Warning: brief mention of sexual assault and harassment
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Whenever I come across a site or blog overrun by misogynistic rants, its strikes me just how insulting that perspective is toward men, and how misogynists lack the self-awareness to recognize it.
For example, there are those who claim that men and women are fundamentally, diametrically opposite and that those differences are purely a result of biology rather than social conditioning. They use this to rationalize professional discrimination against women, saying that women are simply unfit for leadership roles or jobs in science and math because of biology. They say that women tend to avoid those fields by choice and that it’s perfectly reasonable to hire more men for those positions because women are less suited for them. They dismiss the influence of social conditioning and the discouragement and harassment that so many women receive when entering those fields, shrugging it off with a flippant “that’s life” and “get used to it”. However, they would never be so dismissive about a man who was facing discrimination. They complain about men not doing as well academically or having more trouble with subjects like English, yet they never blame that on the same gender stereotypes that also affect women. They’re oblivious to the fact that it comes from the same source.
If you believe that women are naturally more inclined toward language and writing, as so many gender essentialists claim, then it would make sense for women to rise above men in those fields. But: 1) male authors are still more widely represented in academia and literature, so there is no phenomenon of men being silenced in those areas, and 2) sexists only want to tout gender essentialism when it can be used to justify anti-female bias and institutional discrimination against women. They only decry that same belief system when it disadvantages men. They point to programs that are specifically arranged to create more opportunities for women and call it preferential treatment, but those programs exist to counteract the effects of discrimination. They would otherwise be unnecessary. Programs geared specifically toward helping men get ahead in STEM fields don’t exist for the same reason that there is no financial aid for wealthy students.
Misogynists also say that men are better suited for high-risk fields and that women should be excluded from them, yet complain that more men are killed or injured at work and say the male sex is seen as “disposable” because of these jobs. If you believe these jobs are only appropriate for men, then you are the one who sees men as disposable.
Sexists say that the types of jobs which are most heavily populated by men are the more important ones, and that’s why men tend to get paid more. But they fail to see that those jobs are only deemed “more important” because they are associated with men.
There are myriad ways in which misogynists negatively stereotype men in other areas of life as well. Sexual assault is a glaring example. I’ve heard so many “Men’s Rights Activists” and other anti-feminists excuse rape and sexual harassment by calling it “male sexuality.” They use it as an umbrella term, rather than acknowledging that there is no singular form of male sexuality. (What about men who are sexually submissive? What about men who value consent? What about non-hetero men? Trans men? In the eyes of misogynists, they are not “real” men and don’t count.)
Misogynists are fond of saying that feminists and the legal system “criminalize male sexuality,” but they are the ones conflating male sexuality with sexual assault. They’re the ones saying that “real men” yell obscene comments to women on the street, grope their female coworkers, drug and rape women at parties, and try to solicit sex from fourteen-year-old girls. They are the ones defining that as manhood, just as they accuse feminists of doing (and, for the record, I have never heard a feminist say that all or most men commit these acts). The difference is that misogynists laud, or at least excuse, that type of behavior. Misogynists constantly accuse rape survivors of lying about their assaults, but they don’t see that this victim blaming also does enormous harm to male sexual assault survivors—despite the fact that they frequently (and accurately) point out that men are raped, too. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to want to discuss male rape as an issue in itself. They only want to bring it up when it can be used to talk over women who have been assaulted.
Those are just a few ways in which I've noticed that anti-woman beliefs are self-sabotaging, but there are so many more. Misogyny is an endless feedback loop of wanting to have their cake and eat it too, but then poisoning their own cake and blaming women for allowing a man to bake for himself.