Male bashing has become a politically-correct blood sport

Speaking on behalf of boys and men from nine to 99, I have had it up to here with the PC bashing of men by 'our better halves.'

The latest, and most egregious example appeared in Thursday's New York Times and was written by Michelle Slatalla. She contributes to something the Times calls, 'Wife/Mother/Worker/Spy.' They should add the word 'Basher.'

September 11 In a column entitled, 'One Man and His Ugly Shoes,' Ms. Slatalla badgers, belittles and berates her obviously long-suffering husband for his latest fashion faux pas.

Like me, Slatalla's hubby had read the book 'Born to Run.' Like me, he became intrigued by the book's back-to-basics message for runners: (i.e. Specially-designed Vibram Five Fingers running shoes that provide minimal support build up atrophied foot muscles and can enable runners to go further and faster). And, like me, Slatalla's hubby began wearing the Five Fingers around the house and the 'hood.

This irritated the uber-stylish author who dismissed her husband's 'gorilla shoes' as just the latest in a long line of horrific fashion choices and perhaps signifying a midlife crisis on his part. To support the latter premise, she opines about '…..many middle-aged men who veer tragically toward garish floral shirts, drive a two-seater convertible or have a sudden and inexplicable interest in surfing.' She went on to describe the Vibram Five Fingers as an 'obvious midlife crisis on his feet.' But, the ultimate humiliation for Ms. Slatalla was hearing that the hubby had worn the gorilla shoes to the market and bumped into Stephanie, who lives across the street and is Ms. Slatalla's 'fashion idol.' She was positively horrified.

What goes on between Ms. Slatalla and her hubby is their business. But, her patronizing, brow-beating and heavy-handed prose would simply not be permitted if the gender roles had been reversed.

Could you imagine my writing a column castigating my wife's attempts to stay fit, young and vibrant? I'd be crucified on a FemiNazi cross (possibly designed by Ms. Slatalla and her friend, Stephanie). And, sadly, society would roar its approval.

Male-bashing doesn't really affect me or other middle-aged white guys who love the challenge and adventure of defying the ravages of time. Personally, I couldn’t care less what Ms. Slatalla thinks about a man's battle with middle age. The real damage is caused by the institutionalizing of such thinking and it insidious effect on younger men and boys. An entire generation has now grown up seeing men portrayed as buffoons on TV and in movies, and patronized as dumb, but harmless, nincompoops like Ms. Slatalla's significant other.

I think it's high time for the Times and other media properties to provide equal time and space to a column that might be entitled 'Husband/Father/Worker/Gender-Defender.' I'd be proud to interview for the job.

13 thoughts on “Male bashing has become a politically-correct blood sport

  1. You are right repman, you would be crucified if you were to complain and I wholeheartedly agree with the point of your blog. I also agree with the Uggs statement. I think more people, men and women alike, need to look in the mirror before leaving the house.

  2. Awesome post, Zog. Can’t wait to read your reviews. And, I’m sure you’re right about there being amazing women who don’t publicly castigate their man for the shoes he wears. As for me, I’m off to run five in my Five Fingers.

  3. My girlfriend read about the FiveFingers and is the one who told me about them and convinced me to go get a pair with her. Fear not, there are amazing women out there that aren’t as shallow as the one Steve referenced.
    Dating is still a free market. As long as men are willing to put up with such haranguing, it will continue. She is obviously very concerned about her image, but it seems to me she needs to be looking inward rather than outward for any image problems she may have.
    The shoes are awesome btw, I’ve got my review of my experiences with them here if anyone wants to know more.

  4. Women at times can be walking, talking double standards. If a man were to say (and write) the same type of things, count down to an apoplectic reaction.

  5. Excellent points, bookandbloggeek. The larger issue is the mean-spirited and condescending way in which the author attacked her husband and my belief that society has empowered women to treat men this way with absolutely no repercussions. If said hubby said written a similar treatise, I’d fear for his life. BTW, Uggs are the female version of Vibram Five fingers. Ugh to Uggs, say I.

  6. Congrats Lunch. That’s great news. Only advice would be to run away as far and fast as you can if your fiance tends to browbeat you the way this Times reporter does to her hubby.

  7. I totally agree, Lauren. There’s a time and a place for everything. My five fingers are for running and hiking purposes only.

  8. I don’t think you can equate those ugly shoes with your wife staying fit and trim. She obviously wants to continue to look good. How these things are similar is beyond my reach. A little clarification would be helpful. Now, if she started wearing support hose to help improve and keep her youthful legs, I would agree. Good post.

  9. No real comment because I am laughing so hard I can hardly type!!!!! Gorilla shoes? FemiNazi cross?? Mid-Life crisis on his feet??? You’re a pip!

  10. Saw someone wearing those on the subway the other day and I must say, if my boyfriend wore those out I would probably write in to the New York Times as well.
    Though I do agree, had the article been written by him about her fashion misstep, there would be more backlash from the females.

  11. as someone who just got engaged, i’m wondering if you’d be up for some pre-marital counseling? just in case…
    jokes aside – very well put. amen, brother!