Home | About | Donate

Trapped in a ‘Man’s World’

Trapped in a ‘Man’s World’

Robert C. Koehler

Let’s break the glass ceiling and free everyone.

At one time, outright denial of a sexual abuse allegation wasn’t even necessary because, even if it were true, so what? That was then. The idea of “a man’s world” was solid and, well, boys will be boys.

Very well written, appreciate the war culture being tied in, and could add the essence of the sports culture is intricate within this domination empire syndrome. It is good to seek the roots of all disease: Talking in circles or obfuscation as if there is too much “complexity” so as to avoid looking at causes of effects is investment in the status quo. Also, pretending the status quo is the best we can manage (!) is perhaps fear of change but probably enough investment to desire continuing the status quo.


we live in a world in which powerful men are trapped in their own adolescence

Hit the nail on the head - our society’s sick attitude toward adolescent sexuality.


Androcentrism and patriarchy are embedded in our religious and cultural heritage. Today, people can readily use social media to share their experiences of abuse. Mainstream media now are willing to publish those experiences. By speaking out, men and women who have experienced sexual abuse can stimulate public discussion and reflection on what we have inherited. Change is now possible.


Indeed, MM. That one sentence explains so many things about our culture/economy/politics/foreign policy/interpersonal relationships/religion, et al. The enculturation of our peculiar ideals of “masculinity” is not good for anyone.


thanks again, bob, for another spot-on and thought provoking post! if more men would speak up then we could make real headway. all too often, i suspect, that in a men’s only group where one or two make thoughtless, sexist and degrading remarks those who disagree just go along to get along. also, they don’t want to be called “sissy-boys,” “henpecked” or some nasty sobriquet. several years ago i snagged the following quote. {*note: my bold}

Utah Phillips

Painfully, painfully. It takes a long time to shut up and listen. You know, it takes a long time just to plain shut up and listen. I tell you, what I learned was — I decided that the great struggles, the wars that you’re talking about — it could be the Bosnian War, it could be the Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, it could be the Korean War, it could be the Iraqi War, whatever, it doesn’t matter — it’s all — every — the thing they all have in common is that it’s young men with guns doing it to everybody else. Women aren’t doing it. Kids aren’t doing it. Old people aren’t doing it. Disabled people aren’t doing it. It’s young people with guns, you know, that are doing it to everybody else. And we don’t have a problem with violence in the world. We’ve got a serious male problem.

And I bought into it, so I know. And I’m buying myself out of it, you see. It’s terribly, terribly important for me for people to understand that and begin to shut up and listen. The most important movement in the world is the feminist movement. If we can really figure out what’s going on between men and women, the other problems will take care of themselves.

I’m sure of it.


Yes…and that change will hopefully lead us ever closer to a new world system in which patriarchy is overthrown…or thrown out! The new system will be called “Gylany.” This is a system where male and female are equal in all respects. The term was first coined by Riane Eisler in her phenomenal book: The Chalice and the Blade. But boy oh boy…the patriarchy is fighting tooth and nail with backlash after backlash! But we must keep moving forward! Dialogue is crucial. So keep talking and talking and talking and perhaps one day…the message will reach a tipping point and change will happen.

1 Like

In this case, I don’t need a new name for a new system. To quote a bumper sticker I wore until it wore out, “I’ll be post-feminist in the post-patriarchy,” when I can simply be a humanist.

Marvelous article! I’m not sure we can talk this problem away, though.
Part of the problem lies in our biology, including brain wiring and psychological responses to hormones. If we look at almost all other mammals, especially their mating and reproductive behaviors, it’s mirrored in the sorts of “pathology” we’re considering here.
What’s really at issue is “civilization.” Without our current ideas about how civilized societies should work, the behaviors we’re currently bemoaning wouldn’t seem deviant. The question really is: Can we become even more civilized than we already are? Civilized enough to stop destroying one another and our surrounding environment? Do most people have the brain power to think beyond their own desires?
The adolescent brain is particularly problematical - not just for young men, but also for young women. That’s a key issue. We humans keep forgetting we’re animals.

1 Like

You do animals a great disservice with your unfounded bull. In many species, the female has all the power of choice of a mate, and the male must build nests and otherwise display his fitness to entice her. It’s not remotely a matter of “talking the problem away,” but of utilizing what distinguishes us from animals: the ability to remember our history and choose to reclaim our respect for each other.

From the Center for American Women and Politics web site: “The number of female voters has exceeded the number of male voters in every presidential election since 1964.” Wake up, ladies! We have the only power that really counts. If all of the women who vote would make women’s rights their main issue, our true power would be felt, and elected officials would have no choice but to act on that issue. Corporate money be damned! Uber-wealthy Misogynists like the Koch Brothers have only two votes. We have millions and millions and millions. We need to cut through the corporate-funded smoke screen and vote for what is best for us And what is good for women is good for their families and for everyone else in America…

1 Like

Yes! Good point.

You certainly do yourself no credit by calling my comment “unfounded bull” - a typical bullying remark. I’m a biologist and human biologist (Ph.D., anatomy). I realize how difficult it is to try to create a rational culture when most of our drives and decisions are based on instinct and desire, held in check (somewhat) by fear of social ostracism or retaliation.

Well, then say that’s what you’re talking about.