Men DO Open Up About Their Problems - But No One is Listening

Men DO Open Up About Their Problems - But No One is Listening

WHY DON’T MEN open up about their problems?

It’s a question that has been given much consideration in recent years. Most of the answers one can find on the subject are variations on a similar theme: men are overly stoic, emotionally stunted victims of their own gross machismo. That they don’t talk because to talk, is to make oneself less of a man. And that if they could only break out of this behaviour, which is often described as ‘toxic masculinity,’ they would be able to get the help that they very often need: around 80% of people who die by suicide are men.

men in thoughts
men in thoughts

That men are frequently implicated as the primary instigators of their own suffering, due to their alleged unwillingness to engage with traditional mental health services such as one-to-one counseling. ‘One-size-fits-all’ health service doesn’t work. This is despite the fact that The National Men’s Health Policy (2008 – 2013) clearly identified a lack of gender-competence across the entire health service. It also criticized this widespread blaming of men for not availing of ‘one-size-fits-all’ services that do not cater to their needs. Many will say that men aren’t opening up about their problems because they simply don’t have any. After all, aren’t men the truly privileged class in our society, enjoying a monopoly on all of the positions of power and influence? It is true that a small number of men (typically wealthy, upper class men) dominate the upper echelons of political and corporate life.

The notion that this arrangement categorically precludes all men from having issues is laden with contradictions. Men also make up the majority of the homeless and the vast majority of those injured or killed in workplace accidents. Almost all of the so-called ‘3D’ jobs – dirty, difficult and dangerous – are done by men. The recent decline of traditionally masculine industries such as construction, along with the falling behind of boys and young men in education, has resulted in Ireland having a so-called ‘reverse’ pay gap of 17% between childless men and women aged 25 – 44. Men are shamed if they failed to ‘man up.' Because society depended on men to be ‘real men’ in order to function, men and boys from traditionalist generations were shamed if they failed to ‘man up’ and face life’s challenges.

Today, even as religious conservatism dies a slow death, attitudes towards men discussing men’s issues have hardly changed. The only difference is that the ones heaping the scorn on men are now self-styled progressives who will openly scoff at the idea that men can be victims of institutionalized sexism.

men body
men body

Nonetheless, such sexism certainly exists. Take for instance the systematic injustice evident in the treatment of Irish fathers before the law. A 2013 doctoral thesis which studied over 1,000 circuit court cases throughout the country found that divorced fathers often find themselves denied access to their own children even if they have been granted joint custody by the court, with access frustration and total parental alienation actually being enabled by the system rather than curtailed by it.

Fathers’ rights

Unmarried fathers enjoy no automatic guardianship rights to their children, even though they are legally obliged to pay maintenance. Without those rights, thousands of fathers have no say in their child’s education, in their religion, or even if they can or cannot be put up for adoption. The only way to obtain such rights is to obtain the consent of the mother, to satisfy a 12-month cohabitation period with the mother, or to take a case to court. The cohabitation clause in particular was designed to safeguard against rapists and other abusive men from enjoying paternal rights. Put another way, every unmarried father is treated as though he might be a dangerous criminal by an Act that was signed into law just last year. We are living in a time when even the most infinitesimal displays of chauvinism can receive international media coverage, yet blatant sexism and systemic prejudice against men goes totally unchecked.

father and son
father and son

Underlying all of these men’s issues is a lack of male advocacy groups at a policy level. This is because, unlike the case for women’s advocacy groups, no state funding is available for them.

Men’s issues trivialized. Without a platform to have their concerns heard, men find their issues frequently trivialized or dismissed entirely.


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Most Helpful Guys

  • Yeah that pretty much sums it up. People say men have rights but try and use those rights and you will find yourself being rejected. They will say everyone is equal in the eyes of the law but courts rule in favor of women 95% of the time so that is another lie. As you correctly pointed out a man can whine and complain all he wants but no one will listen, especially women. In one ear and straight out the other. Once I filed a police report over something my ex-wife did and the cop said, "why bother, you are a man, you won't win."

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  • Great take. Thanks for writing this. As a single father I have experienced much of this. Even with a legal agreement in place it is a constant battle with the mom to keep my rights.
    And that’s just one area.
    I find the school system to treat fathers deplorably. In my case: All communication and information from the school is sent to the mother who does not share it. School officials will not include me regardless of my having met with them numerous times to insist and prove my ‘shared/joint custody’ statice, my volunteering and participation in school activities, and being well known and liked by the teachers. I have even had to have my contact information reistablished because the mom was able to remove me from the contact list so as to put her boyfriends name and number in my place. No notification to me.
    To volunteer, men are required to provide a criminal background check and character references (not a problem for me btw) but none of the women were required to do so.

    My carear suffered greatly for living up to my responsibilities as a father and the time that was nessary to be there as a father in a world where men are very much expected to work far more then a single parent realistically possibly could. I was even told by several different employers “ men are supposed to leave the child care to the mom and to work”. Outrageous. My relationship with my child and her need for a father who is present is worth more then money. I will not sacrifice that to ‘move ahead’.

    The mom got the house that I had worked for my entire life and bought, just simply because she was able to manipulate the system as a woman, regardless the fact that she left me, I live up to my parental responsibilities 100% and have 50% custody.

    This is just some what I went/go through.

    Now I just focus on raising a great kid, stay the hell away from relationships and am working on being a happy growing person with what little the world will allow me to have of it.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • It's hard to point out quotes from a wall of text, so I'm not doing that.

    Listen honey, everyone has problem but no one cares. This is sad reality of life. You know what the real problem is?

    Yes, men have their own set of problems and struggles and no one is denying that. And I fully support helping out men who need the help. I do think this talk about 'man up' is bad. I agree with you on that. I noticed one thing: in countries where laws (or society) favor men, women go through worse struggles than men do in countries where laws favor women. But it doesn't change the fact that both are wrong, both are hurtful and none of them should exist.

    But have you heard stories of women who went through a lot of shit in their lives starting organizations to help out women who are going through same bad stuff? I think it was in a documentary that I saw a woman who was once raped and got shamed by society for it and after she grew up, she started an entire house providing shelter for women who get disowned or abandoned by their families after such incidents.

    I think it would be a good thing for men (and also women) to start helping men by themselves that way instead of somehow hoping that help will come. Cause it doesn't.

    Where I live this isn't a big concern cause our society is pretty misogynistic. So I can't relate much with it, I admit. Maybe I could if I belonged in a nation where these problems exist. However, since it's like 'guys also suffer like women do, sometimes even worse' then why does no one suggest solutions instead of discussing about their miserable lives?

    No, seriously. I am really saying this because I am tired of these posts talking about the problems without discussing about what we can do to help people out.

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    • "in countries where laws (or society) favor men, women go through worse struggles than men do in countries where laws favor women." Those places don't exist. Their is not one country or society that favors men over women, not a single one. Its biology, women are more important to reproduction due to the duration of gestation, the hazards it places on women and the dependency period of the child. No woman has ever been conscripted into war while the men sat at home safe and sound (hell even male civilians are more likely to die in warzones then women). If you look at the middle east for instance, men go to prison if they cannot pay their wives taxes, this is why they discourage women from working because legally its her money but he is required to pay the taxes on it or face prison time. Culturally the eldest male is required to take care of the women in the family, this is why male child prostitution is so common in these countries comparative to female prostitution. The list goes on.

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    • @hellionthesagereborn I never said that my life is infinitely harder than men's. There are people with easier lives than mine and there are people with harder lives than mine, and there are people on completely different, incomparable paths regardless of gender. But good try cause I am no more reading your replies. I understood what kind of person you are.

    • No, you said that women have it worse then men as a whole. That was what I was pointing out. The irony is that men have it so bad because we prioritize women over men and you are arguing that women have it worse because you are both biologically and socially predisposed to prioritize women over men.(hence the take trying to point out this inclination so we can actually start fixing the problem).

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What Guys Said 30

  • Women are always viewed as fragile and need to be saved. So Men normally get the worst end of most situations. Like if a woman slaps a man it's justified and nobody really does anything. But if a man were to slap her back people would jump up and start attacking him in defense of that woman, even when they don't even know the whole situation. Especially with how feminists and SJW's today preach about how they want equality and when they go to hit someone who is the opposite gender and they get hit back they immediately pull the gender card and say "you can't put your hands on a woman." Basically, those types of people want selective special treatment to allow them free reign for their actions with no repercussions.

    Men who try to show their sensitive side get ostracised or called gay/faggot for showing any emotion. Women also expect men to just open up and speak their mind but most men know that women like to set traps like that to fuel the fire. It's like when a woman says, "how do I look in this dress?" If you were to say that it doesn't look good on her she'd probably get mad at you and make you sleep on the couch. Women also love to chase men down during an argument and demand their answer/response/attention. Most men choose to pull away from a conflict so they can cool down and think things over. Women act more impulsively and want to beat the problem out of him.

    Women also get more attention when it comes to being the victim. If a man and a woman were to get a divorce, the woman would most likely get a majority of the shares/property and even custody of the children.
    Rape/sexual assault/sexual harassment/domestic violence are other issues as well. If a woman calls a man out on any of these claims she almost always gets immediate action in her defense. If a man were to call any of these out against a woman, he'd probably be laughed at and not taken seriously. This essentially labels most men as pigs or the aggressor in most cases, leaving him with no actual voice in the matter.

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  • Pink anon, thanks for the help. But until men can sit down and listen to the problems and issues other men face, without criticizing, mocking, and insulting those men, we can't really blame women for not listening.

    Men have to find a way to accept that men have problems and need support.

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  • No one sympathizes with the man until he's physically bleeding or dead. Even then, it's just a "detail" to go after the responsible party. If a woman succumbs to that same fate, there's an insatiable urge to return blood for blood.

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  • As a man who has had to deal with countless gender discrimination situations - thank you for the post.

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  • I agree with all the measured problems. What I would contest however is your personal injection of how they feel. I would suggest that they are far less caught up in their own heads that you make them out to be. I don't mean to sound disrespectful, I'm appreciative of the Take and the concern you show, but all the talk of how they feel they're not "real men" or that they need to "man up" is either contextualized, nuanced or nonexistent.

    Most often their attempts to preserve their masculinity are not self-absorbed, thoughtless protection of their 'own gross machismo.' It's to preserve themselves as potential partners for women. It's not "hurr durr, I'm a man," give them more credit, it's a more nuanced "women have a vision of a man that I need to resemble." Men encourage each other to tough things out for similar reasons; coddling them is not just reflexively not what they do but it's also not good for them nor what they want (at least not from men). They know that other males need to be able to handle things themselves i. e *primarily* according to women's expectations if they're going to ever have a shot at a satisfying life.

    So when you say "That they don’t talk because to talk, is to make oneself less of a man," I would suggest that rather it's because they simply aren't interested in talking in that way to men and that they feel their personal/love/sex/social life is in jeopardy when they talk to women about issues -- unless she's a *highly* trusted friend or partner. In this way, men seek out intimacy as their path to catharsis, while women seem to have an easier time just letting it all out with basically anyone. You can see this in the number of men that go to prostitutes for the emotional release.

    As you say, there's a one-size-fits all health service and that often puts a huge emphasis on talking as it has primarily catered to women and that is how it treats women, but that doesn't work the same for men. Men interface with other men through action e. g You don't just sit a guy down and expect him to spill his beans; rather a dad goes to play catch with his boy or you play video games with a friend and ask what's eating at them -- and they interface with women through... well, not sex exactly, but intimacy. I wan to stress that I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of that behaviour and that, although it can take different forms, it's largely based in physiology.

    I'm out of space, I guess that ends my rant on masculine psychology.

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  • Hence the higher male suicide rates. In Germany Robert Enke killed himself in 2009. He never got over the death of his daughter Lara in 2006, and he was scared that he would lose the daughter he had recently adopted if word got out that he was depressed that way.
    Around the time of Enke's death, Andreas Biermann, another German footballer, went public about his own struggles with depression and suicide attempts, and his career suffered as a result. He killed himself in 2014.

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  • Yeah but we got you to talk too. You will listen and help young guys if they are in trouble, we need more ladies like yourself who don't have any bias towards any sex when it comes to the welfare of an individual. Thanks for the post.

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  • Men are told to just shake things off because it's not manly to show emotion unless it's called for, like birth of a child. He isn't to talk about his feelings or else he will be called gay.
    While this thinking was dominate prior to the 90s and a bit today, there are some improvement to men's emotional needs, such as people being more open about it.

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    • That was indicative of an archaic gender role way back in the 1800s (in the U. S.) in the society that men, not just a few decades ago. But I agree with the improvement though and I feel more men should do it.

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    • That's what I mean. What you're dealing with today is due to what was created centuries ago.

    • @AuroraRoseat Yeah, the early and mid 20th century was no help either as that really helped shape society.

  • Rant all you want guys, rant. In truth, some are people will listen; but the greater truth is: the Law still applies.

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  • How about this

    1 in 4 women have been the victims of domestic violence

    1 in 7 men have been the victims of domestic violence.

    There are over 2000 DV shelters for women in the United States.

    There are fewer than ten for men.

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  • I opened up to a therapist once: she sent me to a nit wit school. I was roommates with a frog kid and they had a drain in the center of all the rooms so they could hose us off.
    Now I never open up to a woman.

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  • We're either ignored or called "whiney babies" by women, the same women who then piss and cry that men don't show emotion.

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  • Even though I agree these things exists and are a victim of it, I think we can do something about it if we stand together and not let this BS harm us individually.

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  • Men used to open up. But since no one cares, they stopped doing it.

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  • l trust no one as no one cares l open up to a girl on this site she pushed me away why? so l will never ever open up again as l have lost trust and faith so l am going back to bed to hide from the world and girls

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  • Great take. NHS has to publish statistics every year and in the February 2018 release, it reported that breast cancer screening gets ten times the funding as screening for prostate cancer, even though prostate cancer kills more men now than breast cancer kills men and women. NHS spend on women's community health (outreach centres, counselling services, therapy and palliative care), outstrips the spend on mens community health by an 8:1 ratio. If these stats were the other way round there would be riots in the street. But no politician wants to risk their career by pointing out how imbalanced the NHS has become.

    Then again, as a bloke, I just shrug my shoulders and get on with it. This is just the way it is. Though NHS funding should all be split right down the middle.

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    • While I do agree, breast cancer affects both men and women though it's majorly women who are affected. That could be one of their reasons.

  • Yep. Those are problems and something should be done.

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  • To make people care about men is to put men back in a position of power.

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  • It also doesn't help that the same society that some men might be smart enough to realize is toxic, is nevertheless pass down from father to child. The classic Joe Kennedy telling all of his sons "Kennedy's don't cry". I openly disagreed with societies definition of masculinity since I was in 3rd grade, but If I'm sad, if I screwed up, If I cried, If I was depressed, there was no support from the father figure to help me with that. After all, that was mom's job. I was hoped by my father to be the classic Stoic, non-emotional, football playing, going into business man, but I was none of that, so my dad had to change adapt to me to understand how to teach adulthood to me.

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  • I sympathize regardless if it is a man or a woman. I'm tired of how certain gender roles should be viewed or treated. The old adage of when a boy falls down, the father has to tell him, shake it off, when a girl falls down, give her a million kisses and hugs. I'm not saying every parent does that but it's what we are taught at a young age. If I have a son and or a daughter, I will both show my love and care to both of them.

    The problem with guys is that they don't like talking about their problems or they don't want to waste their time listening to another guys problem.

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  • Bc you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

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  • Funny how the ladies choose not to comment here.

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  • Give this girl a medal

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  • Pretty much.

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  • Correctomundo. :)

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    • Karen Straughan has some great youtube vids discussing men's rights as well as how feminism hits men. She's very pro-man, well worth researching and listening. Definitely an advocate for men, very refreshing.

      Another pretty good blogger is Kitten Holiday; she talks about man-woman relationships and roles each gender plays. Also well worth researching and reading. Besides, she's pretty hot too. :)

  • I don't care other men. It's every man for himself in this world.

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    • And you don't think that's fair when women will come together and support one other? That's why I'm not surprised about the rash murders being committed by men: they're all alone, sometimes have no one to turn to, and reach a breaking point.

    • @AuroraRoseat When i've tried helping another man out, they just try to use me for money or take me down to their level. Most men will betray other men just for female validation, sex and money. So, i don't care.

  • Really good take.

    I really appreciate all the female responses, showing they care.

    Oh, wait...

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    • @CubsterShura typifies the attitudes women have toward men's issues and is a good example of why it is still such a problem. The point of this take was to raise awareness and change attitudes about men's issues, and @CubsterShura essentially shit on it, as many women sadly do. Pure selfishness is really all it is.

  • Truth here...

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  • Eh, well there's two things there. First, men aren't used to opening up about the small stuff, because we prefer action to words. Always have done. Talking about our problems doesn't make us feel better. I don't understand it but I believe that women actually do feel better just by talking about problems. Seems impossible to me, but I'm hardly going to accuse the entire gender of lying.

    As for the big problems, like paternity rights, gold digging whores, mens suicide rates, mens work safety, or any of the billion ways men are fucked over by the world... yeah, no one's listening. For all that feminists say they want equality, what movements are actually trying to change societies laws regarding spousal support? Or paternity rights?

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    • "First, men aren't used to opening up about the small stuff, because we prefer action to words."

      I still see no action by men who care and want to help put other men.

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    • @CubsterShura In my country a group called the Single Fathers Association was recently formed to try to address the issue of the legal rights of fathers.

    • @Dchrls78104 well since it's quite new, I am guessing that it will grow overtime and slowly help men in other cases too.

  • Thanks

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What Girls Said 7

  • solid and eloquently written take highlighting issues that a lot of feminists have hypocritically chosen to shun. There is a serious lack of men's shelters and support catered towards them. A men's rights advocacy group at my university proposed opening a men's centre back in 2012 which unsurprisingly raised controversy with a lot of feminists and is still pending approval in 2018, all the while a women's centre at my uni was already created back in the 1970s. It's absurd.

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    • This is part of the reason I don't support a lot (most that I've come across) feminist groups. they only care about women and they only time they try to care about men (when they're not opposing or shaming men) is when it affects women.

    • @Shadow44 yeah that's been the case with 99% of feminists I've encountered, western third wave feminism is a joke.

    • I agree, I also wanted to throw out that there are men trying to set up groups and stuff to talk about their problems though that's usually destrucctively interrupted by feminists also.

  • Another woman on here that understand <3, I'm here for all the men that need to let things out, I'll listen.

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  • That's not true. Men here are always talking about their problems

    Example: https://www. girlsaskguys. com/dating/q3270812-is-it-best-for-some-men-like-me-to-just-accept-they-are-undesirable

    I've seen many rants like that.

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    • That's not true. Men here are always talking about their problems and other guys listen and rant with them *

  • Not only men, I'm a woman and people do the same to me. Or they pretend to only hear half of what I'm saying. Other times, they'll insist that I'm crazy and that I need psychiatric help. Like they're trying to cause me to have a nervous breakdown or to drive me to doing some crazy shit.

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  • I like this take.

    The only issue I have is the guardianship of children. Men did not carry the child to term so I understand why the law gives the woman the child if everything in the legal proceedings are equal between a man and a woman. But I would hope that the woman would allow the father to have a say in the rearing of their child (ren).

    Another argument is that the reason why men are blamed for their unfortunate plight is because they constructed society long ago that has evolved since then. Meaning that the depiction of men as emotionless husks because it's too effeminate to show their emotions is still current and repeated by misguided individuals because of how they created (American) society before.

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    • "so I understand why the law gives the woman the child if everything in the legal proceedings are equal between a man and a woman"

      So would anyone. That's not the case though. The mother would have to be a murdering psycho junkie or something before the judge would give the father sole custody. Very often things are not equal between the father and mother, and the judge or the system overwhelmingly favours the mothers.

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    • You believe the woman should have the child, great, but again, if she gets the child then why does she get his money as well? That's sexism, your saying a man does not have the right to his own child and that he also doesn't have the right to his own money but a woman has the right to her own child and also has a right to a mans money. That's pure unadulterated sexism. What I am saying is that their should be equal access because the child deserves to have a father (fatherlessness increases the rates of suicide, depression, criminality, poverty, academic failure, substance abuse, promiscuity and divorce (both of which just perpetuate the problem)). Further more where at any point did the man who is providing for the child, putting the food on the table, the roof over head, paying the insurance, paying the doctors bills and physically protecting the child not him caring for the child? Again, your being sexist because you want women to have privilege, not equality. That's sexism.

    • As for men not creating society, I never said that, I said that the notion that this is based solely on social rather then biology is provably false, as it is provably false (common sense should be able to prove that). That's why the systems and behaviors can be found not just in every single society in the world without exception through out all of history but also is found in primates in general. I don't care if your sexist, I don't care if you want women to be able to get away with anything and everything (I mean they already do so not really much else you can ask for) what I care about is this attempt to pretend otherwise, at least be honest with what your goal is because again, your argument is provably false and by your own reasoning would require that men be able to keep their money and walk away which your arguing against. Its hypocritical.

  • Men should Express there feelings. Just not to me. If we are on a date I don't want to hear it.

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  • Men don't have problems, they have penis.

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