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What am I making up about this experience?

So much!

As a trafficking survivor I tend to get triggered every time someone pretending to care about "sex workers" advocates for legalized pimping and sex buying (otherwise known as full decriminalization of the sex trade).

I just read Richard Reeves book "Of Boys and Men" in which he makes many stupid claims, only one of which is that sexually abusing and traumatizing an entire class of women is a small price to pay in service to the sacred male libido.

When I first heard about the book "Of boys and men" I thought Great! Now people will start paying attention to the deaths of despair afflicting poor & working class men - even straight white "cis" men.

Poor & working class men deserve a MUCH better book than Reeves' piece of crap.

Instead of advocating for breadwinner wages for EMT's, firemen, policemen, electricians, plumbers, construction workers, roofers, truck drivers, garbage collectors, etc (otherwise known as "essential work") what does this guy advocate for?

More male kindergarten teachers and having boys wait two years longer than girls before starting elementary school.

Apparently, girls and women tend to be more booksmart than boys and men (well, duh).

So women are taking over the colleges and the non-STEM professions.

According to Reeves, this is the source of men's angst and despair.

But he's wrong.

It's the wages, stupid.

There are plenty of ways to be brilliant and contribute to society without being able to succeed in school.

Just as fewer women are choosing to go into the STEM professions, fewer men are choosing to go to college. So what?

The only reason this is a "crisis" is that blue collar jobs pay shit wages, which make men who do those jobs feel like shit.

Reeves thinks we should encourage men to do jobs they are not interested in and may be less capable of doing (like being kindergarten teachers and nurse's aides).

Newsflash: those jobs also pay shit wages. If working class men follow Reeves' advice they'll feel even WORSE about themselves. Especially if they're held back in school for two years due to an innate developmental delay.

Reeves complains about the term "toxic masculinity" claiming it implies that men are somehow innately toxic (I agree, it's not a useful phrase).

But THEN he goes on to defend Jeffrey Toobin for masturbating during a zoom work call!! Reeves claims that "men can't help it" (boys will be boys) so Toobin should get a pass. I'm sorry, but the vast majority of men, no matter how horny they are, can control themselves enough not to masturbate in front of their co workers.

Also in the "boys will be boys" vein, Reeves claims that sex buying should be legalized because men "need" prostitution due to their overwhelmingly high sex drives. Really? Men "need" to rent women's bodies like appliances or their balls will explode??

To justify his defense of sex buying as "woman friendly" Reeves quoted an extremely limited (and classist) report claiming that when a strip club and escort service opened in a NYC neighborhood, sex crimes in the neighborhood went down by 13%. Great! I'm sure the residents of Park Slope will be demanding that strip clubs and brothels start opening up in their neighborhoods, too.

The authors of the study claim this 13% decrease in sex crime "proves" that sex offenders took their aggression out on the "disposable" women in the strip clubs and brothels rather than on the "decent" women who don't work in the sex industry. How "progressive".

Also, when sex buying is legalized, demand increases. Since there is never enough "willing" supply to meet demand, the gap is filled in by sex traffickers. And which women and kids do these traffickers victimize? Usually poor women & kids -disproportionately black and Indigenous.

Reeves' book left me filled with despair, because the "intelligentsia" is so hopelessly out of touch with the poor and working classes, and either are not talking to them or not listening to them when they do.

What I am making up about this experience is that poor and working class people are doomed.

Even those who seem to "care" are so asinine that their "solutions" do more harm than good.

I'm sure that I am merely catastrophizing, but I truly hope someone writes a book that actually does bring attention to the fact that not being able to earn a breadwinner wage is crushing the souls of millions of men in this country.

Reeves' book is NOT it.

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