International Men's day - HBR Talk 12
 
November 19th is International Men's day. This year's theme, described on Internationalmensday.com, is "Celebrate men and boys."

The site goes on to explain, "Objectives of International Men's Day include a focus on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them."

Several men's issues are described following that, including the health gap, the workplace safety gap, the suicide gap, and discrimination against men in family law, and male students at every level in the education system. 

One thing all of these issues have in common: A major contributing factor to all of them is how both the tendency and the social expectation of self-sacrifice for family and community factors into masculinity. For instance, it is mostly - almost entirely, in fact, men, whose labor, stoicism, accountability, and work ethic have gone and continue to go into the conception, establishment, and maintenance of society's entire infrastructure. I'm not just talking about roads here. Every convenience we have rests on the backs of working men. 

Most electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels to run steam turbines. Men drill or mine for those fuels. Men transport them or set up and maintain an infrastructure to transport them. Men designed, built, and operate the plants at which those fuels are processed and burned to produce electric power. Men designed, built, and maintain the grid of transformers and power lines that carry that electricity to every place where you use it. 

One of the main sources of this power aside from fossil fuels is nuclear reactors. We've heard much about this being a safer, cleaner means of producing electricity, and there is sense in that, but it comes at a risk... and accidents or mechanical failures can come at a terrible price.

Men have faced grave danger, some sacrificing their lives, to protect the lives of many others when shit has gone wrong at nuclear power plants. 

At the end of the day, your lights rely on men's labor, diligence, ingenuity, and not least of all risk-taking. 

And that's just one utility. With very few exceptions, it's entirely men's ingenuity, labor, and risk that provide society with fuel that heats the structures in which we live, work, and do business... men that deal with society's waste, men who transport the goods we trade and the supplies we use at our jobs, and men who run in to fix the damage when disaster strikes and disrupts those systems, even when doing so involves deadly peril. 

It has been men's engineering over the centuries which has led to the opulence that civilizations of today are able to achieve. Should we ever reach a state when we, as a species, stop demanding men sacrifice their lives to our tribalism in war, that gives humanity immeasurable potential. 

While men's health is affected by various manifestations of their self-sacrifice (such as the factors that go into the earnings gap feminists wrongly label a wage gap,) most health initiatives focus on the needs of women and girls. 

While men's suicide rate is far worse than that of women, initiatives on prevention focus on women's needs... and when they do focus on men, those involved often fail to understand the causes. We hear all the time that the problem is the expectation of stoicism from men, that men should be allowed to talk about their problems... but often the very people who say that turn their backs when the problems men talk about aren't politically correct. Clearly, significant reform is needed.

Discrimination against fathers in family court is one overlooked cause of male suicide. Not only is that an unaddressed injustice against fathers... it's damaging to their children, and to society at large, because paternal nurturing is another unsung gift of masculinity. 

Various research shows that father involvement leads to a plethora of positive outcomes for children. A nurturing father improves the child's cognitive and emotional development. Children of involved fathers are less likely to get into social or legal trouble at every stage of life, more likely to experience success in their educational and career pursuits as well as their social interactions both with familiar people and strangers... they show numerous hallmarks of greater problem-solving skills, exercise of mindfulness and self-control, and experience of confidence, and they report greater overall life satisfaction. 

They are less likely to end up as unwed parents, on welfare, engage in substance abuse, or end up in legal trouble. Contrary to feminist promulgation, the most effective way a mother can protect her children from abuse, including as adults in spousal relationships, is to NOT alienate their father during their childhood, but instead maintain a healthy relationship with him. Politicians wishing to reduce crime and poverty would be wise to note the benefits of paternal nurturing in a child's development, as well. Want kids to grow up to be good citizens? Father involvement significantly increases their chances. 

The men's movement knows that men are human beings with as much need and right to maintain their family relationships, to love and be loved, as women and children have - but even if society doesn't care about that, it would be wise to consider, given the facts, that interfering with father involvement is flat-out child abuse, and an attack on the overall welfare of society.

Feminists have spent two centuries demonizing men as abusers, deadbeats, and clods, while simultaneously relying on men's ingenuity, wisdom, compassion, and protective gynocentrism to achieve every bit of legal and social change they have demanded. If men were as mercenary toward women as feminist promulgation implies, women's lives would be unimaginably horrible, like a cross between breeding stock and slaves, and no amount of protest would effect change in that status. We wouldn't be the primary caregivers of men's children. They'd be taken away from us the moment they could be weaned from the breast for fear of boys being influenced by the lesser beings feminists claim they think we are.

Think about it. Would you let your children be raised by other children? By chimpanzees? Cattle? Dogs?

Certainly no nation's leaders would ever have given us voting rights. The risk that would be presumed to entail would be far too great under the conditions of feminism's Patriarchy theory.

And any protests which feminists credit with achieving reform would have been ignored, or worse, punished... but they weren't. Men's response to women's activism over the last two centuries demonstrates a desire for equal partners; not subordinate dependents, but equally accountable adults who experience equal freedom, who can be socially, legally, and financially responsible for ourselves, and who, in a relationship, can have our partner's back the same way he has ours.

Women are in a civil war with each other over whether or not to even try to live up to that, and men have been caught in the middle. We have put them in a precarious position. Social and legal change have released women from restrictions and expectations that were in place to facilitate men's ability to meet associated expectations and obligations... without also removing those expectations or those obligations from men. Our society has forgotten the value of fathers, and is failing to acknowledge, much less prize men's contributions to our species's eudaimonia. Simply put, humanity's entire existence rests on the hearts, souls, and backs of men; masculinity is the seed of civilization. It's time society stop turning that achievement into a millstone with which to crush men. Instead, support and value them as the human beings they are, for their good individually, and the good of the entire human race. 

As international men's day approaches, we call on society to celebrate and uplift men, to examine the conditions that affect them today, and seek practical, compassionate remedy to establish equal consideration for human rights, and equal accountability under the law, for both sexes. Human beings supposedly the smartest animals on the planet. Isn't it about time we started living up to that?