Respect Women, Respect Men

Here’s something you never hear people talk when they talk about “Gender Equality“.

I’ve discussed at length how men should treat women. I’ve written about the lessons I plan to teach my son; lessons about how he should love, honor, respect, serve, and protect the women in his life. Indeed, men need to respect women, and we, as men, are far from perfect in that regard.

Those posts — the ones where I call on us men to improve the way we treat women — tend to be very popular. They’re popular when I write them or when anyone writes them. Proclaim that women, mothers, and wives should be respected, and a chorus will shout ‘amen.’ …

But I’ve noticed that the corollary – a message about the respect women must give men, a message challenging wives and encouraging husbands – isn’t quite so palatable for many people. Disrespect for men has become standard practice. That scene I witnessed was sad but unremarkable; we’ve all watched that kind of thing play out a thousand times over. Men are disrespected by their wives – they’re disrespected publicly, they’re disrespected privately, they’re disrespected and then told that they have no right to be upset about it because they aren’t worthy of respect in the first place.

He goes on.

Disrespect for men is a joke to us now. A little while ago I stopped on the way home from work to buy my wife some flowers. As she rang me up, the cashier quipped: “Uh-oh, what’d you do?” I wasn’t particularly amused, but I chuckled. She continued. “I don’t know if this will be enough to get you off the couch tonight!”

Ah, yes, the old “husband is punished by his wife and sent to the couch” meme. I’m not sure if this actually happens in real life, or if it’s an invention of 90′s “all men are fat, witless, oafs” sitcoms, but the popularity of the stereotype is telling. Is this how we see husbands now? A man gets “in trouble” with his wife, she scolds him and puts him in time-out on the couch. Now he has to placate his alpha-bride by showering her with flowers and jewelry.

Men are painted like children or dogs. They can be shooed off of their own beds by their wives and sent to cower in the living room until she permits him to return. This is only slightly less offensive than the cliché of the sadistic wife who punitively withholds sex from her husband. “You didn’t clean the garage like I told you. No sex for you, mister! Next time, follow my instructions!

It’s amazing that, while we’ve been so focused on the status of women, we’ve allowed the status of men to be derided so universally that it’s a casual joke.

And anyone who thinks this isn’t having negative effects on society is a fool.



  1. Try a little experiment- watch an evening of ‘popular’ sitcoms and tally up the times a women pushes, shoves or hits a man, even lightly. match that up with the men ding the same. You can add verbal abuse too. The results may- or may not- surprise you.

    1. “Try a little experiment- watch an evening of ‘popular’ sitcoms”

      Heh, I’m currently in the middle of a long-term experiment which involves *not* watching popular TV shows!

  2. yes, I always feel quite bad when we see on tv some level of violence woman to man, and that this is OK, but the other way around and the tv show would be banned.

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