- Politics and Social Issues
The Fallacy Of Misandry
What is Misandry?
Lets for a moment pretend Misandry is a real, oppressive force. How do we define it? Simply put, it is the hatred or dislike of men or boys. It can be manifested in numerous ways including sexual discrimination, defamation of men, violence against men, and sexual objectification of men. As opposed to Misogyny, which is the hatred or dislike of women and manifested in the same ways. Where Misogyny was an institutionalized oppression spanning centuries and affecting hundreds of thousands of women, in both the home, their sexuality, their role in society...etc, there is no such history for Misandry. In fact, it's a relatively new term. In its earlier days,(1800s,) it is defined as a hatred of men by women, thereby placing the fault at the feet of women for the issues that men dealt with. However, I am going to argue that Misandry is a myth, a lie, a word used to denigrate feminists and a word used to blame women for the problems men face and Don't worry, I have proof! So sorry Guys, but your still not being oppressed by women. And Here's Why:
Why a Fallacy
- NOT AN INSTITUTIONALIZED OPPRESSION.
Misogyny was an institutionalized sexism in that structures were put in place basically to keep women in their place. Society, religion, education, art, media, all of these were male biased. Religions like christianity blame women for the fall of man in the Adam and Eve story, a story that says women are forever punished for Eve's Evil doing through having to give birth, turning something as beautiful as creating life into a punishment. The pandora's Box Story does the exact same, Media and Art are produced for the male gaze, or rather, the privilidged white male gaze. That's why women don't cringe or squirm when they see breasts in film, but nearly all men will look away when a D*ck makes an appearance. Society has placed women in particular roles throughout history, constricting nearly every aspect of their lives, including their own bodies, with myths of Virginity and the old "You gain control over another human body through pregnancy, then we will control yours". Where is this equivalent for Misandry? Misandry simply cannot exist because its existence requires a system where women have institutional power over men, with more money than men, more authority over men. There is no such system in place. Yes there are women who hate men simply for being men, but that's a minority group, not a large scale attack and control of men's rights.
- NO HISTORICAL EVENT(S) THAT BACKUP THE CLAIM
Historically Misandry doesn't exist. For actual male oppression to be something other than a fallacy, there would need to be a consistent pattern of discrimination of men BY women throughout history. When we search for such events we find the opposite, the attack and oppression of women by men, via the witch trials, Religious ideal's, controlling the female body, controlling female sexuality, the facts that women couldn't vote, or own homes, or divorce their husbands until pretty bloody recently in terms of history, these are all examples of historical proof of oppression of women. There are literally no events in the entire history that even suggest to hint at the idea that men (ie white men) were ever oppressed.
Oppression is something every person, except for those of the white male variety has dealt with at some point in their lives. But its imperative to remember, that the criers of Misandry do it as a way of undermining the feminist movement, they don't simply acknowledge prejudice, they take actual issues that men face and turn it into a fight against women, because women already won their freedom apparently, and now its the man's turn. So how exactly do men feel they are oppressed?
This is Real Sexism All Right!
How Men Are Oppressed
At Realsexism.com, a site set up to portray the real sexism of our society (insinuating misogyny is a false sexism), it lists dozens of ways men are oppressed, blaming each and every one on women. Here are a few:
'MEN ARE 97% OF COMBAT FATALITIES'
Without knowledge of our history, it is indeed possible for one to view this as at the fault of women, however, women only make up 15.7% of the active army, yet serve in 95% of army occupations. 1901 saw the first real military women with the formation of the army nurse corps and the navy nurse corps. Women could join the army but as caregivers, yet again perpetuating the idea that women were weak and unsuitable for actual fighting. This has rippled through time explaining why men now make up most of army fatalities, its due to the constraints placed on women thus forcing men to make up most of the active army. Which explains the next quote they suggest proves that men are oppressed: 'MEN MAKE UP 81% OF WAR DEATHS.'
'MALES ARE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITY'.
This one I was surprised about. I clicked the link which brought me to a page exclaiming that young boys are receiving lower grades because teachers are including classroom behaviour in their grades. It then states that boys who act like girls tend to receive higher grades. What could that possibly mean though? Well let us look at what constitutes good classroom behaviour according to this site:
attentiveness* task persistence* eagerness to learn* learning independence* flexibility* organization*
These, according to the site, are female qualities, boys who score higher in these areas are 'acting like girls'. This idea preserves the notion that 'boys will be boys', and their behaviour is acceptable even when they aren't paying attention in class. These qualities are not feminine, they are gender neutral, they don't suggest that girls do better because they are feminine, they suggest girls do better because they have better classroom behaviour.
'MEN ARE TREATED LIKE CASH MACHINES'
This statement may be true for some men, feeling like their partners are with them for their money, blah blah blah. However, for centuries women were not allowed to work, to earn money, hence forcing women to depend entirely on their husbands. Although women do have the right to work, tradition is etched into our psyches from our births, oppressive notions are not so easy to rid, so yes there are women who treat men like cash machines, there are also men who treat women like they are nothing more than caregivers, homemakers, and mothers, or sex objects existing purely for the purpose of man, ideas that were also believed for hundreds of years and are still visible today. Both are sexist attitudes, and both are due to the patriarchy's misogyny. This site goes even further, it suggests that women make less money because they have easier jobs with shorter hours, they don't do the same quality of work and so should get paid less. And look they've even drawn up a nice little cartoon (above) to help express this idea...because cartoons make everything true. And they've even helped to reference this information...no, wait, that's just their own website and there's not one reference for any of the 'statistics' in the picture above on that site.
'MEN ARE ARRESTED FOR 85% OF DOMESTIC ABUSE CASES, BUT ITS ESTIMATED THAT WOMEN ARE THE PERPETRATORS IN MOST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES'.
What?! How can that be, the justice system is failing these men!! It then goes on to state that 'Women are the perpetrators in most Domestic Violence cases. Most reciprocal violence is started by women and 70% of non reciprocal violence is perpetrated by women.' Is it just me or are they suggesting women are not only more likely to instigate violence, but they are more likely to be the perpetrators and then place blame on their partners? Now I am not in denial about the fact that domestic violence is not always male perpetrators against female victims, not at all. I am well aware that both sexes are equally at risk of domestic violence, I am not undermining men who have been the victims of such. What I do wish to undermine is the blame game that these cases always seem to force on both men and women. Instead of trying to prove which of us is more dangerous, more violent, we should be trying to deal with the actual issue of domestic violence, the one that affected 8, 452 people in Ireland in 2003. The problem that faces us as people, not male or female.
'GYNOCENTRISM IS THE PROVEN FACT THAT ALMOST EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD HAS BEEN INSTILLED WITH A WOMAN'S POINT OF VIEW'.
That explains why nearly every aspect of our lives is rotating around the system that patriarchy set in place centuries ago. It goes on to state that 'Men are trained to suppress emotions and always be considerate of a woman's feelings, men are trained to sacrifice, work and die to provide for women's happiness.'
Absolutely, just like women are taught to be the wives, the mothers, the virginal embodiment of purity, all so we can find the right man and make him happy. This is not Gynocentrism at work guys, its years of patriarchy seeping through and collapsing in on itself. Patriarchy turned women in weak, submissive frail human and so to did it turn men into brave, heroic warriors, willing too sacrifice for their women, to work to feed an entire family and provide without complaint. I agree, its unfair, is it oppression? Maybe, but its a system that has backfired and is now inhibiting the very men it sought to empower, and this oppression is definitely not perpetrated by women.
Not Good Ways of Expressing Male Concerns:
Demonstrations of Apparent Misandry.
Some examples of legitimate sexism:
- Male portrayals in media
- Male expression of emotions as socially unacceptable.
- Description of Males as 'potential perpetrator of sexual assault'.
These, as I have stated, are legitimate examples of sexism towards men, however, the fault is not feminists, or simply women in general. It is yet again the threads of misogynist tradition that are rippling into our present with dire consequences. Indeed men are portrayed stereotypically in the media, as either buff, muscled heroes, or the idiotic buffoon. And this is unfair, no doubt about it. But what about how women are portrayed? As sexual objects only there to show some skin and sell an idea, or a music video, as beautiful pieces of value, and importantly, the side kick to the man. No matter how men are portrayed in tv shows, be it the hero, the idiotic husband who can't work a washing machine, or the bumbling idiot that can do everything wrong but be forgiven by the always gorgeous and very capable wife, women only have one role. This dynamic says that not only can men be lazy, overweight, mean, rude and dirty, and still find beautiful wives, women have to always be attractive and even then we will marry whoever will have us. 'The King of Queens', 'Family Guy', 'The Simpson', these shows maintain this idea.
Indeed, the suppression of male emotions is also a feature of Misogynist tradition. Its is this system alone that stated men were brave, strong, and always masculine, just as it stated women were passive, weak, and feminine. This artifice can be explored through the TomBoy/Girlyboy comparison, where tomboys (girls that act like boys) are acceptable, but boys who act in any way feminine are unacceptable and forced to change. There's a reason for this, and its not because of women who don't want men to show emotions, its because the gaining of those awful feminine qualities by the young boys, and thus due to this the loss of masculine qualities, an unforgivable event that will forever discriminate that young boy. For tomboys it is the opposite, and again not because of women. Its because the young girls gain masculine properties, something that is socially acceptable and even forced in some cases.
And of course, the final example. All men being deemed potential rapists. This is not a universal thought, a few women said it, and now we're all tarred with the same brush. Now men are using it as a way of proving all women are misandrists. Not every woman thinks this. However, all women are told to be careful walking alone at night, they are told to be careful not to were revealing clothes (this actually happened at a University campus where a policeman told girls this exact thing, which in turn created the controversial Slut Walks). Its an idea that is absolutely abhorrent, yet is an idea that is preserved in tv and film abundantly. An obvious example comes from the Movie, 28 days later, where survivors of a zombie apocalypse en up at an army base camp, only for the women to be sexually assaulted because it had been so long since the soldiers had seen women. That entire scene perpetuates the idea that men, on some level could sexually assault women. It wasn't a woman who directed the film, it was a man, so yes, even men can be sexist towards other men.
The poster above is from a site called Avoiceformen. I came across it a while ago when I was looking into male discrimination and assumed it would be a fantastic place to learn about actual experiences where men are discriminated against because of their sex. Instead I found a site telling men that if they are jurors in sexual assault cases, to vote not guilty, (here's the link if you don't believe me) "If you are sitting on a jury hearing a case of rape, the only way to serve justice is to acquit.Better a rapist would walk the streets than a system that merely mocks justice enslave another innocent man." As it turns out on average, 1 in 10 people are falsely convicted of crimes they didn't commit. So if we were indeed to choose not guilty on every sexual assault case, nine out of ten times, they would be letting offenders go free. And what's more? If you haven't notice the tag line to these posters, its 'Don't be that Girl'. There are numerous other posters based on sexual assault, and undermining the legitimacy of every accusation made in such cases. There are also posters about prostitution, telling women not to offer 'it' and not to be that girl. So a voice for men has become the voice of authority for women again? It seems to suggest that men still have authority over women's bodies, telling women what they should and should not do...something Patriarchal systems have been doing to women throughout history. But instead of actually trying to come up any sort of movement for men rights, these idiots are making misogynist posters, painting women in a despicable light, slut shaming, victim blaming, all the while trying to claim oppression.
But as I've pointed out numerously throughout this, Patriarchal opinions affect both men and women. We should all be on the same side, instead of fighting over whose more oppressed and blaming on the other, its pointless. I certainly tire of being called a man hater, a misandric and a person who doesn't care about men's rights purely because I care about women's rights. Truth is, I care about human rights. I absolutely think men should have equal rights when it comes to paternity, just as I feel women deserve actual birthing rights. Both are equally important, and both have the same system to blame.
Fighting Against Misandry-Being Very Sexist
The Video Above portrays how Fox News Accuses Hollywood of Misandry by portraying men as idiots, an actual argument for men, I won't argue that, but they go to say "We want to raise real men, we want to encourage masculinity....we're a women's group that loves men...real men". If that doesn't scream sexism, then I have lost the plot completely. Sh's not only saying that real men are uber masculine men, but that they are the only ones women like. Her interviewer responds "It would be nice to have more male figures in those kind of movies, " She interrupts again, "Strong Male figures" again perpetuating the notion that real men are strong, heroic, brave, and always willing to sacrifice. That's the Patriarchy at work, even fighting for the deconstruction of gender values as influenced by society, this woman states loud and clear, your not a man unless your a strong man, evidence that proves yet again, its stereotypes and reinforcing those stereotypes that's causing issue. Its the system that was put in place to control women and raise men's status' to total authority, and now its crumbling around us, because women fought for their rights, threatening the authority men had over them, threatening the patriarchy and everything it had worked to achieve. So yes, if you want to blame women for the unfair stereotypes placed on your entire gender, fine, but do so knowing that your also stating women shouldn't have started the ball rolling by rallying together and trying to gain freedom.
Men may be finding themselves losing certain privileges, not that they are losing rights (privilege is not a right), but with the rise of female rights, men are finding that their place in society is no longer written in stone ie: The breadwinners, protectors of women, the head of the family, the working man..etc.
Women have gained the right to work, to vote, to sit in government, to do all of the things that were once only meant for men, thus dis-empowering men in their roles, the roles specific to them until recently. Many men are finding this balance difficult, they don't know where they stand in society, and as such are feeling like they are being left out of the fight for equality. It's easy to blame women for this, since if women didn't originally fight for equality than this wouldn't even be happening, however, there is a massive difference between supposed 'misandry' which says women are the sole cause of men losing rights and men simply losing some privilege. So yes, men are feeling the weight of the feminist fight, but they are not losing any rights due to it, they are not losing their jobs because they are men, they are not losing their bodily autonomy or reproductive rights because they are men, they are simply having to deal with the balance of equality and are unsure of where they stand because of it. Saying that 90% of combat fatalities are men is not saying that men are losing rights due to equality but they are pointing out a very obvious sexist view that said for centuries that women were too fragile and weak to fight.