The headline of the story and this provocative question may feel biased.
In a world where men have enjoyed privileges and opportunities for centuries that women have only recently been able to enjoy, even suggesting that men (and particularly boys) are somehow ignored and that there may be a reversed “gender gap” feels like hypocrisy. Yet the danger of boys and men being left behind as our culture evolves is one that author Richard V. Reeves describes as urgent in his new book Of Boys and Men:
“When boys start failing at school, flunking out of college, failing in jobs and relationships then succumbing to ‘deaths of despair’ we really need to listen. I am very sympathetic to the complaint that after 10,000 years of patriarchy and only 40 minutes of girls being ahead, the alarm bells are rung. But in the end, you’re not taking away from women, you’re creating better men, and that can’t be bad for anybody.”
Of course there continue to be men who feel threatened by the rise of women and hold on to the small-minded need to reject anything they feel minimizes their masculinity. These are the men who reject plant-based meat because it feels too “woke” or refuse to date successful women and they shouldn’t be coddled.
The path to a more equitable world means making it better for boys and for girls, not letting boys fall behind in school or otherwise. We all need to work together to create better men while removing the longstanding barriers to success for women. Leaving anyone behind isn’t going to give us the future we all want and need.