Dear Abby: Inbox fills after guy says women overuse phones

Angry man’s letter complaining about the opposite sex’s talking and scrolling habits prompts heated responses.

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DEAR ABBY: I would like to respond to “Ready To Bail in New Jersey” (Sept. 1), who was complaining about women being on their phones all the time. Does this man have any idea how much information and communication is shared electronically now? Work emails, school emails, group texts about various kid activities, and even grocery shopping are all done on a phone.

This is 2022. Women have a lot going on in their lives, and we use our phones to accomplish most things. We are not constantly just scrolling through social media. Maybe the women he was referring to are trying to avoid contact with him because of his ridiculous view of women. — MICHELLE IN ILLINOIS

DEAR MICHELLE: I warned “Ready” that my readers would have a lot to say about his letter and whether he is, indeed, a misogynist. Well, you all came through — in large numbers. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: If you start a sentence declaring you’re not a misogynist, you probably are one. In that man’s case, make that a definite. If I had to endure his company, I’d be on my phone, too, calling an Uber to take me the heck out of there. — EMILY IN TEXAS

DEAR ABBY: I agree with “Ready,” but it’s not just women who do this. People of both sexes are constantly on their phones and oblivious to what’s going on around them. I’m a mom of three small children, and I love organizing play dates with other parents and kids. Rarely are the other parents interested in chatting for any length of time or watching our kids play. They prefer to take photos for social media and scroll through their phones. I get it — we’re all tired and long for rest time. Still, I do feel that a good conversationalist is hard to find. Sometimes I wish this technology didn’t exist. I long for a deeper connection with other humans. — KASSIE IN MARYLAND

DEAR ABBY: Speaking man-to-man, I would tell “Ready” that he has no real understanding of women. Whether or not he’s a misogynist by definition, his view of women is based solely on stereotypes and tropes. Most telling was his statement about “shopping, which is a female addiction.” What a ridiculous perception, no different than saying all men are interested only in beer and sex.

My advice to him about finding a mate is to start with the basics. Make sure your appearance is well groomed and your clothes are pressed and clean and fit well. You need to be able to connect as a person. Can you speak intelligently about your work, interests, passions and goals? Can you ask questions about these topics, listen to the answers and engage in a caring conversation? If you can do that, the person is more likely to put down their phone and pay attention to you, all toward the possibility of building a relationship with you. — BRENT IN CALIFORNIA

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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