“Where Are The Men?” – Hiding in Plain Sight for 40 Years

Print More

Where are the men? Since last fall, when Harvey Weinstein and his predator brothers were exposed for enacting poisonous masculinity, I’ve heard that question a lot. More and more women are speaking out—and, thankfully, being believed. Two simple words—“Me, too”—have sparked a movement that’s awoken a lot of people.

This is essential. But almost entirely absent from the global conversation is an examination of the system that allowed men like Weinstein to thrive—a system that is “male-dominated, male-identified, and male-centered,” as the late sociologist Allan Johnson put it.

The mainstream media’s coverage of individual stories of fallen men is a cop-out. If they want to get to the root of the problem they have to examine why men feel entitled to abuse women. And that leads us to—like the word or not—patriarchy. Women and men need to jointly put patriarchy on trial. If we don’t, #MeToo’s potential tipping point might tip backwards.

Where are the men? As the principal survivors of men’s sexual harassment and assaults,women are leading the way as a tsunami of change rolls over a culture that unfairly privileges men. But they aren’t alone. As entitled men in entertainment, politics, the media, and the arts are outed, suspended, or fired, we’re being asked, Where are the men? It’s a legitimate question. Women created and still lead the movement but it’s our cause too. Some men have been allies for a long time.

For two generations a growing number of men of all races and ethnicities in the US and around the world have been working to prevent domestic and sexual violence, and also to redefine and transform traditional ideas about manhood, fatherhood, and brotherhood.  Voice Male, the magazine I edit, has been chronicling those efforts for three decades.

Astonishingly, in reporting on #MeToo most of the media has neglected to cover—or even acknowledge—pro-feminist men’s sweeping critique of manhood and masculinity going back to the 1970s. When Gloria Steinem famously said, “Women want a men’s movement. We are literally dying for it.” some men were listening.

Some first pro-feminist organizations started long ago, including Men Allied Nationally for the Equal Rights Amendment (M.A.N. for ERA, 1976), EMERGE, the first batterer intervention program (1977), RAVEN (Rape and Violence End Now, 1978), and Oakland Men’s Project (1979).  But today, since #MeToo represents such a pivotal moment for men to challenge the notion we were socialized to believe—that male-dominated, male-identified, male-centered societies are normal—and because we have such an opportunity to educate ourselves about the history and ongoing activism of the anti-sexist men’s movement, the question is what can men do right now.

Borrowing from MVP Strategies’ “Ten Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence“, here is an abbreviated list of suggestions.

Approach sexual harassment and gender violence as a men’s issue. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers.

Don’t remain silent. If someone is abusing or being disrespectful to his female partner or anyone—don’t look the other way. Talk to him; urge him to seek help.

Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes. Don’t be defensive when you’ve done something that hurts someone. Understand how your attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence. Work to change them.

Get help. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, or have been in the past, seek professional help. Now.

Join the cause. Be an ally to women who are working to end gender violence. Support the women whose courage and empowered voices have catalyzed the #MeToo movement.

Be an ally. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing— abuse with direct links to sexism (e.g. the gender identity and sexual orientation of men who challenge sexism is often questioned, a strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reason few men speak out).

Educate yourself. Attend programs, watch films, and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence.

While women will continue to lead the #MeToo movement, men must play a critical role as partners and allies. If men are willing to investigate the destructive nature of patriarchy, and educate themselves about the benefits of gender equality, then history may well record this perilous time as patriarchy’s last stand and feminism’s next chapter. #MenWhatAreWeWaitingFor?

Rob Okun, editor of Voice Male magazine and the anthology, VOICE MALE – The Untold Story of the Profeminist Men’s Movement?, is also one of Women’s eNews ‘21 Leaders for the 21st Century‘ 2018. To attend,  RSVP here. 

  • StephenMcArthur

    I would like to add another important element to Rob Okun’s fine piece. Andrea Dworkin said: “Money speaks, but it speaks with a male voice.” Harvey Weinstein’s voice, along with so many other men, is a perfect example of it. While so much of this is about gender, gender norms established over thousands of years, male power and control embedded in our social, cultural, political, and religious structures, it is also about economics and economic power that have been male power centers forever. Part and parcel of any strategy to address the inequities and iniquities of male supremacy and its devastating results must be a fuller understanding among women and their male allies of the language of economic power and the system that has fought hard to maintain it. It should include understanding the lie that women should work for less, or better yet, for free, and the value of women’s work as described in Marilyn Waring’s seminal work “If Women Counted.” After many years of working with victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence, I have come to believe our economic system of patriarchal deprivation must be at the heart of any analysis or action plan, along with current understandings and strategies to uproot sexism, misogyny, gender violence, physical and psychological abuses, rape, and domestic violence. Despite my obvious self-interested in the success of the forthcoming book Screwnomics (She Writes Press, April 3, 2018), I believe it can make a substantial contribution to fuller understandings of how and why women must be more and more involved in our economic life and why men must be allies in that effort.

  • Cedar Cat

    We have much to do. Thank you to our brothers who hold women sacred.

  • crydiego

    Men, think for a minute, –is this article asking you to suport women or is it asking you to support feminism. Women are our mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and half the people in the world. Feminism is an ideology that after a million years of evolution blames anything bad on men, –the other half.

    • M RV

      That is plainly a lie. I am a feminist, I am a wife, I am a mother, I am
      a worker. Both my parents, both my grandparents worked to get me where I
      am, my husband supports me and I support him. Please stop spreading
      lies.

      • crydiego

        I’m confused by you reply to me because it is what I recommend! You as a granddaughter was aided by your grandparents, as a daughter by your parents, and as a wife by your husband. All that was made possible by the women’s movement in the 60s and 70s which simply asked for equal opportunity. This early feminism was supported by the vast majority of men and changes came quickly. Then feminism became the political ideology that it is today.

        • M RV

          I replied to what you said, since I do not know you. You said “Feminism is an ideology that after a million years of evolution blames anything bad on men” and I said that is a lie. I stand by what I said.

          • crydiego

            That is the whole point of my question to you: “You clearly want your husband, father, and grandfather to embrace and respect feminism but what does today’s feminism think about them?”
            Todays feminism implies that males and some warped definition of masculinity are to blame for all that is bad. It is an ideology, — and a hateful one.

          • M RV

            My husband, father and grandfather embrace what they want, they are free human beings.
            I am also a full human being and they acknowledge that. So do the feminisms that I know. I respect some of the men I know and some of the men I know respect me. I am a feminist, they respect that, I am a feminist, I respect them.
            You still say “Today’s feminism implies that males and some warped definition of masculinity are to blame for all that is bad”. I still say that continues to be a lie.

          • crydiego

            Today’s feminism has no empathy or appreciation for anyone or anything male.
            You say that is a lie but your only rebuttal is that you don’t feel that way.
            I’ll leave you with a quote by someone who also says she is a feminist: “Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters.” Camille Paglia

          • M RV

            I must have missed your detailed explanation for your first accusation of feminism as “an ideology that after a million years of evolution blames anything bad on men”. I say what I see. Quotes out of context are bullshit. You have still not even tried to prove your original point accusing feminism to which I replied. And now you have thrown in another lie (must be the one for the road :-D): “Today’s feminism has no empathy or appreciation for anyone or anything male.”

          • crydiego

            I’m very happy with the comments I’ve made and I’m proud to let them stand here against you, with your fingers in your ears and saying, “It’s a lie! ” You are living a lie and those around you are required to mirror it to you, because feminism, –ask them!

          • M RV

            You do not make any sense. You made a statement without proof, which I questioned. You have not given any logical reason for your statement, just expanded it. Those general statements you made are a lie. I gave you an example of what I see around myself which logically disproves your statement. Still, no reasoning or basis for your accusations, but I am supposed to take them at face value (or mirror them) just because… you are “very happy” and “proud” of them. That does not make them true.

          • crydiego

            So here is your chance, you are a modern feminist, say something positive about masculinity through the centuries; I’ll wait.

          • M RV

            My husband and I have had a good laugh: you throw an accusation, I said it is not true, you do not even make an attempt to prove it and I am the one supposed to do the work? In any case, what aspect would you like me to focus on? (and then, of course, I will wait for you to prove your original point, let’s not forget how this conversation started).

          • crydiego

            It’s OK, the feminist mindset requires that you only see men’s oppressive side.
            My proof is you and your past comments. My proof is the reality of men and women’s genuine need for each others strengths and feminism’s fish and bicycle analogy. And, my proof is in your little antidote about laughing with your husband, — if it is true I have compassion for him, if it is not, I have compassion for you.

          • M RV

            Ah! The fact that you like generalization does not mean it is true, just means you like to generalize. You continue making no logical sense. State where I have talked about “men’s oppressive side”. You keep mixing stuff and not being precise, jumping from “feminism” to “feminist mindset”, no proof, no logic, no reasoning. I asked you what aspect, rather you start rambling on fish and bicycles and antidotes (no poison around), and “compassion”… Please get off your feminist pedestal, my husband is quite satisfied and comfortable in his masculinity. I do agree on human beings needing each other; however, that has no bearing on feminism and I see no proof of your initial 2 lies, rather just a reiteration. In spite of what somebody said, a lie repeated a thousand times does NOT become the truth, it is just a repeated lie.

          • crydiego

            You agree on people needing each other, you agree on, men and women, needing each other? As a feminist please tell me why would a woman need a man? Why a man and not just someone?

          • M RV

            Why not?

          • crydiego

            Feminisms theory of patriarchy, is the blame of maleness throughout time.
            Yes, men are someone, but why a man, -chance?

          • M RV

            You still have not given any logical reasoning for your first two lies, and now you are piling up another baseless accusation on them, i.e., “Feminisms theory of patriarchy, is the blame of maleness throughout time”. I am more interested in how you reason your starting point than in following a path with no firm ground whatsoever, so please just say which is it: baseless generalization lies or do you actually have a logic to what you are saying? If the latter, please share; if the former, just admit.

          • crydiego

            Your interest in my in my reasons is amusing. If one says that the truth is a lie long enough people will begin to believe it as the truth, — but I’m not interested in your reason.

          • M RV

            I have been asking for the logic behind what you are saying, since you might have a point. But it seems you do not, and you want me to take your word as truth just because.. Seems you are a bit too much your own feminist.

          • crydiego

            Yes, you may be right and as Karen Straughan says, “logic doesn’t always work with feminism.”

          • M RV

            :-D. Maybe she does apply some logic (I do not know the woman), but you certainly do not (on this occasion, no idea if you do other times).

          • crydiego

            Here is some logic. However it happened, men and women have come a long way together and my hope is for some reconciliation between the great feminine and masculine forces.
            Men have lost the battle of the sexes because feminism became powerful and political. Men and boys are losing on all fronts, is that what women want? and goodbye

          • M RV

            I agree with a bit in your first paragraph. I think human beings will continue their long way together and that cooperation (usually) brings improvement for more people than confrontation (except if and when necessary).
            The second paragraph tells me that we are coming from two different realities, that is why I was asking for your reasoning. Most of the people I know can not afford “a battle of the sexes”, we need boys, girls, men and women to work together to have our lives as best as we can.

          • crydiego

            I understand why you think what you think and I’m in awe of you debating ability.
            Modern feminism is a powerful force and is creating equally powerful changes.
            Are our realities so different?

          • M RV

            People create powerful changes. Not sure on feminism.
            Yes, because your reality seems to be full competition against each other; I have had collaboration most of the time. Best of luck.

          • crydiego

            Oh, you have collaboration and support most of the time? It seems you could only keep your bitter passive-aggressive side hidden up til now. You’re a defensive feminist who mostly experiences “collaboration and support! ”
            “I have had collaboration and support most of the time,” that’s a good one!

          • BlueLanternMonk

            I know that you noticed her working the 7″ x 4″ shaft, like a dirty girl; after I handed her her bonnet on every account and yet, you admire her – because she took you down through there. Now, do you see why men’s rights activism doesn’t work? Only unmarried or childless women are open to listening – but by then, they’re useless. Did you notice that she thought that men had an own group gender preference, like women (psychological projection) or that comparing anthropology and Einstein’s theory of relativity was untenable? I was smarter than her in 6th grade and yet, you admire her…..
            “Taylor et al. (2000) first proposed the idea of a unique female stress response which they termed “tend-and-befriend.” The tend-and-befriend response is characterized as an oxytocin mediated stress response cascade. There are numerous biochemical and evolutionary explanations for this unique female stress response that would have increased the survival of females and their offspring under conditions of stress and hence increased the chances of subsequent reproduction. Estrogen has been found to increase the effects of oxytocin already in excess in females as compared with males. Testosterone and vasopressin, the counterparts of estrogen and oxytocin, present during the male stress response, “fight-or-flight,” have been found to exhibit the opposite effects of oxytocin.”
            http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/mccarthy.html

          • crydiego

            Well, there is that.

          • BlueLanternMonk

            It was funny watching you get trounced by a weak, dumb, fat, old, passively feminist woman. I don’t feel sorry for you, because you liked it; you were all: “finally, a glimmer of pointless empathy for teh menz! We’re finally getting somewhere, yay! Thank you so much for the nothing – I’ll treasure it forever and ever!” …..and that is why I follow your profile, broseph!
            “Man stands face to face with the irrational. He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.”
            ~ Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

          • crydiego

            You seem to be very well educated and good with words, I’m not. Conceding to others isn’t a weakness as much as an acceptance of my limits. Everyone views debates with a different point scale and debates are for the viewers.

          • BlueLanternMonk

            I dropped out of high school with straight A’s in the 2nd semester of 10th grade and ran away from home; I never went to university and I’m a virtually unemployable freak, of both nature and nurture. The truth is that you are most likely better with words, more well educated and a better person than I am, to say nothing of what’s her name. I figured that you were going easy on her, because she’s just a girl; it was still funny, though! You’re welcome to subscribe to my YouTube channel ForgottenFuRyan. I would be swayed by you kindness, if I weren’t so far gone. You’re an upright man and I hope that you’re married and have many sons and daughters! Remember to practice your abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing?
            “A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future.” ? Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays.

          • crydiego

            A lot of us are a little lost out here, each in our own way. I get a lot of wisdom from Jordan Peterson lately.
            Your youtube is impressive and I will keep stopping by but I never subscribe
            The breathing is important.

          • BlueLanternMonk

            Jordan B Peterson is far too soft for my liking, which I told him via comment and I trolled him so hard that he worked rebuttals to me into his course material; then, I pushed so hard that he blocked me. I knew that he would. Much like yourself and the other normiequeers – if you will – he has a public face to keep clean and a reputation to uphold. Your skills are wasted on diqus; let me know when you’re reaching 100x as many people on YouTube, eh crydiego?

          • BlueLanternMonk

            I looked for your YouTube channel: y don’t u hav 1?! You’re an Affirmative Action recipient like all women or colored people and only Caucasian men are not; however, you have a lot of accurate things to say. I’m of the mind, that it’s about time; for you to expand you audience, @crydiego!

    • BlueLanternMonk

      All women passively benefit from feminism via Selective Service and conscription immunity, which men don’t receive and by Affirmative Action, that only Caucasian men don’t receive. I admire you gumption, sir! Since you are what I’d call a Men’s Rights Advocate (men only have obligations) – I believe that you are ice skating uphill; but, it sure is fun to watch you go!
      “Some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill.”
      ~ Wesley Snipes, Blade 1998

      • crydiego

        Things are changing so my fight is not so hard. Good men and women are beginning to push back. Honor, respect, love, and family will always awaken in the end.

        • BlueLanternMonk

          54% of American women voted for Hillary Clinton, 0 of them register for Selective Service, 70% of American men ages 20-34 aren’t married and woman lose 90% of their ovarian eggs by the age of 30.
          ….. I know that you’re serious, but it’s just 2 funny!
          “DISOBEDIENCE, n. The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.”
          ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary and Other Works

      • M RV

        Why is that Selective Service only for men, please? That is weird.

        • BlueLanternMonk

          Selective Service law as it is written now refers specifically to “male persons” in stating who must register and who would be drafted. For women to be required to register with the Selective Service, Congress would have to amend the law, which currently exempts women from registration.[65]
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_System

          • M RV

            Are men not majority in your Congress & Senate? They can not change it?

          • BlueLanternMonk

            Awww?! Gurlz can’t logic……so cute, hunny bunches! Answer: not if they want to be reelected by our Selective Service immune, Affirmative Action enabled, female voting majority and only women have an own group gender preference – whereas men have an out group gender preference – this is called gynocentrismand it lead us to this increasingly matarachal dumpster of a society. Thank you for the booby shaking, bb. I haven’t masturbated in over two months as part of a self control project. Tell your husband that you’re a good girl, for me?
            “A clear pattern shown in all four studies is that men do not like themselves automatically as much as women like themselves,” Rudman says. “This contradicts a lot of theoretical thinking about implicit attitudes regarding status differences.”
            http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec04/women.aspx

          • M RV

            1.- And that is somehow a woman’s problem, that they like themselves…
            2.- I had a good teacher, just now… You shook them well.

          • BlueLanternMonk

            I forgot to say that universal = country wide & permanent, unless forcibly repealed. Y didn’t you remind me?! Mad @ U!
            1. Yes, if women don’t control their own group gender preference and they don’t; whereas men who don’t control their out group gender preference are shamed by men and women. (Thirsty, beta male, orbiters, captian save-a-hoe etcetera. )
            2. You’re welcome and thank you, pumpkin tits. I have the blue balls 4 ever?! You’re so smart, for a dumb girl and although you’re married; I’d still let you please me! Call me maybe. Goodnight. Remember me in the moonlight?

          • M RV

            2.- Y, u please yourself enough. Bye, boy

          • BlueLanternMonk

            Goodbye, fat, old, passively feminist woman! Remember me in the moonlight?
            Published Works: Books by Walt Whitman – [begin page 369] – A CLEAR MIDNIGHT:
            “THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
            Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
            Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes 
            thou lovest best,
            Night, sleep, death and the stars.”

          • BlueLanternMonk

            When a naughty boy picks your cherries and eats them all up; mentions you in his video and trolls it to you, like: what’s up?! ….: Smurfy’s Law by ForgottenFuRyan(5min.): https://youtu.be/qwhOyDFZcZ4

  • BlueLanternMonk

    Men discover and invent everything, thus, we get to name thing’s, men are meritocraticlly superior to women in intelligence, strength, durability, virue and the vast majority of things, vut not all. We’re in a gynocentric or matriarchal society; built on the remnant of a once great patriarchal society, in accordance with the Social Anthropologist Robert Briffault’s Law. Furthermore, the aforementioned has long since been written in the ink of corrupt law.
    The case established a precedent which has subsequently been used in the Kansas courts.[8] It is one of the earlier cases now cited in U.S. child support guidelines which say that in every case that has addressed the issue the court has decided that an *underage boy is liable for the support of his child even when the conception was the result of statutory rape by the mother.[9]*
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermesmann_v._Seyer
    BRIFFAULT’S LAW:
    The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.
    There are a few corollaries I would add:
    Past benefit provided by the male does not provide for continued or future association.
    Any agreement where the male provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the male has provided the benefit (see corollary 1)
    A promise of future benefit has limited influence on current/future association, with the influence inversely proportionate to the length of time until the benefit will be given and directly proportionate to the degree to which the female trusts the male (which is not bloody likely).
    In 1930, H. L. Mencken wrote the following in his Treatise on the Gods:
    Primitive society, like many savage societies of our own time, was probably strictly matriarchal. The mother was the head of the family. …What masculine authority there was resided in the mother’s brother. He was the man of the family, and to him the children yielded respect and obedience. Their father, at best, was simply a pleasant friend who fed them and played with them; at worst, he was an indecent loafer who sponged on the mother. They belonged, not to his family, but to their mother’s. As they grew up they joined their uncle’s group of hunters, not their father’s. This matriarchal organisation of the primitive tribe, though it finds obvious evidential support in the habits of higher animals, has been questioned by many anthropologists, but of late one of them, Briffault, demonstrated its high probability in three immense volumes [The Mothers: A Study of the Origins of Sentiments and Institutions]. It is hard to escape the cogency of his arguments, for they are based upon an almost overwhelming accumulation of facts. They not only show that, in what we may plausibly assume about the institutions of early man and in what we know positively about the institutions of savages today, the concepts inseparable from a matriarchate colour every custom and every idea: they show also that those primeval concepts still condition our own ways of thinking and doing things, so that “the societal characters of the human mind” all seem to go back “to the functions of the female and not to those of the male.” Thus it appears that man, in his remote infancy, was by no means the lord of creation that he has since become.”[12]
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Briffault

    • M RV

      1.- LOL
      2.- that Kansas- etc. etc. case is totally bonkers.
      3.- basing an argument from 1930s “anthropology” is like using Shakespeare to explain how a washing machine works.

      • BlueLanternMonk

        1. Women are useless and yes, it’s funny! Shake them titties 4 me, k?
        2. That law is set a universal legal precedent and allows women to rape boys and charge them for child support, which is a jailable debt – if they or their parents miss payments and there are hundreds of laws like it, you laughing cow. Moooooooo!
        3. Basing the theory of time on someone from the 1800’s is like…….oh, wait……. Albert Einstein was correct.
        “Women are nearly five times more likely to show an automatic preference for their own gender than men are to show such favoritism for their own gender, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 87, No. 4).”
        http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec04/women.aspx

        • M RV

          1.- You first. 😛
          2- “Universal”? Creepy more like.
          3.- Physics and anthropology?
          4.- Good words: “good, happy and sunshine”? Should have checked “brave, serious and honest”, probably.

          • BlueLanternMonk

            1. My YouTube channel is ForgottenFuRyan and I’m nonluminousflame@gmail.com on hangouts application; it’s anon and free. I’m not a girl, little girl – I imagine that you smell nice!
            “A huge testosterone surge beginning in the eighth week will turn this unisex brain male by killing off some cells in the communication centers and growing more cells in the *sex and aggression centers.”*
            https://mobile.nytimes.com/2006/09/10/books/chapters/0910-1st-briz.html?referer=
            2. If it were girl’s being charged child support after being raped, you would have stronger words for it than creepy. Women are the ones in control; do you really think that the above law stands alone or is the a tidal wave of similar laws – like the violence against women, primary aggressor laws, marital rape laws, no protection against false accusations and on and on?
            3. Yes, they do have commonalities; relatively speaking. You’re why women should not be able to have Affirmative Action or unearned privileges of voting, you silly little sissy. Robert Briffault’s has so much peer reviewed research that it would make your tiny brain grow.
            Brave, serious and honest are not only strictly masculine traits; like having a justice based morality – rather than a care based morality – but they are not necessarily good in an unqualified sense, wheras good, happy and sunshine are; as well as being gender neutral. Let’s not go full matarachy; k, milk shakes?