why so angry? Why so vindictive? Why so entitled?

By my mid thirties, I was so "blue" and "sad" about my situation of not being "good" enough for a wife, or putting up with serious, serious drama. I didn't care how "cute" she was anymore. I just decided that I was going to do what I wanted. I repair scooters. I listen to records. I read, travel, own a home. The "carrot" so to speak of having kids, in today's society is well....not worth it. Too many of my college friends are now living at home with their parents and have lost everything because "she wasn't happy" and the courts supported her all the way.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am silent, because I have never experienced anything like discrimination because I am male. I am sure discrimination must exist.

I have known incompetent and comif so many report it but...petent female bosses. There is a tendency in some of the larger companies I have been to to put the more talky, less smart people in management and let the nerds work in peace.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At every juncture and direction change or events like installing a fence giving advice meant in good intentions (ie spousal advice because I do love her) and being accused of thinking she was stupid then doing exactly opposite of advice and failing. I now stand aside my motto is Do what ever you feel like you gotta do, good luck. Life is short and it's not worth the argument I already know she will win so I let her win all the way by pre-emptive surrender. Men may all be doing this with every woman by surrendering without a whimper, Why? Well sex for one or lack of it on the men's part and women need a man around to open jars for them.
I've been married for 39 years to the same woman, I have gotten better at it as I have aged.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Strangely, however, most of the people who seem to be promoting, or even debating, the theory today are women. If men are indeed getting stiffed, becoming the poorer sex, and facing their “end,” particularly in the world of work, why aren’t more of them talking about it, going on strike as Smith suggests, or strategizing about how to recover the ground they’ve lost?"--Alison Beard, senior editor at Harvard Business Review

Plenty of men are talking about it. But as Warren Farrell reveals in the title of one of his books about it, "Women Can't Hear" (and it's not because men aren't saying it).

Alison Beard and the other HBR senior editors are behind in their reading:

The Myth of Male Power by Warren Farrell (Ms. Beard DID mention this one but it was first published waaay back in 1993; her boo-boo reveals she's at least a decade behind the times)
The Decline of the American Male by William Attwood, Jr. George B. Leonard, J. Robert Moskin and Robert Osborn (1958)
The Hazards of Being Male: Surviving the Myth of Masculine Privilege by Herb Goldberg
The Decline of Males: The First Look at an Unexpected New World for Men and Women by Lionel Tiger
The Fragile Male: The Decline of a Redundant Species by Ben Greenstein
If Men Have All the Power How Come Women Make the Rules: and other radical thoughts for men who want more fairness by Jack Kammer
Women Can't Hear... by Warren Farrell

All Ms. Beard knows she learned by watching Oprah Winfrey and Phil Donahue, eh?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In Africa, for aeons, women have taken care of the children, planted and cultivated the crops, harvested the crops and fed their families. the men have hung out with the guys, spawned some sprogs (which the women take care of) and lived a good life. No guy worries that much about fatherhood, since no guy invests much effort in taking care of the children. If he wants a hard-working wife, he has to pay her family a bride price, called "lobola", commonly measured in cattle. Lobola is still paid. Because the woman does the work. When the man dies, his property reverts to HIS family--his mother, father, sisters and their kids. His wife is Ess Oh Ell.

Northern European cultures developed differently. It took a lot of effort to take care of and raise children. Women had to give a man a reason to invest in their children. First and foremost, he had to know they were HIS. Hence she gave him control of her sexuality, her comings and goings, and (in some cultures) her wealth. SHE has to pay HIM to take her on as a dependent.

Talk to an anthropologist. They have terms for these two types of cultures.

Black culture is reverting to its traditional form around the world given the ease with which women can get government support for their children. Women are also taking back control of their own sexuality and f*rnicating with whoever they feel like.

But now, for the first time in history, white men are learning the same lessons. The social ecology has changed in the west. White women don't need their men. They can get Uncle Sugar to pay for any babies.

And more men are learning that they are chumps for playing the white, Northern European game when women hold the cards and the power. It is so perverse that a man can be compelled to support his wife's children even if they are the spawn of another man!

White men are responding to the changed ecology and are no longer forcing their women to "act white". Nor do white women WANT them to, what with Uncle Sugar and Obamacare.

In England, among the lower classes the process is almost complete. Men spawn babies and don't get married. The women get on the dole, get council houses and live large.

This is what you wanted, Helen. You got what you asked for. Men are no longer fighting the power. They are adjusting to the Neo-African sexual and family ecology and living a better life.

Of course it will all end badly (if you think in European terms) because with no way to harness male desire and channel it in productive directions, you are left with half the population that is dedicated to eating, fighting, f*cking, and drinking.

White boy heroes are not Admiral Nelson or anymore, they are Fiddy Cent and Lil Wayne. Find 'em, f*ck 'em, and forget 'em.

I doubt women will ever realize the error of their ways. Why? With so many cute guys they can ride the C*ck Carousel for a good 10-15 years.

A man, ANY man, would be a fool to limit his seed to one women. Black men took a couple generations to revert to traditional African norms when the living became easy and Uncle Sugar gave their women whatever they wanted. English men took a little longer. And white American men are rapidly catching up.

From a purely Darwinian perspective a man would have to be an idiot to get married, take on one single woman, stick his head in the horse collar and pay for whatever sprogs she squirts out spawned by whatever man she chooses.

But it won't be a problem for rich white women like you. It never is. You can go to your elite college, meet your elite man, form your wealthy two income family and look down your nose in pure puzzlement at the goings on of the lower classes. "Golly" you ask. "Why don't they just eat cake?" This, after pushing for all male working class jobs to be offshored and women to get free government checks and their pick of choice jobs.

Enjoy. Be puzzled. Scratch your head and wonder why men don't "fight the power". My answer? Why should we? From our perspective it looks pretty good to f*rnicate for years and let the government pick up the tab. It looks pretty good to live in a feminist "African" culture.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ha ha. If I were a young man in the market today to reproduce my genes, I think would lay back and be a kept man. I'd become the best "metro sexual" I could, all soft and cuddly and supportive of my woman going out there to slay the dragon. If I got lucky and found a women willing to commit to children (not marriage - oh no), I'd stay home, be an excellent houseman taking care of the kids, not only cleaning and doing the laundry; but doing all the house upgrades indoors and outdoors maintenance. Heck, I'd even find time to smoke a cigar with the boys and play a butt load of XBox. And when I got tired of her, I'd walk out the door, find another young thing to hang with until I got tired of her. Beauty is: No divorce, No alimony, No child support, because: I ain't got anything. Hey! You fixed it this way. Yep. Bring it on, man.

Of course, when women figure out how to create artificial sperm, all men are doomed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here in Dallas the Mayor held a "Rally for Men". What was this "Rally for Men" about you might ask? Why it was for men to stand together against domesticate abuse of women. Even when we get our own rally it's for exorcizing the male demon of wife beating. Go to the rally, wash your hands of your male guilt of having to be associated with a gender that beats on weak women. Otherwise failure to stand with the rally is tantamount to supporting wife beating.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Fear of lawyers
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Feminists are paying men a perverse, back-handed compliment by implying that men have to show greater forebearance, patience, stoicism and tolerance than do women. IOW: men are "emotionally superior" and more "mature." That is, according to the expectations of how men, adhering to their code of "manly" behavior, are expected to act in today's world. Are men "superior" in those regards? I. Don't. Think. So. But that is the unintended paradigm that has ben created. A gender Wars Catch-22.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's one way to look at it:

Women reach their peak of maturity at age 16 or 17. They are light years beyond boys that age. Girls at that age are looking for a James Bond type, that is certainly not the typical 17-year-old boy.

But men continue to mature and grow. They really do. At 40, a man can really do something in life, whether plumbing or engineering. Many men have also learned quite a bit about life. Many - far too many - women remain 17 when they are 40. They remain invested in gossip, they have no real skills (a degree in "women's studies" is not really a skilll in life), and they continue on their path of simply having a sharp tongue.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's an unfortunate fact of the modern society that, at the age of 20, few of the men are attractive to their female peers. In years past, a young man of that age was all set to start a farm or take a job in a factory, and by dint of hard work and persistence, would be pretty well set to start a family and obtain status in society in a few years. But today, the young man must first go through college or trade school, and then spend a number of years working entry-level jobs. Meanwhile, his female peers are at the peak of their physical attractiveness, and because of this they will cruise through young adulthood. They will obtain jobs more easily and have many favors done for them. And a lot of them will develop the expectation that this is how it will be all of their lives.

But by 35, the situation has changed. The male has now been at his career for a while; he has seniority and good pay. Meanwhile the female has lost a lot of her youthful looks, and she is likely carrying financial, physical, and emotional burdens that she racked up in her footloose days. The women are now seeking out the men, but a lot of the men are going to reject them because they remember how that same cohort rejected them when they were 20. Men who desire to will have the luxury of picking and choosing, which completely pisses off the women who expected to be in the dominant relationship position their whole lives. And the balance will continue to tilt further in this direction, as the men continue to acquire skills, wealth and status, while physical beauty leaves the stage. This will be the pattern to old age.

Moral: 20-year-old women, you reap what you sow. Keep that in mind.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am in the first 'boomer' year, and I never thought that it was a good deal at all.

The gals should realize that life can end up like it did for the fox who romanced the skunk: he got what he wanted but also way more than he bargained for.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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