Damn my finite energy! I had a chorus and orchestra rehearsal this evening and that doesn’t leave me with sufficient energy to take up the “where are the men” question with the consideration that it deserves, but here are some additional thoughts to be added to the discussion, which I would like to continue. Thanks for the comments received. Please send more!
Men as “doers” vs. men as spectators. Men generally prefer to feel as if they are participating rather than simply watching or listening.
Men in power vs. men who feel they have no influence. Many men equate being at an event in which they have no influence over the outcome as being powerless.
The imperative to acquire or maintain social capital vs. the perception of valuable time being wasted. If a man doesn’t accrue some social recognition for attending something in which he is not the main organizer, what’s the point?
Participation vs. the notion of simply “accepting” what is presented to you. If a man can’t contribute to what’s being presented, what’s the point?
Identification with a tribe and adopting symbols of belonging. It helps if there is a baseball cap to wear with a logo that a man is proud to be associated with.
The perception that sitting still is emasculating. The natural expression of a man is a physical action; if sitting still is the requirement, that does not represent masculinity.
And finally, to those my age and older, I suggest that baseball great Yogi Berra is a model of what many of of us consider to be a real man, which is to say that Yogi Berra possessed the qualities that most guys would like to have: record of high achievement, self-made man unencumbered by family or educational legacy, wildly popular, and renowned for idiosyncratic, off-the-wall wisdom.
To be continued.