Thursday, July 11, 2013

Men Are Not Moral Bums

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A few days ago, I read an article entitled, “The Morality Gap: Are Men Moral Bums?” by Nicole Balin in The Huffington Post. Spoiler alert: they are, according to Balin. She points to a handful of studies that suggest that women are generally more likely to demonstrate acts of kindness. She argues that this is the result of socialization – men are taught to be strong and hide their emotions.

But I must argue with Balin’s conclusions. In my experience, it’s true that it is often easier for women to talk about their feelings than men – but men often demonstrate their feelings in other ways. My fiancé is probably more emotionally reliable than I am in many ways.  In the earlier days of our relationship, I was battling an eating disorder and he was nothing but completely supportive. He wrote a song for me, sends me funny texts, and leaves me silly messages on the whiteboard in our kitchen. But more than that, he shows me every day that he loves me and that I can depend on him.

Balin also points to anecdotal evidence from her own life suggesting that men are less socially aware than women. Well, in my life, I’ve met many men – including my fiancé – who have a very strong social conscience and live their lives accordingly, Yes, our social mores teach men that talking about their feelings is a sign of weakness and, while this is changing, there is much more that needs to be done on this front. But to argue that men are less moral than women is nothing more than bitter name-calling.

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