I can’t keep up with bad behaviors by men nowadays – not all men before you lapse into cardiac arrest in anger at me – but those dudes who can’t seem to deal with their demons, fears, mental illnesses and hatreds in ways other than through the barrel of an AR-15.
So was it not men who flew planes into the World Trade Center, the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon on 9/11? Was it not the “Alt Right” men who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 protesting the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee that led to at least one death and scores of injuries?
Was it men who murdered nine church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015 and who gunned down six Asian women in Atlanta two years ago? Weren’t the gut-wrenching shootings at Texas’s Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School and at the July 4th parade near Chicago committed by men?Was it a demented man who killed 11 worshipers at a Pittsburg synagogue? And more recently, was men who killed six Muslims in Albuquerque, or a man who plunged a knife into the neck of author Salam Rushdie in New York? Continue reading Are Men Necessary? (Part 2) – by Terry Howard→
On my way out of a local fitness center, I happened across a used book dispenser and, like I always do, peered inside. The cover of one of those books, “Are Men Necessary?” by Maureen Dowd was indeed an attention getter if ever there was one. Although I was amused by it, some may find the book’s title off putting. Yes, I get that.
Which brings us to the issue of men these days – more to the point, arguments for and against the “necessity” of men as Dowd put it.
Let’s start by applying the (non-procreation) “necessity” test to a partial list of “men” as we think about the behaviors of some (note that I didn’t say “all”) men these days.
Here’re two men I want you to meet. They’re happy, lead productive lives and at peace with themselves, except, well, maybe they’re not.
Guy #1: Seems that he has everything going for him, a successful career, a beautiful home, expensive cars in his driveway and a family that adores him. He shows up at church every Sunday and never misses his daughter’s dance recitals.
Guy #2: He gets by comfortably on his pension and social security checks. Not into the social media “stuff,” he spends his days writing letters to the dwindling number of folks he’s known for decades. His biggest source of pride is his only son, a high-level administrator at a prestigious university and holder of two degrees from Ivy League universities.
Now if you were to ask either one of them “How ya doing?” they’ll probably respond, “Just fine.” But beyond the façade they may in fact be dealing with an affliction within…loneliness!
It’s not unusual for me to be on the receiving end of sarcastic comments in response to something I wrote. It comes with the territory. In fact, I’ve grown to relish the barbs, and on occasion will use them as teachable moments. Here’s the latest one from “Cynical Cedric” followed by a teachable moment checklist:
“Hey Howard, we’ve noticed that you’ve been strangely silent on the sexual assault stuff that’s been in the news lately. I think that many women are paranoid and worry too much about something that probably won’t happen to them. This stuff is largely overblown.”
Despite his material and enviable career success, Don, like many of his mid-20th-century contemporaries and many men today, more than a half a century later, was hampered by a common theme that is prevalent in the lives of many men — a lack of genuine friendships. The old saying that “the more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true in regards to this particular issue.
Men have chosen to become totally consumed with one’s career to the detriment of having any healthy relationships. There have been a number of theories and reasons from experts as to why so many men have difficulty establishing and maintaining valuable, close relationships with other men. The social awkwardness and a rejection of intimacy with other men are present in fear of being viewed or labeled as gay. Societal mores have historically frowned upon it. Instead, men have chosen to become totally consumed with one’s career to the detriment of having any healthy relationships. Reasons aside, many individuals with the X/Y chromosome have a real deficit in their level of camaraderie with other men.
The undeniable conclusion from many psychologists, psychotherapists, mental health experts as well as testimony from a number of men themselves is that too many men have too few, if any, real male friends.
There has been a plethora of studies providing evidence that men who are largely friendless are living in an unhealthy situation, often resort to alcohol, engage in drug use, suffer from depression, and should reexamine their current predicament. Some things to consider: Continue reading Addressing Social Isolation among Men – by Elwood Watson→
A friend on Facebook is the brand new father of a baby girl. Simon Cohen, in awe of childbirth and fatherhood invited his friends to give him ideas for an upcoming British radio show asking, “Why aren’t women given more respect? It’s the 21st Century!”
“Real men don’t take paternity leave,” said Robert on CNN’s Facebook page. When reminded by a commenter that it’s no longer the 1950s, Robert responded: “I wish it were the ’50s. Those were the days when men were men.” Hum, “when men were men!” Has an Archie Bunker-ish ring to it, huh?
One of the many benefits I enjoy from writing this column is that I get to stir stuff up from up here on my, shall we say, “perch.”From here, I get to rant and rave, sprinkle dashes of the uncomfortable into conventional wisdom and comfort zones, take folks dangerously close to the edge, leave them suspended Wile E. Coyote-like midair, then lasso them in before they plunge over the cliff into the “diversity dangers” that may lurk below. From here, I also get to do some vigorous backpedaling, or source attribution when I need to pass the buck if things get a tad too hot or have the potential to backfire on me.