Hatin' The Man: Media and Culture
Another snippet depicting violence against men
Some sexist views of men on the internet:
“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honourable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”
–Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor
"women who have sex with men are gender traitors"
A History of The Man Hater
I have had a lot of conversations with men in the past few months not only about the feminist movement but the effect it has had on men too. With neo-feminists, equality is not the issue, it is more about being better than the man and spreading the hate. However, if feminism is to stand a chance, these extreme levels of violence and emotional abuse towards men needs to stop.
Beginning with a little history:
- Having a look at the second-wave feminist view of men for an example, where Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist who shot Andy Warhol in 1968, provided a famous example of misandry in her self-published SCUM Manifesto. (which stands for ‘Society for Cutting Up Men’). Very literally, Solanas expressed her desire to “institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.
This type of radical view of men has definitely had an impact on feminists, as for a lot of them (the radical ones anyway) they see the male as something to be defeated, rather than something to be respected, as women too want to be respected. It seems the two way street of gender understanding is at a stand still, but more importantly, its about human rights. We (both male and female) cannot move forward without this mutual understanding taking place. With feminists taking to undermining men in order to feel more power and control in their own gender, they are hindering the progress that feminism has made over the past 30/40 years.
However, there is also a difficulty in fully understanding the man-hating views of these radical feminists, as most will say that due to the hundreds of years that women were treated as less than the male, with less respect than the male and as objects, they have every right to treat men the same way. This of course is unproductive and brings the hatred of either (and both) genders full circle, a never ending ring of hatred that will not cease. In fact if it continues, the world will become a true battle of the sexes with the complete loss of understanding and respect from both sides.
Who supports violence against men?!
Sexism goes both ways:
Female Aggression Towards Men:
Having come across this little nugget of hatred, I felt it important to look at why it is unnecessary and also the effect it has had on men and their views of feminists: The infamous article entitled "A man is a Rape Supporter if..".
An important article simply because of the authors choice of pigeon holing men to imply that they are all somehow supporters of rape simply because they were born male, but also because nowhere does it suggest that men are victims of sexual abuse too. The list goes on to describe in detail how every man supports rape by doing things that are actually day to day and not at all objectifying towards women. She (the author calls herself Eve, irony?!) starts by saying:
"This is a handy guide for women who involve themselves with men. I’ve recently received a bunch of comments from men who say that they aren’t rape supporters because they (1) have never “raped” a woman and/or (2) are gay. If you are around a man who claims to be anti-rape, see how he stacks up."
No joke this is actually how she sees the world. For women who involve themselves with men? I'm sorry but I am yet to meet a woman who doesn't involve herself with men....oh no that's right....the crazy lady down the street with 25 cats!
What's even more important about this opening paragraph is that she is daring her readers (women) to find a man who doesn't fit this list, thereby saying that all men are supporters of rape simply for being men.
I'm not going to go through all of her list of criteria for apparently supporting rape because it is a long list, but here are the most ridiculous...
"He has ever sexually engaged with any woman while she was underage, drunk, high, physically restrained, unconscious, or subjected to psychological, physical, economic, or emotional coercion."- I've slept with my partner when we were both drunk ...does that make me rape supporter?! Probably not because this list is only made for men. This women obviously has seriously issues with men.
"He watches any pornography in which sexual acts are depicted as a struggle for power or domination, regardless of whether women are present."- ooh this is a good one....what about all those millions of women worldwide reading 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in which a young girl is controlled by a man for his sexual gratification and in return is given designer clothes, underwear, her dream job and new car...screams prostitution to me...and hypocrisy on the part of the women reading that garbage.
"He expresses enjoyment of movies/musicals/TV shows/plays in which women are sexually demeaned or presented as sexual objects"-Now this one gets to me a bit, women are always seen as objects or sexually demeaned in TV shows, and films, and this is something I have studied for a while but what really gets me about these expressions is the hypocrisy of these women...how many women went out see the film 'Magic Mike' where a man was sexually demeaned and treated like an object, yep that's right, f*cking millions! And they aren't supporters of rape.
"He supports sexual “liberation” and claims women would have more sex with (more) men if society did not “inhibit” them."-So, a man tells a women not to be sleeping around, he's a sexist. He tells her that she should feel free to do what she wants with her body and look where he ends up, on a list like this one.
"He discusses the “types” of women he finds sexually appealing and/or attempts to demean women by telling them he does not find them sexually appealing."- so exact opposites and he's still in the wrong? It seems to me like this woman wrote a list trying to make sure that no man will ever be able to not fit it. By telling a women she's attractive your a supporter, by telling her she's not attractive your a supporter.
This is a sexist list, built on sexist ideals that portray all men as somehow rapists simply because of their genetic make up. And what about the stuff the list forgets? like the fact that men to can be victims, and women abusers? in fact these are issues she talks about in her comments. One commenter asks:
"By the above metric, I am a rape supporter. I have two questions:
i) Does having sex while underage, with an underage partner, make one a rape supporter?
ii) Is this list applicable for women as well?"
"I don’t seen “consent” as being the end-all-be-all of sexual relationships, as is common in most “third wave” feminist circles. With that having been said, I indicated I was applying the list to males above the age of 18, by which time the age of consent for males has passed in all jurisdictions (at least, of which I am aware). That is not intended to imply a “pass” for all behavior engaged in before that point, certainly, but it does make your question moot.
II) I’m answering your question with a question: Whether it is or isn’t, how is that relevant to you? How does that relate to your own behavior?".
So no this list doesn't apply to women. When asked what list would fit for 'women are rape supporters if' she replies:
"I’m not going to criticize women’s behavior simply because commenters here want me to do so, or they think it would be “fair” or they say that doing otherwise creates a double-standard. You all should be grown up enough to take responsibility for your own actions without whining to me, “How come Suzie doesn’t hafta do it?”
To me, this is a seriously sexist women who feels that men are wrong for being born men. By not accepting that some women can fit this list too she is undermining the issue of equality, no women don't fit this list full stop, all men do. This is not the case, some women do defend porn, i defend women who want to stay at home and have children, I do think that women can be abusive and I don't think that men are a threat to women. Its 2014, not 1940. Women have rights and that doesn't mean that the tables should be turned and we place men on the same lower step that saw women undermined for centuries. Anti-male is anti-humanity.
The media's interpretation:
The media has largely seen women as less than men in the past, it has portrayed them as sexual objects there purely to satisfy the men's needs. However, the media has too been known to treat men as less than women, to portray them as fumbling imbeciles. Women are portrayed as high class beings with designer clothes and top jobs, while the men are seen as the workers, the messers, the ones that you need to clean up after. There's a series of really good you tube video's that actually dissect these advertisements:
Worth a watch if you are interested in the other side of the coin.
As for film and books, I think I've covered a bit, but just to reiterate.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" is not a women's book, it's a despicable story that shows women as submissive and pure objects and whose reading this garbage? Women. If a man were to have written this book, he would surely regret it for life knowing how hard women (myself included) come down on things like that, but no, a woman wrote the book. Its basically literary porn, and women everywhere are reading this, in cafe's, on the bus, all in public arena's. If a man reads a pornographic magazines on the bus, I'm pretty sure he'd be getting death stares off women everywhere.
Films that portray men as objects:
'Taken'- the mother demeans the father at every opportunity. She gets the last say when it comes to her family regardless of what it means to the father.
'The 40 year old virgin'- depicting a man who has never been with a women as less than a man.
'Magic Mike'- like I said already, its the exact opposite to portraying women as objects, lets swap the women out for men and make ourselves a chick flick.
In fact all romantic comedies, they are all somewhat anti-male in their approach, they all depict strong women trying to find the ideal man, but what the hell is the ideal man?! I certainly don't know. And what's worse, the women always find men that have great jobs and loads of money. Not to sound anti capitalist, but those 2 things do not a man make. But that's the only way men are portrayed in these films...no actually that's not right, I correct myself, they are also sometimes the idiot....as in 'Hitch' for example. The 2 main characters are both men, one has a great job, is attractive and loaded, the other is an over weight fumbling 'sweetheart' that is looking for the right girl. Now why show such opposing characters, because they are the only 2 categories of men?
'Teeth'-need Is say more.....a terrible film that portrays disgusting attitudes towards men.
So what are men to do in an age where feminism is becoming anti-male instead of anti-sexism?
I have had some conversations with men who now see all feminists as these radical neo-men-haters. I have talked to men who just don't care, and men that think its all gone too far. And I agree, feminism was the war against inequality and while that's still important, we don't need to step on men as we get through that glass ceiling, filling the pot with even more sexism. What are we to do....anti-male agendas are not the answer to fighting for equality of the sexes, it is the opposite of what's needed. Now feminism is seen as something it shouldn't be, and why? Because some self proclaimed man haters decided that men should be treated worse than women were for centuries. By proclaiming that all men are supporters of abuse, by advocating violence against men, and by stating that all men are pigs, is sexist. Why fight against sexism, when you are condoning it?!
Misandry in the Media:
Have you ever noticed negative portrayals of men in Film, Advertisements and TV?
What to do??
I certainly have no answers to this quandary, in fact I'm boggled by it. I studied feminism in many forms throughout my college days but never once touched on this subject. I remember first reading about the feminist movement in film and thinking about how amazing it was that a whole group of society was able to come together to fight for what they believed in. Now, some 40 years later these same people are fighting a battle of the sexes, to one up the man, to prove their power, or to prove that they can. Whats worse is that this original group of feminists have lost their fight because of this new age men hating, no body respects feminism anymore, in fact it is seen as something ridiculous and unnecessary.
If feminism to get over this hurdle, then they need to practice what they preach. Don't ask for equality if your going to undermine every man purely because he was born a man. It’s not about who has the most power. It’s about getting rid of gender-based power completely.
We need to redefine sexism, as right now it only includes oppression against the female gender:
: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women
If we are to understand sexism as fully inclusive of both sexes than maybe it will be recognized as something that is terribly backward. The fact that Professor David Benatar wrote a book on sexism towards men and was seen as someone who didn't know what he was talking about and as someone who just wanted to writ against feminism goes to show that some women are not taking it seriously. In his book he explains that
"Gender roles constrain both men and women but in the developed world the female gender role has eroded much more than the male one has. Society is much more tolerant of women engaging in activities previously reserved for men than it is of men who exhibit behaviour that has historically been deemed to be feminine."
This shows that men's attitudes towards women are changing, while women's attitudes towards men are not.
Some really well written blogs and feminism and Misandric behaviour
- If I Admit That 'Hating Men' Is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning It Into a Self-Fulfil
Okay, so maybe you are a man. Maybe you haven't had the easiest ride in life—maybe you grew up in poverty; you've experienced death, neglect, and despair; you hate your job, your car, your body. Maybe somebody (or multiple somebodies) pulverized your
- Misandry Is Not Feminism
Very often, men are mislead by the idea of feminism. This could be due to the fact that they're uneducated on the issue or just uninterested in women's rig
- 5 Reasons Why So Many People Believe Feminism Hates Men, and Why They’re Not True
One of the biggest myth about feminism is that it hates men – a myth that too many people believe unfortunately and one that turns off people who agree with the tennets of feminism.
© 2014 belleart