Most folks talking about men talk either about how men are hurting others or how men are being hurt. Neither of these perspectives will serve us until we can see the complexity of men both hurting others and being hurt.
Boys and men are being hurt through lower levels of academic success in K-12 schools and higher education. Men – especially men at the intersections of racism and classism – attend, persist, and complete college at rates much lower than women. Other than sexual violence, men are overwhelmingly the victims of other men’s violence. And despite all of men’s systemic advantages, men die younger. We must do better.
Men hurt others by perpetrating most of the violence in society. For example, 98% of mass shooters are men, with the majority being white men. Men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of sexual violence. Researchers with global gender equity organization Equimundo placed the costs of men’s socialization at $15.7 billion a year in the US alone. We must do better.
The roots of men’s hurting (both kinds) are in patriarchy and traditional gender norms. By helping men transcend these external expectations and find their own authentic masculinity – we all benefit.