“Men Don’t Read” … Bullshit

Jim Ellis
Editor, Legacy Magazine


jaepic2There is this meme that exists within the culture of my men’s organization, Mentor Discover Inspire (MDI), an international circle of men found throughout North America (and some satellite locations elsewhere). Is it out there anywhere else in the world?

It’s this line: “men don’t read.”

I think it comes from years and years (we are 20-plus years old) of unread e-mails regarding MDI business. Someone writes an e-mail and blasts it out to the collective 800 or so men, and may rarely receive a response … except for the proverbial concept: yes, you guessed it – “men don’t read.”

As editor of the Legacy Magazine, which originates from the MDI organization, there are times some members can’t seem to force out a single paragraph about an event or a story. But at the same time you will see members’ lengthy posts on Internet sites such as Facebook. Hmmm.

So the meme can’t be true. I mean look at social media alone. Tons and tons of reading and writing … and even some arithmetic, depending on what posts you are reading. And it’s not just kids, teens and “millennials” who are writing and reading within social media. It’s a fair amount of adult males … even if it’s only 140 characters of a fricken’ tweet. Plus add in the obvious volumes of content provided by male writers, journalists and novelists.

So what can it be? What is the truth about this bullshit meme?

  • Men will read and men will write when they believe there is a purpose for it.
  • Men want to be lazy around the rest of it, and save up the time for endeavors that hold meaning.
  • Men want to protect their time and energy. They don’t want to waste time on that which holds little import.
  • Men will write and read that which fuels them on their journey and their success.

Therefore, the aim here with the Legacy Magazine is to throw fuel on the fire… and get a conversation going.

Do these printed words replace a face-to-face meeting, where men can see eyes, use the freedom of expression through dialogue and enjoy the sort of confidentiality that creates safety and non-judgment? Not in a long shot. And we recognize that.

But men read. And they write. Let this be the new meme: “Men read, and they write.” And they do so regarding what they care about, and for that which they find purpose and meaning.

Our job – let’s make this meaningful and purposeful.

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