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Men, let's not take the low road to gender equality

By Mary Sanchez, Tribune Content Agency on

A woman I know who received one such communication fears that hiring patterns will soon reflect the decisions of men to distance themselves from women in the workplace rather than expose themselves to uncomfortable questioning of their behavior.

Sure enough, it didn't take much looking around on the Reddit online forum The Red Pill before I found this gem:

"Avoid hiring and promoting feminists if you can do so legally. Women, especially radicalized feminists, are dominating the workforce and taking control of companies, political positions, etc., due to policies that wildly favor them."

Of course, you should consider the source. The Red Pill promotes itself as a place for "discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men." But elsewhere on the web and social media, men are promoting the idea that they are being made into second class citizens.

What men need to do now is dare to go in the opposite direction, to resist the notion that they are victims in this controversy. To listen, learn and resolve to do better.

The question on the table is men's behavior toward women. And too many men -- capable, smart, well-meaning men -- are often completely unaware of how their behavior offends and disadvantages women.

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What has transpired in recent months shows that women's voices are being taken seriously in ways they weren't in previous generations. That is a critical first step, but one that could be sidetracked if these high-profile news stories become melodramas with men as the injured parties.

Not much will have been accomplished until this shift in the dynamics of gender trickles down to affect the office administrative assistant, the co-ed working at the neighborhood shop, the single mother who is beholden to her male manager for the hours she's assigned at the fast food restaurant where she works, and the intern trying to get some experience in her chosen industry.

We're making progress, but we'll have a long way to go if men insist on taking the low road.

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Mary Sanchez is an opinion-page columnist for The Kansas City Star. Readers may write to her at: Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108-1413, or via e-mail at msanchez@kcstar.com.

 

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