How does inequality hurt men?

My previous post was a release of all the sarcastic comments that I have been holding inside since I became a feminist. It was a response to every negative comment that I received because of making that decision. I wanted to express my frustrations that so many people don’t believe feminism is relevant, that so many people think that women are now equal to men or even the new oppressors of men. That so many people believe equality is a zero-sum game.

And I think some people missed the point.

I won’t blame them for that. I will blame myself. I probably could have accomplished my goal using a better vehicle than a sarcastic rant.

I apologize. For those of you who thought that my post was an attack on any and all men’s rights movements, I am sorry.

The truth is, misandry (sexism toward men) is closely related to misogyny. We cannot successfully eradicate one without successfully eradicating the other. They are often both results of rigid gender roles.

And because of this, both women and men suffer.

We suffer in different ways, but oh, we both suffer.

Since I am a woman who hasn’t had to experience being a man, I don’t have much insight on this issue. But I want to end the “oppression wars.” I want to stop the fighting over who is “more oppressed.” I want to acknowledge the fact that both men and women have been hurt by gender inequality.

So, let’s have a conversation! Men (or women who have observed men being oppressed), how does gender inequality hurt your kind? How can we feminists assist you in fighting that inequality?

I’ll start the conversation with my partner, Abe Kobylanski’s thoughts on the subject: “[Gender inequality has hurt me] by assuming I should be a leader just because I’m a man and then me feeling inadequate because of that. [Also,] Christian women assuming I should be a leader if I want to date them, and then me not living up to that standard.”

Also, I have personally witnessed a relative, who is a junior high boy, open up to his immediate family about being sexually harassed by girls at school, only to be told that “When a girl harasses a boy, that’s GOOD sexual harassment!”

It hurts me that these people that I care about have been hurt by rigid gender roles in this way. Let’s end inequality. Join the conversation!

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  • Dustin

    About seven years ago my best friend committed suicide. It was just after his parents had divorced. It wasn’t a clean split. In fact it was one of the messier ones I knew of at the time. From what I gathered from speaking to him and his father, his mother had cheated on the father and then filed for a no fault divorce. Being knee high to squat, relatively speaking, I didn’t know what no fault divorce was.

    How does this link to his suicide? His father was forcefully separated from the kids and given two days a month as visitation, even though he kept the house. Most of the time he wasn’t able to see the kids, and my friend suffered for it. A few years after they split he started experimenting with hard drugs through his mother’s roommate. It was a means to mask his suffering, but no one caught the clues that he was suffering or that he was suicidal. It wasn’t until he hung himself in his bedroom that anyone noticed something was wrong.

    So, how does this relate to feminism or what feminism has done. Feminism has caused a lot of funding to be pushed away from groups that would help men. There have been articles published lately: Where have all the good men gone, things like that. Feminism hasn’t done anything to change the social roles that men experience. In fact in many cases it enforces them through things like child support. Groups like NOW have opposed equal parenting time for fathers.

    What can feminism do to help men? It can stop looking at them as the cause of all problems and start looking at people for what they are, individual agents. It can stop the victim aggressor dichotomy.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

      Definitely agree about the victim/aggressor dichotomy. It needs to go. Also, parenting laws do need some reform–what steps would you suggest toward making such reform, though?

      And I think we need to remind women that the existence of patriarchy does not give us the right to alleviate blame from ourselves when we are at fault. It also does not give us the right to hate men or blame them for the world’s problems. Patriarchy is just one problem with the world–not all men are part of it and not all injustices are caused by it.

      • Dustin

        Here’s my beef with the patriarchy argument. It’s a misnomer. As you said, not all men are part of the Patriarchy. In fact, very few sit at the highest point and enjoy the power and prestige that seems to exist there. A more accurate term for that kind of power structure is Kyriarchy, which translates to “Rule of the Powerful”. I’ve also heard it translated as Rule of the Rulers.

        This reflects a very different systemic nature of the by which society operates. It also allows for a better explanation of why the glass ceiling and glass cellar exist. (Glass cellar refers to the vast majority of men that exist below the poverty line that cannot get assistance from the federal government to rise above that point.) Is there a problem with society as a whole? Unfortunately, yes. However, where does the problem come from?

        If I claimed that the Patriarchy was the root cause of the problem I think it would be an unfortunate gloss of history. It would also be a failure to look at the abilities people and groups have to mobilize social capital. Men’s capital is exercised through their actions and the results of their actions. Women’s is more inherent. Here’s what I mean: Man’s position is relative to what he is doing. If he is acting as a provider, then his capital is higher. If he is not, then articles like “Where have all the good men gone” Show up. Women on the other hand can claim capital through a base biological function. Also, there are questions surrounding rape culture and women being believed. I would hold that women are more likely to be believed than not about rape. Many cases have been brought based on he said she said arguments, where women’s word has significantly more power and more protections than that of the men.

        I can push on with the general concept, but my point is that I think the basis for Patriarchy theory is flawed at a base level.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

          Great thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

          Maybe patriarchy is a misnomer. Maybe there’s a better term. Still I don’t think “rule of the powerful” covers the fact that much of this power was derived from religious and social ideas that women are inherently less than human and men are in charge. I think we have to acknowledge that this thinking still exists (even if it is on a much smaller scale)

          Certainly not all men hold to this belief, and certainly there are powerful women who oppress. Also, not all male who oppress do so in a patriarchal mindset.

          But perhaps we should put aside the term. It seems like it’s divisive and there are probably words that will work just as well (without igniting so much hurt) in this discussion.

          • Dustin

            I agree that the term needs to be set aside. One of the key things to keep in mind is that, according to current academic definitions, one must have power and prejudice to be able to oppress others. Power is then defined as the ability to get others to do as you choose. The arguments I’ve heard state that men cannot be oppressed by women because women don’t have power, yet that seems to fly in the face of power by proxy. What I’m referring to, is the ability to have men arrested and charged on little or no physical evidence, and the expansion of definitions for crimes like domestic violence.

            If we refuse to acknowledge that women have power or agency, than they cannot be truly treated as equals within society as a whole. Yet, often times those that seem to push away the prospect of increasing women’s responsibility, or acknowledging their agency, are strong feminist groups. Not long ago, NOW sent out a piece on Parental Alienation Syndrome which called for members to fight it’s addition into the DSM-V. There’s also groups like NOMAS that are trying to keep fathers from getting equal parenting time with their children.

            The problem I see, and run into a lot, is that terms like patriarchy are used as an excuse to blanket the whole of society. They are too wide and it’s hard to make a distinction between those that do not actively take part in the patriarchy, those that are oblivious to it, and those that attempt to use it. The criteria are inherently overlapping because the term refers to a societal structure rather than to a basic form of action.

            Power and position, gender, what have you, are not finite objects. They shift repeatedly over the course of people’s lives. More than that, if we only look at the very top to see who benefits and ignore all others, then we are doing a great injustice to those that continue to suffer in silence because their voices are being drowned out.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t you share with us your definition of patriarchy, what the “implications” are, and why it is any more harmful to society than if an equal amount of men and women were authority figures? If your gripe is about anyone having any specific form of power, then why use the term patriarchy?

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

      Perhaps patriarchy is becoming outdated and we should shift focus to fighting all oppressive power structures. However, I feel that, historically speaking, women have been treated as property and not given human status in society. They could not own land or vote or, in many cases, give consent to relationships. They could often be sold by their fathers to pay off debt, and rape crimes were treated as theft, with a “you break it, you buy it” policy.

      That’s certainly changing, and this is to be celebrated. However, I still see remains of this thinking in society–the idea that men are human, but women are just property to be used by men. That men are subjects, and women are objects. Patriarchy is how I describe this thinking. It is not an attack on men, but a specific mindset that has harmed societies for centuries. Certainly not all men subscribe to it, but men are hurt by it–for example, my relative who had a father exemplify his hurt (yes, by a girl who was definitely at fault for her actions) by saying that he should “man up” because this was the way things were supposed to work. It’s this idea that men should always want sex and women should run the market. Also, my partner who was hurt when patriarchal people told him he wasn’t a man for not being a leader. When women, influenced by patriarchal ideas, expected him to dominate over them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002545695048 Anthony Zarat

        “women have been treated as property and not given human status in society”

        This is like me saying that, because family courts are biased against fathers, men are the victims.

        Nonsense. Everyone suffers equally from inequality. Feminist anti-father courts mean that millions of women who could have been presidents, CEOs, and Nobel laureates, end up wasting their lives as second-rate mothers.

        Actually, I have only been able to identify one man in a highest-tier occupation (political, scientific, or economic) that does NOT have a wife who enables him to devote 18 hours per day to his career. It is not surprising that very very few women are competitive in top-tier productive roles — since men are denied access to nurturing roles as fathers and care-givers.

        Who suffers from feminist anti-father bigotry? Everyone.

        It is the same with “patriarchy”. Women were treated like reproductive appliances, and men were treated like productive appliances. This means that men did all the living — but also all the dying.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

          Yes, anti-father movements do harm everyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/soremoose Marcus Ames

    “How can we feminists assist you in fighting that inequality?”

    Stop being feminists. Start being equalists. Push for both sides actively, not just one. Push for paternity leave, for single fathers’ rights. Push to allow men to be able to have the same freedom of dress, hairstyle and ornamentation in the workplace as women are allowed. Invent a ribbon to support prostate cancer research. Push for more education about and easier access to vasectomies.

    Stop thinking that every nice guy has “nice guy syndrome.” Some guys really are trying to grow a friendship that can evolve into something else, mostly because they’ve spent an eternity listening to what women say they want – and then doing the total opposite. Lots of those guys don’t talk shit behind your back. They just plain think you suck and that you weren’t worth the effort. Some of them just give up and get fat on bon bons and burgers.

    Stop wearing makeup. Stop shaving 2 square meters of skin. If enough of you do it for long enough, folks will stop thinking it’s gross not to and will stop expecting it of you. It’s hard to take an equality movement seriously when so many in it make themselves willing slaves to the very fashion system that they say holds them back. It’s definitely hard to hear you talk about how many more hours of work you have to do to accomplish the same result when one to two hours of each day is spend touching up your face and hair. If you want equality, make equality. You have just as much of a right to go foundation-free as guys do. The best result to that: the face you took out for a wild night is the same one you wake up to the next morning. You definitely can’t say that about guys. They get the five o’clock shadow.

    Fight magazines and TV shows that railroad you into this behavior. It’s absolutely ridiculous to see how many so-called feminist articles wind up in Vouge, Cosmo, Elle, and Better Homes & Gardens, or how much stupid stuff gets spouted off on Oprah. These people sell you your inequality by making you think that by doing unequal stuff, you’ll make yourself more equal.

    I could go one for hours, but I’ll leave that as a start.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

      In defense of feminism, focusing on the equal rights of one group does not negate the equal rights of another group. For instance, just because I advocate gay rights does not mean I think straight folks shouldn’t share marriage rights. Sometimes it takes people pouring energy into the specific, focused groups that they are most knowledgeable and passionate about to get the job done. For me, this is feminism. It is simply my area of focus as an equalist. The rest of the thoughts in your first paragraph I agree with fully, however!

      I also wish women didn’t have so much pressure from stupid magazines like Cosmo (I don’t know any feminists that read this, by the way. I’ve spent many an hour complaining about how sexist it is with my fellow feminists) to adhere to a certain beauty standard. Shulamith Firestone’s “The Dialectic of Sex” has some really interesting thoughts about beauty standards and fashion and how it can hurt women.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002545695048 Anthony Zarat

        I believe that you, individually, are an egalitarian person. However, feminism is an institution with VAST political, institutional, and financial power. Any person who calls themselves “feminist” cannot disavow the actions of the NOW, for example. Take a gander at this, and see if you are still OK with calling yourself feminist:

        http://rinow.org/legislative-agenda/2011-legislative-agenda-draft-as-of-21411/

        Tireless feminist pressure has subdued 33 out of 50 states into criminalizing child support arrears as a felony (not misdemeanor) crime that is punishable by years (not weeks) in prison (not jail). Quietly, softly, feminist hate has put hundreds of thousands of fathers behind bars for inability to pay a debit. Feminism is violence on a scale that is almost incomprehensible. It is violence by proxy, but violence nonetheless.

      • http://www.facebook.com/soremoose Marcus Ames

        Not everyone that shares the tag feminist thinks in as equal terms. Feminism is like Christianity – there is a nasty minority that wears your T-shirt while speaking louder and harsher. Just as most mainstream Christians do not speak out against the likes of the Truth Truck, Fred/Chuck Phelpses, doctor murderers, sexual abusers, millionaire sissionaries, etc., there is not a lot of outcry against those who give you a bad name. Some might even argue you to be too soft on both accounts.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

          This is a great point. We feminists should be more outspoken about those of us who give us a bad name.

  • http://stitchinguptheseams.wordpress.com Stitch

    When I first got married, my husband and I both believed in the “typical” he leads, I submit thing. It caused no end of grief for us – I refused to “lead” in any way, shape, or form, even though I tend to be a more natural leader than he is. He genuinely wanted my input on decisions and I wouldn’t give it, then would be hurt and angry that he wasn’t leading by “being a man” and making the decisions himself.

    Then, shortly into our marriage, he lost his job and spent the better part of the following two years looking unsuccessfully for a job. I’m sure you can imagine the emotional turmoil it was for us both, believing he was supposed to be the leader and provider – but he was at home, job-searching, and I was out working 40-50 hour weeks and freelancing to provide for us. He felt utterly worthless and emasculated. I felt cheated. This was not what either of us signed up for.

    Then the thought entered my mind – what if he was sick, and wasn’t able to work? Would I still feel cheated? What if he got in an accident and could never work again? The answer was obvious – I would work and take care of him, because I love him. Part of his inability to find work was directly tied to his severe scoliosis, so in reality we were in that situation where he couldn’t work because of a disability. I started questioning a lot of my preconceived notions at this point. Why couldn’t I help in decision-making? We’re partners, we’re equals, we’re adults. We should be able to talk things through instead of me expecting him to make decisions while I remain silent, then getting angry when he “makes the wrong decision.” I realized that in expecting him to carry the weight of the hard-to-define trait of sole leadership, that I was placing a burden on him that he couldn’t – and shouldn’t – bear.

    We started talking things out together. When I got overwhelmed with work, I bit my tongue and didn’t complain to him that he needed to get a job and provide for us. I stopped pressuring him into being someone he wasn’t and started loving and supporting the person he is. With the pressure from me gone, he started opening up to me about his fears that he wasn’t good enough, that he wasn’t a good husband, that he was a failure in general…fears that I had resolutely, unknowingly, and without meaning to reinforced for a long time. Both of us became free to be ourselves without trying to squeeze into the roles we thought we were supposed to play. Our marriage became enjoyable after months upon months of misery. We’re egalitarians now. And I think it literally saved our marriage.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

      I’ve heard so many stories like this! Hurray for egalitarianism! I’ve had much more fulfillment in my current, egalitarian relationship than I ever did in past relationships where I was always having to worry about whether or not I was with a man that could lead me (when you’re an intelligent, strong willed woman, your choices get narrowed down. In what way can a man with the same education and same ambition lead me?). So relieving!

  • bethany henderson

    As I’ve gained a better understanding of feminism, I’ve begun to realize there’s a huge difference between the stereotypes of feminism and what feminism actually stands for. It seems in our culture when people think of feminists, they think of females who don’t want to shave or wear bras, and yell at males when they open a door or try to be polite. I used to have these same ideas; I fell into believing these same stereotypes. But, then I took a look at feminism and discovered what it really is and what it really stands for.

    As I understand it, here’s the heart of feminism: people, regardless of gender, should not have to be pressured to change themselves based on societal norms or expectations.

    On an individual level, feminists, both male and female, try not to let societal pressures and norms greatly influence their interests, expressions of themselves and behaviors. For example, while I have many stereotypically feminine interests (sewing, cooking), I also am earning my master’s degree, am self-sufficient, am living on my own and am interning at a juvenile detention facility (stereotypical masculine activities/interests). I am a proud feminist and I refuse to allow stereotypes to dictate my interests and behaviors; I am free to explore and use my interests, passions and skills to the best of my ability in whatever context I choose.

    As I discovered more about feminism, I realized that many of my male friends and relatives were/are feminists. Even one relative, who had many of those stereotypical views of feminism, came to call himself a feminist after a discussion concerning what feminism really is.

    Moon, I think this is a great question, because males are very negatively affected by societal norms and pressures. Men should not have to feel pressured to wear camouflage flannel shirts, have massive beards and laugh in the face of danger to be considered “a man.” Men should be able to express their emotions and explore more stereotypically feminine interests if that is who they are. If they want to,they should be able to care about their appearance without having their identities as men questioned. I would like to point out that feminism would say that males should be free to explore their masculine interests, just like I, as a female, am free to explore my feminine interests.

    Many feminists then look at the implications of those societal norms and expectations, and fight for positive change on a greater scale. I support these efforts, as well. I do think males have unfair advantages in many areas, particularly the workplace. I recognize this is not a popular opinion. But, I feel that I have to work harder to be taken seriously, even though I have just as much education and experience as many of my male counterparts. Now, I’m not angry with males as a whole or individually. I recognize that, in this society where gender norms have been repeated reinforced, many women have begun reinforcing these gender stereotypes. I understand that. That being said, this should not be a justification not to fight inequality on a personal or societal level.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

      I have found the same heart in feminism. though some groups of feminists may go about that the wrong way, I still believe in that heart very strongly.

      It’s a bit like Christianity (not that feminism is a religion for me) in that, there is an ideal, and it is beautiful. But we’re humans so we fail to live up to it and we sometimes promote that ideal in ways that make it seem less attractive.

      • Anonymous

        Many men would genuinely like to see Feminism as a movement for the equality of all. But when Feminism at large literally fights to pass laws that directly hurt men(see jmnzz’s post above). It’s really hard to believe. I understand that you aren’t Feminism at large and that’s understandab

      • Fingenieur

        “It’s a bit like Christianity (not that feminism is a religion for me) in that, there is an ideal, and it is beautiful. But we’re humans so we fail to live up to it and we sometimes promote that ideal in ways that make it seem less attractive.”

        That is a very similar observation I have made. I don’t think even the catholic church today denies the reformation of the church was beneficial for the institution. Though they ended up killing off a bunch of dissidents pointing out flaws in dominant group-think.

        It’s a similar naïvety in todays feminist-industrial complex. If feminism even as an ideal would be perfect, there would not have been need for second, third and now fourth wave of gender-equality action. And it’s a safe bet to say that whatever corrective measures (Men’s rights) we’ll employ next, it still won’t be perfect. And it’s okay. Perfection is an enemy of good.

        You ask:
        “How can we feminists assist you in fighting that inequality?”

        An important part is to understand that feminists do not have the privilege to define the problem-domain as one would like to see them. Usually equality is not zero-sum game, but sometimes it actually is. Allocating resources in a finite planet to gendered domestic violence work often means taking it away from somewhere else. You can’t always (usually) blame feminism for the downfall of men, but sometimes you can. Critique hurts, but it’s necessary.

        A legitimate opposition is absolutely necessary for democratic decision-making. You can’t argue the modern feminism is not something of a power-using entity. How I see it, it looks like the single most influental entity in gender-politics of modern west. Observably more powerful than any concretely “patriarchal” construct we have today.

        Organizations like NOW, feminist parties etc. are clearly in positions to do real harm to men’s rights. And if there is no opposition, it is simple to use probabilities to prove the end result cannot be anything else than men’s oppression. Say only 1/1000 of feminist actions to empower women are unfairly balanced against men, and by ideology, no action would end up hurting women. Repeat indefinitely – and without any corrective parameters (anti-feminism) the result would be oppressive to men regardless of the starting point. It’s an instable system.

        My problem with your post is that you inherently seem to assume the old “It’s the bad patriarchy/kyriarchy oppressing men” -paradigm without much critique. As usual, the world is more complex. There are other evil gender-enforcing agencies. Frankly, the ideology/movement/political-lobby/industry claiming to fight them looks like it’s one of them. Not completely evil (nothing ever is) or unrecyclable, but dangerously broken and unstable.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

          I agree that the world is more complex, however, I was focusing on a single issue in my post. But feel free to bring up any other oppressive systems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002545695048 Anthony Zarat

    “How does gender inequality hurt your kind?”

    1) Misandric family courts
    Problem: Society favours women in nurturing roles. Men have virtually no rights in family court (88% of single custody to mother, see http://www.divorcepeers.com/stats17.htm) .
    Pain: World class male nurturers (eg fathers) end up as mediocre producers instead. World class female producers (presidents, CEOs, Nobel laureates) end up as mediocre mothers instead.
    Solution: Feminists need to stop opposing equal rights for fathers.

    2) Misandric criminal courts
    Problem: Men are presumed perpetrators in criminal court, and women are presumed victims. The presumption of male guilt is most readily exposed by DNA exonerations (279 male DNA exonerations imply an expected 26 women would have been cleared also, given that women are 9.4% of the prison population — but there is only one post-conviction female DNA exoneration). Statistically, the probability that only 1 woman is exonerated, compared to an expected 26, is one in 262 quadrillion — proof beyond any possible doubt that courts are biased against men.
    Pain: Hundreds of thousands of innocent men languish in prison for crimes they did not commit.
    Solution: Feminists need to stop the “all men are predators” propaganda. Feminists need to stop lobbying for laws that presume male guilt, and for laws that reduce evidentiary standards when men are accused of crimes (such as the “dear colleague” letter).

    There are about 1000 other items on the list, from forced Ritalin doping of boys in school to male genital mutilation. The problem is always feminism, and the solution is always for feminist to get out of the way and let the MRM solve the problem.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

      It seems like allowing equal rights for fathers would be an important step for feminists to take. It certainly is a problem that the feminists seem to have caused. In our efforts to overthrow our own oppression, the pendulum swung the other way. Definitely something that needs to be addressed.

      However, blaming feminism for every male problem, and citing MRA as the solution is ignorant, and scary to say the least. A movement that was formed as a reaction to a movement that fights for women’s rights–a movement that rails against feminism as a whole, disregarding all of the significant progress it has made?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002545695048 Anthony Zarat

        Do not be afraid. MRAs have a very good relationship with equity feminists — for example, the folks at ifeminist.com. Also, we are a movement dedicated to moving forward, not backward. Every true egalitarian advance made by feminism is also part of the MRM mission. As an example, take two sides of feminist governance in Sweden:

        Example 1:
        MRAs are very happy that Sweden has worked to reduce discrimination against fathers in family court, in parental leave laws, and in laws allowing leave for care of a loved one. Reduce, not eliminate. Even in Sweden, a Y chromosome is a serious liability in family court.

        Example 2:
        MRAs are very unhappy that Sweden requires boys in K-12 public education to watch a production of “SCUM”, a feminist manifesto which calls for a “final solution” to the problem of men and boys. After seeing a play in which their gender is systematically murdered by the state, the boys are forced to sit on the ground, while their female peers sit on comfortable chairs and are given treats. Then, the boys are systematically humiliated by their teachers, while the girls laugh at them. All Swedish boys must endure this horror, as retribution for wrongs done by their male ancestors to their female ancestors. Read about it here:

        http://acatalogueoflies.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/manboobz-and-supporters-give-tacit-approval-of-radical-feminist-anti-male-hate-propaganda-scum-being-taught-to-high-school-children/

  • anonymous

    “GOOD sexual harrassment.” wtf.

  • Anonymous

    Problem 1: you still blame men, even when men experience sexist behavior.

    “It hurts me that these people [two males who have expressed the hurt they have felt due to misandry] that I care about have been hurt by patriarchy in this way. Let’s end inequality. Join the conversation!”

    Unless you’re willing to take an honest look at the offensive nature of this line, I have nothing to say that could possibly make sense to you, given your expressed attitude that Patriarchy is the cause of sexism towards boys.

  • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

    By the way, I do reserve the right to delete all comments–any that I believe abandon the topic in favor of feminist bashing (feel free to criticize, but stay on the topic of promoting rights for men and how we feminists can help–hint: “stop being feminists” is not really a valid step toward reaching an agreement) will be deleted. Any topics that use hurtful language or contain links to sites that use hurtful language to describe women or feminists will be deleted.

    Keep it friendly and productive, folks! Thanks! :)

    • Jake

      Don’t. I’m pretty sure you just deleted what I quoted, and it was a completely valid point. It’s an extremely slippery slope.

      • Jake

        Sorry for the triple post, but I mean, really, there’s nothing wrong with hurtful dialogue. It’s a serious topic and there will be some hurtful dialogue if honest discussion occurs.

        Discussion which is simply “flaming”, pure hate, nothing else, is bad. But simply getting rid of anything hateful, or not sunshine and rainbows, is sort of a problem with feminism itself (the whole have to comfort women thing no matter what, etc.)

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

          I have opted to keep many well-thought-out, productive posts that I highly disagree with.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

          My attempt is not to turn this into sunshine and rainbows land, but to maintain a productive discussion.

  • Jake

    “It hurts me that these people [two males who have expressed the hurt they have felt due to misandry] that I care about have been hurt by patriarchy in this way. Let’s end inequality. Join the conversation!”

    Unless you’re willing to take an honest look at the offensive nature of this line, I have nothing to say that could possibly make sense to you, given your expressed attitude that Patriarchy is the cause of sexism towards boys.

    =================================

    I mean pretty much this. It’s really a warped view. I mean, you’re thoughts, while reading through the comments, seem mostly level-headed. However, there is an innate irrationality expressed in many of yours posts. I mean, I don’t like to say I can claim absolutes, but at the risk of seeming a bit one-sided, I mean, really?

    I think it’s because society as a whole is simply to nice to women.

    I mean, the whole feminist campaign of not blaming the woman, and that whole culture of things, is really just harvesting a culture of irresponsibility. It’s telling bad people not to be bad, and for potential victims to not have to worry about being smart to prevent risk. It’s just dumb.

    There’s also the whole issue of response bias, the huge issue that people don’t like to mention in any of these types of statistics, that people don’t mention. I mean, which gender do you think is under reported, at least proportionally?

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com moonchild11

      I believe the feminist campaign is really focused on not blaming the victims. Really, victims, male and female, are subject to blame of some sort. I see this as coming from patriarchal traditions of strict gender roles. Not as coming from feminism.

      So, I’m sorry you find the word “patriarchy” offensive. Perhaps there is a better way to describe these strict traditional gender roles without igniting so much hate. But the fact of the matter is, the remains of these oppressive, traditional gender roles are the root behind many (certainly not all, and I thank those who have addressed this) problems in our society.

      • Linda

        The reason the word “patriarchy” irks me is because it implies that these strict traditional gender roles are enforced by men. As you have pointed out, both men and women are harmed by gender stereotypes. I would also argue that both genders play a role in maintaining the expectation that a person should behave in a certain way depending on his or her gender. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary broadly defines patriarchy as “control by men of a disproportionately large share of power.” While it is true that a disproportionately large number of positions of power are currently occupied by men, this ignores the disproportionately large number of men who are disenfranchised — homeless, unemployed, imprisoned, etc. Ascribing their circumstances to “the patriarchy” is jarring, because it implies that these men have no power because men have too much power. A better way to describe the way in which both genders unconsciously reinforce gender stereotypes in their thoughts and behavior would be “rigid gender roles;” this places no blame on either gender and allows a discussion of the harm that comes to both genders as a result of rigid gender roles.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

          These are very good points. thank you.

        • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

          Also, I certainly agree that both genders play a part in maintaining those gender roles. Yes, perhaps it is time to drop the word “patriarchy” in favor of terms that do not imply fault or benefit to either gender.

  • nighthawkusa2000@yahoo.com

    Honestly, after dealing with female chauvinism day in and day out at school and in my day to day life, garbage like this is sickening. Do you know what it is like for others to constantly parade around and blatantly in your face declare how superior they are and how inferior you are because of you gender? Have you ever sat in a classroom and had to deal with people gladly screaming “I hate {insert gender}” and not even get in any kind of trouble?

    Heck at a public school it is even worse. There the instructor will chime in a list’s the reasons why it is OK to hate males.

    Ultra P.S

    Make sure your relative seeks counseling IMMEDIATELY! I knew of too many who in a similar situation resorted to suicide to escape the pain.

    • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

      I do know what it’s like, but my pain does not invalidate yours, nor does yours invalidate mine. Which is why I am calling an end to the gender wars.

  • http://moonchild11.wordpress.com Sarah Moon

    Thanks, everyone for your thoughts and for your responses. I honestly didn’t realize that the word “patriarchy” was so loaded. I wasn’t using it as a slight to men, but as a way to describe strict gender roles that limit all of us as humans. But it is understandable that such a word would carry such jarring connotations. Thank you, everyone who pointed that out and suggested that different words be used to describe these rigid roles and I apologize again to anyone who was hurt by my use of the term. I think you’re absolutely right, and I will be responding in a blog post with more detail later.

  • Oak Park Dave

    You know how “mother nature” is kind of a crutch that atheists/skeptics sometimes us in order to lend a “face” to the universe? That’s kind of how I see that some feminists use the word “patriarchy.”

    I think that some feminists have very valid points with regard to the abuse of women and discrimination against women. And some feminists are lashing out because of the hurt that they have experienced. I firmly believe that adversity often damages character. Overcoming such damage can be an extended process.

    I do wonder if feminism is inherently self-limiting. Women in countries that have been influenced by feminism (particularly in western Europe) seem to have birth rates that are far below replacement level. Will the new immigrants believe in equal rights for women?


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