It seems that the male of the species is being vilified across this wonderful land of late, and I am here to say: Enough already, stop! As a long-married, white, aging male who prides himself on being tolerant, fair-minded (as well as open-minded), chivalrous (as opposed to chauvinist) and, most of all, a humanist, I’m here to say that it’s time to show some respect and honor to those of us who have walked our bloody mile, toed the mark, paid our dues and behaved respectfully.

Let’s turn away from the unpleasant publicity some of our less desirable fellow men have brought upon us with thoughtless and often heinous behavior and begin to think positively. Like or not, we as men are here, and we are here to stay, to stand together with those women who believe in us in our fight, the same fight women are fighting for today, for who we are: our legendary successes throughout history, our ability to lead, our courage in time of war and, probably most important of all, especially to this writer, our natural propensity to protect those we love in war and peace.

As men we are sons, fathers, husbands, brothers, lovers, friends, warriors, leaders, providers, etc., all roles that, in my opinion, we wear with pride, dignity and a strong sense of responsibility. I fear that those of us – and I am convinced we are the majority – who do pride ourselves in these descriptions will be lost amid the contempt, anger and desire for revenge that are ubiquitous today.

Because of the toxic publicity the male gender has been receiving lately, those of us who don’t deserve or identify with this current profiling – and that goes for both men and women – seem to be taking a back seat, saying nothing, waiting to see what happens next and who is going to be the new target du jour. As with anything, if we wish to crucify someone, we will achieve that goal by digging deep enough and seeking those who will support our quest.

I will go out on a limb and say we should instead reach out to each other with kindness, understanding and acceptance – and, above all, we should discontinue buying into unsubstantiated accusations until evidence against the accused is established. There are many good things happening in our country right now that are being overlooked or overshadowed by negativity.

As Americans we have opened our arms and hearts to many special interest groups, most of whom have gained acceptance today, so now it’s time to do the same for those of us whose reputation is being sullied by what we men euphemistically refer to as “locker room braggarts,” whose fragile egos rest on how they’ve “scored” or how many notches in their belts they can boast. We merely have to endure them in locker rooms – women have to deal with them everywhere. There really is no more room in our society for these types!

Guys have been around for a long time, achieving many worthy endeavors, from Plato, Shakespeare, Washington, Jefferson and Marx, to Darwin, Einstein, Gandhi, Roosevelt, King and so on, up to Steve Jobs, Neil Armstrong, Bill Gates, Ken Burns and the Everymen who construct roads and bridges and dig ditches, as well as war heroes, chefs, businessmen, lumberjacks, fishermen – and the list goes on. Those of us who are not threatened, but inspired, by competition welcome our female counterparts, many of whom have already achieved greatness in yesteryears, both today and into the future. I, for one, wish to have us stand side by side

With men “on the spot” at the moment, we will endure the slings and arrows currently being cast upon us because of the bad behavior of those few, but we need to seek your understanding, support and continued acceptance.

I have many honest, forthright and courageous male friends, colleagues and associates in my own life, and I am proud to be among their ranks in the lives of others.

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