Guy Talk: Men and Listening

Welcome to Guy Talk, a serious space to discuss masculinity, good and bad. Our first discussion will be on the subject of “listening”.

In 2008, Rebecca Solnit shared her experience of a man in Aspen explaining her own book to her. He was told four times that he was describing Solnit’s book before he finally stopped talking. This episode inspired the concept of “mansplaining“.

Solnit’s essay argues that men talk over women not just because of over-confidence in their own abilities, but also because women lack credibility. A woman’s word is still not seen as equal to that of a man’s.

Credibility – that is the key word for today’s post. Who in your life do you really listen to, and how many of those people are women? Do you read books or watch films created from a feminine perspective?

One final point – Solnit’s point about credibility can be applied intersectionally. Plenty of men know what it’s like not to be listened to due to their race or sexuality. Many of us have memories of being ostracised or ignored because we did not act “like a real man”. Feel free to discuss these experiences as well.

Thanks to bmoore4026 for suggesting the name “Guy Talk” – I decided against a clever pun and chose something that reflects the serious tone of the thread. Any suggestions for future topics, please leave a comment.