There is a crisis going on with men

A friend shared this video with me. It’s an interview with Dr Alok Kanojia. I felt it was very interesting, so I clipped out a chunk of text with what I felt was the most interesting section.

Men are struggling right now, and the rest of the world says, “No you’re not, you’re privileged, you’re a man!” There’s a patriarchy – and I’m not commenting on the sociology of it – there is a patriarchy, whatever. There’s men have many advantages in life. I’ve experienced many advantages of being a man, it’s absolutely true. I’m not – let’s not go there. I’m talking about the individual experience of men.

So there is one group of people on the planet who says, “Yes, your life does suck,” and that’s these toxic masculine people. They’re the only people that truly validate men’s experiences because everyone else says, “Why are you complaining?” And these guys say, “Yeah, you’re a loser. What are you going to do about it?” They at least meet you where you’re at, and they say, “Yes, your life is hard, and I will show you a way to make it better,” whereas the rest of the world says, “No, your life isn’t hard. What are you complaining about?”

And I’ve seen this as a doctor. I’ve seen patients who are complaining about pain – women who are complaining about pain because they have an internal bleed within the wall of their uterus that cannot get detected – and they’re saying, “I’m hurting, I’m hurting, I’m hurting,” and we ignore this person’s pain. And that’s when things go bad.

So, for years and years and years, we have ignored the struggles of men, and there’s one group on the planet who accepts them with open arms. And the more that we demonize them – so when someone starts believing in this toxic masculinity, what is the response? Do people ever ask, “Help me understand what your life is like? Like, what do you like about this person?” Because everyone’s going to them for a reason, but we never – we never bother to ask, “Why are you listening to this person? What does this mean to you?”

I see these – we see these posts all the time in our community: “My boyfriend is getting into this stuff, my son is getting into this stuff. How do I stop it?” Hold on a second. Don’t try to stop it, understand it first. Because everyone’s trying to stop it, and no one is bothering to listen to what the experience of these men – men are – and that’s why it’s getting worse and worse and worse as we try to stop it.

So, if I’m the mother of a son who is watching a lot of these sort of toxic male influencers online, what would be a better approach versus just banning the computer and telling them that that’s toxic and not to look at it? Help me understand what you like about this. What is it like to be in today’s day and age? How do you feel about yourself? How does it feel knowing that 70 to 80% of women want you to make more money than them, and yet 60% of people who graduate from college are women? So, men are faced – are living in a world today where there are impossible expectations to meet. And so, like, what is it like to be someone who fundamentally has no chance at success, right? These are the kinds of things that you need to say to these people. You need to give them an alternate place to go where they can be heard and helped, supported and understood.

See, anytime we make a judgment, our mind already has a conclusion. There’s nothing left to learn anytime we’re judgmental. So, what do we – what do we do to all these people who are toxic men? We even create the word “toxic,” we literally label them as bad in some way. And I’m not saying that the behavior isn’t toxic, but what I’m pointing – what I’m trying to point out is that even in our language, there is so much harsh judgment.

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