My most popular post to date is still an oldie written way back in 2011: Sorry, Men, You Are Not Oppressed: The Magical Mysteries of Misandry. I expanded on the content of that post in 2012: Sorry, Men, You’re STILL Not Oppressed: Reexamining the Fallacies of “Misandry.” This post is yet another expansion, something to bring things around to my evolved view of the “misandry” debate. But remember my comment policy; anti-feminist comments will not be published on this entry. Hit up misandry 101 for that shit, the MRAs have already made it theirs.
I’ve always contended that misandry just isn’t a thing, because of how it’s framed by MRAs. Misandry is supposed to be just like misogyny, except men are on the receiving end instead of women. This definition falls flat, because misogyny is the systemic oppression of women by men, and men are not systemically oppressed by women. (But I’ve tackled all this before.) Men suffer from coded misogyny, but not misandry.
So let’s talk about coded misogyny for a moment. What is it? It’s the system by which men are punished for not meeting arbitrary standards of maleness as established by the patriarchy. It’s the system that strips male rape victims and domestic violence survivors of their rights to justice, because it paints female perpetrators as too weak or delicate to abuse, and male victims as inherently feminine (and therefore at blame) for being victimized. It’s the system that promotes stereotypes of lazy, uninvolved fathers, and enforces those standards in family dynamics. It’s the system that tells men they need to be tough, not engage in outward displays of emotion or weakness. It creates a false dichotomy between maleness and femaleness, imbuing each with characteristics that neither binary gender dare confuse. And when men cross that boundary into thoughts and behaviors deigned “female,” they suffer from the only systemic sexism: misogyny.
But men don’t like to hear that they suffer because of patriarchy. It’s too risky for them to acknowledge that they’re hurt by the same structure that imbues them with cultural power, because that would require relinquishing that power to solve their problems. For MRAs, the concept of coded misogyny is just too complicated; it muddies the waters of their woman-hating, power-hungry oppressiveness. They’re so busy scrambling to stay on top that they tokenize male victims of the patriarchy, while throwing women completely to the wolves. For MRAs, it has jack-all to do with equality; it’s about men and only men, again.
MRAs are obsessed with the concept of misandry. They are convinced it’s the invisible scourge of our time, oppressing men and elevating women at every turn. What evidence to they proffer? Precious little. They seem determined to build a social movement on the SCUM Manifesto and a few tongue-in-cheek mugs.
Because nothing says “oppression” like snarky dishware.
The truly spectacular thing about MRA propaganda is that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Call feminists “man-haters” enough, do it while belittling our struggles and elevating your own social status, and a few of us are bound to start man-hating. It’s a natural reaction to oppression, and not one I’m going to blame a woman for having.
This is how I started to realize the positive impact of the concept of “misandry.” It provides a defense mechanism for women who are tired of all the same male-supremacist bullshit. It can be wielded as a shield, as a “do not enter” sign, telling men they’re not welcome in our spaces. It also serves to weed out the troublemakers from our everyday lives. A man not disturbed by “misandry,” a man who gets that being sick of the culture of manhood doesn’t mean we’re sick of each individual man, that’s the kind of man who’s worth being around. He’s not in it for ally cookies, he’s not in it to play “Nice Guy” only to whine about being “friendzoned,” he’s legitimately there for the sake of our company. This sort of man is hard to come by, but the only sort really worth the effort.
This is why I’ve become a political misandrist. I don’t hate individual men, and my treatment of them hasn’t changed, but I hate the culture of manhood, and I resent being forced to swallow it. I don’t need any more fair-weather men in my life. Either be confident and feminist-supporting, or find someone else to associate with.
So what exactly do I mean by “political misandrist”? I mean I’ve chosen to reclaim the term, and imbue it with real meaning. It’s the only way that misandry can be real, in this sort of flipped-on-its-head, purposeful reclamation. Someone crying misandry in a discriminatory sense is still talking about a fantasy, but some women have chosen to create personal meaning of the word, directly in spite of having it used against us. It’s taking power in something used to oppress us, which is reclamation to the core.
Now I’m certain this will result in MRA cries of “I knew it!” like they’ve revealed my deep, dark agenda under all my PC platitudes. But the thing is, they can’t make me feel bad about this. My ~misandry~ is something they created, it’s the child of their own constant, entitled whining. I’ve had to listen to them piss and moan on that original post for two and a half years, and it’s never improved. I still hear about how I’m destroying gender relations, I still get told I’m unintelligent and ignorant, I still get threats of assault and rape. Let me repeat that: Men threaten to rape me, while telling me misogyny isn’t real. So why should I feel bad for hating the culture that allows this to go on? Why, exactly, should I feel bad for being fed up with all the boarish bullies, the whiny neckbeards, the fedora-adorned Nice Guys? Why should I play nice while they play dirty?
Remember, men, you’re the ones who started this fight. Want it to end? Start treating women–even ~misandrists~ like me–with real fucking respect.