Washington Post, Jan. 18, 2019
Why progressives should stop avoiding men’s issues
A man fills out a job application at a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla., in July 2016. (Lynne Sladky/AP)By Andrew L. YarrowJanuary 18
Andrew L. Yarrow, a former New York Times reporter, is a senior fellow with the Progressive Policy Institute. He is the author of “Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life.”
Millions of American men are disconnected from work, children and family; are in poor physical and mental health; suffer from addiction and isolation; and struggle with what it means to be a man. Yet most progressives — who claim to care about all of society’s underdogs — seem to assiduously avoid these issues. Instead, their main concern when it comes to men is that too many men remain wedded to “traditional” notions and norms of masculinity. Problems facing men of color are largely seen through the lens of race, not gender.
The very phrase “men’s issues” conjures up images of bitter, angry white guys who stupidly don’t realize that they are oppressors and on top of the world. In the era of #MeToo, men don’t have problems; they are the problem. To some, even talking about men’s problems can brand one as tone-deaf and sexist.
I am a liberal, I have studied and supported feminism, and I know well that sexual harassment and assault are sickeningly common. But the fact that women remain victims in many ways does not negate the reality that many men are struggling and are victims of economic and cultural changes — ones that often also hurt women, children and society. Men are not a monolithic group, and it is not a zero-sum game in which men win and women lose (or vice versa).