Men are often rebuked for not expressing their feelings. But what happens when they do express them?
Sometimes this: On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on January 28, 2011, co-host Joe Scarborough and guest “Love Guru” Donny Deutsch began talking about how important a job is to a man and how destroyed he can feel if he loses it. Was co-host and feminist Mika Brzezinski pleased to hear these two men open up and speak about what the vast majority of men are reluctant to divulge?
No. Just the opposite. She interrupted them (this exchange occurs about two-thirds of the way through the show), called them self-centered, shifted the topic to how jobs affect women, then, like a scolding parent to a mischievous child, rebuked them with a stern finger and a condescending lecture: “Just. Be. A. Little. More. Self-aware.”
Now there’s a woman who knows her power in the presence of men, including her boss Joe Scarborough!
Deutsch, for his part, then expressed more feelings to Brzezinski — feelings of exasperation with her.
On the very same morning that Mika Brzezinski listened poorly to these two men, “Fox & Friends” discussed a new book about “why men don’t listen to women.” You’ve no doubt heard of many such books over the years, but have you heard of just one book about women like Mika Brzezinski?
The point Scarborough and Deutsch tried in vain to make is the same point made by Dr. William Pollack in the February 3, 2011, CBC Doc Zone production “The End of Men” (video may be playable only in Canada):
“So if [men] don’t produce, if they don’t work, they not only are a loser — which is bad enough — somehow in some strange way it’s hard to explain to people who haven’t felt it, the man feels he’s not a man anymore. If you interview a woman who’s lost her job, she feels terrible, but she doesn’t feel like she’s not a woman anymore.”*
(To see how men can be punished for not expressing their feelings, see “Because Men Express Less Emotion at Work Than Women, the Ninth Circuit Court Denies Them Equal Protection.” And for a reminder of how a lot of men react to losing their job, see the CBS Minnesota report, *“Minn. Man Kills Self In His Car After Losing Job.” Almost everyone acknowledges that after a job loss, suicide is more often a male choice than a female.)