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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 12:16:11

Misandry was a word that mens' rights activists came up about the beginning of the 90s with to attack feminists for pointing out real woman-hatred, and to try and pretend that men were victimised in the same way women are victimised by men.

It's not a valid concept. There is no equivalent of misogyny in this world.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 12:17:18

Twenty years ago almost no-one would have been aware of the word or know what it was suppoesed to mean.

It's just another way of calling women who object to male abuse, man-haters. It's offensive.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 12:18:29

We do divide people up into "boys and girls" far more often than necessary, don't we?

I read a post (or possibly a blog or article or something) a little while ago by someone who was a primary school teacher who had decided to stop saying "make two lines, boys and girls" and decided to ask them to make lines based on who liked green and who like blue, or who liked cats and who liked dogs.

OP - feel free to clarify and we'll stop going round in circles and try to discuss what it was that you actually wanted to discuss smile

OrmIrian Fri 06-Jan-12 12:23:18

I think any society that permits prejudice against either sex is a society in which misandry exists. A society that mistrusts men working with young children for example is a society where misandry exists. Because it is making an assumption that only paedophiles would have any interest in spending time with toddlers. The fact that that assumption comes off the back of the misogynistic one that looking after children is one of the few things that women are good at, is relevant but doesn't negate the misandry of the premise.

Sexism is sexism. It limits and damages everyone. The fact that to date women have suffered more from it in general doesn't alter that fact.

MitchierInge Fri 06-Jan-12 12:33:37

I wanted to discuss the idea that misogyny had a sort of inverse countertype running alongside it Trills. I am open to the idea that just because I can't see it at any level in society doesn't mean it's not in operation anywhere.

I did say comparable to misogyny, of which I think most examples of prejudice against men are a fairly natural reflection.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 12:39:45

It's a logical fallacy to argue that because misogyny exists it must have a counterpart in this thing called "misandry".

Misogyny = the destruction of women

Misandry = ?

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 12:40:59

I thought we should better stop arguing over definitions of words and just get on with it, that's all smile

I like Manatee's distinction. Men are punished more when they stray from cultural norms of manliness, but conforming to the norms is not as restricting/limiting for (most) men as it is for women.

If women want or do "manly" things then there is a combination of you can't do that, it's for men and well of course manly things are better so we can see why you would want to.

If a man wants or does "female" things then the question is (as Orm says) why would he want to do that, is there something wrong with him?

What do you call the male equivalent of a tomboy? A sissy? There's no non-pejorative word that I can think of.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 12:41:57

thunderbolts Oxford dictionary says

[mass noun]
the hatred of women by men:
she felt she was struggling against thinly disguised misogyny

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 12:42:31

Tell that to George Orwell, Trills.

Words have power, they shape people's thoughts and actions.

windyandrainy Fri 06-Jan-12 13:43:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 06-Jan-12 13:45:40

'Mis' as a prefix means 'hatred, distrust, dislike'. A misanthrope hates the human race, a misarchist can't stand authority, a miserotic dislikes sex, a misocynist hates dogs, a misogynist loathes women and a misandrist hates men. Misandrists and therefore misandry does exist.

If you're elevating misogyny to a political system in its own right, it's equivalent would be misandronism... a fanatical belief that all the world's problems are caused by men. And I'm pretty sure I've heard that view expressed even if it's not the prevalent view.

IslaDoit Fri 06-Jan-12 13:46:20

The term for all of it is bigotry.

IslaDoit Fri 06-Jan-12 13:47:08

Agree with Cogito. Good explanation.

PamBeesly Fri 06-Jan-12 13:51:43

I think it exists, albeit in a much more minuscule state which has far fewer conseqences because the world is so male dominated. There will always be hateful people, both men and women.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 13:53:14

Just because you can create a word doens't mean that the reality it's claiming to represent exists.

Evidence for misogyny is domestic violence, rape, femicide (100 million missing women and girls in India and China), the global second class status of women, forced birth, forced abortion, forced sterilisation, child marriage of girls to older men, prostitution, pornography and so on.

What is the evidence that "misandry" exists apart from the cobbling together some greek words?

Men are not hated as a group, men are seen as superior because of their ownership of a penis and receive many economic and social rewards because of it.

I think definitions do matter - otherwise we all end up talking across purposes.

But proving the existence of the word does not prove the existence of what the word refers to. Saying that 'misandry' does exist because some people hate men only makes sense if you think 'misogyny' is just hatred of women, with no attached structural reinforcement in wider society.

There is nothing wrong with defining misogyny and misandry in that way (save that the word 'sexism' already exists and is perfectly good). But then we would, I think, need a word to describe the systematic oppression of women in society, to which there is not an equivalent or equivalently systematized oppression of men in society.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 13:56:23

Good explanation Cogito.

Hatred is something that happens in people's heads, therefore if it happens in one person's head then it exists.

TeamDamon Fri 06-Jan-12 13:57:29

I think it is possible for a woman to be a misandrist, just as it is possible for a man to be a misogynist.

I don't think that on a global scale the two can be considered comparable. That is not to say that misandry doesn't exist.

TeamDamon Fri 06-Jan-12 13:58:23

Yes, I think LRD put what I was thinking much much more articulately!

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 13:59:27

I don't think I have posted even once on this thread without other people posting in the time between me reading and hitting "post"

Yes, it's a really interesting thread, thanks OP!

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 06-Jan-12 14:07:08

"What is the evidence that "misandry" exists apart from the cobbling together some greek words?"

I'll ignore the fact that you've cobbled together quite a few greek, latin and words of other origin to create that sentence. smile Men have not been subjected to violence and oppression by women. That's not the debate. The debate is does misandry exist. Looking at a phrase like 'all men are rapists' ... which was something of a rallying cry in feminist circles in the 1970s and I'd hope you agree that it's a misandronic statement. They absolutely hated men as a group.

KRITIQ Fri 06-Jan-12 14:09:11

Windyandrainy, Urban Dictionary isn't known for being sensitive or inclusive in its language! The content is user generated, so you'll also find plenty of sexist definitions there. However, the one Team Damon linked to kind of busts open what's behind the concept of "misandry."

Earlier today, I peeked into an old discussion forum I used to be fairly active in to find alot of white folks wailing about Dianne Abbot's recent Tweet taken out of context. as yet "further evidence" of reverse discrimination against white people. On another thread, some bemoaned the money spent pursuing and convicting two men for the murder of Stephen Lawrence with comments like, "they wouldn't have spent that money if he'd been white." Apart from completely missing the point about why it too nearly two decades for anyone to be brought to justice for his murder, these are examples of the "backlash" against perceived gains by people of colour in society.

Misandry - the idea that there is another side of the coin which is equal to misogyny is the product of a backlash against the perceived gains of women in society.

It comes from the idea that you can "neutralise" claims that some people are privileged while others suffer injustice and oppression by insisting that those seen as privileged are equally victims of some kind of injustice or oppression. If it's all "even steven," then nothing needs to be done about those original claims of oppression.

Cogito, I don't quite get your thinking on definitions in that last post. Okay, if misogyny is the hatred, distrust or dislike of women, then misandry would be the hatred, distrust or dislike of men. Yes, there are probably a few women who hate, distrust and dislike men. But, not only are there quite a few men who hate, distrust and dislike women, they are "supported" in that view by political, social and economic institutions that perpetuate hate, distrust, dislike, disadvantage, inferiority, abuse, etc. of women. Because of the vastly different "scales," the two concepts in now way could be considered to be counterparts.

MillyR Fri 06-Jan-12 14:09:45

The issue with racism and societies in which race wouldn't exist as a social construct, I would say in such a society that a person could be capable of disliking geographically linked human variation, which most certainly does exist. But then that person might dislike people like me for their lack of ability to have a functioning placenta in a high altitude part of South America, or my lower lung capacity than certain groups in East Africa. It wouldn't be based on lumping all 'black' people together as if they share a wide number of physical traits when they are in fact a hugely disparate group, because 'black' is a social construct.

In terms of our own society, I would say that sexism is equivalent to racism and misogyny is equivalent to white supremacy. A man could experience sexism in our society and I could experience racism. But it would be a bit far fetched to say that I, over the course of my lifetime, was in any meaningful way experiencing black supremacy or that a man was experiencing misandry, because there is no institutional black supremacy or misandry in the UK. I am sure there are individual black supremacists and misandrists but within the context of what is legal and what is acceptable in wider society, they are going to have to go to some pretty extreme lengths to have an impact on my life or the life of a man.

Having a son, I do find that a lot of the treatment of boys is damaging, but that is largely a consequence of boxing them in to narrow modes of behaviour to separate them out from the 'other' which is women and girls. It is very sad for everyone.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 14:14:51

This is the article I always link to when the topic of misandry comes up:

Misandry: From the Dictionary of Fools

"While men have long enjoyed attacking ungrateful women as “man haters,” the epithet seems more than a little bit silly when transposed onto the printed page—something demanded by the burgeoning market for so-called Men’s Studies materials. It certainly lacks the gravitas required to reflect the widespread injury and social disadvantages that many white males believe they endure on a daily basis. Thus a more scientific-sounding term was needed for “the hatred of men” and antifeminists crafted one out of their own perverted imagination of antiquity: misandry.

Cobbled together from two generally recognizable Greek components, “misandry” has the appearance of consequence and refinement. Words with such roots are privileged in our society. They are used by doctors and lawyers, not out of necessity, but as a matter of status: they can view their own image in that mirror of history, standing tall with the great men of the ages. The capital letters we afford to Classical Civilization is an artifact of both racism and sexism. That very same authority, unearned as it is, was harnessed in order to fashion the word misandry. As it is an unfamiliar term to most who encounter it, many automatically assume that it has sound intellectual underpinnings given our society’s expectations for such words and the biases that surround them. This is no accident.

Furthermore, the archaic roots misrepresent misandry’s status as a new word, a neologism: antifeminists want nothing more than to mislead the public into thinking the word has always existed. With the seed of that deception planted, they can then blame its esoteric status on a feminist conspiracy that quietly removed misandry from our vernacular, just as reports of abusive women and battered men are allegedly censored by the agents of Political Correctness. This tactic has actually met with a good measure of success: many who encounter “misandry” for the first time are given cause to wonder why they have never before heard a word that is made to seem “obvious” in nature by its proponents. By adding a veneer of Pentelic marble to “man hater,” these men are able to act as if “misandry” were an unearthed treasure waiting to be found and not a newly minted piece of plastic.

The word and its variations (misandric, misandrist, et. al) were first used only by the most militant of antifeminists, where even the most published and professional remained outliers in male society. One early adopter of “misandry” was Warren Farrell, a man who once wrote on the benefits of incest for Penthouse magazine. Yet its constant repetition over the past decade has turned it from the battle-cry of the pathetic to a banal trivia question. It serves as the answer to “what is the opposite of misogyny,” a rhetorical question often posed to the editors of online-dictionaries by readers, all seemingly possessed of unlimited quantities of mock-innocence. Misandry’s less combustible presentation has allowed it to surge ahead of competing antifeminist devices (“androphobia”) that have since fallen by the wayside.

This transformation has framed the term in a “common sense” approach that many feminists, especially young ones, have difficulty discounting: if the word misogyny exists, logically and mathematically, there must be another side of that coin to restore balance. This tact has the advantage of highlighting “rationality” as a masculine attribute. Those who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of misandry, both as a word and as a sociological fact, are portrayed as effeminate and thus bereft of logic, no matter how detailed and thought-out their arguments might be. Feminists who employ the so-called “soft sciences” of history and sociology in their rebuttals are easily disregarded by men who invoke “hard science” on their own behalf: the Coin Defense involves mathematics, of a perverse kind, and is thus deemed “objective” even though it is nothing of the sort."

OTheHugeManatee Fri 06-Jan-12 16:01:57

Without wanting to get dragged into the whole stupid tit-for-tat 'war of the sexes' thing, there is a school of thought in clinical psychology that argues that normative masculinity - while it does bring considerable advantages in terms of power and opportunities in some areas - does have a considerable attendant cost.

Men are between 4 and 10 times more likely to commit suicide than women, a statistic which is weirdly at odds with the fact that women are diagnosed with depression twice as often as men. Men also die younger (often from heart disease, which is associated with stress) and have higher incidence of substance abuse (something like 39% of American men will have a substance dependency problem at some point in their life).

This isn't to say 'oh the poor menz, let's let them all off the hook' but has provided a way into discussions within psychology about the ways in which normative masculinity, as well as often having a negative impact on women, can also be a significant cause of distress for men.

What I'm talking about here is quite different to misandry, and does not prove in any way that misandry exists. In the sense in which women experience misogyny, I don't think it does - or if it does, its impact on men is not proportionate to the impact on women of misogyny. But to conclude from that that there are no gender role based stresses on men would I think be mistaken.

CaterinaSforza Fri 06-Jan-12 16:33:41

Men are more likely to complete suicide because they are more violent, they kill others very much more often and when they kill themselves they choose the more violent methods.

You don't have to be depressed to commit suicide but women attempt it very much more often.

MillyR Fri 06-Jan-12 16:46:06

I don't think you are being 'what about the menz' at all Manatee; it is a really good post.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-12 16:49:21

Whether misandry does or does not exist (and however we choose to define it) I hope we can all agree that the current situation is not ideal for women or for men. It needs changing and we should (if we are reasonably intelligent and aware of the world around us) want it changed.

OrmIrian Fri 06-Jan-12 16:51:08

Quite trills.

As the mother of boys and a girls I am concerned that none of their lives are circumscribed.

KRITIQ Fri 06-Jan-12 17:26:58

Yes, if we put the semantics and term "misandry" aside, what we've got is a system that is prescriptive about acceptable attitudes, roles, appearance, behaviours, etc. for both men and women which constrains the opportunities and aspirations of all but the most privileged.

However, it's important not to lose site that those who are most privileged are men (and white, and straight, and socio-economically advantaged, and non-disabled, etc.) and that all men do benefit from privileges that come from being male within a sexist society.

In brief, it's the most privileged men that set the rules that screw things up for both men and women, but more acutely for women. It's not women who set the rules that screw up things for men (or women for that matter.) So it's most definitely not even close to "even steven."

In my book, that means there is a specific responsibility there for all men to one, acknowledge that they are privileged because they are men (albeit to differing degrees because of factors like ethnicity, faith, class, sexuality, etc.) and two, be aware of how male privilege is played out all around them and never collude with the the "that's just how things are" explanation for injustice (which effectively sustains their own male privilege and that of other men,) and three, actively challenge examples of gender oppression wherever they encounter it. Staying silent just ain't enough.

samstown Fri 06-Jan-12 17:38:40

Why do certain posters constantly seek to redefine words just to serve their own agenda? The term 'misandry' means hatred of men, therefore if you have someone out there who hates men, then it exists. Yes I would agree that misogyny is much more common and ingrained in society, but you cannot claim that something does not exist just by changing its definition!

Also agree with what Trills said - you cannot claim someone is 'a misogynist' and apply that to an individual if you are not going to allow it to work the other way around.

sams - what you have described is the etymology, which is not exactly the same, IMO, as the definition. I think it was thunder who explained where the term misandry comes from and how it has been privileged by the people who used it. Given that, no, I don't think misandry exists. I don't think I'm redefining a word according to my own agenda at all.

KRITIQ Fri 06-Jan-12 19:08:58

Yes, that's it LRD. There's no question that the word exists. You can find it in dictionaries and on line. But, the concept it represents as perpetuated by those who coined and promote it, well no, that doesn't actually exist.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 19:14:47

If people are interested in feminism they should be interested in the anti-femininst misogynistic roots of the popularisation of the term "misandry".

It was a political move by MRAs to give this word respectability and thus their claims that men are hated for being men (they aren't). What's sad is that so many people who perhaps might know better have seized on it. I think it makes a lot of people uncomfortable the amount of woman-hatred/misogyny that exists in the world, so for them it's a relief when they can find a reason to claim that "women do it too".

sunshineandbooks Fri 06-Jan-12 19:36:28

Late to this but agree with LRD and thunderbolts.

Women who hate men have no power or cultural endorsement to inflict their hate on anyone other than the odd individual. Such women tend to stand out in society and suffer consequences for their views/behaviour.

Men who hate women have the whole structure and culture of society excusing, and sometimes actively reinforcing, their actions.

MitchierInge Fri 06-Jan-12 19:42:37

maybe homologous was the right word then

messyisthenewtidy Fri 06-Jan-12 21:33:56

Just watching re-runs of Friends and musing over the ludricous portrayal of men (especially Joey) as sex starved simpletons. Is this misandry?

It's certainly derogatory towards men, but I would say its origin was a patriarchal interpretation of the battle of the sexes which pretends to mock men but really seeks to excuse behaviour such as doing no housework, objectifying women and being emotionally illiterate. It presents men as cheeky charming and simple, who can't help themselves, thus letting them off the hook entirely, whilst women must be the uber competent, emotionally mature and effortlessly beautiful creatures that make the rest of us feel like failures in comparison.

This kind of misandry ultimately harms women because it's no more than a variation of the Angel in the House which placed much higher expectations on women's moral behaviour and thus imprisoned them.

That's my gin filled take on it anyway. grin

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 21:39:53

But it's not man-hatred to portray pornhounds or chauvinists as lovable fools. It's helping sexist men by setting the bar even lower for them aka boys will be boys.

onelittlefish Fri 06-Jan-12 21:58:27

I think there is a bit of misandry going on at the moment. The fact that in most non-serious TV programmes, including children's TV, men are generally perceived as bumbling idiots (I use Peppa pig as a perfect example) demonstrates a general feeling that men are hopeless creatures who can't do anything.

I would describe this as misandry. Of course it is not on the same scale child marriages and prostitution etc, however, if we are looking for complete equality, if a woman was perceived as not being serious in the same way (being into fluffy bunnies and all) it would almost certainly be perceived as sexist / misogynistic.

sunshineandbooks Fri 06-Jan-12 22:09:21

You have to consider context and scale though.

For every programme portraying men a bungling idiots and women as strong and capable, there are 100 others that reinforce the old sexist stereotypes.

One white person calling a black person a n****r in 20th-Century Alabama would have had no effect if there was no cultural norm of legally endorsed racism. The same is true of sexism.

People don't react with cries of sexism at programmes like Peppa Pig because the threat to male status as a result is virtually non-existent, and indeed can actually be considered to be reinforced as a result of this affectionate sexist portrayal (see post by messyisthenewtidy at 21.33).

Whereas there is a well-established link between the negative portrayal of women in media and negative effects on women in society, such as sexism, objectification and violence.

MoreBeta Fri 06-Jan-12 22:15:55

While it is true that low level misandry exists in the way men are portrayed and discussed in the media (and especially adveriIsing) as others have said.

It doesn't come close to the level of misogyny and discrimination women face in every other area of life though.

messyisthenewtidy Fri 06-Jan-12 22:40:22

The problem is that these "bumbling idiot" stereotypes are seen as evidence of a feminist agenda in action which is the opposite of the truth because feminists are the least likely to go with gender stereotypes.

Who writes the scripts of these dumb sitcoms anyway? I doubt very much its a group of malicious feminists out for revenge but rather a group of writers who are trying to second guess what the public wants to see, which they think is a battle of the sexes a la Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. If the media were that concerned about offending feminist sensibilities they wouldn't perpetuate the objectification of women to the extent that they do.

They're just a bunch of chancers who try to get away with what they can and direct sexism against women is a no no, but taking the mickey out of men is perceived as harmless. And whilst it may be harmless to grown men who weren't brought up with these annoying stereotypes it may well be harmful to our DSs who aren't yet assured of their own abilities.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 22:47:06

How many men are portrayed as bumbling fools, compared to the number portayed as confident, heroic, admirable, sexy, manly, intelligent, assertive etc.

If I can be bothered I'm going to check out the TV listings and see whether this myth actually lives up to any kind of reality (probably not).

What is true is that overwhelmingly men are given space in the media, to the detriment of women's voices or experiences and to the detriment of women's careers and incomes.

Do sitcoms even exist anymore, apart from My Family?

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 22:48:39

It's also pathetic to be complaining about being portrayed badly in sitcoms, when the context of hatred agaisnt women is genocide against us in some parts of the world.

It's like Germans complaining that Charlie Chaplin was rude about Hitler.

messyisthenewtidy Fri 06-Jan-12 23:31:52

Thunder I do agree with you because obviously the ostensibly negative portrayal of men in the media masks what happens in reality. For example the supposedly comic portrayal of violence against men in the media masks the fact that in reality it goes the other way. It gives an unrealistic portrayal of the actual power balance.

But what I'm saying is that our DSs don't know that and when my DS asks me why men are made to look stupid on tv I can't exactly quote gendercide statistics to him. But I agree with you on the over representation of men in the media. It's as if it's so woven into the fabric of our society that no one notices it and it appears to be normal.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 23:33:10

I'm sorry what negative portrayals of men in the media, messy?

What was the most recent one you've seen?

KRITIQ Fri 06-Jan-12 23:39:24

Thumbs up to the recent posts pointing out what's behind the portrayals of men as bumbling, silly or incompetent in comedies or adverts. It doesn't stem from hatred of men. Face it, most of the script writers and advert copy writers are men themselves. In my view, such portrayals are generally used as a comic device - by either inverting gender stereotypes or overplaying them (e.g. man who can't clean or look after a baby) for comic effect.

This is reminding me of the folks who cited programmes like The Real McCoy and Goodness Gracious Me as evidence of "reverse racism," because they sometimes also inverted racial stereotypes or overplayed them for comic effect. Yeah, in the context of gazillions of other messages in popular culture and society in general perpetuating demeaning stereotypes, beliefs and actions toward people of colour.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 06-Jan-12 23:40:57

Most popular on i-Player for example are:

Tracy Beaker returns
Little Britain
Never mind the buzzcocks
Public Enemies
Natures Weirdest Events
Top Gear
Public enemies
The Grammar School: A secret history
Under the Tuscan Sun

I'm not really seeing this anti-manism on TV from that.

KRITIQ Sat 07-Jan-12 00:03:01

Not meaning to answer for Messy, but I understand what she means - (06-Jan-12 22:40:22 post), "The problem is that these "bumbling idiot" stereotypes are seen as evidence of a feminist agenda in action which is the opposite of the truth because feminists are the least likely to go with gender stereotypes."

I haven't had a TV for about 4 or 5 years, so to be fair, I can't really comment on tv programmes or even commercials that are out now. But back in the mid 1990's, I ended involved in a live radio programme with an MRA type guy (don't ask!) who rambled off a list of adverts and sit come sketches that he said depicted violence and abuse against men, "things they'd never show if it was against a woman," he claimed. And this, he insisted, was evidence that "our feminist society tolerates, even encourages women's abuse of men."

I remember one of the examples was a car advert at the time where I think a woman throws a man's things out of a window and handcuffs him to stair railings before driving off (something along those lines,) and another was a sketch with Les Dawson (I think) dressed as a woman talking about hitting her husband with a frying pan.

He was talking shite, but since MRAs, racists and others seeking to "prove" reverse discrimination are constantly scanning the horizons for the tiniest shred of evidence to justify their hatred, they'll pick up on almost anything and dress it up as "proof."

thunderboltsandlightning Sat 07-Jan-12 00:09:38

I'd need more current examples than that!

My point is that they are cherry-picking - finding a handful of examples and claiming that represents the whole when it clearly doesn't. Men are allowed the full range of portrayals from bumbling idiots to superheroes and everything else in between.

It's women who are limited and stereotyped and often treated as stupid (see Sherlock this week for one example).

messyisthenewtidy Sat 07-Jan-12 00:34:50

Thunder I think you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. There are a gazillion of negative portrayals of men if you want to look for them , from the sex starved boob obsessed manchildren of inbetweeners, big bang theory, friends, etc, to the kindly yet half brain celled characters of Tracey Beaker, Dani's House, Ice Age etc who are ostensibly no match for the wise manipulative female characters, not forgetting those ads like theBoots one where the men are too babyish to get off their arses to get their own medicine.

But that is my point. These characters just provide the opposition with the opportunity to cry "reverse sexism" and obscure the fact that every single sodding comedy panel is overwhelmingly male and that men are over represented in the media at every level. Plus the fact that the trope of the shrewish wife vs hard done by incompetent hubby leaves us feeling sorry for the husband. Think Mr/Mrs Bennett and who we are supposed to side with.

And yes you're right. All the popular shows you quoted are male dominated. Because women watch men but no one expects men to watch women leads. Women leads are marginalized to chick flicks and special interests. But women support men at every turn. It's tiring and not gonna change till kids films bring girls out of the princess sideline.

KRITIQ Sat 07-Jan-12 00:41:47

Ha - no way am I going to start watching tv again. When I do, it feels like it's poisoning my brain! smile

But, you're right in your point that it's all about cherry picking examples from the popular media to "prove" how men are now objectified and demeaned as well. The reason is either to argue that it's "fair game" to objectify and demean women because look, it happens to men, too, or to "prove" some grand feminist conspiracy to turn the tables and dominate men.

KRITIQ Sat 07-Jan-12 00:43:10

Snap messy! smile

messyisthenewtidy Sat 07-Jan-12 00:59:27

Thanks Kritiq grin the joy of someone getting what I'm on about. - Never happens to me in RL.....blush

ThePoorMansBeckySharp Sat 07-Jan-12 20:45:28

Thunder, with respect, I never understand your posts. It is a logical impossibility that somebody could hate men because female infanticide? Sorry to sound facetious but that genuinely seems to be about the gist of your argument.


Did you skip a page somewhere?

LeBOF Sat 07-Jan-12 21:25:42

Misogyny is not just a word that expresses the hatred an individual has for women which is entirely separate from the way society is organised, though. It conveys the participation of people in a system of hatred-fuelled oppression.

There is no systematic hatred/oppression of men by women. There may well be individual women who have decided they dislike men, because they have generalised their personal experiences with them, but they are not participating in any system rooted in society. So there is no 'misandry', per se. Just because you can think of a word, doesn't make it actually exist.

ecclesvet Sat 07-Jan-12 23:56:44

Did a bit of research, as I find this really interesting.Found this blog post, which argues that if forcing women/girls into gender roles is misogynistic, then the flip-side must be that forcing men/boys into gender roles is misandronic. That certainly happens on a scale that could be described as systematic.

But then, from Wikipedia: "Gilmore also states that neologisms like misandry refer "not to the hatred of men as men, but to the hatred of men's traditional male role" and a "culture of machismo". Therefore, he argues, misandry is "different from the intensely ad feminam aspect of misogyny that targets women no matter what they believe or do"."

Trills Sun 08-Jan-12 10:44:25


I guess the dictionary is wrong then.

Trills Sun 08-Jan-12 10:45:29

The thing that I say exists is based on what the dictionary says the word means, not based on "making up" anything.

If one is required to have special knowledge that says "the word means much more than the dictionary says it does, therefore the thing doesn't exist because the word doesn't mean what you think it means" then I'm out.

sunshineandbooks Sun 08-Jan-12 10:51:29

The forcing of men into gender stereotyped roles is not a byproduct of systematic misandry though, it is a byproduct of systematic misogyny. It is the flip side of keeping women in their place.

Feminism has always recognised that the patriarchy harms a lot of men as well as women.

MitchierInge Sun 08-Jan-12 10:53:23

it would be a very flat and dull world if all our verbal and written expression was constrained by dictionary definition of the words we choose

but my question wasn't 'do some people feel antipathy towards men as a group' but as a counterpart to misogyny is there such a thing as misandry?

thunderboltsandlightning Sun 08-Jan-12 11:38:44

Depends which dictionary you're looking at. Ten, probably five years ago, the word wasn't in any standard dictionary (not the kind that has every obscure word listed). Misogyny was.

So does that mean that suddenly man-hatred has appeared as a phenomenon and thus needs a word for it in the dictionary, or is the backlash is in full swing and MRAs have had influence that feminists aren't able to match? I'll go for the latter.

edam Sun 08-Jan-12 11:40:38

what thunderbolt and sunshine said. (That's a strange sentence for you...)

trills, 'God' is in the dictionary, too. I never realized that arguing with atheists had such a simple answer ... do you think I've solved that issue once and for all now?

(Also 'basilisk', which frankly gives me more cause for concern.)

Trills Sun 08-Jan-12 12:22:17

And if someone started a thread about basilisks I might think "well Harry Potter isn't the best basis to start a discussion, I'll look it up in the dictionary and base what I say on that".

If I responded to a thread about basilisks thinking that a basilisk was "a mythical reptile with a lethal gaze or breath, hatched by a serpent from a cock?s egg." and then people said "no actually we mean something entirely different so your opinion doesn't count" I might be a bit annoyed.

I don't say misandry exists because it is in the dictionary.

I say that misandry as defined by the dictionary is a thing that exists.

The thing that you are calling misandry (an institutionalised hatred or mistreatment of men analogous to the misogyny that is ingrained on our society) does not exist, that is something we agree on.

The thing that the dictionary calls misandry does exist.

thunderboltsandlightning Sun 08-Jan-12 12:25:27

"It is a logical impossibility that somebody could hate men because female infanticide? "

No talking about non-existent "misandry", in the face of the reality of misogyny, is incorrect, and in it's own way, woman-hating.

Men are not hated for being men. Nowhere in the world does that happen.

thunderboltsandlightning Sun 08-Jan-12 12:29:27

Also I listed female genocide (not infanticide) amongst other horrors as evidence of misogyny existing.

What is the evidence for "misandry"?

But Trills, the dictionary does also explain that misandry is a neologism, and misogyny is a word with a long history, and the two have different applications.

If you look in a sufficiently basic dictionary, you can find words defined with great simplicity. That does not mean that it's incorrect to point out that these two words do have more precise meanings and connotations.

Take the word 'utopia'. Most people nowadays would associate the term with a perfect place, or an idealized world. The etymology, obviously, is 'nowhere'. The dictionary would get into all the historical layers of meaning built up from Thomas More onwards.

Then take the term 'dystopia'. It's a relative neologism, though the time difference is much less than that between 'misogyny' and 'misandry'. The etymology is just as clearly rooted in Ancient Greek, and just as simple to state. The meaning 'a bad place' is quite simple too. But if you looked up the word, and if you thought about it, you'd find it very hard to understand the term without the cultural freight of the pre-existing term 'utopia'. Because the second word is piggybacking on the first.

If you wanted to say simple 'duh, bad places exist in the UK so the UK must be a dystopian society', you'd be correct insofar as your statement recognizes the most basic etymological content of the term. But you'd also be judged incorrect by anyone who understood how the one term as derived artificially from the other.

'Misandry' is derived from 'misogyny' for political reasons, by people who would like you to think that everything is so equal, women hate men just as men hate women. But if you understand the history of 'misogyny' as a term and of 'misandry' as a term, you can't simply go to the etymology or to the 'dictionary definition' in isolation and expect to make sense. IMO.

(No idea if that clarifies or not, if not I'm sorry.)

Incidentally, 'the dictionary' doesn't 'say' anything at all. Various dictionaries are compiled by sequences of humans, who are intelligent and careful, but also fallible and biased. I would promise you that any published dictionary has errors in it. The only consensus is going to be etymological, since this is relatively easy to establish. thunder clearly knows about 'misandry' as a term and it's not particularly unlikely that she actually knows better than whoever compiled the latest OED.

AyeRobot Sun 08-Jan-12 12:46:27

Who benefits from the bumbling, can't clean the oven, can't look after the baby portrayal of men?

Not women, that's for sure.


AyeRobot Sun 08-Jan-12 12:52:32

I will say, again, that gender stereotyping hurts everyone and often in ways that are not immediately apparent.

Another reason why I'm a feminist.

Aye - agreed.

IMO this may be one of those differences between 'equalism' and 'feminism'. IMO we don't actually have to believe that for every element of discrimination against women, there could be an equal and corresponding element of discrimination against men, even if that element is much less in evidence.

That is not the sort of equality I'm interested in. Bending over backwards to insist that misandry exists ... why bother? What good comes of it?

I freely admit sexism against men exists. If no-one wants to accept that misandry (if it's a counterpart to misogyny) would refer to a systematized, institutionalized oppression of women, then:

1) Why have two words, 'misogyny' and 'sexism' which appear to mean the same, unless it's because you feel a burning need to make men's oppression as important an issue as women's oppression?

2) What word are we going to use for the systematized, institutionalized oppression of women? We need a word. If misogyny isn't it, we need one.

ecclesvet Sun 08-Jan-12 14:20:07

1) Why have two words, 'misogyny' and 'sexism' which appear to mean the same?

But they don't mean the same thing at all:
Sexism: prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination on the basis of sex.
Misogyny: the hatred of women.

2) What word are we going to use for the systematized, institutionalized oppression of women?

'Patriarchy', surely?

eccles - if we have misogyny, misandry, and sexism, and we think they mean the same things, why bother? The usefulness of the term 'misogyny' is that it reminds us that oppression is gendered. If you want to introduce misandry as an equivalent, why bother wtih the term 'sexism' since you've effectively bled out the usefulness of 'misogyny' as a gendered term for a gendered practice.

'Patriarchy' refers to the system, not the practice. If you want to coin a term 'patriarchistic', you could I suppose. But IMO it is useful to have both words since they do refer to different things&#65294;

OrmIrian Mon 09-Jan-12 08:16:26

I am not sure what this is about then. Misandry doesn't have to be equal and opposite to misogyny to exist. Big isn't the equal and opposite of small in every case - it's all relative. A big mouse will still be smaller than a small elephant. A misandrist doesn't have to be as aggressive and damaging as a misogynist - one particular misandrist might just mutter silly stereotypes at men and roll their eyes when a man uses a washing machine, and a misogynist employer might discriminate against women in the workplace, BUT the two things can still exist and still be damaging. I dont think that accepting that one exists, downgrades the other.

'Big' and 'small' are, in your example, qualified. You're saying two terms, when qualified, are, erm, qualified in their meaning. Well, yes, they are. So? confused

I think saying that misandry exists does downgrade misogyny, seeing as how the word was coined precisely for that reason.

KRITIQ Mon 09-Jan-12 10:00:25

Yes, LRD, that seems to be the key point here. You could say the same about the terms "reverse racism" or "heterophobia." The purpose in coining them was to dilute the significance of racism (institutionalised prejudice of and oppression against non-white people) and homophobia (institutionalised prejudice of and oppression against non-straight people.) The problem with promoting the use of these terms, like misandry, is that it effectively legitimises the concepts they were founded on - i.e. that systematic oppression based on ethnicity, sexual orientation and sex "goes both ways," when quite clearly, it doesn't.

Trills Mon 09-Jan-12 10:02:28

No such thing as reverse racism. Racism is racism no matter who is doing it to who. It's not a directional term.

(should there be a whom in there?)

KRITIQ Mon 09-Jan-12 10:11:48

Okay, perhaps this sounds like playing with language and at the risk of going in circles, I see a distinction between racism (racial prejudice + the systemic economic, political and social "weight" to back it up) and racial prejudice (individuals not liking others because of their difference, but not having that "weight.")

In a similar way, you can have individual women who dislike men, even who might wish them harm, but you don't have the backing of history, culture, the law, traditions, social attitudes, etc. to translate that dislike on a large scale basis to harm huge swathes of men. However, when individual men dislike women and wish to do them harm, their position is at least to a degree supported by the history, culture, laws, etc. on a wider basis.

I think it IS important to look at whose views carry the most weight in society and where possible, distinguish between the attitudes and practices of people in those groups from the attitudes and practices of those outside the groups. Otherwise, there's the risk that everyone will be seen "as bad as each other" and the systemic oppression that underpins the bigotry of some will be ignored. Injustice will prevail.

See, I find it so interesting that you can say 'no such thing as reverse racism' but can't accept that there's no such thing as 'misandry', even though loads of people have described ways in which misogyny leads to bad things for men as well as women.

And I agree, that is a very good point about legitimizing.

I do find it deeply depressing that the argument I got in RL about this was 'oh but you can't have misogyny if we can't have misandry'. In those exact words.

(Yes, because you'd be so lucky to get misandry, right? hmm)

Trills Mon 09-Jan-12 10:24:37

There's no such thing as reverse sexism, because sexism is a non-directional term.

Misogyny is a term that specifies a direction for the hatred of one sex by the other. Therefore it is at the very least conceptually possible for the opposite to exist.

Whether the opposite does exist or not depends on which definition you choose (as seen in about 100 posts above).

I agree there is no such thing as reverse sexism (I never said there was).

Nor did I ever say (nor did anyone else say) that it's not conceptually possible for misandry to exist.

But, in our society, it doesn't.

I don't understand what's being added here except straw man replies.

Trills Mon 09-Jan-12 10:36:19

You were challenging me saying "reverse racism doesn't exist" while saying that misandry could, so I explained that it is because one term is directional and the other is not.

And, once again, all you're showing is that misandry could, in theory, exist. We all know that. You're not getting any closer to showing it does or doesn't.

Trills Mon 09-Jan-12 10:45:33

I was responding to a specific point you made about the logic of saying that there is no such thing as reverse racism. Not trying to show anything. You called my logic into question, I explained it.

Misandry does exist if you define it the way I do, it doesn't exist if you define it the way you do. I have said this already.

Fair enough.

Actually, I didn't call your logic into question, I commented it was interesting. No more.

I do find it interesting that you don't feel the need to search for a term for racism by black people against white people, you just accept 'reverse racisim' isn't a meaningful term and that white people can be racist agaisnt black people.

But it seems important to you and others on this thread that there must be a term for women hating men. I don't get why that is so important? Why aspire to have equality in hatred?

KRITIQ Mon 09-Jan-12 10:51:58

But Trills, some have suggested that endorsing use of the term "misandry" gives legitimacy to the idea that sexual prejudice happens in the same way, with the same frequency and with an equivalent impact when it happens against men AND women.

Do you believe sexual prejudice operates the same way, with the same frequency and with the same impact on men as it does on women?

See, I would be really disturbed if someone came on here saying they really felt it was important to use the term 'black supremacy' in order to denote the way that black people oppress white people. I would think such a person was a raving racist. And I would be deeply dubious of his or her motives.

If someone came on and said 'I think black people can be racist to white people', I'd be saying 'erm, yes, true'.

The same is IMO the case with 'misandry'. Women can be sexist towards men, but I am disturbed by people who argue that we should adopt the term 'misandry' happily.

Trills Mon 09-Jan-12 10:58:15

If there was a specific term for racism that was done by one specific race to another, then I would expect that there might be a number of words for a number of combinations of races acting in this way.

Sexism as a concept can be by anyone to anyone. Racism can be by anyone to anyone. Misogyny is by men to women. That is why it is different as a concept and why it is possible for there to be a reverse.

Do you believe sexual prejudice operates the same way, with the same frequency and with the same impact on men as it does on women?

No. I have not said anything that would even remotely suggest that, on this thread or otherwise.

As I have said about 10 times now:

If misandry means simply the hatred of men by women, then it exists both as a concept and a thing that actually happens. Not to anywhere near the same extent as misogyny, but it is real.

If misandry means that hatred being a part of the makeup of society, then it does not exist (not in any society that I know of).

There is a specific term for racism done by one race to anotehr - it's white supremancy.

MitchierInge Mon 09-Jan-12 10:59:40

I don't think misogyny is 'by men to women' at all. Am enjoying this thread though.

(Sometimes it's even spelt properly, but not by me.)

michier - good point, and I agree.

And thanks again for starting this thread. smile

thunderboltsandlightning Mon 09-Jan-12 16:29:36

Has anybody come up with examples of this non-existent misandry yet, or is the discussion remaining in the realms of the abstract and hypothetical?

MitchierInge Mon 09-Jan-12 16:49:48

during the conversation that inspired this thread, in which reference was made to my misandry, I think the word was used as a shorthand for my perceived difficulties relating to men as actual people rather than - well I'd better not go into it, but I just thought 'my what?' and wanted to come here and read something sensible about there being no such thing, certainly not in the form or function of misogyny anyway

so thank you for that

OrmIrian Mon 09-Jan-12 16:51:55

Do you have difficulties relating to men as actual people then mitchy?

thunderboltsandlightning Mon 09-Jan-12 16:52:38

The fundamental difference between misogyny and so-called misandry, is that misogyny at its base is supported by widespread male violence against women and girls simply for being female.

There is no equivalent "misandry". Badly written sitcoms don't cut it.

MitchierInge Mon 09-Jan-12 16:56:22

if a self-confessed medical misogynist says I have such problems who am I to disagree?

I don't know, probably do have some problems, just don't think misandry is the word for them. I would call it learning, adapting and surviving or something like that.

jamma111 Tue 10-Jan-12 12:05:43

In the context of the US only, Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young's trilogy of academic books have widened the debate about 'misandry' somewhat;

Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men (2006) - concerned with perceived changes to the legal structure in the US

Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture (2006) - concerned principally with the perceived academic teaching of misandry in the US

Sanctifying Misandry: Goddess Ideology and the Fall of Man (2009) - concerned with the increasing conspiracy-theory-driven nature of US feminism (i.e. the manner in which 'patriarchy' is becoming interchangeable with 'The Illuminati' often referenced by the likes of David Icke). Dan Brown's 'The Da vinci code' is extensively deconstructed (!)

These books, though academic, aren't particularly popular in some circles. Some US libraries have attempted to ban them. I have only read one - Legalizing Misandry, and the amount of research that went into it is extraordinary; though reading the footnotes on occasions takes as long as the main pages, which isn't too impressive. Perhaps the worst thing is that Nathanson and Young find it easy to quote people hoisting themselves by their own petard; some of the statements made by folk claiming to be feminist defy belief.

Ultimately although reading the book was a hard thing to do, I don't think it changed my view about feminism. It certainly changed my view about American feminism though, which I now see in a somewhat different light. I think British feminism would be best to identify itself as a 'European' feminism and keep clear of the US version altogether. I also find that I am now willing to challenge misandrist behavior as much as mysologist behavior.

These books though are US-centric. I don't think the UK is anywhere near going as wonky as the American path.

MitchierInge Tue 10-Jan-12 12:10:39

what is misandrist behaviour, and how do you challenge it?

jamma111 Tue 10-Jan-12 12:30:15

Well I have one recent example I am pursuing at present.

The journal Trouble & Strife unfortunately hosts numerous misandrist statements, often negating its sensible messages in favour of sheer paranoid hate. Here's one from December last year;

Liz Kelly (T&S 33) has criticised the re-emergence of a professional and popular discourse on ‘paedophiles’ which sees child sexual abusers as abnormal, as ‘other’, thus disguising the connections that they have with ‘normal men/normal masculinity’.

What the papers say

Now I know that some folk like to go through torturous processes to avoid the obvious - like the above statement was 'satire' or whatever. And I know that the subject of alleged statements accusing 'all men are rapists' cause some grief, even on this foum. This one though steps beyond that; defining all men are pedophiles. Hurrah for Trouble & Strife!

But, I am though willing to read any explanation, however absurd, to indicate that the quote above isn't an effort to brand ALL men as pedophiles, and pedophile behavior to be a key part of ‘normal men/normal masculinity’

Strangely enough the journal hasn't been willing to-date to respond to my correspondance.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 10-Jan-12 12:34:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I would say that, although it is deeply wrong to brand all men as paedophiles, the actual victims of paedophilia are children. Both boys and girls. And it is part of a wider culture in which some people have arrived at the idea that their sexual urge is more important than the body and hurt of another person. IMO that is an idea that is deeply rooted in misogynistic culture. The fact that adult men are collateral damage of this is horrible, but they are not the primary victims of paedophilia and I do not think paedophilia is about misandry.

jamma111 Tue 10-Jan-12 12:47:05

^Liz Kelly (T&S 33) has criticised the re-emergence of a professional and popular discourse on ‘paedophiles’ which sees child sexual abusers as abnormal, as ‘other’, thus disguising the connections that they have with ‘normal women/normal femininity’.

No problems with that then I guess.

Any other interpretation is obviously 'stupid'.

Do large numbers of women paedophiles (a pretty small subset of all paedophiles) have similarities to 'normal' women?

I think - not knowing anything about Kelly as a writer - that she might be thinking of the way that there are men who rape underage girls, who are not men who have a compulsion towards sex with children, but who have had what seem to be normal adult relationships and then decide to (quoting from Gail Dines who quotes such an individual) 'try something new'. sad

KRITIQ Tue 10-Jan-12 13:58:46

Jamma, Trouble and Strife magazine ceased to publish 10 years ago and even then, it had a very small circulation. It was the antithesis of mainstream and certainly had extremely limited influence on public discourse at the time. I doubt its circulation was more than a couple hundred copies a pop. It's barely remembered now, so surely you could come up with something more recent to "prove" your claims that misandry (as a widespread threat to men) exists.

And, did you actually read Hilary McCollum's article? I don't know when it was originally published, but interestingly I remember a convo with her probably 15 years ago on some of the themes in this article - what the media chooses to report and not report, how the mainstream press chooses to portray perpetrators and victims of gender-based crimes depending on their perceived value (e.g. prostitutes, promiscuous women, unfaithful wives, etc. not as "worthy" of victim status as those seen as "innocent," and making excuses for male perpetrators of violence against women deemed "less than innocent.")

However, the flip side is the media portrayal of perpetrators who are "beyond the pale" as being uniquely evil, demonic, less than human, and men who sexually abuse children tend to fall into the category (unless they take the stand that it was "justified" because the child looked older, behaved provocatively, etc.)

One problem with this is it fails to recognise that most perpetrators of child sexual abuse don't have a special satanic appearance or behaviour. Something like 90% are parents, kinship carers, step parents, etc. and the vast majority are male. In other respects, they don't stand out from any crowd of ordinary men.

So, the media likes to focus on the small percentage of child sexual abusers who aren't related to or known to their victims and sets them up as icons of evil. At the same time, the media fails to give coverage to the vast majority of cases where the perpetrators were in a position of trust, often within the family, and not so easily portrayed as evil or demonic. And, it's not in the interest of the mainstream media to point out the threats to children, or to women, within the home and traditional family set up. So, the perpetrators of child sexual abuse we DO hear about tend to be portrayed as uniquely deviant, as aberrations.

There is absolutely NOTHING in that article that suggests that McCollum, Kelly or anyone believes that all men are evil, bad, abusers, paedophiles, etc. It does state that the media tends to either diminish the significance and gravity of male violence to women and children OR portrays those who fit the mould of "deviant" as being uniquely evil and inhuman, thus nothing like "normal humans" and something we don't need to worry about.

It also suggests that this is highly misleading because male sexual violence against women and children falls at one end of a continuum of male attitudes and behaviours that regard women and children as inferior to men. At least some sections of this continuum of attitudes and behaviours is if not overtly endorsed, at least not universally condemned by our society. And, the boundary between what is acceptable and not acceptable seems to be pretty variable and porous.

KRITIQ Tue 10-Jan-12 14:09:10

The article you linked to refers to an earlier article by Dr Kelly that's not on the website, so unless it can be found elsewhere, it's not possible to get the full context for the statement you keep quoting.

However, I don't see why there is a problem with it, or how this could be seen as evidence of misandry in ANY form.

Liz Kelly (T&S 33) has criticised the re-emergence of a professional and popular discourse on ‘paedophiles’ which sees child sexual abusers as abnormal, as ‘other’, thus disguising the connections that they have with ‘normal men/normal masculinity’.

From what I know of Dr Kelly's extensive writing on the issue, I think her article would have been critical of those who try to frame the practice of seeking or having sex with children as just a "lifestyle choice," or perhaps an "illness" worthy of understanding, sympathy and treatment. I believe her argument (and mine) would be that while there may be a small number of adults who have or want to have sex with children, or non-consenting adults for that matter caused by recognised psychological or physiological conditions, that's not the case in the vast majority of cases.

More often, it is perhaps an extreme extension of "male entitlement" where perpetrators feel justified in their actions either because they minimise and deny what they do (e.g. it was just a cuddle), minimise or deny the impact of their actions (e.g. she came onto me, he liked it, etc.) or both.

And, your problem with that analysis is what exactly?

jamma111 Tue 10-Jan-12 14:23:04

Immediatelty the word 'paedophile' is used, we move away from recognition of abusers as 'ordinary men' - fathers, brothers, uncles, colleagues, neighbours - qand are returned to the more comfortable view of them as 'other', a small minority who are fundamentally different from most men.

Page xv. From the Forward to Child Sexual Assault: Feminist Perspectives, by Dr. Liz Kelly, book edited by Pat Cox, Sheila Kershaw and Joy Trotter - Palgrave 2001.

Oh, go on. Provoke me to quote from Sara Nelson's essay in that book, with her reference to Joan Coleman's essay.

Go on, do it.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 10-Jan-12 14:26:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MitchierInge Tue 10-Jan-12 14:30:28

I suppose in an ideal world abusers wouldn't be so adept at masquerading as 'ordinary men' and we could all avoid them.

If we are going to derail can we talk about something a bit nicer?

Can I just be gobsmacked again that you're still pushing, as evidence of misandry, a crime that has actual, real, defenseless victims, both boys and girls?

D'you not feel, I dunno, a tiny moral twinge?

jamma111 Tue 10-Jan-12 14:34:07

Oh no!

It must be satire.

Unfortunately Child Sexual Assault: Feminist Perspectives (2001) doesn't make for comfortable reading. And unfortunately I have access to plenty of Dr. Kelly's work, and that of Sarah Nelson going back to the mid-1980s to this century, and of course Catherine Itzin.

But do I really want to provide evidence of misandry? Not really, it seems these authors provide the MRA's with as much ammunition as they need (Dr. Kelly and the now-deceased Itzin a-plenty).

But if you take the time to determine me stupid, I'll take the time to copy relevant extracts from their own work.

A combination of the CWASU web site and an Athens login is a dangerous thing...

jamma111 Tue 10-Jan-12 14:40:14


^Can I just be gobsmacked again that you're still pushing, as evidence of misandry, a crime that has actual, real, defenseless victims, both boys and girls?

D'you not feel, I dunno, a tiny moral twinge?^

What, are you trying the 'you must condone pedophilia' number?

Wasn't that tried on Professor Jean La Fontaine by Beatrix Campbell OBE some years ago?

We've gone through the usual routines now;

* You must be stupid
* You must be a paedo

What next?

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 10-Jan-12 14:41:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Are you wilfully trying to misunderstand me, jamma?

No, the fact you object to any men ever being associated with paedophila did suggest to me you don't think you're doing anything to condone it. However, that doesn't make using a crime agaisnt children as a central argument that misandry exists any more ok, or any less entitled.


KRITIQ Tue 10-Jan-12 14:51:12

Jamma, take off your hair shirt for pity sake. No one is accusing you of being a paedophile except perhaps in your own mind. However, the fact that you are drawing bizarre, unsubstantiated assumptions and conclusions from texts based on information that is clearly not there, might lead some to wonder if you were lacking in some kind of comprehension or analytical faculties (or in lay person's terms, "stupid.")

I don't believe you are stupid. I believe, however, that you are deliberately misrepresenting writings to suit your own objectives.

The comment from MitchierInge (Tue 10-Jan-12 14:30:28) really sums up the point that the point of the article from Hilary McCollum that you linked earlier and the statement from Dr Liz Kelly quoted within it. Basically, if men who commit child sexual abuse were really so abnormal, so deviant, so demonic as the mainstream media, popular culture and even some professionals (e.g. psychology, sociology, criminology, etc.) would have us believe, you could spot them miles away and avoid them.

But, they're not like that. They are very adept at passing for "normal" men because that is how they are able to perpetuate their abuse, mostly undetected. Surely you get that concept.

If, however, you deny that, then you are starting to sound rather like an apologist for perpetrators of child sexual abuse, imho.

And please, spare us the agonising adjectives about the material you are reading. Folks who research the phenomenon of child sexual abuse read and those of us working with young people hear harrowing content ALL THE TIME and don't suffer from bouts of the vapours every five minutes. Folks do it because they give a damn, because they want to help those who've experienced abuse and especially want to be part of preventing other boys and girls from suffering in the future.

Next to this, I'm afraid your tutting and hand wringing sounds a bit self-indulgent and whiny, imho.

MitchierInge Tue 10-Jan-12 14:54:37

they ARE normal men

in the same way as the Nazis were normal people

normal people do atrocious things, men either get caught at these things more often than women or they actually do horrible things more often (or some combination) but how is not pretending otherwise misandric?

Himalaya Tue 10-Jan-12 15:06:35

Misogyny, to me I think exists at two different levels.

There are misogynists - people who hate women - you know them when you meet them (...or have to work with them...). Its an unpleasant personality trait probably to do with insecurity or somesuch thing but shouldn't be acceptable behavior anywhere. (...and institutions that condone it are condoning bullying)

Then there is casual/unthinking misogyny - offensive cultural portrayals of women, nasty t-shirts and jokes etc... that some people who are not misogynists, think are edgy and funny, but in most cases because they haven't really engaged their brain and are a bit emotionally immature anyway.

I am sure that misandry exists as a parallel to both the two levels - people who hate men, and people who make stupid jokes and generalisations about men.... but the context in which this takes place is different. Just like people making stupid jokes and generalisations about black people is different from people making stupid jokes and generalisations about white people - given the history and reality of oppression and discrimination.

I don't think that 'its misogyny' is a good explanation for complex phenonmena like domestic violence, rape, sex specific abortion, the status of women, lack of reproductive rights, child marriage of girls to older men, trafficking and exploitation of women etc....

When these things change - become more common or less common over time, or we compare different countries etc...we can see all kinds of systemic factors - economic, legal, cultural etc.. which make change happen. Its not just ' ah, well men must hate women more in India than in Sweden' or 'men must have hated women more in 1950 than they do now'.

And when people with privilege resist change that would undermine their privilege... that's something different again (and not necessarily sex specific)

By wrapping the whole thing up as 'misogyny' I think that is where you fall into the trap of people who would argue that there is a parallel situation in misandry.

jamma111 Tue 10-Jan-12 15:13:01

Fascinating stuff. Got some typing to do.

I hope you are aware of the source material from those mentioned as being folks who research the phenomenon of child sexual abuse 'cos unfortunately I do, and political, gender and religious dogma dominates any such discourse.

You perhaps didn't read the quotes in themselves;

(the) re-emergence of a professional and popular discourse on ‘paedophiles’ which sees child sexual abusers as abnormal, as ‘other’, thus disguising the connections that they have with ‘normal men/normal masculinity’.

And what drives this? Well many professionals are shedding the political, gender and religious dogma that dominated such research in the past and are genuinely working on identifying what factors do see pedophile men (and increasingly in recent years) women.

Catherine Itzin had a weakness for employing Ray Wyre in her work (Home Truths About Child Sexual Abuse: A Reader) features his work in profiling pedophiles - identifying them as being those who try to fit-in but can nonetheless are not the same as ordinary males/boys.

She though had different opinions and was inclined to the view that all men, by default are paedophiles,

And unfortunately that view was first established back in 1987 in a pre-Clevland scandal conference;

The crucial difference between the feminist approach and the family dysfunction model is that we argue that it is not in families that have 'gone wrong' that child sexual abuse occurs, but in traditional families, carried out by ordinary men. Neither the individual man, nor the family are seen as 'sick' or 'dysfunctional'.

(from Child Sexual Abuse: Towards A Feminist Professional Practice Report of the Conference held by The Child Abuse Studies Unit 6,7 & 8 April 1987 at The Polytechnic of North London)

You'll no doubt remember the Cleveland RAD Scandal of 1987. I certainly did (being a social worker at-the-time). Men were supposed to be systematically buggering and sodomising their children without leaving any injuries, forensic evidence, disclosures, confrontations and justifiable homicides by their girlfriends and spouses...

Cleveland of course begat the satanic ritual abuse frenzy (recent British history is fascinating) and the efforts to literally demonize poor families and portray men as satanists and women as witches (take a look at Valerie Sinason's 1994 book Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse, adored by Sarah Nelson in Child Sexual Assault: Feminist Perspectives if you fancy some jaw-dropping not-light-reading.)

It all seems so far back, but unfortunately dogma trumps reality and the religious and politial/gender dogma hobbled research into child sex abuse for over a decade. Only now are the lost decades being recovered-from.

MitchierInge Tue 10-Jan-12 15:19:30

it puts me in mind of those weird claims that women are perpetrating domestic violence almost as often and severely as men, but these men don't seem to be hospitalised or buried quite as often - their bodies must be very well hidden

MitchierInge Tue 10-Jan-12 15:24:02

aren't buggery and sodomy the same thing though?

'I don't think that 'its misogyny' is a good explanation for complex phenonmena like domestic violence, rape, sex specific abortion, the status of women, lack of reproductive rights, child marriage of girls to older men, trafficking and exploitation of women etc....'

Why not, though? The common factor to those things is that they either exclusively or disproportionately affect women. Why is anti-woman sentiment a bad explanation? Surely it is a pretty unavoidable explanation, even if you want to advance others too.

KRITIQ Tue 10-Jan-12 15:58:18

Jamma, you just seem to be tossing out random factoids about unrelated incidents and insisting there are some conclusions to be drawn in there, some kind of great conspiracy. They're just random factoids (and you keep mewing and crying about how horrible it is for you to "have" to read them - good grief.)

Despite saying you were a social worker in 1987, your recall of the Cleveland case is pretty patchy. Children were taken into care and in some cases investigations of child sexual abuse were launched against families due to "diagnosis" by the two paediatricians involved of abuse using the later discredited "anal reflex dilatation" technique.

Three and four years later, there were different cases in Rochdale and Orkney where therapists used controversial models of therapy with children who disclosed information interpreted by social workers as evidence of ritual satanic abuse.

There was no grand Christian conspiracy or feminist conspiracy or any other conspiracy going on in any of these cases. They were examples where practitioners introduced untested methods to diagnose that children had been harmed, their methods were not scrutinised or challenged and were later found to be inaccurate and inadequate.

These cases remind me of those where women were accused and convicted of murdering their babies on the evidence of controversial paediatrician Roy Meddow (when it transpired they died of natural causes and convictions were overturned.)

Again, no grand conspiracy, but a convincing practitioner who wasn't challenged by the powers that be.

All of these "scandals" happened within health and social services systems that operated an "orthodox" approach to families, not ones influenced by feminist views on the family.

Interestingly enough, the work of Liz Kelly and many others who are critical of the "orthodox" approach of social services, health and the criminal justice system towards violence in families is that the approach fails to identify where children are at risk because it clings to "traditional" beliefs about family structures, relationships, parenting, etc. It's these approaches that have let down vulnerable children, not feminist critiques of them.

Himalaya Tue 10-Jan-12 16:06:26


I think about it like the parallel with the way children are treated in society.

60 years ago, and still in many places around the world children were treated in ways that we now recognise as physical and emotional child abuse, exploitation (child labor) and socially condoned sexual abuse (child marriage).

I don't think people did these things because they hated children or were anti-children. They did them for all kinds of reasons - lack of knowledge and education, desperation, the fact that children are demanding, economic need, the greater good of the family ...all underpinned by a view that children were not full human beings, entitled to full human rights.

I think oppression of women is the same kind of thing....all kinds of complex things...underpinned by the view that women are not full human beings entitled to full human rights.

...which isn't the same thing as hating women, or denegrating them.

LeBOF Tue 10-Jan-12 16:13:17

That's interesting, Himalaya: I would say that the few of women as less than fully human is precisely what is at the root of misogyny. But apart from disagreeing on the semantics of it, I agree with a lot of your reasoning.

Himalaya Tue 10-Jan-12 16:44:15

LeBOF ....you will say this is semantics I am sure grin...but I think there is a difference between saying that women are less than fully human, and less than full human beings.

Less than fully human implies part something else, or being something other than human (...which is silly...) whereas less than full human beings is about being an independent person with full human rights.

(e.g. children were for a long time seen as fully human, but not full human beings IYSWIM)

KRITIQ Tue 10-Jan-12 17:06:46

Well, this is drifting a bit, but I do sort of see the point about groups of people being exploited and denied full human rights because of the belief that they were not actually "full human beings." Sometimes the powers that be did and do call upon religion, economic theory, science, psychology, etc. to "prove" that such treatment is actually justified.

There are shedloads of examples including the enslavement of people of African origin in the Americas, labour of children as young as 5 in the South Wales mines, North of England mills, etc., forced sterilisation and incarceration of people with mental illnesses, disabilities or learning difficulties, allowing dire housing and labour conditions for working class people and yes, denying women legal and social rights because of their sex.

But, even if these things didn't happen because those in power hated the subjects or wanted to cause them suffering and pain "on purpose," they did cause them great suffering and pain. It's like the old stomping on the foot analogy. I might stomp on your foot by accident, but it will hurt just as much as if I did it on purpose. And, if I do it by accident and you tell me it hurts, but I keep leaping around the room, at times continuing to stomp your foot, though not intending to hurt you, it really ceases to be "just an unintended consequence."

It's not as though all the people in our social, economic and political institutions of the time or even today have no idea of the harmful consequences of policies for people who suffer harm because they were or still are regarded as being of "less value" than other people. Then, and now, folks in positions of power can "choose" to believe the "evidence" they want and ignore that which doesn't support their view. That's like carrying on leaping while aware that you could end up crushing someone's foot in the process (but insisting that your leaping is more important than them getting a broken foot.)

LeBOF Tue 10-Jan-12 17:07:49

Yeah yeah, whatevs grin

I was up very late.

See, I would say that treating someone as not a full human being, entitled to full human rights, is denegrating them. confused

jamma111 Wed 11-Jan-12 08:05:31

Unfortunately I've been diverted from this fascinating discussion.

Delving deeper into Child Sexual Assault: Feminist Perspectives (2001) I was shocked to find how many essays from Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse were listed in the Bibliography, many by American fundamentalists such as Pamela Sue Hudson and Jean M. Goodwin. Joan Coleman's fantastically-paranoid Satanic cult practices from that book features heavily.

I am now writing a draft contribution for an American web site to publish a chapter-by-chapter analysis of this particular volume.

I'm afraid that in the last 24 hours I have had to alter my initial opinion; British feminism is rank with misandry - it positively drips with misandry and it is there for all to see, in the written work of British feminists. Worst of all British feminism, or at least a mino;rity of its key protagonists are still heavily engaged in collusion with American and British religious fundamentalists. For some, you can't see a gap in their paranoid rantings.

Sarah Nelson's essay in Child Sexual Assault: Feminist Perspectives, Satanic Ritual Abuse - The Challenge for Feminists, with its numerous references to the work of extremist fundamentalists (and in the References section at the end of the essay) - is an incredible pointer to a world of paranoia I thought had long gone. It would perhaps be best suited to a David Icke publication. But it does display that the alleged collusion between feminists and religious fundamentalists was still in place in 2001 in Britain, and that very collusion appears driven by misandry. The damage done to those children caught-up in the scandals, particularly in Rochdale and the Orkneys seems to be deliberately ignored by Nelson.

I don't think there is any further value in me contributing to the Mumsnet feminism pages; now I have an insight into the somewhat unsavory obsessions that some 'feminists' (I have to use the term lightly) still possess.

It's been an eye-opener.

<gets out the party balloons>

Gather round, everyone, don't all push to the front at once ...

Oops, sorry mitchier, wrong thread! Didn't meant to derail with irrelevancies there. blush

KRITIQ Wed 11-Jan-12 10:26:48

Well, it's always nice when someone finds what they are looking for I suppose.

Have a nice day jamma!

LillyJ123 Thu 16-Feb-12 03:27:21

Of course misandry exists, women can hate men just as much as men can hate women. To deny that is like denying that the holocaust happened. OK it's nothing like being on the same scale, and I'm not suggesting that so please don't attack me for the comparison, it's just to make a point and not to suggest there's any other way that the two can be compared, only by the fact that both parties deny something that is so obviously real.

I'm just suggesting that it's an obvious truth that many women hate men, you only have to visit a few feminist sites to see that. And a woman who hates men is the definition of a misandrist in the same way that a man who hates women is a misogynist. To say that one exists but not the other is quite simply a lie.

I have seen women call a man a misogynist for the slightest of slights, and I have seen extremely hateful attacks made by women on men without any such accusations being levelled at her. Is this a level playing field?

Whenever a woman tells a man that he should move out of his home with his mother, or he should get a life, or has a small penis, is gay or too weak to handle "a strong woman" or any of those things certain women say to men who disagree with them, then she is acting in a misandrist fashion.

I also believe that the word "misogynist" has been a great weapon for feminists who don't believe in equality but oppression of anyone who dissents with their views, and that now the word "misandrist" has entered the language - with a vengeance - these same women are threatened by "their" weapon being used on them.

In other words they love to dish it out, but they don't want to take it.

They will do anything they can to destroy the concept of misandry because "misogyny" is a mind control method that they've had all to themselves until being challenged recently.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 16-Feb-12 08:13:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

messyisthenewtidy Thu 16-Feb-12 13:42:55

"Whenever a woman tells a man that he should move out of his home with his mother, or he should get a life, or has a small penis, is gay or too weak to handle "a strong woman" or any of those things certain women say to men who disagree with them, then she is acting in a misandrist fashion."

A feminist would be the last person to say any of those things.

Slating a man for having strong emotional bonds, implying that a man's penis size is indicative of his manhood, homophobia and the general belief that men must be "strong" are rooted in patriarchal beliefs and represent everything that feminism is against.

So you've just proven that if misandry does exist then feminists are the least likely suspects.

IME the kind of woman who says such things is one that is trying to find ways of coping with the patriarchy, of carving out her own little niches of power and superiority in a system that values the masculine over the feminine. It's a coping mechanism. Feminism doesn't seek to cope with patriarchy but to replace it with a society in which men can love their mothers and not be called gay.

LillyJ123 Thu 16-Feb-12 21:51:16

@messy - I've proven no such thing. This is only "proven" if I accept your assertion that "A feminist would be the last person to say any of those things."

Have you ever had a good look around feminist sites? Feminists use these kinds of put downs on men ALL THE TIME! The last person? Hah!

I also do not subscribe to your "patriarchy" theories.

messyisthenewtidy Thu 16-Feb-12 23:51:11

Oh FGS Lilly, you can find all sorts of extremist nonsense relating to any movement if you choose to look for it, which you obviously do. Malcolm X said some pretty extreme things apropos white people but that didn't discredit the entire civil rights movement did it? The overwhelming majority of civil rights supporters didn't hate white people did they, just sought to overthrow the system that favored whites over blacks. Likewise with feminism.

Patriarchy theories? Are you saying that patriarchy never existed? Or that it existed until kind of recently and then all of a sudden stopped and has no legacy or effect whatsoever on current society as we know it? Because yeah, society changes that quickly. The word naive comes to mind.

But anyway really? A homophobic feminist? Almost an oxymoron some might say.

LillyJ123 Fri 17-Feb-12 00:57:14

Dear Messy,

First of all thanks for taking the time to answer my post.

Oxymoron? Well IMO there is nothing special about a feminist that would make her any more or less likely to be homophobic. Except perhaps homophobic with a slightly different slant, where we take "homo" to mean man, as it actually does. Plenty of that kind of homophobic feminists abound!

I'm sorry I know this whole "patriarchy" thing is a tremendously popular theory, but it's something I've never been able to swallow. Sacrilege?

A patriarchy would mean that men are dominant over women, something like the way masters were dominant over slaves, right? So why do we women get onto a lifeboat while the men are left until last, perhaps meaning the difference between life and death? Wouldn't the masters normally save themselves and let the slaves drown? Why do women have the vote while men can only vote if they've signed for the draft? Why are family law courts overwhelmingly in favour of women over men? Why is wife beating condemned while husband beating is encouraged, or swept under the carpet? Why do people deny that husband beating is almost as common as wife beating? Why are people outraged when they see a man beating a woman, but amused when they see a woman beating a man? Why do only men have to sign for the draft? Is a man's life worth so much less that a woman's? Why is it that rapists are so widely condemned while women who sexually mutilate their partners are lauded as heroes, including a woman who mutilated her husband because he was going to leave her. So many more examples I could give where society favours women over men, and yet I see so many feminists ignoring or minimizing facts that don't suit "the cause".

Yes, of course there are examples where Western society favours men over women, and I will leave it to you to give me some examples of that. I also challenge the whole "male privilege" thing. Maybe in years gone by, but not today. If you disagree, please give me some examples of male privilege in the United States today. I actually believe that today white Western women are the most privileged people in the world!

I fought for women's rights when there were real issues to fight for. The right not to be harassed, better pay at work, voting rights and equal footing to men.

I got off that boat once these goals had been achieved and the movement was hijacked by man haters - yes MISANDRISTS - even though we didn't have a word for it back then. I'm all for equality but I'm not for hatred and contempt of the opposite sex. I love men!!! What made sense to me back then and now is equality between the sexes. I have never been swayed by the wordy tomes of complicated jargon and theories of a patriarchy, it always seemed to contain too much twisted, subjective and convoluted "logic" for my liking.

I am now a liberationist who believes in men's rights as well, because as I once saw injustice to women I now see injustice towards men.

Yes there are still injustices to women, but is it right to ignore or downplay injustices to men, or pretend they don't exist? Men and women ought to work together for fairness to both genders and my problem with feminism as it is practised today is that it's all about women's rights but not about men's rights. The very name "feminist" suggests a bias towards women. I believe in equality for women and men.

Without lots of jargon and theory what I see is men being hateful to women as misogynists, and women being hateful to men as misandrists.

It's really that simple.

wodalingpengwin Fri 17-Feb-12 02:28:46

Wrote a longer comment but the web ate it. Racism and sexism are both forms of prejudice. My reading of the social psychology literature convinces me that prejudice is in fact deeply biologically rooted. Look up 'in group out group bias'. Human beings (men and women) are incredibly good at hating other groups based upon difference, be it sex, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, accent, hair colour, taste in music, clothing, child-rearing practices, etc etc. Social psychologists have run studies in which two groups of people will start hating each other based on the most trivial and spurious differences (differences which the experimenters made up). Then, once you have started hating and dehumanising the 'out-group' it is easier to start being nasty to them. Prejudice becomes oppression.

Going back to misandry, if it is defined simply as the hating of men by women, then it exists, but globally I would say that misogyny leads to the greater oppression of women. Greater predilection for physical violence means perhaps men are better at acting on their hate?

wodalingpengwin Fri 17-Feb-12 02:40:45

LillyJ123, not downplaying any individual injustices to men, but how many female presidents has the United States had?

Beachcomber Fri 17-Feb-12 03:18:12

The following is a quote from a blog post which could have been written with our current MRA guests this very thread in mind

This post really is About the Menz...

I've been thinking a lot about privilege and oppression lately. I try to think about these things a lot, anyway, but there have been a number of posts on other blogs lately that have been addressing privilege or the nature of oppression lately, and it's got my mind whirling. It started with Jill posting someone's request for help, which turned into a "discussion" about men and privilege. Someone there posted a link to a post from Dizzy about men on feminist blogs who use overtly male sounding names. Thin Black Duke's post about the common elements of oppression just added to the storm...

On the big blogs, it's pretty near impossible, I think, to have a conversation about male privilege without someone like Burton (comment 23 in that feministe thread) coming along and derailing the discussion in some way. Part of the problem with a guy like Burton is that he's not interested in the actual discussion of privilege and oppression. His comments aren't intended as thoughtful analysis or even a result of unintentional misunderstanding- they're intended as a "Gotcha!" moment.

When someone is talking about male privilege or patriarchical institutions, pointing out that women don't register for the draft, or that abused men don't have the same access to domestic violence shelters that women do doesn't negate that. Pointing out that men die at higher rates from work accidents or criminal violence? Sorry, that doesn't prove anything either. See, the problem with the list that he's throwing up, and with many of the criticisms that MRA groups and antifeminists seem to have, is that a lot of those complaints and criticisms are about issues that are a direct result of men pushing public policies.

Take the draft. The fact that women don't register for select services is one of the things I see come up all the time. I'm not really sure why, given the complete and total lack of support for the draft, but it really bugs these types. They'll go on at great length about how unfair it is that men register for select services but women don't. And, if that were the end of the story, sure, that would be unfair. It would be unfair to expect any particular subgroup of our country to be solely responsible for the draft (even as we should recognize that the draft, when instituted, tends to fall on the shoulders of the poor... which isn't that different from voluntary service).

Of course, the story doesn't end there. You can't just look at the draft and pretend that it just happened that way. It's important to remember the context of these things. You can't point to the draft as some example of unfair privilege towards women when it wasn't women who pushed for the draft, and when there are plenty of women and women's groups that actively oppose any draft.

It's not the fault of women that men register for the draft, or that women don't serve in infantry units. Men made those rules, based largely on sexist notions about what women are and are not capable of. When feminists point out that the patriarchy hurts men, too? This is an example. Patriarchical thinking says that women can't hold their own in combat, and that they need to be protected, lest enemies capture them and do horrible things to them. Women are delicate and need to have the strength of a man to keep them safe. That's why women don't register for the draft. That's why women have been kept out of combat.

One of the reasons that this is so frustrating to me, as a guy, is that there are legitimate concerns to be raised about the lives and experiences of men in our country. There are things that happen that should probably be changed, and there are ways that the lives of men should be improved. But, those experiences and those issues get overlooked or ignored because men like Burton are too busy worrying about playing a Gotcha! card against feminists to actually take the time to give those issues the attention they deserve.

Going onto a site like feministe and complaining that men can't have access to women only domestic violence shelters doesn't prove that men have it worse than women- it proves that you're an insensitive asshole who hasn't taken the time to examine why it's important to create shelters that cater specifically to the type of victim seeking shelter. A woman seeking shelter from an abusive husband or boyfriend isn't going to find the safety and peace of mind she needs in a shelter full of men, and there's every reason to believe that a man being abused by his wife or girlfriend may want a shelter that caters to his needs, and can provide him the peace of mind and safety he needs.

I can't quite decide how much of this- if any- is a legitimate misunderstanding of what constitutes privilege, and how much of this is intentional intellectual dishonesty. The move here is from "men have privilege", which is true, to "men never experience negative or harmful consequences", which isn't.

Being a part of the privileged class does not mean that one never experiences harmful or negative treatment. It's possible to be a man in a patriarchical system, and still have people treat you unfairly sometimes. It's still possible to be a part of an advantaged class and find that there are times when you are at a disadvantage.

When we say that we live in a patriarchical system, we're not saying that every single member of the class "men" have a set number of advantages over every single member of the class "women". When we talk about men having unearned privileges, that doesn't mean that no woman has any of these privileges, or that every man has all of them.

Pointing out that I do not have the same advantages or opportunities that someone like Hillary Clinton has doesn't prove that we live in a society that favors women, because the comparison doesn't even make sense. It makes more sense to examine the advantages and disadvantages that face me and my sister, or Bill and Hillary Clinton, because we live in a world where sex is only one of a number of factors that create advantages: race/ethnicity, economic status, age, and education (to name just a few) are all factors that can influence your level of privilege.

And, yeah, like I said, I think that there really are things in our society that are harmful to men. I think that the under-reporting of, and general lack of understanding about or resources for men who are the victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault is harmful. That's not feminism's fault, though. One of the main reasons that men under-report sexual assault is because of the culture of masculinity we live in. We're brought up to think that men can't be the victims of sexual assault. That a man is incapable of not wanting sex. And in cases of male on male sexual assault, there's the homophobic element complicating things, too.

Ultimately, there's nothing that prevents men who are concerned about these things from taking action, just like there's nothing that stops men who are legitimately concerned about father's rights from taking action, either. If a man is really concerned that he's being denied rights as a father- that custody should have gone to him, or that he's not getting the visitation rights he deserves, or something along those lines... do something about it.

Feminists didn't wait for men to back them up before they fought for their rights. They couldn't afford to. The fact that so many of these men use these issues as a way of trying to score points against feminists hurts their cause. It makes it seem like their interest in men's rights is less about the actual problems that men face, and more about winning arguments with feminists.

JosephineB Fri 17-Feb-12 18:51:33

Most of the 'evidence' being offered as to the existence of misandry is actually evidence of sexism rooted in misogyny. As such, the answer is more feminism.

For example 'Why do only men have to sign for the draft?' That would be because women are considered to be too weak to fight (and it wasn't exactly women who made up those rules) or 'Why are family law courts overwhelmingly in favour of women over men?' which is a consequence of seeing women as 'natural' child carers (and it has been feminists who have demanded greater involvement of fathers in child rearing)

Most of the complaints about misandry are criticisms of sectors / structures / cultural where men wrote the rules and for all the times they end up disadvantaging men, there's usually a great big pay off for them too (eg men portrayed as bumbling idiots with regard to housework means they don't have to do their fair share and women are supposed to fall over in gratitude for them even looking in the direction of an ironing board)

Panfriedstardust Fri 17-Feb-12 21:40:05

I'm pretty sure the basis of a belief in 'misandry' is the v. simple notion that males/females are simply the reverse of the same coin, and for an action there must be a similar( if not equal) reaction. ( I know I have used this analogy here before, and it may be obvious but nonetheless it's still true, I think.)

So without any real, pointable-to evidences, the proponents insist it must exist, by a simple logic of 'physics', the laws of which have little or nothing to do with how humans interact on a social, personal and economic scale and quality.

There may be women who bitterly and personally 'hate' all males, (though I have never actually met any of them), but there is no structure at all through which that 'hatred' can be exercised.

Panfriedstardust Fri 17-Feb-12 21:44:44

as a bit of of a clarification as well, I have met amny, many women who may have v. good reason to 'hate' all males due to their life experiences, but ime it's never been an observable trait.

LillyJ123 Sun 19-Feb-12 14:49:18

I just wanted to clarify something based on some of the comments I'm seeing.

Comments like "There may be women who bitterly and personally 'hate' all males, (though I have never actually met any of them), but there is no structure at all through which that 'hatred' can be exercised."

OK, let's just get back to basics. Pulling out my old 1977 copy of "The World Book Dictionary" the definition of "misandrist" is: "n. hatred of men". Looking up the word "misogynist" the definition is "n. a hater of women".

Pretty simple definitions, and they mention nothing about power structures.

So if there are women who "bitterly and personally 'hate' all males" then they are misandrists. Pure and simple.

I can't help but wonder what the agenda is when people expend energy into putting a spin onto something this simple in order to deny and claim that misandrists or misandry does not exist. What is the benefit? My own belief is that it is to do with winning some kind of propaganda war whereby women are continued to be seen as the good guys/victims and men are seen as the bad guys/oppressors.

I also wonder what motivates people who deny the holocaust. Sorry if that's going off thread and I'm not comparing, but I do also wonder why people would deny that something that so clearly happened didn't happen.

LillyJ123 Sun 19-Feb-12 14:53:32

Just a quick correction to my own post above. The definition I first quoted was for "misandry", not for "misandrist". For clarity here are the comparable definitions from The World Book

misandry: n hatred of men

LillyJ123 Sat 03-Mar-12 01:53:59

Ever since someone mentioned power structures it's been on my mind. Somehow it just doesn't gel with me that only men have power structures and women have none. That just doesn't seem right. Look I'll admit I may not quite grasp what they mean by power structures, but I like to go off what I see and hear with my own eyes, and today I found something which I thought was a really good example of how women can have power structures, and as much as this can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing too. Of course it's the same when men get too much power over women, but since we all agree on that anyway I thought it would be interesting to share a link I found about a woman who wants to expand the definition of rape so that once a woman has a drink she would be deemed to not be able to give consent, even if it was her idea. I do not want to live in a world where men are accused of rape after having consensual sex with a woman who happened to have a drink, I find the whole idea enormously offensive to both sexes.

I'd be really interested to hear what people think about this, and hope that people can see it for what it is, I'm not really interested in convoluted explanations involving the patriarchy - although who am I to stop that - it's a free world, but I'm most interested in what people who can read this without applying filters or agendas - what some of the mum's on here think, and what women who still actually like men think.

The "All-Sex-is-Rape" Team is Coming to Your State
Dear Lilly,

Attorney Catherine MacKinnon once proclaimed, "Penetrative intercourse is, by its nature, violent." Her writings argue that in a patriarchal society, women are incapable of giving consent, so all heterosexual sex is rape. For years, critics dismissed her has a nut case.

But now, MacKinnon's minions are working to assure that she gets the last laugh. The process began 9 months ago at the federal level with a radical overhaul of definitions of rape:

1. In April, the US Department of Education released its "Dear Colleague" letter: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.html

2. In December, the Centers for Disease Control issued its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf

3. Last week, the FBI announced its new reporting definition of rape: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-06/fbi-rape-definition-adds-men/52398350/1?csp=34news

The ideologues are working to achieve their "all-sex-is-rape" goal through two steps:

1. Remove the requirement of the sex being "forcible," and substitute the idea of the sex "lacking consent"
2. Decree that if alcohol passes between a woman's lips, she is rendered incapable of giving consent...even if the drunken bash is her idea!

Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers discussed this issue on Tuesday's Mike McConnell Show: http://www.wgnradio.com/shows/mikemcconnell/wgnam-mike-mcconnell-1-10-12-uncut-b,0,1176295.mp3file?track=rss

SAVE's Domestic Violence Legislative Project consists of state-level citizen lobbyists working on their 2012 legislative agendas. If you would like to stop expansive definitions of rape from being applied in your state, participate in our monthly teleconferences. The next call is Feb. 21. Email info@saveservices.org to join.



Teri Stoddard, Program Director
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 09:03:35

Why would anyone object to the defintion of rape being sex without consent?

Unless of course they were a woman-hater.

What's your argument here Lily?

Women hold virtually no power in the world. Economic, social and political power is overwhelmingly in the hands of men. Just because that reality gives you feelings of discomfort doens't make it untrue.

Your post is more evidence of misogyny, not non existent "misandry".

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 09:10:47

"what some of the mum's on here think, and what women who still actually like men think"


Speaking of agendas you know that SAVE who you are quoting is a mens' rights organisation who base their advocacy on the myth of false allegations of domestic violence.

And Chrstina Hoff Summers who gets a mention is an anti-feminist who claims to be a feminist. Because anti-feminists just love doing that for some reason.

ecclesvet Sat 03-Mar-12 09:36:21

"Why would anyone object to the defintion of rape being sex without consent?"

Well, you would, Nyac.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 09:48:47

rape = penetration by a penis without consent

What's your point?

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 03-Mar-12 10:15:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 11:00:15

The difference between the US and UK definitions isn't really the point. Ecclesvet was attempting an idiotic gotcha. Trying to prove something, I'm not sure what.

There's always someone from the peanut gallery ready to whizz in and deliberately misinterpret what's being said.

ecclesvet Sat 03-Mar-12 11:06:22

It wasn't a 'gotcha'. You said here that the definition of rape should simply be sex without consent; I remembered you saying elsewhere that that alone shouldn't be the definition.

SinicalSanta Sat 03-Mar-12 11:09:32

We don't need an agenda or filter to read your C&P Lily.

It comes with plenty of it's own.

'McKinnon's minions having the last laugh', anyone?

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 11:10:28

Exactly, a gotcha. Taking what I said absolutely literally when it was just a brief, not expanded, remark in an internet discussion, and in fact given that you know that I've argued (and the law - I suppose i now have to spell out - UK law supports me) that rape requires a penis.

It's not necessary to provide a huge definition of every single word in an internet discussion, and the fact you leaped on mine and twisted my words to make a non-point doens't reflect very well on your style of arguing.

The discussion was about consent specifically, not about the whole definition of rape.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 11:12:18

I don't understand why so many people are horrified that feminsits want to do something about rape. Like stop it.

Everybody should support that.

ecclesvet Sat 03-Mar-12 11:13:52

It wasn't a 'gotcha', or 'twisting your words'. It was just pointing out an inconsistent/hypocritical message.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 11:26:43

Except you didn't. Only if you take what I said super-literally and put your own spin on it - that it's possible for a woman to physically to commit rape (it isn't, a woman can however commit sexual assault, although it's rare) - could you draw that conclusion. And you know already that that isn't my definition of rape.

Do you think that women commit actual rape ecclesvet? Not as an accomplice but real life rape, when rape requires a penis.

That sort of attitude is exactly the same as the misandry = misogyny position - the false logic that exists which says that because men (as a group) are guilty of something then automatically women must be too. It's a way of disguising male crimes against women.

ecclesvet Sat 03-Mar-12 13:29:51

"Only if you take what I said super-literally"

Ah, I should assume that you don't mean what you say, got it. The onus is on the reader to substitute or add words into your posts to make them more consistent, OK.

"Do you think that women commit actual rape ecclesvet?"

Yes, of course, given that my definition is purely non-consensual sex. There was a big thread about this a while ago. Not on anywhere near the same scale though.

Archemedes Sat 03-Mar-12 13:31:42

I havent really read tbh ,too much bickering.

Surely misandry does exist, there are people out there who truly dislike men as a group so how would that be described if its not misandry?

SinicalSanta Sat 03-Mar-12 13:39:08

People use misandry as the opposite of misogyny.

But they're not opposites really.
As misandrists are a few lone souls carping from the sidelines in the main, while misogynists have actual real life power, numbers and a structure that supports them.

TakingBackSaturday Sat 03-Mar-12 13:40:21

But men aren't collectively discriminated against, or the victim of gender based crimes.

Where men are discriminated against (please see Basil's link in the Louis De Bernieres thread; Tony Porter on the man box) it is the flip side of misogyny.

Misandry was a term coined up by MRA's, who object to feminism, in an attempt to discredit what feminists have done. It's a term chucked at the feminists, in an attempt to make us all look like the straw feminist trope that the media perpetuates. The truth is, they're directing their anger in the wrong direction, because they spend so long listening to the media, they forget to take a deep look at what feminism is really about.

On a side note, I'm sat here chuckling to myself; Google Chrome's spell check recognises the word "misogyny". "Misandry", however, is underlined as a spelling mistake. grin

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 13:53:18

Women do it too is popular logic with anti-feminists ecclesvet.

Did you realise you're coming across like one?

SaharaMerchant Sat 03-Mar-12 14:46:52

A quick google to clear up some of the misandry origin debate...

1871 – misandrous – “In many of the cephaopods already mentioned, the only specimens ever captured belonged to the female sex, and seemed to pass, like the Amazons of old, an experience which may be termed a misandrous life.” [John George Wood, The illustrated natural history, Reptiles, Fishes, Molluscs, &c., Volume 3, London: George Routledge & Sons, 1871, p. 365]

1871 – misandrist – “We cannot, indeed, term her an absolute misandrist, as she fully admits the possibility, in most cases at least, of the reclamation of men from their naturally vicious and selfish state, though at the cost of so much trouble and vexation of spirit to women, that it is not quite clear whether she does not regard their existence as at best a mitigated evil.” [From review of novel “Blanche Seymour” (anonymous), The Spectator, London, Apr. 1, 1871, p. 359]

1878 – misandry – dictionary entry on the prefix; “MIS, MISO.—1. (Gr. fitaelv, to hate ;) in a number of compounds, as misagathy, hatred of the good; …”[Charles P. Krauth, A vocabulary of the philosophical sciences, Sheldon & Company, New York, 1878, p. 770]

1885 – misandry – “She could not account for it, and it was a growing source of bitterness, of misogyny as well as misandry.” [“The Crack of Doom,” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Edinburgh, Scotland & London, England, Volume 138, Jul. – Dec. 1885, p. 289]

1888 – misandry – “…nor shall I speak of philanthropy, nor philandry, much less of their opposites, misanthropy, misogyny, misandry, for the last of which terms the synonym Miss Anthony is now in common use.” [From: Announcement of the 15th dinner, on Apr. 26, 1888, of the Six O’Clock Club (reporting an accredited speech from the May 24, 1888 14th dinner); text reprinted in: Frank Lester Ward, Glimpses of the Cosmos, Vol. IV, G. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1915, p. 128]

1888 – misandry – “… a little misandry from some constitutional man-hater …” Considering the source – the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union – it is reasonable to suppose that the author employing this early use of the word was a woman. [“W. C. T. U. Notes. - By The Local W. C. T U.” from Christian Standard (Cincinnati, Oh.), The New Era (Humeston (Io.), May 16, 1888, p. 8]


Archemedes Sat 03-Mar-12 15:03:07

Oh right , okay

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 17:10:00

Googling Saraha's list of sources only brings up one entry. Here's where those sources that Saraha quotes are listed. An MRA, anti-feminist blog:


Misandry exists in the sense that it is possible to cobble two latin roots together. It doesn't exist in the sense of describing a real phenomenon, and it is also a word that came into popular usage after 1990 when the MRAs started bandying it around, and a whole lot of people who were desperate to claim "women do it too" jumped on it.

If people want to climb on the MRA bandwagon and help promote that agenda then so be it, but they should take a look at who is sitting next to it.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 17:10:24

"who they are sitting next to" even.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 17:17:23

Oh my god, look at their "history matters" page:



SaharaMerchant Sat 03-Mar-12 17:49:56

I don't really think it matters which site it came from, FWIW, I simply googled origin of the word 'misandry' and that came up, I didn't negotiate the actual site. I could spend a great deal of time researching if I could be bothered. I think the evidence is there, that the usage isn't something that is relatively new, is all.

I don't understand why a term, that is also in the Oxford dictionary, listed as the hatred of men, isn't valid. Do you know something the Oxford dictionary doesn't? If so, what? Are there no women that hate men? With respect, I don't understand why you get to chose the meaning of certain words, and ascribe your own personal views to them. In the Oxford dictionary, misogyny means hatred of women. All pretty simple to me. Which word would you replace misandry with?

TakingBackSaturday Sat 03-Mar-12 17:52:38

"immortality" is listed in the OED. I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist, either...

And it does matter what website it comes from. That's coming from a student. We're always taught that some sources are more reliable than others...

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 18:04:42

I don't think it's listed in the shorter Oxford, at least not until very recently, and if it was in the unabridged version, well they list pretty much every word that has ever been used in English.

I woudn't use any word to replace misandry with Sahara. Misandry doesn't exist in reality.

Women don't rape, abuse, batter men on a global scale. We haven't created a matriarchy that has placed men in second place for millennia. We don't have a social system that sees women as more important than men and holds men in contempt and views anything connected to men as second rate and unimportant. We don't use men as domestic sexual and reproductive appliances, appliances that every woman can own. We didn't create marriage laws that entitled us to ownership of the men we were married to, right down for it being legal to sexually assault them if we wanted to. We didn't do that to men, men did and do that to us. That's what misogyny is. Misandry - where is it?

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 18:06:09

"With respect, I don't understand why you get to chose the meaning of certain words, and ascribe your own personal views to them."

Yeah, we leave that up to misogynistic men.

The dictionary isn't the last word you know. It's created by human beings with an agenda too. Words have political power. If they didn't the woman-haters wouldn't be trying so hard to create the smokescreen of "misandry".

ecclesvet Sat 03-Mar-12 18:08:59
SaharaMerchant Sat 03-Mar-12 18:28:46

When you say that 'The dictionary isn't the last word you know. It's created by human beings with an agenda too'. Do you mean that the people who create the Oxford dictionary are misogynists?

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 18:31:48

I'm saying the people have been pushing the term misogyny in the last 20 years are misogynists. What are you saying?

Anyway like I said, is the term listed in the Shorter Oxford? One of the interesting things about "misandry" is that it hasn't been listed in dictionaries until incredibly recently, and perhaps not even then.

The lexicographers clearly also haven't thought it was a valid term.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 18:38:20

"pushing the term "misandry"

See, it's such a non word, I can't even type it out.

Anybody who is old enough to remember will know that this word was not in usage at all in the 70s and 80s, was only being bandied around by anti-feminists in the 90s when they were slagging off feminists, and has only been come to be seen as a legitimate concept as recently as a few years ago, by people who are pretty ignorant, mind you.

SaharaMerchant Sat 03-Mar-12 18:43:34

I don't quite understand what you mean with your first sentence. What am i saying about what?

I'm simply saying that the term 'misandry' exists in various dictionaries and the description allocated to it is 'hatred of women'. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, that is exactly what it means. I don't question other 'recent' word entries in the Oxford dictionary either, why would I?

SaharaMerchant Sat 03-Mar-12 18:46:29

Are you saying I'm 'pretty ignorant'? I believe that there are certain women who hate men, how can you say there aren't? If an individual woman professes to hate all men, doesn't that by definition make her a 'man hater'?

AyeRobot Sat 03-Mar-12 18:48:34

grin at all the muddleness* in recent posts.

If misandry exists, what is the effect?

*not in any dictionary

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 18:50:17

Is misandry listed in the most recent version Shorter Oxford?

"Are you saying I'm 'pretty ignorant'?"

No. Stop asking me "are you saying/do you mean, blah, blah, blah" because it seems an opportunity for you to write out misinterpretations of what I'm saying.

Just respond directly with your own opinion.

JosephineB Sat 03-Mar-12 18:51:22

I am always amused that it is feminists who are accused of misandry (sometimes - and equally misguidedly - lesbians are also accused of hating men)

It's not feminists who think that men can't be equally good care-givers.

It's not feminists who think it's beyond men's ability to work out how to make a washing machine function.

It's not feminists who think that 'boys will be boys'

It's not feminists who think that men are so weak they can't control themselves when in the vacinity of a mini-skirt

And it's not feminists who think the world would be a better place if women were in charge.

In my experience, those who make sweeping negative statements about men are the least likely to be feminists.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 18:55:23

Who cares about women who supposedly hate men anyway? Why are they so important to certain people? Why is it necessary to claim that they must exist? As if they could do any kind of harm to men whatsoever. I'll just repeat what I said before:

"Women don't rape, abuse, batter men on a global scale. We haven't created a matriarchy that has placed men in second place for millennia. We don't have a social system that sees women as more important than men and holds men in contempt and views anything connected to men as second rate and unimportant. We don't use men as domestic sexual and reproductive appliances, appliances that every woman can own. We didn't create marriage laws that entitled us to ownership of the men we were married to, right down for it being legal to sexually assault them if we wanted to. We didn't do that to men, men did and do that to us. That's what misogyny is. Misandry - where is it?"

TakingBackSaturday Sat 03-Mar-12 18:56:00

If a woman hates all men, then yes, it makes her a man hater. However, I highly doubt she regularly carries out acts of violence and control against these men.

However, what our society has is a large number of men, and sometimes even women, acting in ways to oppress women. Not just sometimes, but consistently, and frequently.

We're America, Mark 2, but everyone's too busy going on about women who hate men...

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 19:00:16

I think you need to demonstrate the harm before you can call someone a hater. Because that's what woman hating is based on, that's what hatred of people of colour, or gay and lesbian people is based on. Serious and even lethal violence, used to terrorise people into submission.

TakingBackSaturday Sat 03-Mar-12 19:09:45

^ Well said, Nyac

SaharaMerchant Sat 03-Mar-12 19:16:55

I don't know whether misandry is listed is listed in the most recent verion Shorter Oxford.

I'm not looking for a way to misinterpret your words, what on earth makes you think I'm doing that? I just wanted clarification, so I have a full understanding. That's all.

I think someone can hate without causing harm.

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 19:21:19

Like I said who cares about "man-hating" when woman hating causes real and serious harm to women and girls.

There are a 100 million missing women and girls in India and China for example because they are aborted or killed as babies because they are female.

They didn't even get the chance to grow up to be "man-haters", the women haters made sure of that.

SaharaMerchant Sat 03-Mar-12 19:35:11

Yes, I agree, femicide is atrocious, and it needs dealing with by the governments in those countries, the repercussions of femicide is beginning to be felt by those countries. I don't think that should mean that we don't care if a man is subjected to poor treatment. Would you hold the same view if it was your brother or son?

Nyac Sat 03-Mar-12 19:52:26

Good grief - "feminicide is atrocious" but whataboutthemenz? It's like it just doesn't touch you.

Where in the world is there genocide against males because they are males.

TakingBackSaturday Sat 03-Mar-12 20:01:21

Are 2 men a week murdered by their current or former partner where you live, Sahara?

2 women a week are murdered in the UK, by a current or former partner. Yet, lets ask about the men, again. Because, you know, us women are such a great threat towards them.

Do the men you know regularly get emails telling them how to keep safe whilst out and about?

Because the women I know do.

Do the men you know get subjected to stricter treatment from their parents, under the basis they need protecting?

I've only ever known that to be the case towards a woman.

Are men having their reproductive rights, forced to keep unwanted pregnancies where you live, Sahara?

I have at least three friends living in places where they would struggle to get a termination, if needed. A further five living in the US, where the anti-abortion campaigners are predominantly men.

Yet we need to worry about how we're treating men? Really?

LillyJ123 Sun 04-Mar-12 23:55:19

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

LillyJ123 Mon 05-Mar-12 00:03:32

I just wanted to clarify some muddled wording in my previous post:

Sex without consent is rape and anyone who argues that it's ok to have sex with a woman is not rape is pretty likely to be a woman hater.

Sex without consent is rape and anyone who argues that it's ok to have sex with a woman WITHOUT HER CONSENT, AND THAT THIS is not rape is pretty likely to be a woman hater.

Nyac Mon 05-Mar-12 10:23:16

Lilly (two l's for the unwary), why would you post men's rights propaganda in Mumsnet's women's rights section?

As for calling me a bully - whatever.

I'm not reporting it because Mumsnet don't appear to delete these sorts of attacks anymore.

ILoveDinosaurs Mon 05-Mar-12 12:34:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Nyac Mon 05-Mar-12 12:50:23

Nobody has explained how this "misandry" manifests itself, given it's supposed to be equal in seriouness to misogyny or why given the global scale of male violence towards and destruction of women, why we're supposed to regard it as an important issue.

Oh wow Mumsnet actually deleted Lilly's attack. Almost a first. You're applauding empty space there ILoveDinosaurs.

Dworkin Mon 05-Mar-12 12:50:50

IloveDinosaurs can you link to some of the posts on RadFem Hub to support your evidence?

As I feminist, I would never charge another woman with the word 'bitter'.

Is Valerie Solanas' SCUM manifesto misandric or is it a brilliant satire?

Dworkin Mon 05-Mar-12 12:52:03

The manifesto can be read in all its glory here:



Dworkin Mon 05-Mar-12 12:53:01

Nyac grin

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 05-Mar-12 12:53:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 12:56:40

I think you have to have read Freud making generalisations about women in order to get the satire in Solanas - a lot of the antifeminists who miss the irony are under the bizarrely ignorant impression that no-one has ever said anything like that about women and if they did they would be shot down.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 13:04:01

Good posts Lilly and ILove.

As for posting 'men's rights propaganda' in the women's rights section, do you think if there actually was a men's rights section on MN (which, incidentally, would be a great idea), you would keep out of it?

SinicalSanta Mon 05-Mar-12 13:11:32

Can Lilly, I love, or Sahara explain how misandry manifests in real life?
As opposed to people saying stuff in on the internet.


Dworkin Mon 05-Mar-12 13:30:11

Sahara I would never go voluntary to an MRA site, and have no interest in 'discussion' with them, unless they infiltrate other sites.

MRA threads are in general abusive to women. They never focus on how men can make their lives better. MRA threads/forums are "always the victim never your fault" types of discourse I could do without. Ta!

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 13:50:23

Dworkin, I was saying if there was a men's rights section here on MN, would you stay out of it?

I wouldn't go onto a MRA site to join in the discussion either.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 14:29:23

Sinical, if I use the term misandry in the same way that you use misogyny, i.e a response for discrimination, hate, privilage and everything else in between..

sticking to my own personal examples...

Whilst pregnant I had much 'sympathy' for the fact I was carrying a son, including

'Oh I bet you wish you were having a girl'

'Have you bombproofed your house'

'Oh that's a shame, girls clothes are so much nicer, you can't dress boys well'

'Boys just up and leave you, let's hope you have a girl next time'

'You'll have to train him to look after you and your DH, because girls always do that'

'Oh, are you disappointed, did you want a girl. All women want girls really'

etc, etc

Whilst pregnant with DS 2...

'Oh God, not another one'

'Oh well, never mind, are you trying again?' x 20

'Another one? I'll make sure I come to your house because I don't want my house trashed'

'I bet you're disappointed aren't you?'

'Never mind love, there's always the next time' (from my midwife)

etc, etc

So I'm going to now miss out the many other examples during DS's todderhood and move on to DS starting school.

Ds has returned home upset because many times a girl in his class has been unpleasant. Including telling him his work is rubbish, he can't draw properly, girls are better than boys, lying about him, telling him he didn't get an award for being good,,it was because he was stupid.

The focus at school seems to be on his supposed inability to keep still and focus on writing and drawing, however, suprise, suprise, he's very focussed on outdoor and practical stuff (which has been proven to stimulate boys in a learning environment), but the school chooses not to focus on this, and his 'inability' to sit still and learn is a problem but they don't try to address this.

SinicalSanta Mon 05-Mar-12 14:38:09

I got a lot of that daft pregnancy talk too - except I had two girls.
It's still only words though - not much weight behind them.

Kids pick on each other in school. It's bullying and should be dealt with. Again, a boy could just as easily said those things.

Sitting still and keeping quiet is a feature of the classroom, isn't it?

Nothing you have said there says misandry to me, it wouldn't say misogyny either if your child was a girl. They are just gripes really.

But the patriarchy hurts boys too, of course. For children it manifests as teaching boys to deny their feelings, that is so damaging imo. 'Little monster' tshirts? 'Big boys don't cry'? Hyper-masculinisation does no one any favours.

Dworkin Mon 05-Mar-12 14:49:00


I think you're describing effects of cultural gender stereotyping that can be harmful and starts even before the child is born.

I had the same when expecting my two daughters but when my ds came along and was presenting at an early age with problems (since diagnosed with autism), I was told that boys do things differently, such as not talk till later. This cultural gender sterotyping would have harmed him had I not been as forceful as I was in ignoring it and demanding that his needs be addressed.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 14:58:44

IME there's an expectation that the ideal is having one of each. My family goes girl, boy, boy, and I never got any of the negative stuff about boys that Sahara reports, but when I told people dc2 was going to be a boy I got a lot of congratulations.

SinicalSanta Mon 05-Mar-12 15:11:22

I have two girls and one eejit actually said Does your husband mind having 2 girls?
Someone else told my sister she could stop now, she had a boy first then a girl. The perfect family, apparently.

I think we are straying into the arena of Daft Stuff People say About Babies grin

BeriBlue Mon 05-Mar-12 15:45:17

An exemple of how "misandry" manifests itself: Women who won't let clearly abusive fathers have contact with their children. Those poor blokes!

Nyac Mon 05-Mar-12 17:12:47

I've got another one - women who think rapists should be punished for their crimes, instead of the current 6% conviction rate we've got.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 17:41:25

You know, all of this has been quite interesting. I'll admit that just lately I've been spending a lot of time researching gender inequality. I've got a long way to go, in fact there is such a mountain of information, books, links, opinions etc, that it appears I'm going to be spending a year at the very least working through a lot of it.

I've ordered literature to get a balanced view, both feminist and post feminist. I'm going to read MRA sites and feminist sites, then when I have a decent amount of understanding, I'll probably feel more qualified to speak on the matter.

From the amount I've read so far, I would say that Patriarchy only applies to the very top of society. There are a lot of myths out there, on both sides, and there are a lot of very angry men and women. Statistics are dubious at best, and it's incredibly difficult to form an opinion based on them.

I wonder where, in your opinion, society is going to be in, say, 50 years time?

"post feminist" hahahahaha

I wish

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 18:00:39

I'm coming late back to this, but I have a comment on the post by lilly that kicked all of this off again. I found that post really depressing for the ignorant, misogynistic attitude behind it. Particularly this bit:

"Well IMO there is nothing special about a feminist that would make her any more or less likely to be homophobic. Except perhaps homophobic with a slightly different slant, where we take "homo" to mean man, as it actually does."

Since terminology actually matters in this debate, lilly and friends, I shall explain this simple point to you. 'Homosexuality' (meaning sexual attraction to the same sex) does not - oddly enough - have anything at all to do with the word for 'man'. You are confusing the Greek 'homos' (=same) with the Latin 'homo' (=human, as opposed to 'vir', which means 'man').

I know I should be taking issue with your arguments - which I'm afraid I find almost as weak and ignorant as the above quotation - but I just can't get past the fact you've assumed, incorrectly, that the word for 'same' actually means 'man'.

How incredibly sexist do you have to be to assume such an idiotic thing?

Dworkin Mon 05-Mar-12 18:36:45

I have sympathy with lilly in that the poster is immersed in patriarchial language. Although I do have to say JSQ that your reply is also steeped in patriarchial language as well.

Naturally it's best to assume that the Greek and Latin language was the basis for English, but these societies themselves were deeply patriarchial. Some examples:

hysterectomy - the Greek for womb was hysteria

And surprise! We adopt this today. It's insidious no doubt.

However a big + to all that Jericho posted.

FrothyDragon Mon 05-Mar-12 18:54:37

How can we have post-feminism, when we still have a patriarchy? When we're still in a rape culture? When we still have 2 women a week being killed by former or current partners? When America is trying to give control of a woman's body to the men in society?

We're going backwards. Not forwards. In fifty years time, if we carry on at this rate, the world is going to be an even scarier place to be a woman....

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 18:59:15

I am curious to know how anyone would come to the conclusion that patriarchy only applies to the top of society. In many cultures it's the bottom of society where women suffer most, eg when there are educated Westernised elites at the top but arranged marriages and illiteracy for the women at the bottom.
Half The Sky is a good read.

What feminist books are you starting with SaharaMerchant?

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 19:06:30

Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy
Mary Daly

Gyn/Ecology: Metaethics of Radical Feminism
Mary Daly

Andrea Dworkin

Andrea Dworkin, Ariel Levy

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 19:10:21

I agree, the women at the bottom suffer the most, but I believe that is social issue, or a class issue, whatever you want to call it.

Dworkin Mon 05-Mar-12 19:15:05

Social and class are different. All women of all classes are under the influence of the Patriarchy.

Would you work your butt off earning six figures and take control of the children, fridge, homework, etc; and still have time for sexxay fun?

Or would you give the responsibility to another woman whom you pay? Who is percieved to be of a less social standing than you.

FrothyDragon Mon 05-Mar-12 19:23:00

Dworkin, of the little I've read of her so far, is extremely thought provoking.

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 19:33:38

Dworkin - I'm really sorry if my reply is steeped in patriarchial language.

I certainly don't assume Latin or Greek are the roots of English, though I don't think Anglo-Saxon is necessarily less sexist (it might be, there's an argument there I know). And I really did not mean to imply that Latin or Greek (or really any language) is free from misogyny, as I don't see how a non-misogynistic language could develop in a misogynistic society.

I only referred to the languages because the poster I quoted had made a doozy of a misinterpretation.

Personally, I think when we stop thinking in misogynistic terms, we will also stop thinking in misogynistic terminology, and our language will evolve to go with it.

Would you mind explaining to me what you were getting at (PM if you like) as I would like to know and am not sure if I'm answering you satisfactorily or not! smile

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 19:36:26

I wouldn't do either of those things Dworkin, because I have a choice, and I chose to be a SAHM.

I wouldn't work my butt off earning six figures, because it's simply not that important to me. If I did, I wouldn't give the responsibility to another woman whom I paid because DH would be a SAHD.

The Patriarchy only really applies to the top of society, but only because women don't want to be up there, and prioritise family over work. Most women just aren't prepared to prioritise work over family life, and the ones that do are few and far between. That's not the Patriarchy's fault. They could be there if they wanted to.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 19:37:35

If you're talking about suffering that applies equally to men and women (eg not enough food but both get equal shares of what there is in the household) then yes it is a class issue. If there is not enough food in the household but the men take the lion's share of it and the women and girls end up malnourished, it is not purely a class issue but also a gender one and you see patriarchy in action.
Writing it off as purely a class issue is a tactic used by those men in the Left who would like to maintain the gender status quo (which some do), to dismiss feminism (and keep the women in their organisation in their place making the tea).

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 19:38:14

Frothy - well it'll be interesting I should think!

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 19:42:09

But it is a class issue, totally. A whole swathe of the nation being uneducated with no hope of ever getting out of it is a class issue.

An impoverished household where the man takes the lions share of the food - patriarchy.

An impoverished household where each family member gets their fair share of food - ?

SweetGrapes Mon 05-Mar-12 19:55:10

The Patriarchy only really applies to the top of society, but only because women don't want to be up there, and prioritise family over work. ..... They could be there if they wanted to .
My jaw dropped at this one.
I am not well versed in discussing these things but the first thing that came to my mind was the BBC presenter who was dropped because of her age... and I see all these presenters who are old, wear glasses, are not good looking etc and are all men...

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 19:57:47

SaharaMerchant, I don't understand what you mean in that third paragraph. What do you understand by 'the patriarchy'? Because you seem to be using it to mean something quite narrow.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 20:02:50

SaharaMerchant have you come across intersectionality? Because you seem to be suggesting that because there is a class structure that oppresses everyone, there cannot also be a patriarchal structure that oppresses women in particular.
You could have a society where everyone at the bottom of the social scale was oppressed but there was no gender oppression. But you could also have a society where there was both. And the latter seems to me to be far more common. Therefore your claim that the patriarchy only exists at the top of the scale makes no sense.
Maybe it is more visible there because you can't write off oppression as caused by anything else.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 20:14:25

'Patriarchy is a social system in which the male gender role acts as the primary authority figure central to social organization, and where fathers hold authority over women, children, and property. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination'.

This is my understanding, by and large, of the patriarchy.

messyisthenewtidy Mon 05-Mar-12 20:18:36

It always baffles me when people insist that there is no such thing as patriarchy. A hundred years ago, people would have had no hesitation to say that patriarchy existed and would probably believe that it was right to exist. People wrote books on women's supposed intellectual inferiority and their proper place being at home. It was the official line and the vast majority of people adhered to it.

Given all that it would be extremely surprising if some kind of patriarchal legacy didn't still exist today, in our attitudes if not in our laws. Society doesn't change that quickly.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 20:20:06

Then 'The Patriarchy only really applies to the top of society, but only because women don't want to be up there, and prioritise family over work' makes no sense. If there is a patriarchy women don't get the choice, that is the whole point - it is about male authority over women.

I also don't get how it can only apply to the top of the social system when the people in charge of the whole country, the people in government, are men. In the UK Osborne and Cameron and their predominantly male cabinet are making decisions currently that affect the poor overwhelmingly, as people on the threads about benefit cuts know only too well.

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 20:20:27

So how could that be purely a class issue? confused

What about working class families ... they still would have male fathers, right?

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 20:20:46

excellent point Messy.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 20:25:44

'A hundred years ago, people would have had no hesitation to say that patriarchy existed and would probably believe that it was right to exist. People wrote books on women's supposed intellectual inferiority and their proper place being at home. It was the official line and the vast majority of people adhered to it.'

I think things have massively changed since then, don't you? There may be traces of Patriarchy left, but not much.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 20:26:55

Then 'The Patriarchy only really applies to the top of society, but only because women don't want to be up there, and prioritise family over work' makes no sense. If there is a patriarchy women don't get the choice

Ok then, AFAIC there is no patriarchy to speak of.

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 20:29:16

Oh ... so it does still exist?

Why do you think there's not 'much' of it left, then? Can you have 'not much' of an entity or ideology?

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 20:29:35

Wow, are you serious?
Read 'Half the Sky'. Really.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 20:33:43

Are you a time traveller from the future? <hopeful>

Because we're in 2012, and I can assure you there is more than a trace of patriarchy in our world.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 20:36:43

What year are you from? I want to know how long we have to wait for no pay gap, far less than 1 in 4 women raped or seriously sexually assaulted, no countries in the world where there are no women at all in government, equal literacy rates worldwide, no forced marriage, no FGM, no military use of rape....

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 20:43:52

'Because we're in 2012, and I can assure you there is more than a trace of patriarchy in our world.'

In the world, yes, but I'm talking about the UK..

BeriBlue Mon 05-Mar-12 20:46:48

S/he is just from the planet of denial. One only has to read the newspaper in order to see the good ol' patriarchy in action. It's full of things like stories about men waging war against each other's countries, men raping women and children, double standard shit about female celebs, page 3...

KRITIQ Mon 05-Mar-12 20:47:27

Glad you mentioned intersectionality, and particularly Crenshaw-Williams' concept of it. It recognises that there isn't a simple "scientific" formula of privilege and oppression (i.e. you don't get a plus point for being white and a minus point for being female, or any variation on that theme,) but that there can be a unique experience for individuals whose identity IS at an intersection between 2 or more identities.

In my experience, feminism, probably more so than the political ideologies of those who advocate for the rights of other oppressed groups, tend to be more inclusive in their definition and less likely to buy into a hierarchy of oppressions (i.e. it's worse being female than being black, it's worse being Lesbian than being gay, etc.)

So, you can be an advocate for women's rights and for workers rights, you can be an activist for women's rights and an anti-racist campaigner, etc. etc. without conflict.

Having said that, some feminists can struggle with "wearing" the privileges that some women enjoy while others don't. I think that can be the case for anyone who fights for the rights of any disadvantaged group where inevitably some within that group will still have more privileges than others, due to things like ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

So yes, working class women can experience the impact of patriarchal institutions, traditions, practices, etc. in a different way than middle and upper class women do. For example, working class women may be unable to take an extended period of maternity leave from work if they need to get back to their full earning potential as soon as possible. Middle class women who had the benefits of a good education may have more earning potential if their relationship breaks down than a working class woman who's only done manual labour.

However, regardless of class, education or other privileges, women can still be raped by men, can still be abused by partners, can still be denied equality of opportunity in employment, are still judged on the basis of their appearance rather than their achievements in society, etc.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 20:51:34

Why are you only talking about the UK SaharaMerchant? Doesn't the rest of the world matter? Feminism is global in its aims.

The 1 in 4 figure for rape and sexual assault is UK. The UK has a pay gap. The UK is far from having an equal number of men and women in government. The UK has a serious problem with domestic violence. The UK still has problems with sex discrimination in the workplace and unequal media representation of women. The UK has thousands of trafficked women working in the sex industry.
This is more than a trace of patriarchy.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 20:51:48

If a woman works the same hours as a man, takes 2 weeks maternity leave, doesn't ask for flexi time etc...she gets paid the same. I've been reading about the glass ceiling debate. That seems fair to me. Women tend to prioritise family life over work, which is fine, but you can't expect to get paid the same, as the company is out of pocket when you take time off etc.

I personally wouldn't want to give birth and be back at work 2 weeks later.

As for equal literacy, I think we should start with the boys in our own country, as they lag behind girls significantly.

BasilRathbone Mon 05-Mar-12 20:52:25

SM in the UK

1 in 4 women get raped or sexually assaulted. 1 in 4 men don't.

Between 70-90% of women who ahve been raped, don't bother to report it - a criminal offence - to the police, either because they have internalised rape myths and are in denial about what happened to them, or because they know that there is no point complaining. No other area of crime, has such a high level of non reporting becasue the victims fear they will be blamed for the crime or that they will be disbelieved (only 2-4% of rape allegations are false, but the other 98 - 96% are also presumed to be lying).

There is a pay gap. Women still get paid less than men just because they are women.

1 in 4 women live with ongoing, serious, chronic Domestic Violence. 1 in 4 men don't.

Men get on average, about 15 hours more leisure time per week, because women do more work than men, much of which is unpaid, unvalued and not recognised as work as it occurs in the home.

Men are richer than women. Poverty is a gendered issue.

Most MP's, judges, CEO's, politicians, media decision makers, business decision makers, are men.

2 women a week are murdered by men. Of those, most of them are partners or ex partners and most have a history of violence which was ignored by the police, courts and society.

Still think the patriarchy is dead?

BasilRathbone Mon 05-Mar-12 20:54:23

Also, wherever I go, the media messages, posters etc. I encounter, remind me that women are the sex class.

Men don't have that problem.

BasilRathbone Mon 05-Mar-12 20:58:20

SM the very reason that women are disadvantaged by the way the workplace is structured, is because it was structured for people who had no caring responsibilities and no domestic labour to do.

In the main, that was men, who had wives to keep their houses clean and bring up their children for them.

The workplace has not changed to recognise that that model is completely inappropriate and out of date for the 21st century. Women need to take time out to bear and nurture babies and that is valuable work for society. They should not be penalised for that. It is insane that the human race, has decided to punish the half of it which bears and nurtures its next generation, with poverty. Oops, but that's because the human race didn't decide that - the half that don't bear the children did. That's patriarchy. And they still haven't changed the structures, so that the other half of humanity can function fully in the world.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 20:58:40

Boys lag behind girls significantly in literacy so we should start here? Remind me of the figures, is the difference greater than Ethiopia where only 18 per cent of women can read and write compared with 42 per cent of men?

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 21:01:58

The government cabinet consists (mainly) of MP's elected by their constituents. We are constituants, I'm not sure how many voting age constituants there are in this country but I would imagine men and women are roughly 50/50.

So we voted for them. If women want more women MP's then they need to vote for them. It's not unfair. Also, maybe there aren't many women standing as candidates? Who knows, but they could if they wanted to.

KRITIQ Mon 05-Mar-12 21:03:12

Sahara, I can't lay my hands on the info at the moment, but I know evidence shows that the pay gap is no different even for women who haven't had children, so it's not just down to women taking time out to have and raise children.

As for literacy and educational attainment, in not all localities is it the case that boys achieve less than girls. There are some areas - for example one I work in where girls lag consistently behind scores for boys. It's a very working class area. It's also an area with high rates of teen pregnancy where evidence shows girls and young women have very little control over their own sexuality, lack in self-esteem and are likely to be tolerant of abusive and controlling behaviour from boyfriends.

I would say the poverty and lack of opportunities compounds their social, economic and political exclusion, but that isn't the only source of it. Otherwise, we'd be seeing equal numbers of boys and young men who report being forced to have sex, having equally low levels of attainment, and experiencing abuse and control in their relationships.

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 21:03:49

Boys don't lag behind girls anymore in primary school (or so I read).

And girls lag behind boys at university and in terms of pay at work.

So, really who is losing out here? I trust you don't imagine many women at university are 'choosing to prioritize their families' (or whatever euphemism it was you used for 'getting shafted for procreating while being female').

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 21:04:57

I don't like to sound patronising SaharaMerchant but you do sound very naive. Didn't you realise woman would-be candidates are discriminated against at the selection stage? Hence the perennial calls for all-woman shortlists.

KRITIQ Mon 05-Mar-12 21:07:10

Sahara, it's a bit tricky being so insistent that you are right when you hten say, "Maybe there aren't many women standing as candidates? Who knows?"

The Labour party has copped alot of flak for having women only shortlists. None of the other major parties (someone correct me if I'm wrong) have any specific measures to encourage equal representation of the sexes in the selection of those who will stand for by elections or at general election.

Sure, you, I, any woman can stand for any election, but with out the financial and supporter "backing" of a political party, your chances of success are somewhat akin to the proverbial snowball in Hell.

In the last election I voted for, there were no female candidates on the ballot - not a single one. There were no non-white candidates, or candidates under the age of 40 for that matter. Hobson's choice anyone?

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 21:07:34

Bless you, I think you've got some more reading to do SM.
You need to start with the basics really. The Equality Illusion by Kat Banyard is probably as good place to start as any.
Reclaiming The F-Word would be worthwhile too.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 21:09:31

Kritiq didn't Cameron have woman-only shortlists at the last election? IIRC he copped a lot of flack from his party for it. (I would imagine it was his party more than any other that desperately needed them.)

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 21:12:31

'The Labour party has copped alot of flak for having women only shortlists'

As it should. I totally disagree with it.

SweetGrapes Mon 05-Mar-12 21:14:10

I come from asia - definetely oodles of patriachy all over the place. I came here expecting to see some sort of egalitarian society. I was shocked.
1. I was mildly interested to see what porn/erotica would be around for women. All I could see was all the page 3 stuff aimed at men. Nothing for women. (I know if I dig I can find something for women - but the stuff for men - you can't avoid it. Thats my point)
2. The rape myths - There the first thing is "what was she wearing". The first thing over here is (surprise surprise...) "what was she wearing"!! Or look at her makeup - she looks 14!! What does she expect! Of course she's going to be raped.
3. Not many women working with me. I was an IT developer and almost all the handful of women on my floor were PA, secretary types. Naturally, because the girls are all told while they grow up that boys do math, girls do barbie....
4.Which brings me to my next point - all the toys in pink and blue. The girls ones are all houseworky and baby oriented and the boys ones are professional ones.
5. Of course all the politicians etc - mostly male.

BasilRathbone Mon 05-Mar-12 21:18:11

SM most parties have all male shortlists.

By default

And no-one notices because that's the norm.

We've internalised it so successfully, that we consider it meritocracy when it isn't - it's just men choosing other people they feel comfortable with, who happen to be men.

You really do have a lot of reading to do. I second Kat Banyard's The Equality Illusion

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 21:24:28

I think we really need to get over the unfairness that women give birth. It's a biological reality, not a choice. It shouldn't give us special rights. Men should be given more paternity leave. My DH would have loved to have been given more time off work, he was gutted when he HAD to go back.

And you're also missing the point that the majority of women don't see it as a problem, and can understand the reasons behind it. We all have choices. Men nuture the next generation too. I feel I can function fully in this world. I do function fully in this world.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 21:25:18

SM tell me how you feel about unspoken male shortlists, where the selection committee turn down all the women candidates either because they themselves don't want a woman MP or because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that a woman stands less chance than a man of getting elected?
What would your solution be? Or does the problem not need a solution because you don't think it matters?

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 21:30:16

Um, sahara, up thread you did say that it was women who chose to focus on families ... are you changing your mind here?

It is lovely that you feel you function fully (me too), but I think we have to be careful not to end up with an 'I'm alright Jack' mentality here.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 21:34:59

I don't know Tunip. Have you got evidence of this?

Do I think that having a 50/50 men/women ratio would be a good thing? No idea, politicians are all self serving anyway, regardless of gender. They don't care what the masses think. The female politicians have proved themselves to be as idiotic as their male counterparts, but more driven because they feel they have something to prove.

BasilRathbone Mon 05-Mar-12 21:35:44

It is not an unfairness that women give birth.

The unfairness, is that women are punished with poverty, for giving birth and taking time out from the paid workplace, to nurture the next generation.

If your DH wants more paternity leave, what is he doing to campaign for it? Has he written to his MP? Has he asked his boss for part time hours?

Men can change the workplace by demanding the right to be fully involved fathers as well as workers.

But it seems that many of them have either been brain-washed by patriarchy so that it doesn't occur to them to do that, or that in fact, they enjoy their privileged position within patriarchy too much, to risk losing it.

BasilRathbone Mon 05-Mar-12 21:37:02

You're evading the issue SM.

Politicians are people like us.

Oh actually, in the main, no they're not.

They're generally male, white and middle class.

So not like most of us.


JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 21:38:18

Well said Basil! grin

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 21:41:09

It is mainly women who focus on families, or at least, most of the women I know (with the exception of my formidable cousin, who could probably run the government whilst rotationally breastfeeding newborn sextuplets!) make family life their priority. I don't know how common it is for men to focus on their family in the way DH does. That was more by luck than design when I picked him, I didn't have a tick list.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 21:43:02

yes, here - it's the House of Commons Speaker's Conference on Parliamentary Representation Final Report 2010.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 21:44:45

Ok Basil, do you want to be a politician? Are you a politician? Do you know anybody who is? Are you saying that you would have no chance of being one?

I'm not evading any issue. Women are not excluded from politics. I'll believe it when you provide me with concrete proof.

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 21:45:50

The point about women giving birth is interesting.

I suppose there must have bee a time when the women was pregnant, gave birth and breastfed, and during all of that time the man had to support her in a very real, immediate, material way - or else his mate would die and his baby would die and his genes wouldn't be passed on. But the more our human societies evolve in the direction they've taken in the Western world, the more this responsibility is farmed out to other women or to ''society''. So a woman can do her bit by giving birth, but society actively discourages men from putting in the equivalent effort.

BasilRathbone Mon 05-Mar-12 21:46:31

I refer you to the numbers Sahara.

Also, are you going to argue that black people choose not to be politicians too, because they are underrepresented? And they choose not to be CEO's, not to be DG of the BBC, not to have power?

I'm afraid you're coming across as extremely unsophisticated.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 21:48:42

Ok, I've got to go, but i'll come back to the thread tomorrow and reply. I'll check out your link tomorrow Tunip.

SaharaMerchant Mon 05-Mar-12 21:49:46

Oh cheers Basil.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 05-Mar-12 22:00:39

do read it, Sahara, it is an excellent report. The bit you want is on pp.45-50 <helpful>. There are some shockers in the section on direct discrimination.

Dworkin Mon 05-Mar-12 23:13:15

jericho will pm you tomorrow if you like but I just want to say I wasn't being critical as such, but the language issue bugs me somewhat now. I thought your post was great btw. Will get back later.

I've been out tonight to a Constituency Labour Party meeting. We have been discussing education tonight. Great debate ensued with an excellent guest speaker. I love my party and am delighted that it has all women shortlists. I don't give a fig if in some CLPs this doesn't work; in general it does. It means more participation by 50% of the population. It's not there yet. Labour has its problems too.

This has been an excellent discussion so far. I think we all agree that misandry doesn't exist. But I'm loving the derail into class and social disparities.

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 23:56:01

Thanks - don't worry if it's too much trouble, I just wanted to understand and my brain is running about half an hour behind at the moment so I didn't know if I'd said it badly or I'd missed your point. One of those days.

Sounds like a good meeting you had! smile

JerichoStarQuilt Mon 05-Mar-12 23:57:24

Oh, and I meant to say, I didn't take it as you being critical, just wanted to follow.

LillyJ123 Tue 06-Mar-12 12:01:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

SinicalSanta Tue 06-Mar-12 12:23:14

Haven't you read the thread Lilly, and seen what people say about the difference between misogyny and misandry not being two sides of the one coin?
They don't compare. Do you think they do?

It's like comparing a puddle with an ocean.

Nyac Tue 06-Mar-12 12:34:39

Why are you promoting mens rights propaganda in a space for wormen's rights Lilly?

TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 12:38:15

tell us whether you're in the UK or elsewhere and whether you're a man or a woman, Lilly, and we'll be able to make sensible activism suggestions for you.

LillyJ123 Tue 06-Mar-12 12:42:53

Hi SinicalSanta,

Thanks for your reply and for getting the two "ells" right - (hehe there's really three ells in my name, but never mind smile

I have indeed read much of the thread SinicalSanta, and I'm intrigued by many of the points of view.

Puddles versus the ocean? I wonder. One case in point. A woman gets raped. Most men would think the rapist was an absolute animal and would want to beat his head in. A woman drugs a man who wanted to divorce her and proceeds to cut of his penis while he begs for mercy. A whole lot of women on a TV show howl in hysterical laughter about it and another bunch of women set up a facebook fan page for the perpetrator. Another example? Watch pretty much any TV commercial today and see how often the woman is portrayed as smarter than the man. Another example? Watch a TV show where somebody is killed and it's a good thing they were killed. Chances are it was a man who was killed an nobody cares. When a woman is killed on TV it is normally portrayed as a horrific thing and the man who killed her will surely meet a gruesome death. Women who kill men on TV however are portrayed as heroines. Another? Family court. How often does a man win custody. If a man fails to pay up he's seen as a "dead beat dad" (you don't often hear "dead beat mum" and fathers who fail to pay are far more likely to be sent to jail than non custodial mothers who fail to pay.

The problem is when your eyes are only open to one kind of discrimination and shut to another kind. If you see all the cases of discrimination against women, but ignore, minimize, dismiss or fail to see the cases of discrimination against men, then of course you are going to see oceans versus puddles.

Misandry is defined as hatred against men. That's all.

If I can be accused of being misogynistic simply for not buying into the absurd idea that misandry doesn't exist; then surely the woman who wrote the SCUM manifesto, as mentioned in this thread - a woman who called for the culling of human males in a similar way to the way Hitler fostered hatred of Jews in his book Mein Kampf - could be accused of being a misandrist.

Misandry is hatred of men. You would have to hate men to want to have them murdered en masse. Valerie Solanas called for this to happen and hence was no doubt a misandrist.

Misandry is real.

Nyac Tue 06-Mar-12 12:48:21

LOL at the SCUM Manifesto being equal to Mein Kampf.

One of them led to the slaughter of 6 million Jews and bloodshed across Europe.

The other, well the other didn't.

The SCUM manifesto is satire. What it prescribes for what we should do to men is what men already do to women. Don't you get that?

Nyac Tue 06-Mar-12 12:51:20

I think we just got Godwin's.

I'm surprised Feminazis haven't been mentioned yet.

LillyJ123 Tue 06-Mar-12 12:55:21

So Nyac no suggestions at all about what to do about the massacre of girls?

I thought you cared about that, or is it really just an argument you have spouted without really giving a damn. If not then again I ask you, what ideas do you have to stop this evil? Or are you more interested in trying to prove your "misandry doesn't exist" ideas?

I resent your implication that I am spreading propaganda - if there is any propaganda here it's that "misandry doesn't exist".

I am not spouting propaganda, I am speaking the truth as I see and hear it.

Is the truth propaganda? Am I wrong to say that most men think that rapists are animals? Am I wrong to say that an entire TV panel of women and audience of women laughed hysterically at a man who had been drugged and mutilated after telling his wife he wanted to divorce her?

These are facts, not propaganda.

I am against injustices against anyone, not just against injustice against women.

What about you Nyac? Do you only care when the female is a victim of injustice? Do you never care when a male is a victim of injustice?

Do you only care about women's rights? Do you think it is right to oppose men who seek their own rights against injustice?

Is it not possible for feminists and MRAs to work together to fight injustice against either gender, to fight for what's right rather than what most benefits one gender over another?

TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 12:56:30

yes Nyac, also that character from The Women's Room who MRAs like to quote as if she was a real person.

TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 12:57:30

Lilly, you need to tell us what country you are in and whether you are a man or a woman, so we can suggest the best organisations for you to support. I don't know why you are having a go at Nyac when you have ignored my question.

LillyJ123 Tue 06-Mar-12 13:06:14

Nyac, you are right The SCUM manifesto never did lead to the massacre of millions, but not for the want of trying.

I see that you take this book lightly and are not at all offended by it. It is a satire you say. Don't I get it you ask.

Tell me something Nyac, and be honest. If a book had been written saying that all women were evil and had ruined the world and should be slaughtered, do you think you would have taken it quite so lightly? Is there a small chance you may have called the author a misogynist? You implied that I was misogynist simply for speaking my mind and saying that misandry exists, now look at the scale of misandry in the SCUM Manifesto - oh that's right - you don't believe misandry exists.

The fact is that if you have such a strong belief that misandry does not exist, then you will filter any and all contradictory facts in such a way that your belief is validated. The most horrific things can be said about men and you will find a way to explain how this is not misandry, while the slightest whiff of disagreement with your ideals will instantly attract the charge of "misogyny".

Another thing I'd ask you Nyac, if you can suspend disbelief and use your imagination on this one: how would you feel if a large number of women did start to act on the SCUM manifesto? How would you feel if it took hold politically and people actually started exterminating men simply for being the gender they were.

Would you be joining the party or fighting against it?

SinicalSanta Tue 06-Mar-12 13:09:08

Case by case:

A woman gets raped. No justice in the vast majority of cases.

Woman horribly mutilates man to fanfare by loons. Very easy to switch genders there. Fanfare by loons remain.

Stupid man on commercial: Women should really stick to what they know best, laundry, and enabling men's minor failings.

TV shows where it's a good/bad thing a man/woman was killed. Was it because he was a decent hardworking family man and left everybody in peace? Does the camera linger lovingly over her cold & bloody flesh? Context is important.

Family court: How many men are the primary carers before the split? How many men prioritise their careers and earning potential? How often do you come across a dead beat mum, in RL? Probably equivalent to the amount of times you hear the phrase.

Valarie Solanis = Hitler?
That is just the exact same thing.

Nothing proved there Lilly.

FrothyDragon Tue 06-Mar-12 13:12:01

Have you actually read the SCUM manifesto, Lilly?

Solanas wasn''t trying to get men massacred. She was providing an introspective, satirical look at society. The thing is, in the UK, we really do have two women a week massacred by former or ex partners. Doesn't that enrage you more than a fictional, satirical text?

SinicalSanta Tue 06-Mar-12 13:14:20

Not for want of trying?


Can't really take you seriously Lilly.

they don't need any sort of manifesto, in Asia say, where the abortion and infanticide of female babies means there is a demographic imbalance of 100 Million women.

Like I said: puddle v ocean

TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 13:15:18

Lilly, have you read A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift? It's great. And I say that as someone who is implacably opposed to expecting poor people to eat their children.
I'm worried you don't seem to understand what satire means.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Tue 06-Mar-12 13:16:06

A woman gets raped. Most people think she's partly to blame by being drunk/wearing revealing clothing/out by herself/female. Or else they think she's lying and it's actually sex she later regrets. Men (and some women) make rape jokes that normalise rape and make it seem less of a crime. Facebook refuses to take down 'joke' pro-rape pages because they're only a bit of fun.

Women are portrayed as smarter then men at using certain cleaning products, big sodding whoop dee whoop. It doesn't benefit women to be seen as the only people capable of spraying a bottle of chemicals on a work surface, it does otoh benefit men.

Women are portrayed as victims on TV shows. Vulnerable and weak, men are strong and clever even when they're evil psychotic killers, and he is only brought down by an equally strong and clever male. Think CSI in all it's forms, it's a clever Grisham, Caine, Taylor who puts all the pieces together and goes out to catch the villain. It does not benefit women to be portrayed as weak and vulnerable, only suited to be killed early on in an episode in a horrible, degrading way, or as a side-kick to the far superior male lead character.

It's no more sexist against men to award the primary carer of a child custody, than it is unfair discrimination to promote the hard-working employee over the lazy. Men have the option of changing the way custody decisions are made by changing the way they parent while still in a relationship with the mother. If they take on more parenting responsibilities then their claims to custody will be more or less equal to the mothers. AFAICT MRAs are trying to do away with the ''primary carer'' factor, it's the only advantage women have but it was made through sacrifice, often sacrificing careers and promotion prospects. Very few men seem willing to make these sacrifices. Why do you think parental responsibilities are called parental responsibilities, and not parental rights?

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Tue 06-Mar-12 13:17:34

jesus, there are still people who take the SCUM manifesto seriously? It's an obvious parody because every statement made about men has at one point been said about women, with the notable difference that the statements said about women were made in all seriousness, and taken seriously and believed.

FrothyDragon Tue 06-Mar-12 13:17:58

I was trying to think of the name of the Swift text, so thank you, Turnip...

As far as I'm aware, incidents of child eating didn't rise as a result of that text... <whistles>

SinicalSanta Tue 06-Mar-12 13:21:07

Jonathan Swift was just like Hitler.

TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 13:23:30

But if they had, Frothy, would you be against or in favour? Would you be joining the party or fighting it?


TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 13:26:14

Anyway Lilly, you want us to give you some ideas to help fight female infanticide, so I asked you twice where in the world you are located and what your gender is. (No point in advising you to join a UK organisation, or suggesting a march you can go on that's women only, if you're a bloke in the States, you see.)

I don't know why you keep ignoring me, anyone would think you weren't really sincere and were just trying to do a 'gotcha' at Nyac sad

Dworkin Tue 06-Mar-12 13:27:17

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

LillyJ123 Tue 06-Mar-12 13:30:55

Hi Sinical Santa,

Thanks again for your reply, I appreciate you taking your time to rebut my answers and some of your replies make great sense.

Yes, it sucks that women who are raped so seldom receive true justice. This saddens me and I would do anything to change this situation.

Woman horribly mutilates man to fanfare by loons. Well we're not talking loons here, we're talking about an entire audience of women and the cast of a TV show called The Talk. Sharon Osborn described the incident as being fabulous or wonderful and all the women in the cast and audience were laughing uproariously about it. Can you really imagine an audience of men laughing at a woman being raped?

Stupid man on TV? Is it always about laundry? I thought it was a bit more global than that.

Valerie = Hitler? No I didn't say that, and didn't mean it. I was trying to draw a parallel. Nyac's point about Godwin's is well taken, but there are parallels there. That's different to saying Solanis = Hitler, right? Both of them used the language of hatred and discrimination and argued for the persecution of a different group. Yes Hitler was "successful" and Solanis was not, but what if her ideas had taken off? Can we be sure that people have not been killed due to Solanis's ideas? Are we sure she does not have her own band of fanatical followers who would or perhaps have killed men simply for their gender?

Family court. Well yes there are more dead beat dads, but then again dad's rarely win custody so they're far more often going to be the ones in the position of having to pay and for every dead beat dad there are many more dads who do the right thing. One fact remains: even accounting for the greater number of fathers not paying a woman is far less likely to be jailed - even when taking the proportions into account. For the same "crime" a woman is less likely to be jailed. On that subject, a woman is also less likely to be jailed than a man - once again this takes the proportions into account, and a man is likely to be given a larger sentence for the same crime as a woman.

Look I know that discrimination occurs against women all the time, but why can we not acknowledge that men can be the victims of gender stereotyping too? Why do we dismiss this kind of discrimination while emphasizing case of discrimination against women?

My firm belief is that this world will become a better place when men and women stop fighting each other and realize that we're all human and we need each other.

Why can't we work together as humans to make this world a better place for all of us without drawing lines that place people of the opposite sex as the enemy?

TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 13:31:04

Dworkin there's a very funny passage in the Malcolm Bradbury novel Stepping Westward where a visiting literature lecturer tries to teach 'A Modest Proposal' to a group of unsophisticated students and they can't grasp the satire and think he's advocating baby eating and complain about him to the university authorities.

FrothyDragon Tue 06-Mar-12 13:37:44

Now you mention it, Turnip, I do think DS would cook quite well in a stew... Eradicating men AND children in one go... Do I get extra points? grin

<disclaimer: Views represented in this post are not really held by the FrothyDragon clan... Nor any of MN, from what I'm aware...>

TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 13:40:01

<awaits article appearing on MRA website proclaiming that not only do feminists feminazis plan to cook and eat male children, they have a point-based system for rewarding the ones who eat the most>

Dworkin Tue 06-Mar-12 13:44:07

Oh I'm loving this. Whoever says feminists don't have a sense of humour needs to get out more!

Lilly Of course men never reinact anything they see on the big screen...


And I love the clips to this post, to continue with the laughter!

FrothyDragon Tue 06-Mar-12 13:46:20

Whoever says Feminists don't have a sense of humour OBVIOUSLY hasn't spent enough time here... wink

Dworkin Tue 06-Mar-12 13:47:21

Re-enact of course.

Dworkin Tue 06-Mar-12 13:50:19

Lilly you wrote:

"My firm belief is that this world will become a better place when men and women stop fighting each other and realize that we're all human and we need each other.

Why can't we work together as humans to make this world a better place for all of us without drawing lines that place people of the opposite sex as the enemy?"

Set that to music and you might be in with a chance to enter the Eurovision song contest.

SinicalSanta Tue 06-Mar-12 13:53:37

That's a lovely sentiment Lilly.
That's what feminists do.

The patriarchy hurts men too smile

TunipTheVegemal Tue 06-Mar-12 13:55:58

You'll like this then Lilly.

It's an article on the Good Men Project site talking about how the solution to most of the problems MRAs complain about is more feminism.

FrothyDragon Tue 06-Mar-12 14:01:05

See, we have the comedy geniuses in FWR... grin

And thanks to sinicalsanta, we have the poets, too... wink

LillyJ123 Tue 06-Mar-12 14:03:36

First of turnip, so sorry to have ignored you up till now, I'm getting about five replies to every post I make so it's kind of hard to keep up. I haven't read Swift's book, and I guess that's just not the kind of satire I appreciate, however I do understand the point you are trying to make and yes, I do understand the concept of satire.

I do ask you though, if Solanas's book had been a satire against women do you think you would have still appreciated it as a good satire? If so what other satires with women as the butt of the joke have you enjoyed?

OK already! I am an Australian woman who has fought for feminist rights but also believes in justice for men. Is that enough to make me an outcast on this page?

I saw someone getting a little smart arse on me, and I note, being just a tad sexist against men (always harder to spot isn't it?) by suggesting that a man would have to ask others for suggestions, he'd leave the hard work to the women. Here we have a tiny little example of misandry. Ask yourself: if genders had been swapped and it had been suggested that a woman had to ask men for suggestions would that have been construed as sexist and misogynistic?

My reason for phrasing it that was simply the hope I had that we might put our differences aside for a short while in order to work for something greater than our petty differences of opinion. In asking for other people's suggestions I was trying to foster some co-operation. I would like to do something about it, but I honestly don't know what - and at least I have the courage to admit that. I still haven't heard anyone make any suggestions and I am asking not just the women but the men on this thread too for ideas on what we could do about the infanticide of baby girls.

You know what? I am going to say something that I KNOW will invoke scorn upon me, but I will be honest (get your ammunition ready) I could not read much of the SCUM manifesto, I found it upsetting and I gave up on it. I await the inevitable onslaught smile I will even concede this point, perhaps it is a satire and I missed it.

I will however once again ask all of you: if this satire had had women as the targets do you think you would have appreciated it just as much? And what satire have you enjoyed and appreciated where women - or perhaps even feminists - were the satirical targets?

Frothy Dragon, you also have a very valid point and yes I am far more outraged by two women getting killed in real life in the UK than by a satirical book. I am curious to know though, if such a book had been written by a man with women as the targets, do you think he would have been accused of misogyny?

Turnip I have answered your questions. Have you also noticed that Nyac has not answered a fair number of my questions? Should I get on her case about that or is it ok with you if she ignores my questions?