What about men?
Mark.Freed / 03 Oct 2023
I was suffering from a cold and a bad knee at the weekend. Which meant I had time to fulfil a promise I had made a very good friend to read, feminist author and columnist, Caitlin Moran’s book, What About Men? Lots of great takeaways and ideas in the book.
Over the last twenty years most of my critics have been women. Mostly they describe themselves as feminists. I have always found it impossible to talk to or have a constructive argument with these women as they come from a place that all men are bad and I'm only in it for the money, etc.
In Caitlin’s book she ask the question, what are the good things about boy’s and men? What are the good things about masculinity? What should we be celebrating – be excited about – that men and boys do uniquely well? She then went on to list them:
- Non-judgemental – there’s no backstabbing or bitchy comments; they accept you, however you are.
- Protective – they will do everything to keep the people they love safe, even if it puts them in danger
- Up for anything – if you want to see if your gaffer-tape-mended inflatable boat is now seaworthy, three men will jump on board with you; no need to ask twice
- Brave – they are the first ones down the stairs if there’s a weird noise at night
- Joyous – if you want an uncomplicated day of fun, no deep or morose stuff, it’s men you call. They will make you laugh until you cry.
- Hard-working – they will work, uncomplainingly, at even the hardest of jobs.
- Incredibly loyal – when they love you, they love you for ever, no matter what.
- She then realised she was basically describing dogs!!!!
Later in the chapter she returns to the idea: If men are like dogs, in some ways, then it’s no wonder that all the recent conversations about ‘masculinity being toxic’ has resulted in either a sense of depression and resignation in men; or else a snapping snarling misogyny. After all, if a dog starts being treated with suspicion – if it can tell people are frightened of it; if all it hears is people angrily calling it ‘bad dog’ ; if all conversations about dogs are about how bad they are – it will either slink away, under the table, crushed; or else start barking and believing it’s a bad dog.
Thank you Caitlin for making, what would have otherwise been a dull weekend, thought provoking and entertaining. My partner at Men for Inclusion, Gary Ford and I will take note.
Mark Freed, COO E2W and Co-Founder of Men for Inclusion.
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