“Feminists Don’t Hate Men. But It Wouldn’t Matter If We Did”
“Hating Men Isn’t Funny, Says Writer Who Doesn’t Get Good Jokes”
“Men, Get On Board With Misandry”
The above are real headlines for real articles, that were written by real people, on purpose.
Misandry is, very simply, the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men. In ancient Greek, “mis” means hatred and “andro” means male or masculine. It is literally the hatred of, and bias against, men. Surely, the hatred of an entire demographic based on nothing but physical characteristics is bad, right? For many, that appears to not be the case.
The first article listed above, “Feminists Don’t Hate Men. But It Wouldn’t Matter If We Did” was written by Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti (Disclaimer: The author of this article is extremely biased against Jessica Valenti), with the subheader “Hurting Men’s Feelings is Not The Same As Life Threatening Misogyny.” In the article, Valenti states “…it’s so hard to take seriously any claims that ‘misandry’ is a tremendous problem – they’re based on the idea that merely insulting men is similar to the life-threatening misogyny women face worldwide.”
I took a special picture for all the misogynist whiners in my feed today. #bestvacationever pic.twitter.com/gvFgn3ahri
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 30, 2014
Valenti insists that when women hate men, men get hurt feelings. When men hate women, women get killed. Corresponding evidence to these claims are Valenti linking to an article – which was also written by her – with the claim that mass shootings have been attributed to misogyny (no studies or evidence was provided), and that sexual and domestic violence against women is fueled by a hatred of all women (again, no evidence or studies on this provided).
In “Your Guide to Understanding Ironic Misandry,” author Clementine Ford states “Nothing disturbs a man intent on retaining male power more than a woman who first laughs at him and then demonstrates his views are unworthy of her time or attention.” Ford also shares a cartoon image of a topless mermaid, blissfully perched on a rock under a waterfall, with the phrase “Forever Bathing In Your Male Tears.” Of this picture, Ford says “images such as the above pillory the buffoonery of the MRA movement while giving increasingly stressed out and undermined women a means of laughing at the enemy.” She says that, if feminists are going to be accused of man-hating, they might as well enthusiastically embrace it to its full extent.
In an article for Gawker, writer Dayna Evans opens with the disclaimer “I hate men. Do not read on if you like men.” This is a sentiment that Evans repeats later in the article: “The joke here—as with all good jokes that make a critique of our current culture—is that even if we’re kidding (not me: I really hate men), we get a chance to air our grievances to those who may have had no idea of them before. Do women lose allies by alienating the men who aren’t in on the wink-wink joke? Maybe. Are those men worth losing? Probably.”
An intrinsic feature of misandry is hatred, and an indisputable characteristic of such hate-fueled proclamations like “drinking male tears” and “kill all men” are cruelty, discrimination, and violence. The most dangerous consequence of turning the hatred of an entire group of human beings into a justified “joke” is that such mindsets become normalized and acceptable in society.
A 2013 study led by Northwestern University psychologist Maureen Craig has found that people who perceive discrimination against people who share a similar demographic to themselves are more likely to discriminate against other groups. However, those who have directly been discriminated against are less likely to act in such a way. According to the report, Blacks and Latinos who read about the negative impact of racial prejudice against their group show a more negative attitude towards homosexuals. Additionally, racial bias was more common in white women who read about pervasive sexism than those who did not. However, those who reported having directly faced unfair treatment tended to respond more positively to questions about homosexuality.
One recent event appears to corroborate the findings of this study. The National Union of Students (NUS) is an organization representing over 600 member students’ unions at U.K. universities and colleges. Delegates from the unions gathered at the Women’s Students Conference for two days in March, in part to debate a variety of member submitted motions. The internet was mostly busy laughing over the request NUS made of visitors “Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful!” However, while people were distracted by this fairly juvenile request, Motion 512 “Dear White Gay Men: Stop Appropriating Black Women” was passed. The motion claimed that gay white men benefit from both white and male privilege, are the majority of the LGBT community, and therefore shall have their mannerisms and speech restricted.
Such a motion not only serves to police the actions of a very select demographic (gay white men), it also uses racial prejudice in order to contend that black women act in a way that is different from how other people act.
While the Northwestern University study focused exclusively on the differences between the effects of perceived and direct discrimination, as well as the effects that such differences have on the opinion of racial minorities, homosexuals, and female participants, one could reasonably theorize that such results could extend to members of demographics that do not fall into the included categories. That perceived sexism against women could very easily translate to certain women expressing discrimination against men, particularly if they feel that men are the source of this perceived sexism. The most troubling contingency of this is that such hatred is currently being portrayed as reasonable, justified, and even humorous.
Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2004 found that “women’s automatic in-group bias is remarkably stronger than men’s.” Through a series of four experiments, it was determined that “only women (not men) showed cognitive balance among in-group bias, identity, and self-esteem (A. G. Greenwald et al., 2002), revealing that men lack a mechanism that bolsters automatic own group preference.” It was also found that a strong pro-female bias was discovered in relation to parental preference and the association of the male gender with violence, as well as the determination that men who have a more positive attitude towards sex tend to implicitly favor women. In essence, it was determined that women like women more than men like men. So much for that patriarchy.
Discrimination is no longer “ironic” when it is real. Hatred is no longer funny when it is socially acceptable. Considering the lack of any notable concern for, or condemnation of, the growth of misandry, as is evidenced by the trending of the #killallmen hashtag on Twitter and the shockingly vast array of misandry-themed merchandise available with a few simple keystrokes, I feel confident in declaring that misandry is real. It is a real problem. And it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
The true irony of “ironic misandry” is that it isn’t ironic at all.
Liz Finnegan is a soulless ginger with no political leanings. Pun enthusiast. Self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Person.” Retro gaming contributor for The Escapist.
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