Are Men Heroes or Villains?

Statistically, they are both

Shefali O'Hara
5 min readJul 17, 2021


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I like men. I really do. Some people doubt that because I posted a while back about how rape is a male crime.

Well, most crime is a male crime.

I posted about rape because of a quote by Golda Meir. Due to the high incidence of rape in Israel in its nascent state, some were advocating putting curfews on women. Golda Meir pointed out that it made more sense to put a curfew on men, since they were the violent ones.

FBI crime statistics and other documentation tends to bear out the predominance of males when it comes to violent crime. This doesn’t mean women are somehow saints — perhaps they are less likely to commit violent crimes because, biologically, they tend to be less strong. Or perhaps it’s because of societal pressures that makes it less acceptable for women and girls to be assertive. Meanwhile, a male tendency towards violence invites less social condemnation.

And this male tendency towards violence seems to start young, at least from my own anecdotal experience.

I remember volunteering to watch a group of young children one year at my church. They needed someone to come in on Saturday for a couple of hours while the mothers were in a small group. The lady who had been watching the 3–7 year olds had to quit and I took her place.

What I observed fit gender stereotypes, I’m sad to report.

The little girls mostly played quietly together and chattered with each other or with me. The little boys played with toy cars and trucks but also would punch each other, wrestle and otherwise engage in mock battle.

For the most part, this was play violence and aside from some bruises, no one was really hurt. However, the boys really relished doing this.

Again, anecdotally, I’ve heard stories from male friends of mine about some of the things they did as children — things I found horrible. For example, one guy I knew told me that when he was a little boy, he’d take the mice that were caught in traps in his parents’ attic and drown them because he liked to hear the sound their lungs made when they popped. This horrified me. It struck me as incredibly cruel and I couldn’t believe a man I thought was so kind would…



Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.