Stumbled Upon: Another View of Introverted Men

– David Mein

I just wanted to show you, dear readers, this article, Caring for Your Introvert, which I came across while making use of my recharge time (aka wasting time browsing the internet). It’s by Jonathan Rauch and was published in the Atlantic in March 2003 and I want to point out something he writes under the heading Are introverts oppressed?

Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty.

This is something I had been thinking about myself, basically that introverted women have it harder than men. Alexia, who also blogs here, also blogged about introvert character tropes and mentioned some characters who would count as the strong silent type, like any Clint Eastwood character, for example.

I don’t know if the strong silent type has anything to do with geography. But Rauch mentioned the Midwest, and the only examples I can think of off the top of my head (Clint Eastwood and Ron Swanson) sort of prove his case. I also think the word oppression is a bit strong for (what I would call) the unfairness introverts have to live with in modern society.

All in all, though, I suggest you read the article. It’s an interesting look back onto the days when people were only beginning to talk about the power of introverts. Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, only came out last year. When Rauch wrote his article, it was when things like open plan offices were all the rage. Since then, the discussion of introversion has picked up.

None of this, of course, means that life is smooth sailing for introverted men (is it for anybody?), it’s just interesting to see there are others out there with the same thoughts as me, even if they wrote about them ten years earlier.

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