With the recent spate of revelations about powerful men behaving inappropriately toward non-consenting people without power—including women, girls, boys and men—I have some concern that, as a culture, we are quick to jump to the easiest conclusion: that all men are libidinous beasts, unable to control their impulses, and prone to harmful, pathological behavior. There is a name for where this leads: Misandry, meaning hatred of men. It corresponds to misogyny, hatred of women.
For instance, a recent Sunday New York Times (Nov. 26) op-ed was titled, “The Unexamined Brutality of the Male Ego.” Despite the headline’s apparent damning of men in general, the author does make an important point: Men are woefully unprepared to talk about or examine their own sexuality or intimate feelings.
While men are in the spotlight right now for sexual aggression against non-consenting partners, the vast majority of men I deal with in therapy say, “If she doesn’t want it, it totally turns me off.”