Charity starts with the man

Today’s blog is a simple one. I have one thing which I need to know– why do men not like to donate to charities? I never really thought about it before getting involved in this current volunteer phase of my life. And the evidence I have points to men just not giving the same attention to this part of life as women.

My wife has written a blog called “How can we help when there is so little hope?”. It has been amazing the response we have had. So far we have raised just over $1000. This will go a long way to helping this small charity we have been working with. I was working in the school today, digging holes and general shovelling. With no electricity and running water this place is an absolute hot fan oven.

The money we have raised will change this.

How lovely.

What I have noticed so far is that 22 of the 25 donators have been women. Well done ladies!

But why?

When we went to Melbourne a few months ago to the Worldvision Bloggers meet up, I was the only man in the room apart from one guest speaker. When their marketing manager asked me was I comfortable in such an oestrogen charged environment (my words, not hers), I told her of course.

Far be it for me to not enjoy the company of muchos muchachas.

We got to talking about this dearth of males and she seemed quite unconcerned about it. Most of the people who donate are women she told me. That is the target demographic. This is who gets involved and this is the group of people who care.

So that has got me thinking.

Why do us blokes not give as much of a shit? I am more guilty than most until this point in my life.

  1. Is it a hunter gather subconscious genetic thing?
  2. Is it a general macho thing?
  3. Is it a “stop talking to me about the poor in Africa I’m watching the end of this football” thing?
  4. Is it because we just don’t have the same level of care as women?
  5. Is it a “we don’t want to be seen as no good do gooders” kinda thing?
  6. Is it because we are heartless creatures with demonic ice blood?
  7. Is it something to do with our need to protect ourselves from being nice?
  8. Is it a “we genuinely are not interested in helping” kinda thing?
  9. Is it because we are sick to death of people asking for our hard earned money?
  10. Is it a matter of not trusting them feicers with MY money thing?

I have listed these as I have thought about them and they all apply to me (apart from the demonic ice blood)

Football, beer, war, fighting, meat eating, copulating and sleeping.

All great manly things.

Things we regard as part of the male psyche – the ego and the animus. The pride filled, chin in the air heart pumping bludgeon of a true red blooded warrior. This is what we offer the planet.

The women give us the other stuff. The caring for the sick and needy, the protection of the weak and vulnerable.

How hard is it to make these part of who men are…. without seeming like weak, pithy wallflowers.

Can we make charities manly?

Can we make caring a manly thing?

Have I been spending too much time in the sun?


4 thoughts on “Charity starts with the man”

  1. Hello and no you don’t suffer the side effects of sunstroke but you are simply observant. there are quite a few men who are charitable/altruistic but they do it differently. Ted Turner famously gave 1 billion US to the UN to set up the UN Foundation and Bill Gates gives most of his fortune away. When men give they tend to get involved and exercise a certain degree of ‘control’ rather than just follow the tune of somebody else. Everybody (okay, just those of us who care about Philanthropy) was blown away when Warren Buffet decided to give his billions to the Gates Foundation rather than setting up his own – as sign of a very enlightened ego indeed and I love him for it. I think men need to get involved in order to give BUT – for me it doesn’t really matter as women often hold the purse strings for an entire household and therefore make spending decisions for their family including their hubbies! Hope the jungle is treating you well – love the photo!

    • You know, I am thinknig that your second last sentence is the most important one. Men work and give most of their money to their beloveds. Women then are free to spend this however they want. So while a man may not know what his money is going towards, a woman will invariably try to do some sort of good with it. The likes of Ted Turner donating to the UN for me raises serious questions over the agenda behind the UN projects – I would be suspicious of the UN as an organisation and I would not believe that the former head of CNN is trying to do good in the world by taking such a controling interest in a machine which supports Western Interests…but I am a little paranoid when it comes to these types of things!

  2. thats a quare way to be holding a shovel there lennyman, no wonder why i dont see any holes dug…
    : P
    its a very valid point you make there, as the saying goes, those in glass houses shouldnt get out of the kitchen…
    ha ha,
    i’m guilty as charged for being an armchair do gooder, not that i dont give a rats ass about society or the needy, i think its much malnourished side of the personality, as they say what you give you get back tenfold,
    i’m swaying to the side that women by nature are more nuturing as apposed to men leading,
    as the ulirke lad above me fairly pointed out, when men do it they “take control” of it, is it the motherly instincts to nuture the weak, sick, vulnerable,
    as we all know women are emotionally hardwired, and men are fixers, they see a problem and try and find a solution, women feel the pain and suffering of the people sympatise and want to feel the emotion of them and therefore engage in the activities to be emotionally connected,
    men grab the shovel and dig like “theres gold in them there hills” too busy digging to realise how to hold the thing properly, ha ha ha..
    but with any charity you need to cover all angles, you need organisation and compassion, i think women are more easily adaptable to the male side of organising things than the men to the compassion side of things,
    its that bloody multi tasking trick that they do coming back to haunt us…
    the percieved masculinity of a man is his strength to carry to the people through the tough times, which is very much needed in hard times, as you need someone to be strong in moments of weaknesses, is it evolutionary programed into us, i think so,
    its an subconscious side of our personality, but at the same time, we are also concious of our surroundings and aware of the pain and afflication on our fellow man and should up our game and step up to the plate…
    fair dues lenny, your leading by example.
    prime example of men and women difference,
    white men cant jump, woody harrelson and the lady are having a heated discussion,
    and she says that she’s thirsty, so.. woddy goes and gets her a glass of water, but she’s not happy,
    woody’s perplexed, “thirsty, water, problem solved ??”
    but no, she wanted him to thirst with her….

    women, eh ??
    havent seen that flick in ages,
    and its true,
    white men cant jump…
    ha ha.

    the photo, classic, but what did strike me when i was in india in a small town bar in the middle of nowhere, it was the women doing the grafting carrying the bricks, as the men sat around,
    it was a strange sight,
    well in fairness i seen alot stranger sights on that trip i tells you, ha ha

    keep up the sterling work there lenny and i’m jealous of your travels, hoping to tear it up in south america myself again next year…

    peace out.

    • Ah Ger good to get your opinion on these matters,

      It is a long time since I saw White men cant jump…Lots of gems in that movie. It is true that we cant jump..we have the flexibility and spring of an old brittled pile of chair legs.

      When it comes to India I remember thinking the same thing – how do these women and children work carrying big barrels of boiling tar on their heads in baking hot heat while the men stand around yapping about how hot it is. SOmething is seriously wrong with it. I can only imagine some of the mad shtuff eile that you saw you crazy mofo!

      I think that’s just it though…us men want to control and to fix things…women can look after and nurture. It’s the way things are and always have been. They might change slowly over eons and eons but there is no way in ten or fifteen years we will wake up and it be different.

      I can see that you do have an opinion about how you think the world should be…it does call for change and even though it mighgt just be onine or yapping down the pub, it all makes a difference. It all adds up and every little brain that switches on is one step closer to a better world.

      By the way…that is an ancient shovel handling technique I was showing those kids. Goes back centuries. WIth the knowledge I have given them, they will go on to dig some amazing holes for themsleves!


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