The men I know don’t actively discuss changing sexual norms. We gossip and surmise: Who is a criminal and who isn’t? Which of the creeps whom we know are out there will fall this week? Beyond the gossip, there is a fog of the past that is better not to penetrate. Aside from the sorts of clear criminal acts that have always been wrong, changing social norms and the imprecision of memory are dark hallways to navigate. Be careful when you go down them; you might not like what you find.
So much easier to turn aside. Professionally, too, I have seen just how profoundly men don’t want to talk about their own gendered nature.
In the spring, I published a male take on the fluctuations of gender and power in advanced economies; I was interviewed more than 70 times by reporters from all over the world, but only three of them were men. Men just aren’t interested; they don’t know where to start.
I’m working on a podcast on modern fatherhood, dealing with issues like pornography and sex after childbirth. Very often, when I interview men, it is the first time they have ever discussed intimate questions seriously with another man.