A 36 year-old barber got death threats after he barred women from his barber shops in Manchester and Liverpool. He argued that “there are very few spaces left where men can be men.” The government threatened to shut him down.
A Jezebel writer named Ernest Adams explained that real men don't have male-only spaces, but, of course, women do: "If you want to have some private little club for males only –- like keeping women out of your favorite shooter games –- you're not a man, you're an insecure little boy." He continued: "Male-only spaces are about excluding women from power, and making little boys whose balls evidently haven't dropped feel special. Female-only spaces are about creating a place where they are safe from vermin."
(Note that when you want to attack men, you need to make a quip about their balls.)
Put aside people's delicate, politically correct feelings about gender equality, male spaces are good because they promote male bonding, which is good because it relieves male stress, which is good for men and for women. Why women? Because the stresses of "being a man" in the 21st Century create all sorts of social pathologies that have taken a massive toll on our male loved ones. We're losing our sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, and boyfriends to suicide and violence at epic rates, and too many of them succumb to alcohol, drugs, and violence (including domestic violence) for reasons women just don't understand. Male bonding relieves the stresses of modern male life.
When scientists want to learn about human males, they study apes because, working in a university setting, they can't tell the difference. But here's a study of apes that gets it right.
Scientists from Germany's University of Gottingen studied groups of Barbary macaques, a type of ape which exhibits very human behaviour is its social groups.
Strangely, stress-related illnesses among macaques only seem to occur among females or both sexes within a pair. So they monitored the levels of the stress hormone glucocorticoids among male macaques when they were with their partner, family members or in groups of other males.The S.O.M.T.
If the male apes were put under stress, such as in very low temperatures or when faced with a threat, their stress levels went up.
But when faced with similar threats, their stress levels didn’t rise so high if they were in a group of other males.
This remained true among males at the top of the hierarchy in their social circle and those further down, said Dr Christopher Young, of the university's Primate Social Evolution Group.
Wild Barbary macaque males form strong social bonds with other males just as humans do, the study noted, and like humans they feel there is safety in numbers.
They feel less threatened by outsiders when in a group and this bravado helps prevent them getting stressed. They also look after each other. While men may do this by watching each other's backs, for monkeys this means picking insects and fleas out of each other's fur.
Even natural factors like cold weather appear to be less of a problem for the apes when they are out with their mates.
Dr Young added: 'Male macaques form social bonds similar to human friendships that buffer them against day-to-day stressors.
'If male primates live in multimale groups they usually fight fiercely over access to females, but males can develop friendly relationships with a few group mates.
'The strength of these "friendships" has now been shown to buffer against the negative effects of social and environmental stressors.'