“Where are the men?” initially came to my attention as a potential discussion topic for a group of people in Randolph, VT who met every other month to talk about Issues of the Day. Unfortunately, Susan and I stopped participating in the group before this particular subject could be discussed (and before I could be singled out as yet another man who was disengaging from public discourse). I regret not having heard what people of both sexes in the group thought about this topic.
The genesis of the question “where are the men?” comes from the observation that men do not participate at public events, be they arts, church, political, or community-oriented, nearly as frequently as women do. Where I live, this is an observation that is easy to make. I went to local talent show last night and there were probably two women for every man in the audience. (The performers in the show were evenly divided.) This afternoon, Susan and I attended the installation ceremony of a (woman) minister in Burlington, and women in the audience outnumbered men by about three to one.
Where are the men?
Today’s New York Times has an interesting article about the diminishing number of men (especially straight as opposed to gay men) in the audience at Broadway shows, and what the creative types on Broadway are doing to try and lure in more men. (Spoiler alert: it’s not working.)
I need to spend more time thinking about this question before making any big pronouncements, so in the lull between my running the question up the flagpole for your consideration, and offering up some of my own theories, I encourage you to contact me with any ideas you have.