MANstream Media: What do you mean “men’s” issues?

A question to women. One of the issues discussed is what is know in MRA circles as “The Empathy Gap”, that is, humans a pre-programmed to attend to women’s needs, but to ignore men’s needs. A woman weeping evokes sympathy and is seen as a call to action to help her; a man crying is seen as someone who should shunned and avoided. Men’s pain is only ignored as a means to avoid personal discomfort.

Tell me, from your point of view, what techniques would be most effective in eliciting the response of empathy, compassion and fundamental human caring to the woman who may not have a son’s well being to appeal to?

I look forward to your thoughtful responses.

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8 thoughts on “MANstream Media: What do you mean “men’s” issues?

  1. Francis,

    You make a powerful observation and comparison about how men and women behave and are treated….I’m not certain what you mean by ‘preprogramed’, but I can see how men learn they shouldn’t cry and women are at least allowed if not encouraged to cry.

    This is as much how men treat each other as it is between men and women.

    I’m a little surprised you are looking for women to answer the questions you pose. Are men not able to answer this for themselves?

    Do you cry? If you do, then how would you like to be treated and for people respond?

    For myself……I’m having to relearn how to cry. I’m trying to except that crying is an outpouring of feelings…mostly bad and sometimes good….I need people to except that it is Ok for me to cry…encourage me to cry until I’m cried out….then we might get back to what it is that creates the feelings in me.

    How does this seem to you?

    I’m trying to work some of this through on ‘It’s a man thing’…on the Diversity Hub blog.

    It will be good to hear from you.

    Bill

    • Francis Roy says:

      “I’m a little surprised you are looking for women to answer the questions you pose. Are men not able to answer this for themselves?”

      I ask the question of women, because I want women to share their “empathy triggers”. The issue at hand isn’t one of mere weeping, but about accepting another’s humanity with full empathy, and responding in a 21st century way to 21st century conditions, rather than with instincts formed in the infancy of our species.

      The Empathy Gap is a cultural and instinct-based set of attitudes that promote men as being valuable only when self-sacrificing. A woman is automatically granted value based on the mere fact that she is female. She is immediately granted provision and protection. A male is granted value only when he is seen to be serving others, very often at the cost of his own health or life, or demonstrating the potential thereof.

      The world can only be brought into balance where overall genuine equity exists. This equity can be measured both in terms of physical resources, but also in social resources: belonging, affection, attention, concern for well-being and the like.

      We have made long strides towards treating women as more than ‘sex objects’ (though I dare say, this has rarely been as predominant as feminist narrative would make it so), now it is time to stop viewing men as protectors and providers. Weeping is merely a perceived indication that a man may not be a particularly valuable protector or provider. Emotional expression of humanity is viewed as a potential signal that when the chips are down, the man will fold, thus, he is not to be well-valued in the social scheme. A weeping man is one for who the investment of social resources is considered a to be an unprofitable one.

      It’s time for that to stop.

      The world can only be brought into balance when men are respected for who and what they are and the same for women. But that’s not the final ingredient. The two must choose to come into a mutually respectful balance. We’ve had decades of women telling us how they feel, telling us how we should feel, telling us how we should act and how to be men. The solution, instead is to stop telling we men who we are and how to be, and to put themselves into our shoes as much as we have in theirs. When women can empathize with men, and recognize that it is not our place to be their protectors and service people, just as we don’t treat them as sex objects, then a closer step will have been achieved.

      I have asked women, because, figuratively speaking, they are still perceived as the accountants and bankers of said social resources.

      • Francis,

        I’m not as certain or clear as you seem to be about how a better future will emerge for us all.

        I’m close to agreeing with you when you say;
        “The world can only be brought into balance when men are respected for who and what they are and the same for women. But that’s not the final ingredient. The two must choose to come into a mutually respectful balance.” ……..when you end up saying……”I have asked women, because, figuratively speaking, they are still perceived as the accountants and bankers of said social resources.”….this seems to reinforcing their perceived roles as accountants and banker of said social resources. If men took on this role for themselves…seeking mutuality…would we still need to ask the question posed, or perhaps a different question to enhance our sought after mutuality?

        Bill

      • Francis Roy says:

        “….this seems to reinforcing their perceived roles as accountants and banker of said social resources.”

        Do not mistake description for proscription.

        “If men took on this role for themselves…seeking mutuality…would we still need to ask the question posed, or perhaps a different question to enhance our sought after mutuality?”

        First, I agree that we must do so for each other as men. Second, yes, we most certainly must ask the same question. Women comprise about 50% of the world. Just as rights and responsibilities must be commensurate, so to must each party’s efforts towards not only themselves, but towards others. I don’t place much value on hypothetical forecasts. One step at a time. Let us deal with what is on our plate here and now.

  2. Francis,

    We’re closer to an agreement…………and…………..”I don’t place much value on hypothetical forecasts.”……..but, both you and I place value on this hypothetical forecast…….”The world can only be brought into balance when men are respected for who and what they are and the same for women. But that’s not the final ingredient. The two must choose to come into a mutually respectful balance”……..with luck we can both look forward towards the mutually respectful balance.

    Regards,

    Bill

    • Francis Roy says:

      Right. You had initially asked “If men took on this role for themselves…seeking mutuality…would we still need to ask the question posed, or perhaps a different question to enhance our sought after mutuality”. You weren’t asking a hypothetical, but speaking of approach. I misread that. Sorry. My fault.

      I like to tweak the gender ideologues by saying that women are 50% of the problem. Of course, to someone who looks at only half the equation, it looks like blame, but someone who take the time to recognize that people are 100% of the problem, we have a different more responsible and accountable answer.

      We men must treat each other as we would be treated, but, it also takes some time to work out a the mindset of disposability and toughness, and sometime yet to ensure that we don’t swerve off the road into becoming self-precious and spineless emotional blobs. One issue that I see with “learning to weep” is that I’m reminded of the notion that women have for quite a few decades told men that in order to be emotionally healthy one must weep. Not necessarily. The male model of emotional health is not the same as women’s. Our bodies and hormones are different. Men have less need to weep, generally speaking. We tend to find being stoic more natural because of testosterone. I name this one male hormone specifically, because this one hormone regulates a good part of our emotional response. And I base this claim on discussions with trans-men who have made the claim that this was very specifically so after they started injecting testosterone.

      There is no harm in weeping, but it’s not a goal to be sought after as though it would convey emotional health, any more than a state to avoid.

      One big part of what we can do as men, is to elucidate for ourselves and verbalize that our own way of experiencing the world is different than women’s. Women are not qualified to speak as to what “makes a man”, or to determine “what a real man is”, or what emotional and mental health looks like for a man. Men are. Part of the larger issue is that until recently, as a society, we have not been explicit about how we do things. Now we’re starting to.

      If you are lucky enough to own a Kindle, may I recommend Tom Golden’s book The Way Men Heal?

      You can buy it from Amazon.com here:
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Way-Heal-Thomas-Golden-ebook/dp/B00B0OKZ3W

      Alternately, I think you can read it online with via the Amazon services. It is a very well spent whopping $4.99

      If you aren’t familiar with Warren Farrell, I’d recommend Why Men are The Way They Are, and The Myth of Male Power, also probably available on Amazon.com.

      • Francis….
        ……’The male model of emotional health is not the same as women’s.’ ….probably true…… ‘Our bodies and hormones are different.’…..yes and let’s celebrate this………..what follows isn’t worthy of your aspiration or vision………>> ‘Men have less need to weep, generally speaking. We tend to find being stoic more natural because of testosterone. I name this one male hormone specifically, because this one hormone regulates a good part of our emotional response. And I base this claim on discussions with trans-men who have made the claim that this was very specifically so after they started injecting testosterone.’…..so I say, “Based upon the 100’s or maybe 1000’s of conversations with men about the benefits they experience of having a good authentic cry…..I believe crying is central to men’s emotional wellbeing.”?????

        ……..yes to this……>>>> ‘One big part of what we can do as men, is to elucidate for ourselves and verbalize that our own way of experiencing the world is different than women’s.’…..but when you go to assert the gendered apartheid…..I’m wondering off into the distance to talk with the women about a better way of living for both of us ……>>>’Women are not qualified to speak as to what “makes a man”, or to determine “what a real man is”, or what emotional and mental health looks like for a man.’

        Thanks for sharing. Is that a woman or man thing? Got to sleep…thanks for your time and thoughts.

        Bill

  3. Tarnished says:

    I’m not a good one to ask, as I’ve said before that a weeping man already stirs my feelings of empathy to the point where I experience nausea if I’m unable to comfort said man. Interestingly, I do not have as strong a reaction towards crying women, as I know that many (not all) sob over things that are of little actual consequence or even use “crocodile tears” to get themselves out of a sticky situation. The children in my family, myself included, were raised to not show our feelings of sadness or anger…as I was saying on my blog today, I still don’t cry in public and have significant trouble feeling angry even when circumstances warrant an angry response.

    In short, I’ve comforted crying men who were my very good friends as well as men I only knew in passing. I did so because it’s the right thing to do…my empathy dictates that if someone is upset, you should care for them. I’ve no idea how to elicit an empathic response from a man/woman who doesn’t already have it.

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