There’s a huge difference between vying for position, based on, for example, competence. Otherwise we’d have to do away with all sports and resign ourselves to rampant mediocrity. Getting what you want by intimidating someone else is totally different than working hard, doing your best, and being rewarded for that.

I’ve never asserted that sexism is worse than 70 years ago. That would be absurd, as is the assertion that I said anything remotely like that. What I asserted is that in many ways it’s just as bad as it was then. Laws have changed, but a lot of the pervailing unconscious outlook is much the same.

certainly no evidence that our species once lived in a state of egalitarian pacifism.” You keep making blanket statements that are largely unsupported, and then accuse me of trying to dominate you when I point out how uneducated they are. 😏

“A French Jesuit missionary, called Le Jeune, kept meticulous written records from his time spent amongst the Montagnais-Naskapi people in what is now Canada in the year 1633–34. At the time Le Jeune was writing, indigenous societies were still virtually unchanged by interaction with settlers from Europe.

The Montagnais were a hunter-gatherer society that lived by hunting for small and large game, and in summer gathered nuts, berries and roots.

Le Jeune reported that customs amongst the group called for generosity, co-operation and patience. He commented that “good humour, lack of jealousy and willingness to help” characterised daily life. People who didn’t contribute their share weren’t respected and it was an insult to call people stingy.

The Montagnais had no permanent leaders or “chiefs”. Those who were chosen to speak as intermediaries between Native American groups or with the French upon their arrival, were chosen because of their rhetorical ability, but held no formal power within the group. This applied to many other nomadic groups in North America.

Leadership fell at different times to different people because of their superior knowledge on a given topic or practice. Important matters were resolved through considered discussion.

Both men and women took part in these decisions. Le Jeune saw women as holding “great power” and having “the choice of plans, of undertakings, of journeys, of winterings”.”

The books I linked written by Riane Eisler are all filled with exhaustive research and analysis that also supports this theory of a more egalitarian past. That doesn’t mean there was never any violence of any kind. That would be stupid to purport that, but it wasn’t the pervasive culture.

I’m not dancing around any problem. It’s called “cause marketing.” It’s what both consumers and investors are demanding of companies if they want to stay viable. It’s a product for men calling men to be leaders in their society by continuing to speak up for what’s right. “Stakeholders are pushing companies to wade into sensitive social and political issues — especially as they see governments failing to do so effectively. These issues range from protecting the environment to retirement to gender and racial inequality, among others.” That’s from the CEO of the world’s largest asset manager.

Demographically, men and white men, in particular, have the most power. They have also historically used that power to the detriment of both women and minorities. Until 50 years ago we had laws which codified much of that abuse of power. The ad says that things have changed, “but there will be no going back because we believe in the best in men.” Unfortunately, “boys will be boys’ is still something that’s widely said and used to turn a blind eye to anti-social behavior. Most men aren’t overt bullies or harassers, but most women have been harassed and/or the victims of some type of sexualized violence. That’s because we as a society have tended to turn a blind eye to all but the most outrageous behavior. It is entirely appropriate to point out that the way to actually truly change society for the better for all of us (including men) is to be a good role model for your son, intervene in fighting or bullying incidents, tell your friend not to be an entitled jerk to women, etc.”

Catcalling is more than an irritation. Sexual harassment (including street harassment) can lead to things like PTSD and extreme physical symptoms.

Men need to understand that street harassment inhibits a person’s mobility and ability to live a full life. Hollaback and Cornell University surveyed almost 5,000 people about street harassment and found that 85% of people under 40 years old have taken a different route home to avoid street harassment, 72% have taken a different mode of transportation and 70% had decided against going to a social event like a party or a movie because of potential street harassment.

I’m working now on a piece on power dynamics and how the stories that have just come to light about the widespread rape of Catholic nuns around the world by priests and bishops points out why saying “Why didn’t she just report it?” is tone deaf and uneducated. All the companies that are trying to deal with their histories of blatant abuse right now are looking at the systems that allowed for that, because even in places with pervasively bad cultures, it was a relatively small number of men who were the issue. It was the larger culture that allowed them to go unchecked that was the real problem (same as in the Catholic church). This is no different but on a wider scale. And that’s why it’s right and appropriate to encourage no more of that “it’s not my problem” kind of thinking. To show men how they can really lead in this arena, which makes a real difference for us all.

Really, honestly, what exactly is your beef? You’ve agreed that toxic masculinity is a problem. It’s at the root of most of our other societal problems (male suicide, sexual harassment, to name just a couple of the few that are at epidemic levels). How is it insulting or wrong to ask men to be more at the forefront of curbing those epidemics by suggesting easy and immediate ways that they can make an impact? (Particularly since them not actively participating in curbing bad behavior has directly led to it’s continued problematic status). Our society has a lot of room for improvement and men as a demographic behaving better is a large part of that. The fact that you may have never personally done anything overtly wrong is not relevant. Your lens of personal identity is not a part of this picture. As Dr. Phil likes to say, “It’s not ABOUT you.

Written by

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store