Attention MRAs: This is a retooled, expanded, improved version of a post I did last year that has proven to be your absolute favorite. That post has already been thoroughly tainted with misogynistic comments, so head over there if you’re looking to add your voice to the fray. This entry–and all of my entries from here on–will be kept as a safe space for feminist discourse. No anti-feminist comments will be published on this entry. If you wish to comment on something here that is not in the earlier article, please, still take it to the comments over there. Commenting here with misogynistic, anti-feminist, and/or MRA rhetoric of any sort will get your words sent directly to my spam filter.
Is this really what you mean by “safe space”? How can you have any hope of actually creating discourse if by default any dissenting opinions are removed?
Creating an echo chamber in order to insulate yourself from ideas contrary to your dogma is generally unproductive unless your goal is to form a cult.
I previously started the discussion of “misandry” with examples of what bigoted men believed it to be. This time, I’ll pull everything back to square one, and hold a more in-depth discussion of misogyny, and examine how that structure makes existence of “misandry” impossible.
This sentence seems to be saying that misogyny somehow makes misandry impossible. If this is the correct reading of this sentence, it’s an incredibly bold claim, one that’s almost impossible to support. At the very least, this article offers none of the support that statement would require.
In tackling the magic of misandry previously on my blog, I received several comments that attempted to take me up on my challenge: Present me with what you believe to be a demonstration of misandry, and I will prove how it is actually a demonstration of misogyny. The problem is, those attempts were rooted primarily in ignoring everything I’d already written and attempting to make points I’d already disproven. -.- So, I’m expanding upon my previous items, including new resources in this new post, as well as adding one additional talking point, so this post can exist as a misogynist-free link for feminist use.
So, without further ado, let’s talk
You get the idea.
1. Campaigns against domestic violence and rape focus on women, when there are male victims, too.
Yes, men are the victims of domestic violence, and yes, men get raped. As acknowledged at the start of one of my previous posts, ten percent of rape victims are male. But you know what that leaves? 90 percent who are female.
Wrong. Rape is a relatively gender-symmetric crime; statistics that paint men as overwhelmingly the perpetrators and women as overwhelmingly the victims tend to ignore the fact that forced envelopment is rape. Since you seem to only understand comparisons involving women, it’s basically the equivalent of saying “well, rape is rape, but rape doesn’t count if they’re married.”
Should that ten percent get ignored, should their crimes not be prosecuted? Of course not. But focusing on so few while so many suffer is not going to in any way affect the long-term problem.
Just as we should ignore female victims of any other type of violence, right? Remember, men are the overwhelming victims of every form of violence that isn’t sexual or domestic.
And part of that long-term problem is the cult of masculinity that drives men to rape–including the rape of other men. 99% of rapists are men, including the rapists of men, hence why feminists focus on tackling the rape culture that trains men to treat sex as a power struggle, and to seek dominance through sexual violence.
Except the fact that rape is a relatively gender-symmetric crime makes your point entirely moot. Your attempt to paint this as a problem with men is an example of misandric erasure of victims, and it’s as sexist as “who gives a shit, it’s just black people killing each other” is racist.
Also wrong. Much like rape, domestic abuse is relatively gender-symmetric. In fact, on average women are slightly more likely to be abusive than men, and that’s even with most studies entirely excluding avenues of abuse most favored by women.
Feminists do not advocate for male victims to be ignored, we advocate for female victims to be recognized, in crimes that are often glossed over by society at large, in a powerful demonstration of misogynistic hatred.
Crimes are ignored by society at large in a powerful demonstration of misogynistic hatred? What crimes? Rape? Domestic violence?
Compare the reaction to those to any other kind of crime and you’ll realize that they get the most notice. When was the last time you saw a mass protest or march in the streets regarding assault or burglary? Rape allegations have similar attrition and conviction rates to other crimes, which is astounding when we consider that most rape allegations involve no concrete evidence whatsoever.
Ironically, the misogynistic hatred thing is almost a bit true - the reason these crimes are seen as so terrible is because the gender binary kyriarchy. In this case, though, you’re strengthening it, not fighting it.
Suggesting that feminists don’t want to acknowledge or find justice for male victims is a strawman. We want every individual to have the justice they deserve; we just know that it can’t happen for most female or male victims until we fix the social structures that ignore crimes targeted at females and the feminine.
This really isn’t a strawman, considering feminism’s history of erasing male victims of crimes that are seen as traditionally suffered by women. Feminists are more than happy to throw male victims under a bus to benefit women, and they’ve done so more than a few times in the past. If feminists really want every individual to have justice, they’re doing a spectacularly awful job of it.
2. Men are depicted poorly in media, as neanderthal losers with beautiful, capable wives.
First, stop a moment to consider how little women are portrayed in media at all, let alone as anything other than a supporting character to the male-driven plot. Second, examine how many female characters are nothing but tired stereotypes, objectified sex objects, unwilling incubators, oversexualized villains, or exaggerated targets for male scorn.
Third, evaluate the reality of that neanderthal husband/hot wife dynamic: It’s sending the message that no matter how much of a “catch” we ladies are, we’re to be ensnared by any wandering male who happens to deem us worthy of his attention. How many television shows feature a conventionally unattractive, rude, obese women with her Chippendale-double husband? It’s not an insult to men that they’re told they can be as slovenly, ill-mannered, and lazy as they wish and still expect a beautiful, capable wife. It’s a statement on how we, as women, should have low standards because we should be grateful for any and all male attention that is granted to us.
Finally, how capable are these women, really, and where does their expertise lie? Often, the wives are stay-at-home moms, and yes, spectacular ones; but this is an extension of the misogyny that says women are biologically driven to be good mothers, and males aren’t required to be good fathers. Occasionally the mom will be an amazing multi-tasker, working outside the home (often as a receptionist or other subservient role) while also keeping her home, children, and husband in hot meals, clean clothes, and constant love and affection. But this isn’t about painting women as super-capable, and it’s certainly not about how men respect a career woman. It is about the standard that we, as women, are held to in real life, where even if we work outside the home, we are expected to pick up most of the household chores as well, and do it with a smile, because that’s a woman’s role.
This is reframing the issue and derailing. The fact that women are hurt in one area doesn’t change the fact that men are hurt in another. We could leave it at that, but let’s take a look at some of the individual portions.
If we’re to examine the number of women that are tired stereotypes, it’s only fair that we do the same for men. Yes, men are more likely to be main characters than women, but how many of them fall outside a small handful of protagonist stereotypes? If we look at all the men to show up on screen, we find that overwhelmingly one stereotype asserts itself: cannon fodder. Of the men on screen, how many are nameless mooks set up to be killed (or defeated, humiliated…) by the main cast? How many women are? When it comes to stereotypes, neither men nor women get off easy. However, there’s a separate and uniquely noxious set of stereotypes targeted at men that would not be tolerated if directed at women.
As for the Chippendales, you’re heavily confusing cause and effect. Women make up a major TV audience, which means that their tastes dictate as much (and depending on the area, often more) of what shows up as men. In the case of large sections of advertising (where some of these stereotypes are particularly common) the skew is even greater. In both cases, the comparison is meant to make the target audience (in this case “women”) feel good about themselves. An easy way to do that is to make them feel superior by offering them an idealized portrayal to empathize with and an acceptable target to look down on. This is a similar argument to the feminists claims regarding men’s and women’s idealized figures in graphic media, except that being unusually well-endowed and sexual isn’t an inherently negative portrayal.
Finally (entirely irrelevant link to Forbes ignored), we come to the all-too-common claim of the “second shift”; women are supposedly taking an equal share of the workplace duties while still pulling more than their share of the load at home. The problem with this claim is simple: when both paid and unpaid work in the aggregate are taken into account, men and women do roughly equal amounts of work. In fact, a whole host of studies have come to the same conclusion. Part of the problem was that original methods of quantifying “housework” didn’t adequately measure (and indeed often completely ignored) the types of housework men were most likely to do such as property maintenance. When all of these things are accounted for, men do as much if not more overall work as women and a larger portion of housework than previously believed.
3. Girls and women are allowed more self-expression; it’s okay to be a tomboy, but not a girly-man.
This is not a hatred of men and all things male, it is a hatred of anything female/feminine, even when demonstrated by a male. This is called coded misogyny (not “magical misandry”), and is the vehicle through which men suffer from sexism. It is a fashion in which male rape is often derided–it is mocked as a feminine violation, and the victim as less of a man for “allowing” it to happen.
To the contrary, a woman or girl demonstrating masculine qualities faces two possible outcomes: Acceptance and congratulations for embracing attributes viewed as beyond her normal, limited female scope of accomplishment, or derision for desiring a role equal to men, for shirking her inherently feminine duties of taking care of the home, looking conventionally pretty, etc.
Reframing the issue. Again.
First, femmephobia's not at fault. Gender roles are. After all, exceedingly butch bearded ladies aren’t loved by society, are they? Not all aspects of masculinity are appreciated in women, and many of those that are have become that way as a result of half a century of advocacy and active social change. In other words, you’re taking a spectacular success of feminist activism and labeling it “patriarchal.”
Society likes masculine men and feminine women and has accepted, however grudgingly, some level of masculinity in women after being pressured for longer than most people have been alive. You do not get to then turn around and argue that the real reason is that it’s all actually misogyny. If misandry is magical, then misogyny must be quantum: despite being a real-life phenomenon with important implications to certain things, when it gets into the hands of a scriptwriter it can suddenly do whatever the plot demands.
How else could you take clear evidence that men are more restricted by society and argue that it’s all because society hates women?
4. There are programs in place to help women–such as college scholarships–while no such programs exist solely for men.
This is an argument laid against most any affirmative-action-style program. It’s viewed as “reverse prejudice” that allows the minority an unfair chance. But, even in a world where women are no longer a surprise in college, we are still fighting an uphill battle after we graduate. A woman with a degree is not on a level playing field with a man holding those same credentials. Even if she overcomes the hiring discrimination laid against women, she would still make less than a man in a comparable position. And heaven forbid she go about doing “womanly” things like becoming pregnant, she’ll face even more job discrimination. So while the leg-up via a scholarship may seem an unfair advantage at the start, it still does not even give women a chance at equality in the real world. You cannot begrudge the child who lives on bread and rice a free ice cream bar while the child finishing his steak and eggs gets none.
The wage gap isn’t what you think it is. Your “hiring discrimination” link is a dead end.
Even if it were, you’d just be derailing and reframing - the fact that one group is hurt in an area doesn’t mean another group isn’t hurt in a different area. Do you really think rights are some sort of zero-sum game? We certainly hope not.
Separately, how on earth would workplace issues faced by women after graduation justify efforts to increase the number of women attending university when they already make up a significant and increasing majority of university students? We’re not sure where you’re getting your logic, because that makes about as much sense as us saying, “men should be given special consideration in university entrance because more men die on the job than women.”
5. Family courts favor women.
First, allow me to point out that yes, women are typically favored in custody agreements. Again, this is coded misogyny working against males.
Reframing. You do realize that the current state of the family court system is a direct result of the Tender Years Doctrine, itself a direct product of feminist advocacy, right? The “coded misogyny” you’re claiming exists here is the direct product of the movement supposedly devoted to fighting sexism in general and misogyny in specific (given that most members, including you, refuse to admit the other half of sexism exists).
Women are seen as the nurturers, the natural caregivers of children, which is why the courts tend to favor them in custody agreements.
An incredible amount of doublethink is necessary in order to stagger through that line of reasoning. When men have more obligations due to being seen as being better at something, you label it “misogyny.” When women have more obligations due to being seen as being better at something, you also label it “misogyny.” How could you ever support these sorts of blatantly sexist double standards?
I’m sure you can understand why we might come to question the integrity of your conclusions when your definition of “misogyny” is sufficiently flexible and unfalsifiable that you can interpret any case of gender inequity (and indeed many cases of gender equity) as being misogyny. When every possible outcome can be taken as confirming the beliefs you already hold, that’s called “faith,” not “knowledge.”
Contrarily, men are considered the providers, yet alimony reform is allowing men greater freedom from the burden of paying for an ex-wife who was shuffled into a less monetarily advantageous situation by cultural oppression which keeps women in the home, unable to earn even the reduced salaries available to women in the workforce.
The entire concept of “misandry” is based on it being the antithesis of misogyny. The idea is, sexism is a two-sided coin, and both sides can’t be heads. Except, yeah, they can.
What does any of this even mean? If we’re reading this right, you’re boldly stating outright what we thought you were smart enough to only imply: regardless of the situation, you will label all sexism as misogyny to the point where you do not even distinguish the two. Sexism against men is misogyny, sexism against women is misogyny. If someone shoots another person in the head simply because they’re a man, that’s a hate crime against women. Your statement is absolutely insane.
This is Social Justice 101 stuff, but I’m going to break it down for those not already familiar:
All the nasty “-isms” of the world are formed with the combination of prejudice and power. Therefore sexism requires not only prejudice against one of the binary sexes, but the social power to oppress that sex. Women do not have that institutionalized social power, men do. And yes, this applies to all the nasty -isms, so please do not derail with assumptions that someone white like myself must think people of color can be racist against me; they can’t. The social groups with institutional power are, off the top of my head:
‣ The able-bodied
‣ Members of the middle- and upper-classes
And particularly in the Western World:
‣ Thin people
‣ Native-born citizens
None of these people can be oppressed as a member of that privileged group. While intersectionality and the kyriarchycan make issues of social privilege complicated, that fact is inarguable. For example: A black man may be oppressed by a white woman through racism, and a white woman may be oppressed by a black man through sexism; but a black person cannot oppress a white person through racism, and a woman cannot oppress a man through sexism. Only the socially privileged, empowered party has the institutional power to oppress another person. That role as privileged person or oppressed minority may be fluid depending on the oppression dynamic being discussed, but no one can rid themselves of privilege, regardless of how they may lack it in other arenas.
But, let me surprise you for a moment: Women can indeed be sexist! But only by backing themselves with the misogynistic power structure. That is, they have the ability to internalize misogyny and help perpetuate it against themselves and other women. They cannot be misandrists, because misandry’s existence requires a world in which women hold institutional power over men. If you are one of those men who says, “Yes, women are oppressed, but misandry is still prejudice,” please stop right there. You need to recognize that it is not okay to constantly focus on howmen are victimized by the system that actively oppresses women. If you want to stop suffering from sexism, you need to first recognize that the sexism you suffer from is misogyny. By creating a world without misogyny, we create a world where men will not be punished for seemingly “feminine” behaviors, where mothers will not be assumed the only competent parents, and where we can all exist as respected human beings and not caricatures of our sexes.
Are there some women who hate men? Of course. There’s always somebody who hates somebody else. But it is notinstitutionalized oppression, and that is why feminists don’t want to hear about it. We do not have the power to oppress men. We do not earn more money than men, and therefore have the ability to manipulate our husbands into staying under our abusive thumbs, or foregoing their own personal enrichment to stay at home and care for us and our children. We do not dominate the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the White House, and we cannot pass laws telling men what they are and are not allowed to do with their own bodies. We do not as a group have the power to control men. Are there individual women who lord power over men? Of course. But it is not institutionalized, it is not the dynamic inherent in government, media, and the majority of households, it is not oppression.
Except discrimination against men is institutional in nature, and you’re falling into the apex fallacy quite badly right here. Everything in your argument is assumed as premise, you label things as “inarguable” and “undebateable”, and you need a prescriptivist power + prejudice definition that is only accepted within a relatively small community of like-minded activists for any of it to make sense at all. Suffice it to say that your “point” isn’t exactly the most valid. Basically, you’ve defined men as unable to experience sexism, then turned around and used that as evidence of why men don’t experience sexism. It’s circular, fallacious, and just plain stupid.
A line-by-line refutation to this section isn’t really even necessary when you realize that the gender binary kyriarchy isn’t the fault of men.
Please, men, if you wish to argue the evils of the ever-mystical misandry, take a moment to first consider the myriad of privileges that you enjoy without even having to think about them.
In that case, women should do the same when discussing misogyny.
Remember that you do not have to side-eye every woman you meet, for fear that she might make you a statistic.
Keeping in mind that men are overwhelmingly the victims of violence, this sentence seems extremely silly.
Think of how socially acceptable it is if you tell your friends you don’t know how to cook, you don’t do your own laundry, you can’t remember the name of your child’s preschool teacher.
Think about the social freedoms afforded to women that aren’t to men.
And for a moment, think of the women you care about–your mother, your partner, your sisters, your friends–and know that if you can think of even six women, then statistically, one of them has had a rape attempted or completed against her.
Think of the similar number of men who were attacked, and think about how people won’t even acknowledge that they exist.
If you are my friend, reading this, you cannot escape that knowledge–I am a rape survivor, sitting on this end of my computer, asking you to acknowledge that my attack and all others like it are because women are not treated equally in this society. And I’m asking you to help change that, so maybe my little girl can avoid being yet another rape statistic like her mother.
I’m asking you to stop being self-serving, short-sighted and partisan. I’m asking you to stop acting like you’re the only victim. I’m asking you to try and understand others, and empathize with them. I’m asking you to not erase other victims to make your own problems seem more important. I’m asking you, simply enough, to not be a bad person.