misandry doesn't exist

(470 Posts)
MitchierInge Fri 06-Jan-12 10:14:58

not in a sort of homologous (if that's the word?) way to misogyny anyway - society just isn't that evolved yet

windyandrainy Fri 06-Jan-12 11:01:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeamDamon Fri 06-Jan-12 11:04:55

Love this definition of it though...

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 06-Jan-12 11:13:40

I think your son's right windyandrainy. Misandry worldwide doesn't extend to discrimination and oppression the way misogyny does, but it definitely exists. We have a far greater tolerance in society for generalised 'men are useless' statements, jokes, adverts and so on than would be allowed for any other grouping. May only manifest itself as sniping but it's there all the same

I agree. Misogyny refers to the ingrained structure - there isn't one for men.

Not to say that sexism doesn't hurt men too - I think often men are the collateral damage in misogynistic targeting of women.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 11:18:25

<sigh> at deliberately controversial title.

It does exist, and it's silly to say it doesn't.

It's perfectly sensible to say that it doesn't exist in a comparable manner.

Ok, how is it silly to say that?

I'm prepared to take your point, but I didn't post a knee-jerk response to the OP ... would you be able to take a moment or two to explain your position before you dismiss mine and the OP's title?

MitchierInge Fri 06-Jan-12 11:48:04

I suppose just because nobody can see its extension throughout society doesn't mean it doesn't exist, like God do you mean? If some people believe in it then it does exist, for them, within their experience at least?

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 11:53:03

If we lived in a perfectly equal society, or a matriarchal society, but there was a person who hated women and looked down on them and thought they were inferior, then that person would be a misogynist and misogyny would exist both as a concept and something that was actually out there in the real world.

If we lived (this is slightly closer to reality) in a society where the colour of people's skin was not considered any more important than the colour of their hair or their height or whether they were left-handed, some people within that society might still judge others based on their skin colour and would therefore be racist. Racism would exist, even in a non-racist society.

Just because society is not misandrist doesn't mean that some people aren't, and therefore it does exist.

I wasn't dismissing the point of the OP, but I disagree with the title.

I think misandry could be institutionalized in certain societies or micro-cultures. I just don't think, in our society, it exists on a structural level as misogyny does.

But this is all dependent on how we define misogyny. If it's just a synonym for 'sexism against women' then yes, obviously misandry exists. If it means something more systematic and institutionalized, I'm not sure misandry does exist.

I think one way to look at it would be, if we agree the patriarchy is a term for real pressures in the world, do we also think there's 'the matriarchy' out there too, enforcing misandry? I don't see how the two could co-exist!

MitchierInge Fri 06-Jan-12 11:56:52

oh I see

well I did explain use of misandry as a kind of counterpart of misogyny, it would have made for a long title and an even more pointless actual post if I'd put it in the subject line

I think it's a completely pointless word, if men suffer as a direct or indirect consequence of misogyny why do we need a new word for it?

Cross-post ... trills, I think then we differ in our understanding of the terminology.

IMO we already have a word for the thing you're describing as misandry, and it's sexism. I would say they're different. But I don't think it's silly to disagree.

The issue with the racism analogy is that race is a construct. Biologists can find out all sorts of things about people's genetic heritage, but 'race' itself is a social construct, not purely a biological one. Therefore, in non-racist society, discriminating against someone for having black skin would not be racist - it'd be horrible, and despicable, but it would not be (IMO) different from discriminating against someone for being blonde or for having a beard.

MitchierInge Fri 06-Jan-12 12:01:41

I don't agree that men can suffer sexism either, not in any comparable or worth caring about way. In the same way as white people are unlikely to experience racism, even if they can be targets of racially motivated whatever.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 12:01:48

If I understand your definitions correctly then you'll (generic you, not you personally) have to stop using "misogynist" as a way to describe an individual, because it is a thing that is entrenched in society, not a characteristic that an individual can possess.

Men suffer as a result of sexism against women but there can also be direct sexism against men.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 12:03:33

There's shitloads less of it, obviously, but it does exist.

I don't agree, trills. An individual can be racist, or misogynistic, because we live in a racist, patriarchial society. If we did not live in such a society, such actions of one individual against another would be disgusting, but also anomalous and without the sanction (institutionalized or overt) of wider society.

michiest - ok, I disagree re. sexism. I think it's not comparable but nevertheless very real.

MitchierInge Fri 06-Jan-12 12:06:21

I'd like to see examples of sexism against men that don't flow fairly directly from an original misogynist source.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 12:06:48

So you are putting racism in the same box as misogyny and not in the same box as sexism?

Racism is still racism even if it is anomalous and without sanction. You can hold the prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others all on your own and you are still racist. That's what racist means.

Yes, I believe racism is something that has been integrated into the structure of society. As has discrimination against women. That is why these things are so powerful - they have a deeply ingrained presence in the structure of society.

You cannot hold the prejudiced belief tht one race is superior to others all on your own. Because 'race' is itself a social construct, not a biological fact. If we lived in a non-racist society and an individual tried to argue that all people with blue eyes were one 'race' and all with brown another, he or she would simply look mad.

Racism is not a naturally-occurring thing, I refuse to believe that.

I think this is why it's so important to recognize the underlying structures of discrimination ... the fact that you just accept that 'race' exists and is an unproblematic category to be used for identifying people says it all.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 06-Jan-12 12:12:42

It depends on how you define sexism. Men get punished much more severely than women by parents or peers for violating stereotypical gender norms, and have significantly higher incidences of substance abuse and suicide - generally reliable indicators of mental health difficulties - that a lot of researchers within psychology and gender studies have connected to anxiety around failing to conform to gender role.

If you define sexism as compulsory conformity to gender roles, under threat of ostracism or other forms of punishment, then men definitely experience it. If you define it as lack of access to positions of power and privilege based on gender, then perhaps you could argue that there's no such thing as sexism against men.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 12:13:01

I didn't say it was a naturally occurring thing. I said it was a thing that was defined by the beliefs of a person. If a person were to believe that thing then it would exist regardless of what society was like.

Maybe racism is a bad example because there are not clearcut distinctions between races as there are with men and women.

I believe that sexism is something that can exist in people's heads regardless of whether society sanctions it or not. Society may lean in one direction but that doesn't mean that there are not people who believe and feel and think the opposite. Not just a lack of the condoned form of prejudice, but a prejudice in the opposite direction.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 12:13:52

x-posts again

But if we had a society that did not recognize 'race' as a category, a person who discriminated accordinng to a made-up category loosely tied to appearance and geographic origin would simply look mad. No-one would look and say 'Oh, he's a racist', because that concept of race would not exist.

I think it is a good analogy, because it is only in this world where we use biological sex as a primary way of categorizing humans, that misognyny or misandry could develop.

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