Hello, Neville!

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.

I have to agree with you that the experience of men is vastly different from the experience of women, and, as I mentioned, can include painful social encounters that lead to feelings of isolation and self-loathing, which is something no one should have to go through. In this article, the specific issues I reference are encounters with "toxic masculinity," or the expectations of society to be a perfect representation of men's faux-historical role in the home and workplace (I say faux-historical because of the hyperbole of "perfection" sought after, which doesn't take into accound matrilinial societies, men's presence in many "women's" industries since their inception, or non-"standard" households throughout time).

(For some reason Medium isn't letting me hyperlink in this reply, so I'll just list my sources)

See this NYT artcile for more details: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/us/toxic-masculinity.html

This mentality is one that means men often feel as if they have no outlet for their emotions other than violent behavior or anger, because it would be "emasculating" to cry or to cope in a different way. Men are often denied much-needed platonic and familial physical touch because "men don't do that," leaving them with the real psychological and physical damage that physical isolation can incur, as we've all well come to know this year.

See this article from Texas Medical Center: https://www.tmc.edu/news/2020/05/touch-starvation/#:~:text=This%20can%20increase%20heart%20rate,have%20problems%20sleeping%2C%20Shah%20said.

or this one from Rogue Manhood, a site specifically dedicated to men's voices about toxic masculinity: https://www.roguemanhood.com/blog/2019/4/3/the-lessons-men-learn-about-physical-touch

All of this can lead to an experience that leaves men open to being targeted by cruel cultures like incels (here used to refer to the culture, not the people themselves) or to other extremist groups. It's a sincere problem with how we view genders as a whole, the other side of misogynistic intent and the part that's frequently overlooked but definitely legitimate and harmful. Men deserve to have their right and need to express themselves freely respected and encouraged.

You're absolutely correct in saying that none of this happens by chance, and I do think it is important to give credit to the situations that provoke this behavior. I didn't have room to do this in the main article, as it was primarily about the linguistic ramifications of the descriptor "female" and its impact on how a piece is read, given that I had already cut down that section of the article as much as possible while still giving adequate context, so I appreciate you presenting an opportunity to go more in-depth here.

Thanks again!

Hello! I’m Cat, author and amateur fandom historian based out of Georgia. I write about literature, theater, gaming, and fandom. Personal work: catwebling.com.

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