I know that 2017 was the year of women fighting back against sexual harassment. Women felt, in many cases rightly, that they were exposed to unwanted sexual advances.
Men tend not to complain as much when they are the targets of unwanted sexual advances. And, not because they are always willing to engage in erotic banter or behavior. Sometimes, we find it inappropriate, off-putting and offensive.
No, the reason men tend not to complain about sexual advances is because men don’t tend to complain about unfair treatment by women. It’s seen as, well, unmanly. But, at a certain point, maybe it’s wise to stop being whipping boys.
If men were to start complaining about being wronged, the list might include:
- About a million men have been killed defending the U.S. in wars, versus several thousand women. During World War II, for example, about 500 American women were killed, versus over 400,000 American men. That’s 800 men for every woman.
- About 80 percent of men who reach the age of 80 have prostate cancer cells in their prostates. Eighty percent. Eight-zero percent. Yet, there is almost no lobbying to properly balance research into prostate cancer with research into breast cancer.
- Every single man alive has been sexually harassed by being exposed to sexually suggestive clothing worn by women specifically to convey erotic messages in schools and at work.
- American men literally die on average younger than women, by about 7 years. Seven years. One could argue that the disparity is so stark, that a significant proportion of the NIH budget should go to resolving it, over the next five decades.
- Untold numbers of American men have been financially and emotionally raped in American courtrooms, where their parental rights and economic well-being were completely ignored in divorce cases. Men of anything but significant wealth came to simply expect that they would be turned into paupers by family courts.
Make no mistake, I like the fact that we men generally place the well-being of women above our own. I think that is consistent with longstanding gender roles, which I happen to embrace.
But this absolute nonsense about men subjugating and abusing women on a massive scale really should stop. It’s nothing but a lie. And at a certain point, it pushes me beyond that strong, silent thing we men gravitate toward and makes me want to call bullshit. American men have taken a back seat to women, in many ways, for centuries.
Keith Ablow, MD