What a week! First, the hometown team won the World Series. Then my home state, in a spasm of common sense, rejected two candidates who had spent humongous chunks of their fortunes in an attempt to prove that they’d be wise stewards of the public coffers.
Amy Reynaldo, a Twitter pal and the author of the enlightening Crossword Fiend blog, alerted me to this development in an email in which she forwarded a message a (male) Facebook friend* had received. I reprint it here verbatim.
Hey, [USR-FirstName], you’re invited to join in our conversation about your business and how you’re doing under the current economy. Fifteen million men run a small business completely alone. We constitute half of ALL businesses in the US.
Join a FREE forum or small online group and share about your business while bonding with other enterprising men-of-valor based on trust and strengths. You’ll get:
Trusted Peer Support
Reduced Chronic Stress
[USR-FirstName], come learn some things an easier way than alone!
MENtrepreneurs™ is a for-profit social enterprise created by Intelligent Netware LLC
Here’s Amy’s postscript:
Not only have the MENtrepreneurs made up a man-word—not only have they hyphenated “men-of-valor”—not only are they ridiculous at the core because male business owners are hardly a put-upon group in need of special networking opportunities—but they also have sent out a mass mailing of letters addressed to “Hey, [USR-FirstName].”
I’d like to second all of Amy’s comments and add a few of my own:
- Preposition watch: we live in an economy, not under one.
- “Reduced Chronic Stress” still sounds chronic and stressful.
- Surely there is a more felicitous way to say “come learn some things an easier way than alone!”
I do recommend checking out the MENtrepreneurs website. There you’ll discover an “Induction” section (what? not a MENifesto?) that compares business failure to “deaths from polio, and most scourges of mankind”; an article titled “Riding My MANstrual Cycle” (I am not making this up); and this plaintive appeal (all punctuation, spelling, and capitalization sic):
Roughly 14 million men-in-business in the US are dying of solitude, without a single employee, and yet we create 71% of all new jobs. We naturally hide in our caves hoping our issues will ‘work out’ or go away. That’s NOT valor. Isolation is literally a health risk equal to obesity or smoking. Why Step up and change the statistics? Because we MUST.
For you gearheads, there’s a nonsensical formula amid the rotating home-page banners.
Please don’t ask me to explain the semicolon after “because.” Maybe it’s a math thing.
The site is filled with misspellings (“What Other’s Say”; “We GUARENTEE IT!”), poor grammar (from the founder’s letter: “I remember laying on the floor”), RANDOM CAPS, and peculiar “quotes.”
But let it not be said that MENtrepreneurs founder Daniel Comp is a male supremacist. He and his wife, Angelina Musik-Comp, also founded MOMtrepreneurs, a network for business-minded women. (I’ll grant that MENtrepreneurs is a slightly less craptastic name than MOMtrepreneurs.) The Comps have a poignant personal story, which they tell frequently. Numerous endorsements—from Kay Bailey Hutchison, the U.S. senator from Texas (herself not a mantrepreneur), Rick “Good Hair” Perry, the just-reelected Texas governor, and others—attest to Daniel Comp’s brilliance and empathy.
I hope that’s fair and balanced enough for you. Because honestly, MENtrepreneurs is so painfully close to self-parody I don’t know whether to laugh, groan, or send a condolence card. Thanks for the tip, Amy!
* UPDATE: The Facebook friend has agreed to be identified. He is the estimable Mike Selinker, a game developer who also creates puzzles for Games magazine. Mike’s blog, “The Most Beautiful Things,” is well worth reading; I suggest you start with a Sept. 26 post titled “The Most Beautiful Modern Neologism: Crowdsourcing.”