Doug Ernst Reporter
MDI got a wake-up call from women across the country who were offended that Playboy magazine published a story about “toxic masculinity.”
Leaders of the 18-year organization reported getting phone calls and e-mails from wives who claim Playboy has no business telling men how to shape up.
“That’s our job,” said Maxine Phelps of New York. “Where does Playboy get off advising men how to live their lives? We women have been doing a great job fixing men over the years and don’t need a first-person account of an MDI team meeting to get men off track.”
MDI President Geoff Tomlinson was taken aback by such comments, wondering if women missed the point of the article by Mickey Rapkin, who attended a team meeting in the Los Angeles area last December and wrote about his experience.
“If the women who complained to us had only read the article, they would have seen that MDI men create successful families, careers and communities,” said Tomlinson. “Our focus is on personal growth and respect for all, including women.”
One female critic, Julie Steiner of Lincoln, Nebraska, said articles like the one published in the current edition may encourage men to pick up the magazine to start reading the articles.
“Who knows what men will learn when they start reading articles in Playboy?” she complained. “The next thing you know they’ll be reading at home instead of watching television and washing dishes.”
One MDI man who heard about the backlash from women expressed doubt that the quality of MDI meetings will decline as a result of the criticism.
“I think men might hide the article from their wives and girlfriends from now on, rather than expose their women to literature that might offend them,” he said. “After all, it’s better to avoid an argument than arouse suspicion. I fight only honorable battles. But I think it’s a shame, however, that these women who are complaining aren’t reading about the good work men are doing. Maybe they could start looking at the pictures too?”