To prove the point, the BBC ran several experiments showing viewers violence against both men and women. The violence against women was roundly condemned while the violence against men produced very little response and even some laughter. On two British television shows, "The Talk" and "Jeremy Kyle Show", the audiences laughed about a woman emasculating a man and about another man being forced to jump off a three story balcony after an abusive partner locked him out. Amazon sells tee shirts saying, "Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them." (They really do—I found one.) Then there is the hashtag "KillAllMen" which generated all sorts of misandrous comments like "Men are trash," "Being a man makes you an automatic failure," and "Go kill yourself and increase the male suicide rate."* A recent conversation with some of my Christian women friends certainly did not go this far, but a certain amount of disrespect for the male gender was evident nonetheless.
In our culture it has become increasingly difficult to be a man. A man must constantly watch every word he says and every action he does, walking on those proverbial egg shells, while the women around him can insult, tease, or even "bash" him, and somehow, no one cares. So what am I to do for my poor husband? How can I be the friend he needs and a haven to come home to? How can I make his life easier?
1. First, don't be so sensitive. He might need a lesson in why women don't appreciate male humor, but as a Christian who is supposed to love the man, maybe I need a lesson in being kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Eph 4:32), and letting love cover a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8). Maybe I can be as strong a woman as I claim to be and not get my feelings hurt by every other word he says, leaving him wondering what he did wrong.
2. Second, realize that "different" doesn't always mean "wrong." My husband has taken over a lot of the household chores since he retired. He says that since he is underfoot, causing more mess and taking more of my time, that he should help out more. He doesn't always do it my way. More than once I have had to remind myself that just because he doesn't put the pots in the cabinet the way I do doesn't mean he is stupid or ignorant or even wrong. There is no valid reason to constantly criticize someone who gets a job done just because it isn't the way we would do it. Insisting on my way instead of compromising is not a sign of strength—it's a sign of stubborn arrogance.
3. I am sure you have heard the old joke: If a man speaks in the forest and there is no woman to hear, is he still wrong? I know some women who seem to think they have been put on this earth to correct men—from interrupting the stories they tell to correct even minor discrepancies to stopping every other word in a simple conversation to correct them or their grammar or their—anything and everything. Is it really that important? And are you absolutely sure that what you remember happening is the way it really happened? We have kept a journal for 45 years. When I go back to some of those first ones, I am stunned by how wrongly I remember things.
4. Be careful how you speak to or about him in front of people. I have been horribly embarrassed by having a wife scold her husband like a child in front of me, and mortified for a husband when a wife told, not a funny story, but a humiliating story about him. And these were Christian women! Why do we do these things? To make ourselves look better than he in the eyes of others? What we really do is make ourselves another example of what not to do as a loving, supportive wife.
5. Tell him how much you appreciate him. Our culture is doing its best to make our men feel useless, or even evil in some sort of generic way. Haven't you heard of "toxic masculinity?" For some women that is accomplished simply by his being male. Don't fall in step with such ungodly behavior in the name of promoting women's equality. Feminism in our culture is more about putting men down than raising women up. Right now the only one who can make him feel like the man God meant him to be may be you.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life (Prov 31:11-12).
*All this information is reported in the blog counsellorinleeds.co.uk, written by Phil Mitchell, December 31, 2020 post, "Stop Saying Kill All Men."