Saturday, March 21, 2015

How to hate men

Many words are spilled in the effort to convince people that feminists do, or do not, hate men.

In some view, it is a useful discourse. In all subjects, prejudice matters. Bias matters. Motives matter. And good activism relies on objectivity - if facts are always second to immutable feelings, it's hard to imagine any arguments standing up to critical analysis.

It's also true that feminism positions itself as a movement to end bias and gender-based hatred. Feminism, it is said, exists to end sexism and misogyny. It would obviously be a failure to exchange one contempt for another.

But there's a reason that "misandry" is not a word that seems to be catching on.

Some self-styled "feminists" that are fond of jokes about "male tears" and "manbabies" will say that their form of humor is a way to "punch up" and battle the oppressors. Others may say that it's a satirical expression that aims to show how feminists are perceived.

Perhaps the answer is simpler. Nobody cares about "misandry" because the hatred any feminist has for men does not even register. That is, perhaps feminist women cannot hate men more than men hate men.

Consider comedy that is fat-shaming or transphobic. The staple that puts a heterosexual man in bed as he wakes up to find that the person in his company is an individual that does not conform to the typical assessment of beauty and propriety. The joke shames women, while it also shames the man - ultimately he is culpable for his situation and his loss of social status. Entirely a product of his own choices, he now has a shameful secret to hide to the end of his days. The men in the audience can laugh at his demise while feeling comforted that his existence ensures other men are not laughing at them.

Second, the tired lament that women date "assholes" and not the "nice guys". Does this protest illustrate contempt more for women or fellow men? The phenomenon is not unique to men, as we know women also do not have one another's back.

This is not to suggest that men do not hate women, only to suggest when doing so men also find copious amounts of distaste for one another.

The feminist hatred of men, to whatever extent it exists, is not only drown out by volume of awfulness but also by its similarity. Consider that in some corners of the internet, men can be witnessed calling each other "manginas" and "betas". The 'feminist' side of this coin are the terms "neckbeard" and "angry virgin". The common denominator is a man qualifies as a loser when subservient to or not winning the affection of a woman. These words only exist as "faggot" is now thankfully passé.

The question of man hating is a tiresome debacle. If there is something interesting to see in self-styled "feminist" women, it is that they love men too much. Take for instance the coveted office of the CEO. As it turns out, there is not a lot of evidence that suggests it really matters how much these paragons of business dismiss, talk over or tie up women.

Attention focuses on the 'problematic' behavior of these abrasive, self-confident, pushy and wealthy men - but at the end of the day they remain winners. Their asses are firmly planted in the driver's seat, as they are impeccably dressed providers that will get invited back to a panel that will ask them politely for advice as to how more women could land a CEO job. The job can be naturally be assumed to be the CEO position at someone else's company, of course.

These titans of industry are mouthpieces of status quo uniformity, but look good in a suit. Brash, but bold. Sexist, but seductively stoic.  The boss critiqued by "progressive" pundits still epitomizes a man in control, simply given an opportunity to slap rationality into or whisper sweet-nothings for the horde of hysterical bloggers.

Whether men are loved or hated is at times irrelevant, as we have a common preoccupation. We all greatly admire and respect gender roles more than we're willing to admit. Even the most hardcore gender warriors live lives that are embarrassingly normative and old fashioned.  Some other woman is going to flip marriage on its head and put a ring on a bloke. Someone else's husband is going to be the stay-at-home dad. Someone else's workplace can be exactly 50% women. The next generation will be the one that finds a way to excel at both pregnancy and promotions. A systemic problem is continually someone else's problem.

There is more ambivalence than anger.

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