Most emphasis is on the disabilities of women -- in schools, in the marketplace, in life generally. But actually women have more freedom now than men. Women can be anything their abilities allow, even if there is discrimination toward them in salaries and other perks. Men on the other hand have to be macho, sports fanatics, gruff, argumentative, and share all the male characteristics. Men who do not share some or all of these features have a difficult time; they are assumed to be weak or gay or subverted by their mothers or wives or by the feminist movement. Men are also pathetic when they fall into conflicts about who they are and who they are supposed to be, while women seem to find their roles a bit more easily. No one would have expected this some decades ago, and the reason is less the rise of the feminist movement than the fact that men are permanently stuck in a variety of sexual/gender roles stemming from our past history. There perhaps needs to be a male liberation movement, but to recommend this would be falsely to seek criticism as trying to undermine women and their needs. Men and women, in a word, are different and will always be different, but that does not mean all the advantage is with the men -- far from it, very far from it. Men are pathetic and depressed; women seek help for depression but men do not. That is because seeking help is not deemed masculine. People often think men dislike independent women; actually they fear them. They are a reproach to men, they represent what men cannot do and be. I do not know if anyone will take me seriously here. But I personally, although a misanthrope of sorts, do find men less interesting than women.

Norman Ravitch *62
Savannah, Ga.