The thing that is hurting boys and men is the same patriarchal norms that hurt girls and women, but in different ways, because it forces people to maintain gender norms that may or may not fit who they actually are. This is precisely why so many men are suicidal. They’ve been told they have to always been strong, competitive and stoic and they crave connection and physicality beyond the sexual realm. This is a very well-documented phenomenon.

And it is very much an androcentric world, which is not to say that men don’t have problems and hurts. This is an excerpt from a Medium article that shows just a few of the ways:

“Today, men dominate nearly every industry, and have a stranglehold on every institution. Men in media and are overrepresented in both covering hard news reporting and on-air time, making journalism largely a male space. Women hold only 23 percent of government offices, making politics largely a male space. Coverage of male sports far outranks that of women’s sports, with only 2 percent of ESPN’s airtime devoted to covering women, making sports largely a male space. The Augusta National Golf Club admitted two women for the first time in 2012, making even golf clubs largely a male space. In films, women only represent 29 percent of protagonists and just 4 percent of directors, making movies — and movie-making — largely a male space. Women hold just 11 percent of the top positions at Silicon Valley companies and own just 5 percent of startups, making tech still largely a male space. Women are only 15 percent of the active duty in the military, and that has been fought, disputed, and raged against by every single percentage point.

We still live in a male-dominated society where men hold most of the power and most of the resources, and they’ve long given themselves permission to construct velvet ropes around any gathering they like. When women create all-female spaces, they usually do so, as the Girls Scouts themselves have maintained, to actually create a safe space away from men so women can learn and build skills and get any piece of the action men have long dominated. In other words, and this is pretty crucial: Men keep women out to maintain power. Women keep men out to try to grab onto some. (To say nothing of private, exclusive clubs and organizations that men and women form on their own, legally, all the time.) In other words, men have never wanted to take down the NO GIRLS ALLOWED sign off the treehouse.”


Here’s another one:

This doesn’t mean that men have it all easy, but it’s not a zero-sum world. It’s not an either/or question.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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