Eleanor Doward

The Case for Male Self-Esteem

Before you read this piece, you’ll probably want to give this a quick read. http://mattforney.com/2013/09/16/the-case-against-female-self-esteem/

I’m just going to come out and say it: I love strong men.

Whenever a bloke I’m talking to feels the need to get all sensitive and talk about his feelings, I can feel myself drying up faster than a fish in the Sahara. I’d probably still sleep with him though, I mean, a pathetic personality doesn’t negate the fact that he’s got a slammin’ six pack and a big dick. But the attraction just can’t go beyond that – is there anything more offensive, anything more of a turn off, than a weak, sensitive man? It just goes against biology.

Men don’t need feelings and yet this poisonous society constantly tells them that they can’t be content with their degree, their well-paid job, their expected role as bread-winner for a happy family, they have to be emotional and sensitive too. A sensitive man is like a woman with a penis; it just isn’t natural, and no one wants to sleep with it.

Security is integral to masculinity. For a man to be emotionally vulnerable and, worse, accept this about himself, is an unacceptable but sadly, very real, part of our culture.

Women absolutely and categorically need men to be the strong, secure creatures they were designed to be. Boys, don’t ever try and talk to us about our feelings or, God only forbid, your feelings; teach us to be submissive by putting us in our place, protect us from the horrible world out there instead! Oh, and don’t ever, not once, admit that you might at some stage in your life need our protection too.

Clearly, everything I’ve just said is complete offensive bile. I wrote it in response to an article by a delightful man called Matt Forney, called ‘The Case Against Female Self Esteem’. After reading equally delightful comparisons of feminists to ‘a pile of dog turds’ and a claim that a woman who describes herself as ‘strong’ makes his ‘dick deflate like a punctured tire’, I just had to wonder – whatever in the world made Matt so angry?

As he (metaphorically) stamps his foot and shakes his fist at me with the subtitle: ‘Most girls have done nothing to deserve self-esteem’ I can’t help thinking of my four year old nephew throwing a tantrum when his sister snatches away one of his toys and shouting ‘It’s mine! She doesn’t deserve it!’ Taking a close analysis of Matt’s article, I would suggest that there is, ironically, a deep underlying insecurity there. Is he telling his readers that they should be strong, brave, protective men, or is he reassuring himself?

Amid the references to various anti-depressant-downing ‘urban slut machine[s]’ and the ‘manboobs’ that go along with their ridiculous fight for independence, I can’t help but wonder if Matt desperately craves the security of a committed relationship, one in which he feels powerful and secure. Perhaps one of these ‘sluts’ has at some point personally offended him? Has he been spurned and after wallowing in bitterness come to the conclusion that independent women make romantic relationships impossible?

Surely Matt must be able to see how very poisonous the point he is making truly is to both genders. In categorising women as helpless ‘shrews pleading for a taming’ who need a good ‘ass swatting’ as they make their way to the kitchen, he places men in an equally confining, difficult position. If women are, as he says, ‘downing enough Prozac to poison the water supply’ because feminism (apparently) tells them they cannot express their emotional vulnerability, surely the same would apply to men? Sadly, this is very much a reality. As long as society pushes women into the dependent, emotional box and men into the independent, completely-unemotional-and-completely-secure box, far too many men will feel that they are in some way not allowed to express their feelings or insecurities. Suicide statistics show a clear gender bias largely because our culture expects men to suffer stoically and bravely in silence and not confess their anxiety until it builds up to the extent that they can no longer bear their suffering, and see no other option than the very permanent solution that suicide provides. I would never want for a boyfriend to feel that he could not talk to me, ask me for help, or feel that suicide was his only option.

What Matt effectively asks us to do is revert to the rigid roles of Victorianism. Women =dependent, men = Independent. Perhaps there wasn’t as much downing of Prozac (as it wasn’t around) but surely it’s ludicrous to suggest than men and women were happier then than with the greater freedom we enjoy now? Can we not all have degrees, all make sandwiches for each other, all enjoy jobs and talk to each other when we’re feeling anxious or low outside of the confines of our outdated boxes? Contrary to his belief, the main aim of feminism isn’t to view men as ‘life support machines for penis’, the main aim is a funny little concept called equality. So instead of shouting ‘It’s mine, it’s mine! Independence is mine!’ like a child, I’ll leave you with this Matt. It’s 2013, learn to share.

4 thoughts on “The Case for Male Self-Esteem

  1. Pingback: The Case for Male Self-Esteem | Delilah's Angels

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