Apparently a guy called Peter Lloyd has for some reason gone to the trouble of writing a book that Christina Hoff Sommers wrote several years ago. I wonder what the point of that is.
spiked doesn’t though, spiked is all agog. spiked just can’t get enough of people saying edgy things like “well really when you get right down to it it’s men who are second-class citizens these days.”
Lloyd, who somehow combines writing for both the Daily Mail and the ‘women in leadership’ section of the Guardian, was prompted to write Stand By Your Manhood in response to the ‘dismissive, patronising and skewed narrative about heterosexual men’, which he suggests is apparent in the mainstream media.
He argues that it has become normal to consider masculinity as entirely negative and problematic, and to present boys as ‘defective girls, damaged by default’ who need to be medicated, educated and socialised out of their masculinity. Whereas once manhood was celebrated in all its stiff-upper-lipped glory, it is now considered threatening. Lloyd welcomes the progress society has made in recent years, and he is happy that homosexuality is no longer so stigmatised. However, he warns that there is a danger that things have gone too far in the other direction, and that shame is now attached to masculinity, with heterosexual men, in particular, being made to feel guilty if they don’t frequently display a more feminine side to their personalities.
Faaaaaaaaaaascinating. Please tell me all about it, while I just curl up here and take a little nap.
Lloyd suggests today’s men’s movement is a response to strains of feminism that first appeared in the late 1970s – these strains were far more explicitly anti-men than pro-equality. He claims today’s feminists perpetuate the idea that women are oppressed and ‘refuse to let go of old arguments’ despite the changes that have taken place in the real world. Often, Lloyd argues, there are monetary incentives for feminist campaigning groups, such as the Fawcett Society, continuously to propagate an image of women as victims of a non-specific patriarchy.
Oh my goodness that is so interesting. Isn’t it?
Certainly it is not in the financial interests of groups like Hollaback and FCKH8 to question the facts promoted in their campaigns against sexism. Lloyd blames the media for unthinkingly picking up on such campaigns and escalating an anti-male sentiment. As a result, he says, feminism can seem like a ‘hate movement’ and men have not had a voice to challenge these newly dominant perceptions.
Huh. So Peter Lloyd thinks all men are sexist? He must think that, if he thinks campaigns against sexism equate to anti-male sentiment. But why would he think that? I don’t think that, and I’m not even an MRA.
Campaigning against racism isn’t anti-white, you know. Campaigning for LGBTQ rights isn’t anti-straight or anti-cis. Why would campaigning against sexism be anti-male? Why do people make these hateful false equivalencies? Saying “don’t keep pushing me down” does not equate to “it’s my turn to push you down now.”
Those promoting men’s rights through social media can appear to be the older brothers of lad culture: far less fun to be around but just as mindless in their instinctive reaction against a new social order that seems to have brought women, and feminism in particular, to the fore. Lloyd, however, is clearly intelligent and has thought these issues through. He’s unapologetic about lad culture, applauding ‘the utter enjoyment and raw expression of masculinity’ that it represents. If lad culture can be seen as a rebellion against feminism, it is, he argues, entirely unconscious and simply a manifestation of young men over[t]ly embracing their gender identity.
The way white people overtly embracing their white identity is only unconsciously a rebellion against anti-racism. Uh huh.
He hopes Stand By Your Manhood will provide a ‘reality check’ for today’s more militant feminists, and enable men to stop feeling like they have to apologise just for being themselves.
Does “just being themselves” mean catcalls on the street or groping on the bus or punching women who talk back?