From Prison to Playground: Healing the Gender Wound

Imagine a world in which our identities are playgrounds rather than prisons.

Do you ever feel constrained by your gender? Is “being a man,” “being a good girl,” or “being womanly” ever a chore, an obstacle, an unwelcome encumbrance? If you’re female, do you ever wish you got credit for “manning up?” If you’re male, do you ever wish you could be girlish or womanly without being laughed at (or beaten up)? [I’ll tell you a secret. Don’t tell anyone where you heard it: skirts are really comfortable]. Are you ever denied opportunities because of your gender?

Is your gender ever a joy? Do you ever take deep pleasure in “manning up” or in “girl time?”

These are not rhetorical questions. Please answer them in the comments section.

This is a rhetorical question: what if we could have all the joys of gender without all the pain and constriction?

As your answers to the first set of questions probably indicated, gender in our culture needs some healing. In order to do this healing, we need to diagnose the problems, and look for the best treatments. The best diagnoses I’ve found come from feminism. The best treatments I’ve found as a man come from what’s often called “men’s work.” To my dismay, I’ve found that these two communities of discourse rarely talk to each other, and when they do, it is often with hostility or disregard.  Part of our project at the Men’s Eagle Council is to bring these two viewpoints together to help young men create identities as men that not only don’t hurt people, but joyously express each young man’s deepest understanding of himself.  If you’d like to help us do that, visit our indiegogo fundraiser.  It ends in just under 36 hours, so please don’t procrastinate.

Before I launch into that discussion, though, let me first state that both “feminism” and “men’s work,” as I’m using the terms, refer to large, amorphous groups of people and ideas.  Some of  the people and groups I’m lumping under each of these labels would resent the labels or would resent being lumped together under any label.  Another caveat is that I’ve noticed that when I bring up the word “feminism,” the conversation almost always starts being about what the person I’m talking to thinks “feminism” means rather than what I’m using it to mean, no matter how many times I clarify myself.  For this reason, I’ve hesitated to use the term so far in our campaign, choosing instead to just use feminist ideas without the divisive word, but I’ve realized that it’s important that I give credit to the sources of the ideas I’m using, and also explain why I think a lot of things called feminism are worth listening to.  So please, just for the next few paragraphs, suspend your ideas of what feminism is and just listen to what I’m saying.

When I use the word “feminism,” I’m talking about a certain set of ideas that I’ve picked up from various sources.  The ideas I’ll be discussing here are the ones that I’ve made significant use of in my own life, so it will be difficult for me to credit specific sources with specific ideas.  I apologize in advance to each brilliant feminist whose ideas I’m using without direct credit.  What I can do is list and thank the major feminist sources that have influenced me in a general way: bfp, Harriet Jay of Fugitivus, the bloggers at Feministe and Feministing, the bloggers at The Angry Black Woman, Professor Jennifer Peterson, Laura Mulvey’s article “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, Michael Messner’s Politics of Masculinities: Men in Movements, Judith Butler, and of course my dear friends Violet and Rebecca.  I’m grateful to each of these thinkers for making my life and the world better, and contributing directly to the work I’m doing with the Men’s Eagle Council.

So, what are the problems with gender that feminism has diagnosed? The big one is that we live in patriarchy.  (If the word patriarchy upsets you, or you’re not sure what it means, please read this post, which explains what “patriarchy” means and why the word is not an attack on men, before you continue).  Or, the way I like to say it, we are in the process of moving out of patriarchy.  But if I am standing in the middle of a room and I decide I’d like to leave that room, I will still be in the room for the entire time it takes me to walk to the door.  At some point, as a society, thanks to the work of a lot of awesome feminists, we largely recognized that we were living in patriarchy, and largely decided we didn’t want to be.  And we began the process moving out of patriarchy.  But we are most emphatically still in that process, and thus we are still in patriarchy.

What does it mean that we are still in patriarchy?  It means that women have fewer opportunities than men: it’s harder for them to be recognized for their achievements and ideas, it’s harder for them to get a lot of jobs (especially high-status ones), they generally don’t get paid as much as men for the same work, and they deal with a lot of crap that men usually don’t deal with, like being sexually harassed when they go out in public, and the pervasive fear of rape.  For a longer list of things men don’t have to deal with that women do (male privileges), see this Male Privilege Checklist (which borrows much of its structure and ideas from Peggy McIntosh’s seminal article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”).

For men, living in patriarchy means having the privilege of living in a society that centers us and our desires.  But it also means that our identities are built on ideas of masculinity created by a society in which men dominated women.  It means that masculinity is in many, many ways, defined in terms of domination.  It means that from a very young age we are taught that in order to be adequate human beings, we must dominate others.  To “be a man” in the patriarchal sense, is not to simply be okay as I am.  It’s not even to be good at doing certain things.  To “be a man” is to be better than other men, and absolutely, unquestionably better than any woman, at certain things.  How many times have you heard boys shamed for doing something “like a girl?”

How does it feel to only be considered okay, or “real,” if I can prove I’m better than someone else?  It does not feel good.

And what’s even worse is that, to be a “real man” in the traditional, patriarchal sense, I have to actually prove that I’m better than others.  It’s really hard to prove that you’re better than somebody in a way that feels good to them.  In fact, if your identity is built on comparison, you pretty much have to make other people feel like crap in order to feel like an adequate human being.  But most people also have some kind of ethical framework in which making other people feel like crap makes you a worse human being.  It really sucks to be handed an identity structure in which we have to choose between feeling inadequate because we’re not hurting people and feeling shitty because we are.

So two big problems with patriarchal masculinities are privilege and domination.  There are lots of others.

But what are the solutions?  As we notice things that aren’t working, how do we eliminate them and what do we replace them with?  This is where men’s work comes in.  This includes groups like the ManKind Project, and men like Robert Bly, Robert Moore, and Douglas Gillette.  These people are genuinely striving to create healthier masculinities, because they get that the ones we’ve inherited don’t work very well.  And they’ve adopted and/or created a lot of great tools for doing this.  But they also often seem to have a shallow or distorted image of feminism which prejudices them against listening to the real and valid analyses of gender in our society that feminists have done.

One of the tools that men’s work has made great use of is archetypes.  For example, when I read Robert Moore and Douglas Gilette’s book, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine, I felt a deep resonance with the archetypes the book described.  I felt that they were describing a part of who I am, and telling me what is great about it.  And what I want most for every young person is to have a sense of who they are and what’s great about that (even as it keeps changing).  But for each archetype, Moore and Gilette also discuss how it can manifest destructively.  The really amazing thing about archetypes is that they include both destructive attitudes and behaviors and creative, loving ones in a single unity.  So when we notice something destructive or unhealthy about a masculinity, it’s easy to find something to replace it with.  We don’t just end up with a list of things not to do: we end up with a vivid image of a positive identity to strive for.

The warrior archetype is a great example. It’s easy to pick out destructive manifestations of the warrior archetype in the world (like, for example, war).  It’s easy to find images of the warrior archetype that teach behaviors that we don’t want to emulate, such as action heroes who solve problems by shooting people.  Or you could just listen to this guy.  But guys grow up identifying with these images, so telling them that they’re just plain bad is uprooting a whole portion of a guy’s identity without giving him anything to replace it with.  And when we ask men to do this, even with the best of intentions, their response is often not very welcoming (to put it mildly).  Instead, we can look at the positive characteristics of the warrior archetype: a warrior trains and disciplines himself to be able to offer service to something greater than himself, and is willing to sacrifice his own needs, even his own life, for the sake of what he cares about.  We can then use this archetype for anything from activism to washing the dishes.

Now, archetypes are a slightly slippery territory.  The idea of an archetype implies that it is universal.  When we appeal to universal archetypes, we can tend to make the mistake of assuming that the way a particular archetype shows up in our own culture is universal, even when it’s not.  And another danger of archetypes, the reason that some feminisms reject them, is that they tend to be used to assert that there are unchangeable essences of masculinity and femininity, and that we know what they are.  The combination of these two pitfalls of archetypes results in people using archetypes to assert that whatever our culture’s ideas of masculinity and femininity happen to be ARE the unchangeable essences of those things.  This gets into one of the basic points of disagreement between some feminism and some men’s work, which is the question of whether gender is an essential, unchanging quality or a cultural construct.

We’ve all been told lots of little things about what it means to be a man (or a woman), some of them contradictory, but when asked point blank, “what does it mean to be a man?,” I doubt many of us would be able to give a clear answer.  Is masculinity a cocktail of hormones and their interface with a few specialized body parts?  Is it an eternal spiritual essence?  Is it a cultural construct built to help men dominate women and each other?  Most of the answers I’ve found boil down to one of these three theories, but none of them seem quite adequate.  To the extent that I have come to a conclusion, it is that each one of these theories is both correct and incorrect.  The reason it’s so hard to answer the question, “what does it mean to be a man” is because there is no single answer.  There are as many answers as there are men, and each one is some combination of what it’s like to live in his body (biology), the values and aspirations that define him on a deep level (spirituality), and the messages he’s received from his culture (social construction).  My thesis is that gender is a work of art that each of us is continuously creating, using biology, spirituality, and culture as the three primary colors on our palette.

Judith Butler, a feminist theorist, talks about gender as performance.  I really like this description.  Masculinity is something I perform.  Gender is a play that we’re acting in every day.  Sometimes it’s a tragedy, sometimes it’s a comedy, sometimes it’s a melodrama.  But I would like to build a world in which we can shorten this statement to simply say: gender is play.

EDIT: A clarification, thanks to a question from Jasper Gregory (@jaspergregory on twitter): People of any gender can and should make use of archetypes of all genders.  Men can embody traditionally”feminine” archetypes, women can embody “masculine” archetypes, genderqueer people can embody both, and there are also archetypes that are non-gendered, or which explicitly combine genders or undermine rigid ideas of gender.  Indeed, some of the problems with patriarchal masculinities can be described in terms of their exclusion of certain “feminine” archetypes, such as the nurturer.

8 comments
  1. Michael said:

    I would like to call myself a feminist, but I don’t know, I don’t think I’d accept the invitation to wear a skirt or dress, even if it was socially permitted. I do, however, want to be a man, without all the inflated expectations that come along with it, such as the expectation of being strong at manual labour and working out a lot. In that sense, I think choice of career and occupation (such as doing jobs with soft skills and caring/nurturing involved) can be just as rewarding as the more ‘identity’ type behaviours like clothing styles.

    • Sasha,
      As a feminist who liked the post, I love your approach to raising boys. You teach them equality instead of chivalry, and I think that’s very refreshing. But I do think it’s important to teach boys to give girls the same respect that they give each other.

      You say that you don’t believe patriarchy exists in the West. I disagree. All of the female authors you named are white, and inequality is worse for racial minorities. I believe that part of the reason for the majority of teachers and nurses being women is the idea that 1) women believe they should have caring professions because of socialization and 2) men believe they shouldn’t be teachers ir nurses because of socialization. Same goes for Congress – women are socialized to not accept leadership. I disagree that male congressmen serve women’s interests just as well as men do. Look at what has been happening with contraception, VAWA, and abortion. I also didn’t see you mention rape and sexual harassment. 1 in 4 women get assaulted in their lifetimes. For men, it’s 1 in 12. You should read “Lean In” and “Walking out on the Boys” and “Cinderella Ate My Daughter”.

  2. Sasha said:

    I’m a father of three boys, 11, 9 and 6 and having read this piece I have to say I wouldn’t allow you, or anyone associated with this programme, within 100ft of them.

    I do not accept that we live in a ‘patriarchy’. While there are cultures around the world – Saudi Arabia for example – which could be described as such, there are other cultures, such as the Seychelles, which are matriarchal. Most of the west could not be described as patriarchal. Those who state that the prevalence of men in CEO positions, or amongst politicians, are confusing prominence with dominence. After all, the teaching profession is predominently female – is this because of anti-male discrimination? Most nurses are women, most engineers are men. I keep hearing of programmes to encourage women into engineering, fair enough, I’ve never heard of a programme to get men into nursing though.

    Women do not find it hard to be recognised for their achievements, where on Earth did you get that from? DId JK Rowling, or Jane Austen, find it hard to be recognised? Seems to me they trod exactly the same path as men do.

    Feminism is not a ‘given’ – it is an ideological worldview no different to communism, libertarianism or any other ‘ism’. It is perfectly reasonable to hold a viewpoint rejecting most, if not all of its tenets. To project its beliefs onto young men is wrong – just as wrong as indoctrinating them with any other political viewpoint.

    Women are NOT oppressed in our society, never have been. They have had different, but complementary roles historically – that much is true – and those roles came with some freedoms, privileges (not having to fight in wars for example) and restrictions (responsibility for domestic management for example). The same applies to men. You can critique those roles, you can argue to change those roles, but what you cannot in honesty do is blame one sex for them.

    This programme is ill-conceived and potentially highly damaging to young mens’ self-confidence and self-esteem.

  3. Thank you for your comment, Sasha!

    I want to make clear that it is not our intention to indoctrinate anyone. Our purpose is to present ideas, ask questions, and provide tools for teenage boys to decide for themselves what kind of men they want to be. Some of the ideas we present will be feminist ideas, because I believe that teenage boys deserve the opportunity to consider questions like whether and how gender interacts with power dynamics in society, and what the history of gender roles has been. Feminism is where most of the thought about these kinds of questions has happened.

    I agree that feminism is an ideology (or more accurately, a set of ideologies). The function of ideologies is to make a complex world simple enough to organize collective action around a particular set of goals. This means that all ideologies have blind spots, feminism included. But ideologies also create conceptual structures that allow us to see things about the world that we might otherwise miss. Feminism has done a great job of this where gender is concerned.

    Boys also deserve to be exposed to feminist ideas in a space where their genuine, honest reactions can be heard and respected – whether those reactions are positive or negative. One of the oversights of a lot of feminism is that feminist spaces are sometimes not very inclusive of men’s experiences and emotions. There are valid reasons for women to create spaces in which their experiences are centered, but there also need to be spaces in which men can express whatever feelings they have about gender and society. This is particularly true when concepts like “patriarchy” and “privilege” are introduced, because these concepts tend to bring up a lot of strong emotions. And perhaps there are better words than “patriarchy” and “privilege” to describe our society’s relation to gender. Perhaps there is a more nuanced picture that we can come to through the conversations our program will start.

    Ultimately, as useful as feminism has been for me in negotiating my own gender identity, it is not important to me whether the young men who make use of our program wind up agreeing with me. In fact, if they all wind up agreeing with me about everything, I will know that I have not done my job properly, since my job is to cultivate their critical thinking skills and draw out their inner wisdom. I fully expect them to change my mind about some things.

    What is important to us at the Journey to Manhood program is for the men of our future to have thoughtfully considered their identities as men, as adults, and most importantly, as human beings, in the context of community, local, cultural, global, and ecological. We want their identities to reflect their best understanding of who they truly are and the amazing gifts that each one of them has to offer the world.

    Also, since our videos will be freely available online, you are welcome to comment on them, so that the young men watching them can be exposed to your viewpoint as well. Of course, I absolutely respect your decision not to let your boys engage with our program. But another alternative might be to watch some of our videos with them and engage in an open discussion about the issues they bring up.

    The above is my position as Creative Director of Men’s Eagle Council 2.0. The following is my personal opinion, in response to your substantive critiques of feminism:

    Let’s take your two examples, Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. Jane Austen had very rare circumstances for a woman of her time in that her creative self-expression was encouraged from a very young age, she received a fairly high quality education, her family supported her financially and logistically in pursuing her writing career, and she never married. Male relatives brought her works to publishers, and the first publisher who received her work refused to even open the package. See this Biography of Jane Austen for more details.

    This page on Women and Education in British history states the following:

    “In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries education was made available to only extremely wealthy women; although the best forms of education, like university, were only offered to men.” Thanks to the work of feminists such as Mary Wollstonecroft, that began to change, but slowly. “The percentage of women who were able to sign their names rose to from 30 percent to 40 percent in 1750.”

    Jane Austen was born in 1775. Can you honestly say you’d be just as happy to have been born as a woman in 1775 as a man? Would you want your boys to have the same prospects as girls did in 18th century England? It’s also ironic that you use Jane Austen as an example, since her books describe very aptly the severe limitations on women’s lives at that time.

    J.K. Rowling was born into a much more welcoming time for women to be educated and become authors, largely thanks to various forms of feminism. But one spectacular example of success does not mean that opportunities are equal across the board. We still live in a time when a significant majority of the books that are published and reviewed are by men. And Rowling’s website states that the first Harry Potter book “was first published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books in June 1997, under the name J.K. Rowling. The “K”, for Kathleen, her paternal grandmother’s name was added at her publisher’s request who thought that a woman’s name would not appeal to the target audience of young boys.” Maybe the same advice would be given to a man writing books for girls. I don’t know.

    This post on “patriarchy” quotes Merriam Webster’s definition of patriarchy as “control by men of a disproportionately large share of power.” This was absolutely the case in 18th and 19th century England, and it’s still the case in the US now, though to a far lesser degree. But, as the post I just linked points out, it is NOT the fault of one sex, or of any person or group in particular.

    You said “You can critique those roles, you can argue to change those roles, but what you cannot in honesty do is blame one sex for them.”

    I don’t blame anyone for gender roles. I just want people to give them some critical thought, and decide whether and how they want to change them in their own lives.

    And I also want opportunities to be equal for men and for women. I want teenage boys (and everyone else) to think about how they can help make that happen. Is that really so controversial? Is that really going to damage boys’ self-esteem?

  4. Sasha said:

    OK, nothing you’ve said, sadly, makes me feel any easier at all. For the sake of brevity I’m not going to pull any punches with what follows, so here we go…

    My problem with your entire approach here is firstly that you seem to have no problem at all with saying that you’re following an ‘ideology’, in this case feminism, and I do have a problem with that. You cannot combine ‘critical reasoning’ with an ideology. The two are antithetical. You either teach a rational approach or you don’t.

    You go on to make it quite clear that you believe that women are, or have been, oppressed by men, and that somehow it’s getting boys to recognise their ‘privilege’ that will help address this.

    What you don’t seem able to do is to convincingly prove this. Would I have rather been a man or a woman in England in 1775? The fact is that’s not a simple question. I’d much rather have been a wealthy woman than a poor man. And before you start with intersectionality or kyriarchy or somesuch nonsense. Let’s have a look at Jane Austen. Yes, she had a leg up from male relatives. So what? Charlotte and Emily Bronte were picked directly up by publishers. They were poor and had no metropolitan connections. Charlotte published under the pseudonym ‘Currer Bell’, but later admitted that ‘it was not neccessary to conduct such a subterfuge’ as the success of contemporary and earlier writers such as Fanny Birney and Elizabeth Gaskell proved.

    Is your argument that women were discouraged from the professions? What professions? Let’s take medicine. Doctors in the C18th and C19th were little better than a bunch of body-snatchers who sawed limbs off and prescribed leeches. It didn’t become a profession until the late C19th, and shortly afterwards women were studying to be doctors. That went with technological progress. From astronauts to medicine, men usually break the ground of a new profession and it’s not until it’s safe and has flexible working hours that women want to do it.

    JK Rowling’s publisher was simply wrong. Boys read Ursula Le Guin without any problems, and what about Daniel Handler, who wrote under the name ‘Lemony Snicket’ to appeal to girls AND boys? Or what about the ’50 Shades’ novels, which were published under ‘E.L. James’ because she thought women would want to read erotic literature ‘from someone who might be a man, or might not’? Why assume it’s boys who are sexist? Seems to me that women should get their own house in order…

    As for your statement “This post on “patriarchy” quotes Merriam Webster’s definition of patriarchy as “control by men of a disproportionately large share of power.” This was absolutely the case in 18th and 19th century England, and it’s still the case in the US now, though to a far lesser degree.”

    Really? Women control >50% of the vote, and upwards of 70% of all consumer spending, initiate 80% of all divorces and account for the majority of students in higher education. So how are you defining ‘power’? Have any laws been passed in the U.S. that I’m not aware of that are anti-women? Take your time, I’ll wait….

    Are the majority of Congress men? Yes they are. Is it the result of discrimination? Probably not. Maybe it’s just a profession that appeals to men more than women. After all, it’s the other way around in teaching. Fact is that most politicians are chivalrous and appeal to women, so women voters can be pretty sure their interests will be looked after, without having to stand for election.

    Earlier you say: “But ideologies also create conceptual structures that allow us to see things about the world that we might otherwise miss. Feminism has done a great job of this where gender is concerned.”

    Feminists have claimed that the speed of light is sexist (Irrigaray) and that we’re descended from mermaids (don’t ask), so no, I don’t think they’ve done a particularly good job at all. I think they’ve presented a dreadfully lop-sided view of society that does enormous damage to those foolish enough to swallow it. I can’t see how it can be seen as anything other than a racket by a bunch of privileged upper-class and upper-middle-class women to claim victim status following the civil rights movements of the 1960s.

    I don’t want my boys taught how they need to change so they can serve women better. I want them to have value in and of themselves. I want them to have the self-confidence to demand that women treat them with civility and respect, and if they don’t get it, I want them to have the courage and strength to walk away without a backwards glance. I want them to expect that a woman will contribute to their familiy and household just as much as they will. I want them to expect that women will do 50% of the work, and make 50% of the financial contribution.

    I’m betting that that last paragraphy made you shiver a little. Reverse the genders and all of a sudden it becomes acceptable. Isn’t that the problem?

    • DMW said:

      What say you to the fact that there are no women writings in the Bible nor women’s input in the Constitution of the USA? What about the overwhelming predominance of men in the World Bank, the IMF and UN? Why is breastfeeding treated as something that must be hidden yet the sexuality of breasts openly broadcast? When men make the rules that women are supposed to abide by, it clearly states we are living in a patriarchy. The entire framework is male-made so all of us (including males) are still subjected to male dominant thinking. It’s structural and deeply embedded in everything we do and in the processes we use, for example the adversarial court system, the paradigm of punishment, marriage, competition in business and sports, money system based on greed and scarcity, everyman for himself social structure, the male-god persona, etc.

      How can a man perform 50% of a pregnancy? How can a woman rape? Equality is doing whatever one wishes but allowing opportunities for all. It’s not that men have to serve women better, but in my opinion, it behooves everyone when in loving relationships, men support the fulfillment of their partner as much as they do for themselves. It has to be a collaboration. We are grappling with all this today and it’s a good thing as we gain more understanding of each other.

      The discussion is important because by arriving at a sense of one another in a more meaningful way (rather than the traditional way), it will reflect on the world stage and this is of utmost importance as we head for the precipice with accelerating velocity. Women have as much access to firearms as men, but do not to kill by an overwhelming proportion. Women are the nurturers of the species. Man is born of woman. How can we simply turn this into a 50/50 equation? And is that even the solution?

      We are at a point in our human history where technology is so advanced that in the wrong hands, we could all be wiped out over something as minor as a disgruntlement between two world powers (most likely male). Power and testosterone very rarely mix well. Women are not saints but because of their having earned the grace to not kill anywhere near the frequency of men, we may have to design a world that may look sexist in order for us to survive. Total feminine power should be turned over to women for a generation or two. After all, men have had it all to themselves for millenia and now we’re at the existential precipice. We need a totally feminine framework, not just a 50/50 standing, often filled by women who have learned how to mimic male memes and who to continue perpetuating those memes in order to remain “successful”. Such a change could get slippery at times yes, as we try this new experiment. But IMO that is what will give humanity the greatest chance of survival and of happiness. We have never tried it so nobody knows that women will be as violent as men. So far the proof does not suggest so.

      Women have work to do too as they have been too complicit in many ways, especially in allowing theirs sons to go to war and to defer to male rulings in the social world and in their own homes. Women have to start coming forward and take responsibility even if it means sometimes mistakes will be made.

      This will sound sexist but it’s strange how the situation we have today and the one we have experienced since time immemorial is not considered sexist . Well I guess it’s not really funny, it is however indicative of sexism being as much embedded in our collective psyche as gravity, but only when it favors men.

      Namaste to all men and women. But let’s put everything on the table and figure it out together.

    • I posted this in the wrong place earlier: Sasha,
      As a feminist who liked the post, I love your approach to raising boys. You teach them equality instead of chivalry, and I think that’s very refreshing. But I do think it’s important to teach boys to give girls the same respect that they give each other.

      You say that you don’t believe patriarchy exists in the West. I disagree. All of the female authors you named are white, and inequality is worse for racial minorities. I believe that part of the reason for the majority of teachers and nurses being women is the idea that 1) women believe they should have caring professions because of socialization and 2) men believe they shouldn’t be teachers ir nurses because of socialization. Same goes for Congress – women are socialized to not accept leadership. I disagree that male congressmen serve women’s interests just as well as men do. Look at what has been happening with contraception, VAWA, and abortion. I also didn’t see you mention rape and sexual harassment. 1 in 4 women get assaulted in their lifetimes. For men, it’s 1 in 12. You should read “Lean In” and “Walking out on the Boys” and “Cinderella Ate My Daughter”.

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