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Being a Man is a Curse


Anon_S
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I have to vent about something that is consuming and depressing me. I have got to talk about what I feel is the curse of living the life of a shamed, hated and despised man.

There is so much talk now about the privileges of being a man. I have read and heard some describe it as having won the lottery to be born male. When compared to the life of a liberated woman today in U.S. society, being an average, liberal, equality minded man really SUCKS. When I hear people suggest that I won some sort of lottery for being born male, it makes me want to scream. If I had the choice, I would never have been born a man. I would happily trade in my average male privileges for the privileges women take for granted in a heartbeat. I feel like being born male was a curse.

To be a man today is to be charged with oppressing the world and found guilty by association with a Y chromosome. The sentence handed down by society is a lifetime of guilt trips and blame from everyone for everything. We are expected to apologize, atone, deprecate and despise ourselves for existing. We are taught to look down upon our sex much as women were in the past. We are increasingly presented as existentially inferior. Treated almost as if we were born with a mental illness or disease. Studies involving what it is to be male read like pathology reports. Being a man is seemingly a condition that needs to be cured.

Meanwhile, women are presented as smarter, more evolved, busier, fairer and overcoming everything that all of us "privileged" men are doing to them. Men are constantly portrayed as dumb, clueless, lazy, oafish, helpless morons. Anything we accomplish is supposedly the result of being privileged, or having a better woman behind us.

The popular narrative of men as privileged, guilty and stupid really saddens and infuriates me. It promotes a callous, unsympathetic, and judgmental attitude toward us. There is such a huge empathy gap, and so little compassion for the pain we endure. A woman facing difficult challenges in life is given sympathy, and there are likely programs and support groups available to her. A man’s pain and suffering is almost always treated as something deserved and self inflicted. Especially if that pain and suffering involves a woman.

In the rare instances that a man actually opens up and expresses his pain, anger and bitterness, the responses from both men and women are rarely supportive (unless the man is railing against other men). Instead, the focus is usually upon figuring out where the broken man went wrong, and telling him that he has only himself to blame. Women and privilege checkers immediately go on the defensive and tell you that everyone else has it so much worse. It is just another way of telling men to man up and shut up. People need to stop equating the discussion of men's pain and frustration with denying the oppression of women and their issues.

The extent of society's contempt for us is highlighted by the taboo subject of skyrocketing male suicide rates. Recently I have even read articles presenting male suicide as “a weapon that men use upon women”. Men are now thought to be so disposable, and of such little value that the epidemic of male suicide is being looked at as another way in which misogynistic men oppress women. If being a man is so wonderful then why has male suicide skyrocketed? Well lets look at some more male “privileges” that nobody really likes to talk about:

In addition to being born guilty, and supposedly inferior to women, another privilege of being born male is to have your sexuality and passions treated as dangerous and predatory. We are now subject to the sexual equivalent of racial profiling. Even the most peaceful feminist man is treated as a potential rapist. We must endure demeaning slogans like "teach men not to rape". In this way (and others), we are presented as dangerous instinctual animals that must be trained, rather than human beings that possess emotions, feelings and a conscience. Today women are taught to go through life in a paranoid, androphobic state, assuming the worst of any man due to the atrocious actions of some (e.g., #yesallwomen).

Fatherhood. I think I could have ended that paragraph there but I will elaborate. Fathers are considered to be trivial, a nicety, and unessential. When compared to motherhood, fatherhood is a really crappy consolidation prize. And when it comes to reproductive choice, men have few choices. The only choices men have is abstinence, risky, pleasure killing condoms, or having a surgical knife taken to one's genitals. Some choice.

Now I have to vent about the value society places upon a man's life in general. A man's only value in our society is based upon what he can provide. Men are only valued as wealth producing assets. That is it. If you are not interested in getting ahead in business or politics and being a provider then you have no value. Unlike women, we are not valued for our emotions, sensuality, beauty, compassion or empathy. In fact, society often questions whether we are even capable of any of those things. Oh, I did forget that men are valued for dying. Dying on the job, dying on the battlefield, dying in heroic defense of women, etc. Men have always been treated as disposable assets. Our lives are not considered to be worth much.

Another not so great privilege of being a man is the expectation of being the pursuer, the performer. The pain of too much rejection is a burden that many men know too well. Every woman I have ever known complains about always being desired and hit on by men. I can understand some of the frustration, but consider the alternative. I would much rather have to endure constant attention and pursuit than to be ignored as most men are. I often hear women complaining about not having sex for a couple of weeks. Most men I know wish they had sex that often. I hear most men complaining about not having sex for many months (sometimes even years). So on the subject of always having to endure being desired, I think women should count their blessings in this regard.

There are many more issues that I could add here, but I don't have the time. Overall I hate being a man in this society. Women don't care or have any empathy for our plight. Hell, they don't even recognize that we face any challenges or pain. They don't give a damn about male suicide, the lack of men on college campuses, male disposability, how little fathers are valued, and everything else I talked about above. Women don't truly care about men, beyond caring about what we can provide or do for them. I am really beginning to resent them, (and our society at large) for it.

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I think you make some valid points Anon. There are women that have it bad for sure but our suffering is also real but never acknowledged or supported. Some women writers have seen this and books like "the war on boys" and "men on strike" have acknowledge the trend of male bashing. Someone here may chime in w usual sarcasm & cheap shots but I know what i see in the real world: the company I work for hires so few men that people look shocked to see men. It is 100% ok to discriminate against males.

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I have had some good experiences and bad experiences with women. As a whole, when I think about it, (and it makes me even sadder to say it), I have given everything of myself to them over the years, but I have received so little in return. At this point in my life, I feel like I have nothing left to give. I feel exhausted, hurt and broken by their indifference. In their times of need, I was there for them. Now in my time of need, almost all of them are nowhere to be found. Or when I do speak of what I posted above, they get angry and go on feminist rants about male privileges.

It has really made me realize that as a man in this society, I can expect 30-40 more years of enduring callous, disrespectful, un-compassionate, and sometimes vindictive messages/actions towards me due to the circumstances of my birth. I understand now why men are committing suicide in record numbers, and it frankly scares me. Because while I am really strong, and have overcome periods of utter hell, I don't know if I can endure even 5 more years of this, much less 30 or 40.

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hi,anon_s and welcome to the forum.

i'm very sorry to see how much pain you're in.

first i want you to hang in there.

and second,you should have realized by now that regardless of gender,ethnicity,etc.,in cases where no one gives a shit about you,you must start to look out for yourself,yourself.

don't expect others to do it for you,or be there for you,or care about you or your problems.

start focusing on yourself,and your best interests. try building and improving yourself as best you can. be your own rock and don't rely on anyone else.

be strong,resilient,and resolute (like me lol). persevere in your goals and tasks.

and from now on,look out for number one. don't let anyone use you or walk all over you. don't do anything for,or give anything to- anyone at your own expense. don't give your heart to anyone,unless your certain that she's worth it and will reciprocate.

and again,hang in there.

best of luck to you,and take care.

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It is just another way of telling men to man up and shut up.

I agree this is not a good message. All of us have feelings, men as well as women, and it's okay to feel and express them.

Unlike women, we are not valued for our emotions, sensuality, beauty, compassion or empathy. In fact, society often questions whether we are even capable of any of those things.

I think we all need balance. Allowing and expressing your gentler parts seems very healthy. Compassion and empathy are wonderful traits and I personally value these very much in a man.

I have had some good experiences and bad experiences with women. As a whole, when I think about it, (and it makes me even sadder to say it), I have given everything of myself to them over the years, but I have received so little in return. At this point in my life, I feel like I have nothing left to give. I feel exhausted, hurt and broken by their indifference. In their times of need, I was there for them. Now in my time of need, almost all of them are nowhere to be found. Or when I do speak of what I posted above, they get angry and go on feminist rants about male privileges.

I think when we're in relationships it's always best to stay true to who we are. I think there is a big difference between sharing oneself and giving up oneself. Not always easy to do, I understand.

I'm sorry you're feeling so hurt and that your female friends have not been there for you. :( Maybe you need to take some time to self-nourish and take care of your needs?

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  • 1 month later...

So for a few weeks after starting this thread, I took some time in nature to self-nourish as IrmaJean suggested. It was a nice but lonely time. Now upon returning to the human social realm, I find myself more depressed.

I seriously wonder how other men deal with living today. How do you guys protect yourself and your psyche against this messed up society that is increasingly hostile towards us for existing, and doesn't care anything about us beyond what we protect or provide? How do you do it without becoming a hermit living in the woods somewhere?

Ugh, I just feel like all I have to look forward to in life is being used, ridiculed, guilt tripped and ultimately discarded by a society that takes joy in men's pain and suffering. I feel like I have no future that is worth looking forward to. What do you guys look forward to? What keeps you going? Seriously, how do you survive without isolating yourselves, or resorting to anger?

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The grass is always greener, hey Anon?

Any one of us can chose to dwell on all of the injustices delegated to 'us' and 'our kind', if you look for the negative, you will find the negative. However, each and every person also has the choice to look for the good in the world and for ways we can 'do good' in the world. Perhaps when you focus on the positive and the good and ways you can contribute you will reap the rewards of those contributions, whatever they may be. And with a focus on the positive, you may be actually able to 'see' these rewards and appreciate them as such.

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I seriously wonder how other men deal with living today. How do you guys protect yourself and your psyche against this messed up society that is increasingly hostile towards us for existing, and doesn't care anything about us beyond what we protect or provide? How do you do it without becoming a hermit living in the woods somewhere?

What Jai said. Also, for me, what works is to eschew labels and judgments. I don't pay attention to postmodernism, and I look at evidence as opposed to stereotypes. From this evidence, I have seen that the vast majority of humans are basically good. Maybe not saints, but we try to be decent, even sometimes heroic and altruistic, regardless of group affiliation no matter how you try to slice it (race/gender/religion/sexual preference/etc.). Yes I understand some people are going to label, judge, and/or profile me based on my characteristics that I was simply born with. That's not my problem, it's theirs. I think spending too much time online makes this problem worse because people can isolate themselves into like minded groups that increasingly polarize each other. I try to avoid becoming like that.

I would prefer people not judge me or become hypersensitive to my tongue in cheek, dry sense of humor, but it's not required for my happiness that all or even most people think I'm wonderful, or even "good." I know who I am, and although I screw up at times, often in big ways, I am generally trying to improve, and I am seeing the results of this effort. The only person I can control is myself, and I'm kind of grateful for that fact, as controlling others would be a hell of a lot of responsibility. Since I can control myself, though, I work on that little facet of humanity that looks back at me from the mirror each morning, and just try to make that better. If everyone focused on their own back yard before trying to clean up others' problems, I suspect we'd have a lot less of this type of trouble. Just my $0.02

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"If everyone focused on their own back yard before trying to clean up others' problems, I suspect we'd have a lot less of this type of trouble."

I agree, but you can take that even further: if you do find someone digging in your back yard instead of theirs, at least you know they're misguided, whatever they may find. This can be very helpful when their digging leads them to tell you about any, or all, of your flaws. You can shrug, or even thank them, while keeping to yourself the part about "but who asked you?"

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"If everyone focused on their own back yard before trying to clean up others' problems, I suspect we'd have a lot less of this type of trouble."

I agree, but you can take that even further: if you do find someone digging in your back yard instead of theirs, at least you know they're misguided, whatever they may find. This can be very helpful when their digging leads them to tell you about any, or all, of your flaws. You can shrug, or even thank them, while keeping to yourself the part about "but who asked you?"

or point out at least one of their flaws, which is digging in others' yards.

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It certainly is an option to point out their flaws, but then you're not sticking to your own resolution, which was your own back yard first.

In practice, it generally leads only to an argument where both people are right. Which wastes both their time, and annoys the pig.

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It certainly is an option to point out their flaws, but then you're not sticking to your own resolution, which was your own back yard first.

In practice, it generally leads only to an argument where both people are right. Which wastes both their time, and annoys the pig.

not to get in an "argument" lol, but they can't both be right. certainly not the person who stuck their nose/shovel in the other person's business/yard.

and sometimes the only way to keep certain people at bay is by not showing anything that might suggest weakness (even if only in that person's mind).

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They could be "right" about different things. The other person might very well find something that really is one of your flaws, so in that sense they're "right", but we've decided they "shouldn't" be looking, so they're "wrong".

The point I'm making is that there's no arbitrary outside standard of "rightness". You decide for you, as long as you accept the consequences. Saying something to the other guy means you think you can decide for him too. And maybe you think that, which you're allowed to do, but again, you have to deal with the consequences.

You know, it's an interesting and persistent belief that aggression has to be met with aggression, and if possible to get yours in before the other guy does. It leads to a lot of pain, though. Some people, on the contrary, see aggression as the sign of weakness. It can mean the person doesn't know any other way to deal with the pain of a situation.

Are you in a situation where there are people you have to "keep at bay"? If so, maybe it's worth learning more techniques.

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i agree with you that aggression isn't always the answer to aggression, but you gotta admit, sometimes it is.

there's no one whom i must keep at bay.

as for learning more techniques, honestly, techniques will only take a person so far, if circumstances keep refusing to cooperate with you even minimally, then there's not much you can really do, except get a lobotomy or die, or something to that effect.

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  • 1 month later...

Can't say I agree with a lot of what you wrote but I too wish I had been born a woman.

To be able to go through you whole life without worrying about having a small penis must be nice.

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  • 2 months later...

This is just my opinion, but as a man I can recognize a lot of terrible aspects of being a woman as well. There's wayy more pressure on women to meet a certain criteria in terms of looks, way less opportunities in sports, women are generally physically less capable, they have to deal with periods & childbirth, and overall it's a lot scarier world for a woman than a man. And those are just a few off the top of my head.

I think everything you're saying has merit, but I think there's benefits to being either a man or a woman.

That being said, what does bother me about society now, especially here in Canada, is how we've become so afraid of racism and sexism that we've taken it so far the other way, especially with respect to hiring. I'm trying to get hired as a structural firefighter and they straight up give preference to women and non-white ethnicities. As a white male, I have to go above and beyond to get hired over a black woman for example. Hiring should be based on merit only. Gender or race should NEVER be a factor. We claim not to be racist or sexist, but this is taking racism and sexism in the opposite direction now. It's almost like Canada is over-compensating for it's racist & sexist history. Sometimes I wonder how no one can see this is still racist & sexist. But it's obvious they just want to have a workforce that LOOKS multicultural asap. I definitely notice this in hiring these days. If you want a job here in Canada it's a terrible time to be a white man, which bums me out a lot. I have actually wished I was black many times since trying to get hired as a firefighter.

Anyways, like I said, that is one aspect that bothers me, but there's lots of benefits to being a white male as well. I think there's definitely a trend towards male-bashing, but it's no picnic to be a woman either.

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That being said, what does bother me about society now, especially here in Canada, is how we've become so afraid of racism and sexism that we've taken it so far the other way, especially with respect to hiring. I'm trying to get hired as a structural firefighter and they straight up give preference to women and non-white ethnicities. As a white male, I have to go above and beyond to get hired over a black woman for example. Hiring should be based on merit only. Gender or race should NEVER be a factor. We claim not to be racist or sexist, but this is taking racism and sexism in the opposite direction now. It's almost like Canada is over-compensating for it's racist & sexist history. Sometimes I wonder how no one can see this is still racist & sexist. But it's obvious they just want to have a workforce that LOOKS multicultural asap. I definitely notice this in hiring these days. If you want a job here in Canada it's a terrible time to be a white man, which bums me out a lot. I have actually wished I was black many times since trying to get hired as a firefighter.

It's the same here in America. Blatant structural discrimination against male whites. I have worked my whole life, obeyed the law, paid taxes, only to be turned into a second class citizen, particularly in regards to employment.

I genuinely believe it is part of a slow genocide being committed against us by the political left. If you can't work, you can't live.

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  • 1 year later...

I too have seen society making demands of men that it does not make of women.  I think the Alpha Male ideal is especially destructive to the emotional well-being of sensitive men like myself.

But i also see women being held up to toxic standards, too: beauty, grooming and neatness, and slut-shaming are the three that i notice most.  I have also noticed the demand (at least from conservative women) for other women to be married and, if married, to have children.

So, while i agree with the statements here about men (how could i not?), i don’t think women have it easier.
Overall, i would say that society has imposed a Tyranny of Gender Standards for both genders. 
So my heart goes out to the overweight single women and the sensitive men: their many good traits are ignored by a world that respects the least-valuable qualities of the worst members of the human species.

All i can do for you, is tell you that you’re better than they say you are.
Let’s not speak negatively of the other gender.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

@LaLa, i hope this doesn't count as one of my "very dark" or "lashing out" posts. if it is, i can water it down.

it's simply a mistake to be in a "serious relationship", unless of course you're prepared for serious heartbreak and pain. that's not to say that some miniscule percentage of relationships don't "work out", but the numbers are quite discouraging, and the odds are very much against you.

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