Letter: Men at bottom of the class

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The Independent Online
Sir: Suzanne Moore ("Why I feel sorry for the boys", 22 November) sees as a gender problem what is still, essentially, one of class.

Over the centuries that men have run the world, a hierarchy has developed, placing those with intellectual/verbal skills at the top, those without at the bottom. This gulf has been systematically widened until for those at the lower end, intellectual/verbal skills have become such an irrelevance that in order to maintain their self-respect, they've convinced themselves that such qualities are wimpish and effeminate.

The lives of their partners, however, have remained essentially similar, whatever their place in the hierarchy. Running a home has always required a degree of verbal skill, people skill, the ability to keep the balls in the air; in short, the basic qualities of middle management.

The result, if you give any credence to intelligence tests, is that if you go into a room containing two persons of each gender, the statistical likelihood is that the most intelligent of the four will be one of the men, the least intelligent the other. So, as the need for mindless labour has diminished, and the need for skilled workers and management risen, it is not surprising that women have flooded into the middle of the market, driving virtually half the male population to the bottom of the pile.

These are the "boys" you need to feel sorry for; whose lives will be thrown away unless they can be helped to adjust to the new world order. The other 50 per cent of men are still doing perfectly nicely. When I watch The Late Review, even when it's enhanced by the presence of Ms Moore, I can't say I often find myself thinking, "What a shame the men aren't as articulate as the women."

ROD BEACHAM

Alfold, Surrey

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