DEAR ABBY: Recently you published several letters from women who harped on the worthlessness of men. Occasionally the women mentioned moments of loneliness, but on the whole considered themselves to be better off without their husband -- or any man, for that matter. The general message seemed to be that men are, for the most part, worthless and cause only trouble.
Male-bashing has become so common, most people accept it as normal. However, I am bothered by it. This may in part be because I am male, but it is more than that.
Recently, at an after-work get-together, a group of women huddled in the kitchen and complained, "There aren't any good men out there." There were several good ones at that very gathering -- at least a dozen -- all single with graduate degrees, decent jobs and a bright future. I knew several of them, and know they treat women with respect. Not that any of the women clustered in the kitchen would have given these men the time of day.
A friend told me that men who treat women with respect have many women friends, but no dates. I fear she is right. I see many "nice guys" passed by in favor of losers who are nothing but trouble. So the nice guys remain single and the women end up miserable and, sometimes, hating all men. It's really sad.
I'd like to think that decent men and women do find each other, but for those in the post-college age bracket, I cannot say that I see it happen very often. However, I am convinced that "looking" is near the heart of the problem. Perhaps we would do better LISTENING. Our eyes have not served us well in the realm of romance. We don't seem to be able to "see" with our hearts very well. -- NO LONGER LOOKING IN UPSTATE NEW YORK
DEAR NO LONGER LOOKING: If you were a woman writing with this problem, rather than saying that good men get passed by, you would be stating that all men want women who appear physically perfect. This situation is as old as the battle of the sexes. Please do not despair. Decent women still want decent men, and vice versa. It will be a banner day when these stereotypes die a natural death.