Men Need To Listen?

The answer to gender equality is simple according to Dr. Kimberly Probolus the inspiration for the “Women’s Project.”  According to her we just have to teach men to listen to women.  In a newspaper article in the New York Times she admonishes all men concluding that we are bad listeners, we talk too much and that if we would do a better job of listening to women the world will be a better place.   The fact that the Times chose to publish this piece on their editorial page is frightening.   Not necessarily that the Times specifically agrees with her point of view but that at least the Times  thought it was at least worthy of being fit to print.

I understand that everyone is entitled to have an opinion but if that opinion is to have any credibility – which would merit publication in a quality newspaper –  it should be based on something factual or data driven.  Calling out men as the only gender that needs to be better listeners is as bogus as labeling  all women as man shamers.   Frankly, we all need to be better listeners and follow  Stephen Covey’s habit #5 “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.”

The non nuanced rhetoric by Dr. Probolus does little to bring a greater understanding of gender issues and how we can move forward to  having a constructive dialogue on gender equality. 

One thought on “Men Need To Listen?”

  1. A bold commentary. I’m not sure how well researched or referenced the NYT article was, i.e. factual or opinion. The pendulum seems to have swung to dissect and describe gender DIFFERENCES in today’s environment. Not listening well MAY be a male trait, but maybe a HUMAN trait. Without being defensive, it MAY be also due to the way women (or humans, more generally) talk that may make listening easier and communications better. I know for myself I listen better when the ‘talker’ is more concise, less rambling or story telling, with key deliviables or wants made explicit, rather than couched in implications, whether or not the ‘talker’ is male, female, friend, boss, parent, child, etc.

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