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May 13 2013

On the misandry isn’t a thing thing

SERIES: FROM THE HETPAT ARCHIVES

(Note: I have a follow-up to this post currently bubbling on the stove, so thought I would throw this up here now.)

First published: April 4th 2013

 

As I have written many times before, I believe people who are concerned about women’s human rights and wellbeing and about men’s human rights and wellbeing should be natural allies. That’s pretty much the core of my philosophy on gender issues. I’ve made clear my disdain for men’s activists who lay blame for most of men’s problems at the door of feminism. I also despair of the logic which says any and all feminist activism is, by definition, misandrist.

So all things considered, I should have been applauding Lindy West’s blog on Jezebel last week, where she basically made those precise same points. Truth is, I hated it. Partly that was down to the tone, which I found painfully patronising. In lecturing men on the male experience and the extent and nature of men’s problems, she provided a rare example of what we might call “womansplaining.” (Incidentally, a word to male readers – if you want to know why many women get so annoyed by us guys explaining to them what feminism is and should be, read the article, flip the genders and empathise.)

I’d add that in her “Part 4: A list of Men’s Rights issues that feminism is already working on”, she paints a rosy portrait of feminism which ducks most of the more credible complaints. To take just one example, she says:  “Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charge” which, firstly, is not entirely true – there are a few feminists who argue that women accused of domestic abuse are almost invariably acting in self-defence. More significantly, it dodges the point that very many feminists have actively and furiously resisted attempts to highlight male victimisation and argue and lobby strongly against gender-neutral approaches to the problem.          

In amongst all that, one of her arguments in particular raised an issue that I’ve wanted to address for a while, and that is the meme “misandry isn’t a thing” (or in Lindy’s version, “misandry isn’t real.”) This is a common refrain within modern feminism, often used as a throwaway dismissal of a (perceived) male troll or heckler.  Here it is explained and used as a central basis to the argument, which gives us something to get our teeth into.

Dictionaries define misandry as hatred of men. A more detailed working definition might be something like ‘an extreme or irrational hatred, fear, demonization or contempt for men.’ Lindy West readily admits that there are some radical feminists or wounded women who really do hate men, and that our culture produces many derogatory and unfair portrayals of men, but insists that “misandry is not a genuine, systemic, oppressive force on par with misogyny.”

What feminists mean when they say ‘misandry isn’t a thing’ is that because our society systematically privileges men and disempowers women, misogyny serves a different cultural purpose, has different and more damaging impacts and grows from different roots to misandry. To a certain extent I agree with that, but saying misandry is not the mirror image of misogyny does not mean that misandry does not exist at all. I believe that arguing that misandry isn’t real is damaging to men, damaging to women and damaging to the struggle for social justice.

I would distinguish three common varieties of misandry which are most definitely real. The first is a personal prejudice, which may often arise from damaging or hurtful experiences at the hands of men, creating a negative stereotype heuristic. This may not be admirable, but it is often understandable. The second is an ideological misandry arising from certain strains of radical feminism, roughly caricatured as the ‘all men are rapists’ tendency. I think such ideas are wrong and harmful, but I’m also far from convinced that these people are anywhere close to being numerous or powerful enough to cause any real damage, except perhaps to feminism itself.

The third variety of misandry is the one that seriously concerns me, and it is worth looking in detail at what it is and what it does. Cultural misandry is a significant force in policing and constraining the roles of men, and indeed women in society. Our capitalist hegemonic culture (or patriarchy, if you prefer) considers it acceptable to routinely mock and denigrate men’s domestic and child-caring abilities because this acts strongly to discourage deviations from the gender status quo, from which vested interests profit. Our culture systematically devalues male deaths (in news reports specifying numbers of deaths of women and children, for instance) because economic interests require a degree of male disposability in the workplace and military interests may require the mass dispatch of young men to die on battlefields at a moment’s notice. When society mocks and reviles male victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, the subtext is that that it is women’s place to be victimized and oppressed, not men’s.

When feminists say that misandry isn’t a thing, what I hear is that these issues are so minor, so marginal that they are insignificant. It is not just that they are unworthy of attention, they are not even worthy of a word to describe them. If Lindy West really wants more men to be allies to the feminist movement and wants us to believe that feminism really is on our side, then I struggle to see how this type of rhetoric is in any way helpful.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that feminism should suddenly drop its struggles for women’s equality, autonomy, safety and welfare in favour of challenging male-only military conscription or setting up hostels for male abuse victims, I don’t think that is or should be feminism’s job. Nor do I think that all allegations of misandry should be considered reasonable or accurate.  But I would suggest that if we want to end what Lindy calls the “endless, fruitless turd-pong” between men’s activists and feminists online, some rhetorical habits might need to change on both sides.

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  1. 1
    Soarer

    Or alternatively, there could just be a movement for ‘Equalism’.

    There is just too much nonsense spouted by both sides – dodgy statistics, the hurling of abuse, pathetic ‘analysis’, the invention of new words or concepts to describe imaginary things. Both sides act more like theology students (if you define theology as the study of made-up stuff, as I do) than scientists or even rationalists.

    And, whilst you say:

    The first is a personal prejudice, which may often arise from damaging or hurtful experiences at the hands of men, creating a negative stereotype heuristic. This may not be admirable, but it is often understandable.

    if you replace the word ‘men’ with any other subgroup (black people, asians, Muslims etc.) it ceases to be understandable at all.

    People should be treated equally – now can we go on to how this can achieved, and stop all the navel-gazing?

  2. 2
    Von Kalifornen

    I’m glad of this. Dealing w/ misandry isn’t feminsts job (unless it’s incidental w/ patriarchy.). But opposing patriarchy will not be focused effective against the misandry that matters.

  3. 3
    luka

    I think the problem here is that the term “misandry” is very much associated with the men’s rights movement. It’s not that it doesn’t exist, it’s that “misandry” is a loaded term. You can’t use it without sounding at least a little bit skeevy.

  4. 4
    John Morales

    Ally,

    Cultural misandry is a significant force in policing and constraining the roles of men, and indeed women in society.

    Am I wrong in believing that which you refer to as “cultural misandry” is precisely what feminism refers to by “patriarchy”?

    (Don’t they hold that it constrains both men and women?)

  5. 5
    oolon

    Misandry is a dog whistle for the more extreme wing of the MRM, assuming there is a less extreme one. Someone complaining about it invariably comes with the baggage of belief in feminist conspiracy, proxy-violence and other such demented concepts.

    Maybe reclaiming the word and using it correctly would be a good thing. I don’t see much conflict with the concept of patriarchy damaging men, which is common in the feminist circles I’ve seen, and misandry. Trying to think of what terms feminists use to refer to this damage, I guess the concept of toxic masculinity is one. Unfortunately many of these concepts come across as men being the perpetrator and not the victim. Men are absolutely victims of toxic masculinity but more often than not you’ll see people complaining about themselves being described as “toxic”… Even though it doesn’t mean that!

    Victim-perpetrator dynamics seems to poison this conversation more often than not, clearly MRAs want to gain some victim status, despite their ridicule of feminism as “victim obsessed” through an obsession with misogyny… I quite like Crommunist’s framing of this word use (He is a blogger on FTB) … He says describing a person as *a* racist is too global to be accurate, institutions or a culture is racist not individuals. Individuals do and say racist things but they themselves are not setup to systematically discriminate. (OK so maybe some exemptions for say the head of the KKK). He applies this to misogynist as well, people do and say things that are misogynistic but they are not *a* misogynist.

    People do and say things that are detrimental and discriminatory towards men which might be described as misandrist, but they are not *a* misandrist. So are there institutions, power structures set up to systematically discriminate against men that could be described as misandrist? Here it is harder as the patriarchy is misogynist at its core, by definition? A side effect of patriarchy plus things like toxic masculinity is misandrist but is the patriarchy misandrist and misogynist? I’d say no as the forces that hurt men are there to enforce the status quo and maintain the privileged position of mostly men at the expense of some men and most women. Those men that are disadvantaged are usually derided as “womanly”, as you point out in the child care example.

    For me this is where it differs in its definition as describing cultural and societal forces as primarily misandrist seems inaccurate. We are full circle back at the demented MRA view of feminist conspiracies and proxy-violence etc to make misandry a real thing in this context.

  6. 6
    Jadehawk

    I would distinguish three common varieties of misandry which are most definitely real. The first is a personal prejudice, which may often arise from damaging or hurtful experiences at the hands of men, creating a negative stereotype heuristic. This may not be admirable, but it is often understandable. The second is an ideological misandry arising from certain strains of radical feminism, roughly caricatured as the ‘all men are rapists’ tendency. I think such ideas are wrong and harmful, but I’m also far from convinced that these people are anywhere close to being numerous or powerful enough to cause any real damage, except perhaps to feminism itself.

    if “misandry” is supposed to just mean anti-male prejudice, I agree.
    when people say “misandry isn’t a thing”, it in my experience means that anti male sexism isn’t a thing, in the sense of “sexism (or racism, or other such things) = power + prejudice”.

    Our capitalist hegemonic culture (or patriarchy, if you prefer) considers it acceptable to routinely mock and denigrate men’s domestic and child-caring abilities because this acts strongly to discourage deviations from the gender status quo, from which vested interests profit.

    toxic masculinity defines itself by what it is not, i.e. femininity. A man who does things ascribed to femininity lowers himself in status. That’s misogyny that manages to harm men, AKA “patriarchy hurts men too”. It is in that sense comparable to the way anti-miscegenation laws hurt those whites that wanted to marry blacks, but the cause was still anti-black racism.

    Our culture systematically devalues male deaths (in news reports specifying numbers of deaths of women and children, for instance)

    you’re a journalist, so you might actually be more familiar with such things; but I don’t see such headlines much anymore. I even dragged up this site (http://www.ambriente.com/today/ ) that for some reason lists death-related headlines, and almost none of those make that distinction. Are you sure that’s actually still common?
    And I’d like to point out that our culture systematically devalues female deaths, too. Examples: Greta recently linked to a whole series of tweets of people saying that a woman who’d had an hired killer sent after her must have done something to deserve it; the entire anti-abortion BS; the disposability of sex workers, who are largely female.
    OR to put it differently, our culture devalues the lives of low-status people, regardless of which axis of oppression they’re low-status on (but especially when they are at intersections of multiple such oppressions)

    because economic interests require a degree of male disposability in the workplace and military interests may require the mass dispatch of young men to die on battlefields at a moment’s notice

    historically true; however, I have problems with pointing out the deadliness of male-dominated jobs that women are/have been until recently banned from and/or male-dominated jobs in which the culture is extremely women-unfriendly and defended by those in those jobs as a male-dominated space, and claiming that this deadliness-disparity is misandry.

    It is not just that they are unworthy of attention, they are not even worthy of a word to describe them.

    but we do have a term for it, even if it is very jargony (which a lof of feminist language is anyway, see for example “kyriarchy” or “hegemonic masculinity”); but it is jargony precisely to not obscure the root of the problem, which is basically that men must avoid at all costs anything associated with femininity, because femininity = horrible (and that includes being a victim, because as you said, being a victim is feminine)

  7. 7
    Jadehawk

    Or alternatively, there could just be a movement for ‘Equalism’.

    feh.
    intersectionality serves that purpose much more clearly, without erasing the kyriarchy

    the invention of new words or concepts to describe imaginary things

    such as…?

    And, whilst you say:

    The first is a personal prejudice, which may often arise from damaging or hurtful experiences at the hands of men, creating a negative stereotype heuristic. This may not be admirable, but it is often understandable.

    if you replace the word ‘men’ with any other subgroup (black people, asians, Muslims etc.) it ceases to be understandable at all.

    and now try again with “white” or “Christian” instead, and imagine the people having these experience-based prejudices are racial or religious minorities.

    Or, if you can’t imagine, let me have such minorities explain to you in their own words:

    I spent a part of my childhood feeling great sadness and helplessness about how it seemed that Indians were open game for the white people, to kill, maim, beat up, insult, rape, cheat, or whatever atrocity the white people wanted to play with. There was also a rage and frustration that has not died. When I look back on reservation life it seems that I spent a great deal of time attending the funerals of my relatives
    or friends of my family. During one year I went to funerals of four murder victims. Most of my non-Indian friends have not seen a dead body or have not been to a funeral. Death was so common on the reservation that I did not understand the implications of the high death rate until after I moved away and was surprised to learn that I’ve seen more dead bodies than my friends will probably ever see in their lifetime.
    Because of experiencing racial violence, I sometimes panic when I’m the only non-white in a roomful of whites, even if they are my closest friends; I wonder if I’ll leave the room alive.

    — “Gee, You Don’t Seem Like An Indian From the Reservation” by Barbara Cameron

    I remember a huge family reunion one August with my aunts and uncles and cousins gathered around my grandparent’s vast breakfast table laden with food from the farm, and the state troopers drove up to the house with a car full of rifles and shotguns, and everyone went kind of weirdly blank. They put on the masks that black people used back then to not provoke white berserkness. My strong, valiant, self educated, articulate uncles, whom I adored, became shuffling, Step-N-Fetchits to avoid provoking the white men. Fortunately the troopers were only looking for an escaped convict. Afterward, the women, my aunts, were furious at the humiliating performance of the men, and said so, something that even a child could understand.

    – “Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did” by Hamden Rice

    most women in the West today won’t have faced that kind of experience with men; but very low-status women still do, and a large minority of not-low-status women have as well, sometimes for no reason other than sheer bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time once too many times. and so they develop the biases Ally talks about.

  8. 8
    Jadehawk

    But opposing patriarchy will not be focused effective against the misandry that matters.

    like what? all the examples Ally provided were cases of PHMT; if femininity and woman-ness weren’t considered bad things, then men wouldn’t be punished for “adulterating” themselves with such girl-cooties. And if women weren’t seen as inherently weak and passive, it would no longer be an Unthinkable* that a man could be the victim of a woman. What is the misandry not caused by patriarchy?

    *”Unthinkable” in the sense Charles Lemert wrote about: basically, societies produce certain patterns of thinking that work for to maintain that particular strucure of society, but make it hard to think outside the structures; things that don’t fit with the weltanschauung propagated by a particular social setup are “unthinkables”, i.e. things the structure makes invisible and people have to work hard to get to the point where they’ve dismantled society’s structures in their mind to the point where they can begin to “think outside the box”, or outside the social structure and therefore think the unthinkables.

  9. 9
    Jadehawk

    I’m not for a moment suggesting that feminism should suddenly drop its struggles for women’s equality, autonomy, safety and welfare in favour of challenging male-only military conscription

    Um. Feminists are challenging male only military service in general, which AFAIK does include male-only conscription. That’s part of feminism.

  10. 10
    hyperdeath

    But I would suggest that if we want to end what Lindy calls the “endless, fruitless turd-pong” between men’s activists and feminists online, some rhetorical habits might need to change on both sides.

    You use the phrase “both sides”, as if there is some degree of symmetry between the feminists and the MRAs. While the feminist movement can have problems (e.g. dismissive attitudes to female-on-male domestic violence), these are minority positions, and are criticized internally. On the other hand, the men’s rights movement is largely a collection of hate groups. Reforming the feminists will involve disowning a few extremists, and eliminating a few unfortunate memes. Reforming the MRAs is a meaningless proposition, as there is nothing there to reform.

    Even when the MRAs give lip service to legitimate issues, there is nothing to be achieved by debating them. It would be a bit like debating the effect of Affirmative Action on white males from disadvantaged backgrounds, with the KKK. All propositions can benefit from thoughtful criticism, but all the MRAs have to offer is deranged hatred.

  11. 11
    Ally Fogg

    just as a teaser, this is precisely the point I plan to be addressing in my next post. Watch this space!

  12. 12
    Soarer

    People should be treated equally – now can we go on to how this can achieved, and stop all the navel-gazing?

    Judging by some of the responses, I’m guessing the answer to my question is ‘No’.

    Carry on with the theorising, the big words, the blame games and the anecdotes if it makes you happy – I’m out.

  13. 13
    Ally Fogg

    if you replace the word ‘men’ with any other subgroup (black people, asians, Muslims etc.) it ceases to be understandable at all.

    No, I disagree. There are plenty of men who have had bad experiences with mothers/ wives / partners and who are now bitter and even misogynistic. That’s not admirable, but it may be understandable. (If you like, to “not admirable” you could add “not correct” or “not acceptable” but it can still be understandable.)

    I agree that it gets messier if you substitute “blacks” or “Muslims” but in general terms I don’t think swapping such terms in any debate is ever as good an argument as it first appears. Simplistically, the interactions we all have across genders tend to be much more immediate, personal and pervasive than those we have across races and cultures.

    People should be treated equally – now can we go on to how this can achieved, and stop all the navel-gazing?

    That’s fine if you’re talking about a level playing field to start with. But if the playing field is not even, you don’t even it up by treating everyone equally.

  14. 14
    Norman Hadley

    Hi Jadehawk

    You say you don’t see many “women and children” headlines these days. Here’s an example from yesterday’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

    On Google News, the article is tagged “Across Mozambique, the number of those infected with HIV/AIDs, mostly women and children, grows at a rate of 500 per day.” (my emphasis)

    When you find that sentence in the article, the next line is “Because of the AIDS problem, half the population in Mozambique is now under age 10.”

    But although she places these facts contiguously, there’s no joining of dots, i.e. she hasn’t reasoned that even if HIV attacked the population at random, the vast majority affected – well over three-quarters – would be “women and children.”

    Similarly, if an asteroid destroyed a rural English town, the majority of people killed would likely be white. That wouldn’t make it OK for a journalist to write “Hundreds of people, mostly white, were killed.”

    (Incidentally, this writer uses other stock devices – the first descriptions of Lurdes are that she “moved with exceptional style” and was “quietly beautiful” – traditional means of subliminally establishing female virtue.)

    This article (which gets a warm and 100% female response in the comments) is just one example of downplaying male mortality found from a few seconds Googling. Once you’re attuned to it,(in the same way you might be more attuned than me to a boorish joke from a male stand-up, say) you see it all the time. Is it mis-andry, pure and simple? Or a subtle, infantilising, mis-ogyny?

    Either way, it’s plain mis-guided. People are people.

  15. 15
    Ally Fogg

    I have a lot of sympathy with this, and one of the biggest issues I have with the MRM as it currently manifests itself is that there is so much rank ugliness associated with it that it tends to pollute the debate, even when there is a good and important point made.

    It is an obvious logical fallacy to say that something is untrue or irrelevant just because it is said by someone who is wrong about something else, or because you don’t think they are a nice person.

    That’s the same logic MRAs attach to feminism constantly, and I think it is wrong in both cases.

  16. 16
    Ally Fogg

    Will come back to a lot of this in the next post, but…

    you’re a journalist, so you might actually be more familiar with such things; but I don’t see such headlines much anymore

    .
    I just went to Google news and typed “civilian casualties” and the very first link that came up was this one from the BBC which begins:

    A roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan has killed at least 10 civilians, including women and children, police say.

  17. 17
    Ally Fogg

    yes, but they haven’t dropped the rest of feminist activism, which was my point!

  18. 18
    Jadehawk

    lol; well, that didn’t take long. and i didn’t even get to point out that such naive “let’s treat everyone equally” thinking has already shown not to work well:
    http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_perils_of_colorblindness
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/in-blind-pursuit-of-racial-equality-103516464.html

    also, what’s with the hate for big words? they exist because society is a complicated thing, and the small words are too imprecise and inaccurate to deal with it well.

  19. 19
    Sans-sanity

    “…if we want to end what Lindy calls the “endless, fruitless turd-pong” between men’s activists and feminists online, some rhetorical habits might need to change…”

    Well, judging by the comments thus far it seems that the general consensus is for a continuation of good old turd pong! Ah well, tis a tradition and well worth preserving.

    Women/men have all the power!
    No men/women have all the power!
    You’ve just been brainwashed to think that by the patriarchy/feminism!!
    Check your privilege/take the red pill!!
    Die/Burn!!
    MISANDRIST/MISOGYNIST!!!

    Turds for everyone! Eat up and enjoy, it’s what you’ve chosen :D

  20. 20
    Jadehawk

    Hi Jadehawk

    You say you don’t see many “women and children” headlines these days. Here’s an example from yesterday’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

    not much of a headline, but ok. Granted, habitat for humanity isn’t exactly conservative, but Christian tropes about men and women do shine through that article; like the description of Ludres as a “good woman” (unlike all those prostitutes and girlfriends, I guess).

    So I’ll give you that: killing “good women” is definitely considered some special level of atrocity, like shooting bambi.

    That whole article is absolutely horrible, trope-filled writing O.o

    I just went to Google news and typed “civilian casualties” and the very first link that came up was this one from the BBC which begins:

    i just did the same search, in both english and german, and only came up with one article that did that (in an attempt to establish that the victims were indeed civilians; apparently the writer assumes there’s no such thing as a female muslim “enemy combatant”)

    I wonder what accounts for the difference; I’ll have to watch this and see if there’s some reason I don’t get articles that make that distinction, but you do. Country difference? Google-conspiracy to make me look stupid?

  21. 21
    Pen

    I wanted to comment on this because it highlights the oppositional nature of the debate and tends to ignore what happens in real life. In real life, my partner and I struck up a deal that childcare was going to be 50/50. He then experienced a fair bit of type 3 misandry as explained by Ally above which took the form of pressures to abandon that role, prejudice and occasionally overt discrimination. In the meantime I experienced being treated as main point of contact on parenting issues by all and sundry, and person responsible for all ills and issues, minor and major. You want examples, so for example: my partner would arrange playdates and I would then discover that I was expected to be there.

    Personally I think we were already fighting an uphill struggle against his expectations of life that had been built into him as a boy, and a real lack of awareness of how much you have to sacrifice in order to parent effectively. You can call that patriarchy if you like. At the end of all this, the cold, hard fact is that this experiment in gender equality in parenting was forced into failure mode by forces outside our wills and control, at far greater cost to me than to him (you can call that male privilege if you like). Obviously this isn’t good for relationships which isn’t good for either the men or women in them.

    What I’m saying is, it’s not much use to say that what was happening to us as a couple or a family or even as a professional woman or man respectively isn’t a feminist issue.

  22. 22
    Ally Fogg

    Oh definitely the Google conspiracy thing!

    (to be fair, I just went and did it again, and this time the story came fourth, but only listed under the ’40 other items’ not as an entry of its own. I think Google News changes almost by the minute and does give me UK outlets as a priority)

  23. 23
    khms
    People should be treated equally – now can we go on to how this can achieved, and stop all the navel-gazing?

    That’s fine if you’re talking about a level playing field to start with. But if the playing field is not even, you don’t even it up by treating everyone equally.

    I think that is a consequence of applying the idea at too low a level. As far as I’m concerned, “treating everyone the same” doesn’t mean giving everyone the same size and contents for lunch, more like giving everyone what is appropriate for them for lunch. Not treating everyone as if the playing field were level, but working on leveling the playing field, and while that’s not done yet, treating people with regard to what hill or vale of the playing field they individually started at.

    Which, obviously, is much easier to say than do, but that is what I think we ought to be aiming for.

    Maybe my point is we should treat people as persons, not as members of a group that should be irrelevant to the current situation — be it gender, skin colour, hair color, height, weight, …

    And every person has their own history.

  24. 24
    Ally Fogg

    just to add, from another story on the same horror in Afghanistan:

    According to statistics released by the United Nations, in the first six months of 2012, over 1,140 Afghan civilians were killed and around 2,000 were wounded, mostly by roadside bombs. Thirty percent of the casualties were women and children.

  25. 25
    Norman Hadley

    Hi Jadehawk

    Thanks for your response – totally agree about the horrible writing. In the demotic of North West England, it’s a load of old trope.

    Re the Google conspiracy thing. I tried the same search as Ally, not long after he posted, just a few miles to the west of him. Couldn’t see his BBC report at all. Never mind “Don’t be evil,” guys – how about “Don’t be inconsistent” ?

  26. 26
    Schala

    So are there institutions, power structures set up to systematically discriminate against men that could be described as misandrist? Here it is harder as the patriarchy is misogynist at its core, by definition?/blockquote>

    It’s also misandrist at it’s core, by definition. I call it The System, instead of patriarchy. Because who is the figurehead Manchurian puppet doesn’t matter to the system. It perpetuates itself at the cradle.

    A side effect of patriarchy plus things like toxic masculinity is misandrist but is the patriarchy misandrist and misogynist? I’d say no as the forces that hurt men are there to enforce the status quo and maintain the privileged position of mostly men at the expense of some men and most women. Those men that are disadvantaged are usually derided as “womanly”, as you point out in the child care example.

    Wrong there.

    It’s not a side effect, it’s as-designed.

    The privileged position of the 1% is not the position of men. And that’s the most serious force at work that wants to and can maintain its privilege by manipulating people’s opinions and rigging elections so that you have two shitty options who BOTH favor the rich. Obama bailed banks for fuck’s sake.

    Men who are disadvantages are not called womanly, they’re called unmanly.

    Butch women also get shit for being unwomanly.

    It’s considered a failure of gender role by society. The only reason it’s considered less egregious when women do it is because of more open gender roles, thanks to contraception and feminism. Not because we value masculinity more. Because feminism didn’t open male roles at all.

    Even in places where women are more constrained, failing at maleness can be punished more harshly, but that’s assigning hyperagency to men (ie always their own fault if they fail) while not doing so with women (hypoagency – someone made her to it). So gay men are willfully consciously-chosen perverts, lesbian women are simply misguided lost sheep. Hence the punishment for either.

    Treating men like shit is part of the gender role, here is the recipe:

    Treat men like shit, deny they even have emotions, beat them up until they conform or rebel, if they don’t they deserve to die. If they’re victimized, they only merit our contempt, they should pull themselves by their bootstraps.

    And you say that is male privilege? It will produce a handful of power-obsessed people, who know how to rig the game, and have no empathy for anyone. Who think treating people like shit is means to an end. And they end up elected. See Bush. And fewer women will end up like this, because they’ve not been conditioned to lack empathy this way. It’s not been beaten out of them as much.

    It might sound counter-intuitive, but women as a group, suffer less victim-blaming overall. Because it’s part of The System. Think women are airheads who can’t decide to do stuff on their own, and men are super-agentic people who foresee all consequences the moment they think about acting. Can you see how that would affect crime sentencing and jail populations?

  27. 27
    Schala

    in my experience means that anti male sexism isn’t a thing, in the sense of “sexism (or racism, or other such things) = power + prejudice”.

    System has power, system has prejudice. Misandry is a thing.

    The System is misanthropic, it just treats women and men in different shitty ways. And who are the system’s agents? Everyone.

  28. 28
    Schala

    toxic masculinity defines itself by what it is not, i.e. femininity. A man who does things ascribed to femininity lowers himself in status. That’s misogyny that manages to harm men, AKA “patriarchy hurts men too”. It is in that sense comparable to the way anti-miscegenation laws hurt those whites that wanted to marry blacks, but the cause was still anti-black racism.

    Toxic feminity defines itself by vainness, pretending to be weak (or weaker than you are), and preoccupations with shallow appearance-based stuff above everything else. It’s sold in women’s magazines, and bought too (I have no idea why).

    A woman who plays into those stereotypes gains female privilege, at the cost of not being taken seriously for non-shallow non-appearance stuff (she can be taken seriously at a fashion place). Her own emphasizing weakness will forfeit being able to work in heavy-lifting stuff.

    Toxic masculinity defines itself by anti-intellectualism (books are for nerds, or girls), pretending to be an ass to fit in, bragging all the time especially about sex, being able and willing to fight (especially fight back) if provoked, and bulking up while not caring one bit about appearance (or its too gay). This isn’t sold in magazines, it’s beaten into you.

    A man who plays into those stereotypes gains male privilege, at the cost of being viewed as intentionally brainless (a redneck), a physical and sexual threat, and someone who shouldn’t be in caregiving ever (a threat to kids, sexual and physical, also incompetent).

    —————————

    The correct answer to choose is…neither of them.

    Opt out of the toxic gender roles, become someone genuine, your own person, not a sheep. The trade-off isn’t worth it.

    A man or a woman who opts for the other role instead of their own, will lose some social status. It’s misanthropy at work, not misogyny hurting men. Misandry hurting men, misogyny hurting women, respectively.

    The sentiment directed at trans women is misandry – hatred of men for not following their role, and even trying to usurp the position of women. It’s both a “how dare you usurp women’s better social status!”, and a “but you’re really hyperviolent and hypersexual, because all men are, therefore bathrooms will become rapist grounds!” This sentiment would never be directed towards trans women by someone who thinks they’re bonafide women. Women are not considered hypersexual, hyperviolent, or a danger to little girls in women’s bathrooms (or even little boys in men’s bathrooms).

  29. 29
    Schala

    PHMT, the lip service paid to men as if to say

    “Yeah, yeah, you have hurt your fee fees, now let the adults talk about stuff that really matters!”

    Feminity and masculinity are both considered bad things, in excess. Both have problematic associations too, even at the base.

    Feminity and femaleness are not considered bad things. Weakness is considered a bad thing. Hyperviolence is also considered a bad thing. Not the same thing.

  30. 30
    Schala

    I’d say the opposite hyperdeath.

    Feminism has huge power to vote laws, get funding for itself and sympathy from the public.

    Men’s rights groups have no power so far.

    And the haters in feminism get platforms, they sell books, they teach in university, they get conferences in their name (RadFem 2013). They’re seen as “oh those people”, but people who are against men’s rights to have DV shelters are the mainstream of feminism.

    Tell me Vancouver Rape Relief is fringe? Tell me NOW is fringe?

  31. 31
    Edward Gemmer

    I have a hard time with terms like misandry and misogyny because they seem to be tossed around a little too liberally to describe anything. However, men do appear to be discriminated against at low income levels in the United States and other places. Certainly poor men, especially racial minorities, tend to be more likely to commit crime, be victims of crime, less likely to have relationships with their children, more likely to go to jail for not supporting their children than other groups.

  32. 32
    Ally Fogg

    Have now posted “the new blog on the same topic. Feel free to continue your discussions here or carry them over there!

    Thanks for the comments,

    Ally
    x

  33. 33
    oolon

    “It’s not a side effect, it’s as-designed.”

    Conspiracy theories? “The System” … How is it “designed” in any way…

    “…women as a group, suffer less victim-blaming overall”

    Gonna have to work hard convincing me of that! Citations plz.

  34. 34
    Schala

    As designed is parlance in videogame design/testing to say that something was intended that way from the start, and is not a bug, or a side-effect.

    “…women as a group, suffer less victim-blaming overall”

    Gonna have to work hard convincing me of that! Citations plz.

    The common victim-blaming heard is about rape and being dressed a certain way, drinking this or that, or trusting that guy. For women at least.

    For men? He had it coming, he has a penis. Unavoidable, ever.

    For assault. A woman is perceived as a victim (even when she instigated the fight), a man is only a victim is there was a witness who saw the whole thing, and is empathetic enough towards the guy to be a legal witness. If not, he brought it upon himself, doubly so if the perpetrator is female.

    A woman goes into a bar, punches a guy in the face. If he so much as moves towards her, 5 guys will jump to restrain him. And he’ll be asked what he did to make her angry. Even more egregious with DV. And he has no resources to escape the violence.

    For reference, I’ve been told I provoked assaults against me even in elementary school, because I didn’t let insults fly (I never used fists, or kicks, or returned violence, but was still blamed for it). Back then I was perceived by society as male (I’m a trans woman).

    Those assaults became a routine, and nothing was done about it. Not to protect me, not to punish them. “Suck it up, no one cares” was the message.

  35. 35
    surreptitious57

    It does seem rather odd that those who fight for male equality and those who fight for
    female equality are often on opposite sides // The natural default position should be
    that one is in favour of universal equality without referencing gender bias in favour of
    one or the other // Though it should be stated that misogyny is more prevalent and so
    should by virtue of that fact be addressed more // The problerm for the other side now
    is one that needs to be addressed too // And it is that it can be some times be difficult
    to tell where the line between real disaffection and pure misogyny begins and ends //
    A lot of them have personal issues and this could be clouding their judgement on any
    and all matters feminist // Which is not to suggest they do not have a lergitimate voice
    as many do but there can also be unchecked attacks on the supposed advantages that
    are bestowed on the opposte sex by law // If their greviances are genuine then all well
    and fair enough but the mens movement can so very easily end up becoming a voice
    for disgrunteld misogynists and it would be a shame if it did // Feminism has how ever
    been fighting inequality a lot longer // And so how much more effective it would be if
    both movements stood together side by side // As that is the enemy now and not each
    other // Unfortunate given the nature of human interaction I do not see anything like
    this happeningl // This is a shame for a lot more can be achieved otherwise

  36. 36
    surreptitious57

    The notion that we should treat everyone equal has been referenced here by Jadehawk as
    naive and even with the best intentions in the world I would sadly concede that she is right
    // As I do not think humans will ever be fully capable of eliminating their subconscious bias
    but having said that one should still strive to treat others as equal as possible // Part of the
    problem here appears to be with language and our need to compartmentalise // This does
    appear to be universal both from a historical and contemporary persepective and I wonder
    if removing this would make for a more equal society // So instead of labeling one self now
    as male or black or gay or what ever one simply identified as being a human being for that
    does not exclude anyone // I cannot see this meme ever being universally adopted since it
    would require consciousness raising on such a huge scale // But none the less feel that in
    some ways part of the problem is with the terminology used // Which can without us being
    aware reinforce tribalism and stere otypes // This is further excacebated by the fact that the
    human race is not hard wired for non reciprocal altruism // If it was inequality would just be
    a word in the dictionary and nothing else // We therefore need to realise if we have not now
    that while wanting everyone to be the same or least treated as such is not someting which
    comes natural and indeed it very often appears is any thing but // Which would explain why
    black and gay and women movements have had and so continue to have such a hard time
    fighting for their basic human rights and demanding they be treated the same as everyone

  37. 37
    Jason B

    In response to “the giant google conspiracy” http://dontbubble.us/
    the long and short, google is a terrible way to search news to try and get non bias statisitcs since google is constantly trying to purposly skew things to what it thinks your belifs and preferences are.

  1. 38
    Time to Tackle Misandry and Dismantle the Matriarchy? | National Conference for Men & Boys

    [...] To read more about Misandry read Ally Fogg’s blog post here. [...]

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