Yes, that’s right, folks, it’s yet another blog where I debunk a bunch of MRA garbage. Why? Well, I tend to believe that men should let women take the lead in the fight for gender equality, but that being said, the one area where we should definitely be proactive is in holding ourselves accountable. So when one of us does something stupid, the rest of us should say something. Let’s go through it line by line. (The fun just never stops.)
His words are in blue, mine are in black. (Here’s a link to his site)
There is an issue we need to address. Let’s call it “Blaming men.” Constantly we hear “oh it’s a man’s world”, “oh men are privileged”, “we need equal rights!” “Men oppress women!” “Men are sexist!”
Oh dear…You know, every time I start one of these, I feel like I’m giving a DVD commentary on a really bad movie. I’m so glad we’re off to a good start here.
But do we see any major female associated crises? No. Do we have a major masculinity crisis in men today? Yes. So maybe… Just maybe, we should stop attacking and belittling men.
Firstly, I want to clarify what I mean by female crises and male crises right here just briefly. I will explain in more detail towards the end of the article.
Are females today, less feminine than females 100, or 1000 years ago? The answer is a resounding no.
Are males, less masculine than men 100 or 1000 years ago? The answer is a resounding HELL YES!
Masculine and feminine are abstractions with no real objective meaning, and as a result they aren’t norms that either gender should strive for. This has been studied quite thoroughly, and the evidence all points to the same conclusion: men and women aren’t that different in the ways they think. Aptitude for a wide variety of skill sets is evenly distributed in both genders with differences being small enough to be considered statistically insignificant. (Likely a result of the particular sample studied). And this, of course, ignores the fact that there are people who don’t identify as male or female. Femininity and masculinity aren’t ideals to strive for.
Women have always had a lesser role in society since the beginning of time. Women who say, “Oh it’s 2015 let’s change that! No. This isn’t about empowering women. And there is no secret plot by men to treat you as slaves. It’s just the way it was meant to be. Men are supposed to be the sturdy oak, and women, the feminine energy, the vine.
Yeah, okay, see above. I repeat that there is very little evidence to suggest endemic differences between men and women. Personality is not defined by gender.
So let us be that.
Instead of attacking men, men need more praise. I’m not talking about accomplishments etc. for old men. I’m talking about young boys. They need to be told how great they are, how great a leader they are, how powerful they are. That they have a great role to play in society!
A great leader doesn’t need to be told that she’s a great leader; she simply does what is necessary when it is necessary. And yes, I am very deliberately using female pronouns here. Leadership skills aren’t inherently male or masculine. I could make a list of the best bosses I’ve ever had, and every single person on that list is a woman.
What’s more, anyone who needs to be praised for his leadership skills has no business being in charge of anything. If you seek a position of authority for the accolades, you will be a horrible person to work for. Finally, as to your point about men needing to feel powerful…Power is not something that anyone should want.
In today’s society, boys are not empowered like women are empowered these days. Boys are left to grow up like girls. Women aren’t heavily dependent on role models. It’s a social construct that we’ve put in place these days with female celebrities. And ITS ACTUALLY HAVING THE OPPOSITE EFFECT OF WHAT ROLE MODELS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO! We have women like Kim Kardashian, famous for a sex tape, Miley Cyrus, famous for being a crazy ridiculous confused individual and others like these.
You’re confusing fame with infamy. Kim Kardashian is not revered for her sex tape; she is belittled for it. You might want to take note of the fact that the men in those sex tapes are never thrust into the public spotlight in quite the same way. What’s the name of the guy who leaked Kim’s sex tape? I don’t even remember. Kim is judged and ridiculed for having sex; the man walks away without a single word of criticism. Furthermore, you speak as if female celebrities are the only ones who cause public shame. Does anyone remember Justin Bieber’s antics?
To your point about boys not being empowered, you might want to watch Feminist Frequency’s video on the difference between the Lego that is marketed to boys and the Lego that is marketed to girls.
We would have women with a higher self-esteem if we took away these role models. Mothers and daughters have an incredible bond. That’s the way it was meant to be. But boys need role models! They need fathers. Fathers that will teach them lessons about how they are to be men and act like men, and play their role in society.
Wait, what? Did I read that right? Boys need role models, but girls don’t? One thing I hate about responding to MRAs is that I never feel 100% certain I understand what they’re trying to say, mostly because the vast majority of it is so absurd I can’t believe anyone would say it with sincerity.
Okay, so given what we learned a few paragraphs ago – skills and personality traits are evenly divided among men and women – why wouldn’t girls need role models?
But that’s not what they’re getting. The attitude today is, “let them figure it out for themselves” and you know, “women are just so oppressed in today’s society, let us pay all our attention to building up women and building up their self-esteem, and let men’s learning fall by the wayside and let them find their own way.” It makes me extremely mad!
If you’re trying to make the point that men are tragically undereducated – or more accurately, miseducated – about how to behave in a civilized society, then I would have to agree. Frankly, I think most of us could stand to take a course called Human Decency 101. It will feature such lessons as “Death threats are not the appropriate response to opinions you don’t like” and “women’s bodies don’t belong to you.”
Advanced Placement courses in the field of human decency will include complex topics like “Don’t snap pictures of random women you see on the subway without their consent” and “don’t send e-mails to female newspaper reporters that include words like ‘whore.’”
As a society we are ignoring the fact that this is even an issue and we don’t know what is wrong. We don’t know why men have no masculinity these days.
Because masculinity isn’t a real thing that one can possess. It’s an abstraction.
Today stereotypes of men are that, they like sex, they are paedophiles, domestic abusers, drug dealers, hardened criminals.
I hate to tell you this, but many of us have earned our bad reputation. Those of us who haven’t need to understand that women and other people who do not identify as cisgender male have every right to be skeptical of us. Trust is something that we’re going to have to earn, and the process is going to be quite painful, and we have no one but ourselves to blame for that sad reality.
All reverence and admiration of the gentleman has been lost in this generation. All credit and respect… No young man growing up today will tell you they want to grow up to be a gentleman. Honestly I doubt a young boy could even tell you what a gentleman was! I ain’t never heard the word brought up in 10 years! In today’s society it is more taboo than sex, weed and alcohol.
Speaking as someone who actually behaves like a gentleman, I can tell you that most of the women I interact with give me kindness, respect and probably more praise than I deserve. But you have to actually act like a gentleman; that’s the key. How do you do that, you say? Well, there’s this great course called Human Decency 101…
For real. The roles have reversed, so young men are growing up, ashamed. Ashamed that they are men. And men represent all this bad stuff. Boys grow up and either fully accept it and embody these disgusting traits or they fear it and have no alternative model to follow. They’re lost. They have lost their identity. They don’t know where to find it. They are afraid to grow up into a man. A powerful creature that they are told doesn’t know how to control himself, who will abuse alcohol and women and drugs. When men are told sex is bad, but it’s a natural response, confusion is the result. That’s what happened to masculinity.
It’s difficult to respond to this because it’s a truth claim that I can’t even verify. I have seen no evidence to indicate that boys are afraid of becoming men. Quite the opposite, really. Most of what I’ve seen – which I’ll admit is anecdotal – says that men are a little too proud of themselves. I think you’re just factually wrong here.
Now I would like to talk about the difference between the female fight and the male fight.
Right now and for a very long time there has been a human rights movement called feminism. They fight for “women’s rights.” But there has never been a meninist group. Well when I said that women are as womanly has they have ever been. You can’t say the same for men can you? You might argue oh it’s 2015, men are just evolving, becoming more modern. No. Not true.
Okay, so first off, you’ve misunderstood the basic goal of feminism, which is not to make women more womanly. It’s to grant women and other people who don’t identify as cis-men the same rights and opportunities as cis-men. It’s to create a world in which people of all genders are judged by the same set of standards. To create a world where gender doesn’t affect your quality of life.
You know why there is a female movement? See it’s not because women are made to feel like less of a woman. No, femininity is still celebrated today. No the cause of feminism, is to make women feel like more of a man. Feel more equal, and have more in common with a man. Earn what a man earns, work where a man works, dress how men dress, behave like men behave. And even worse, shame men for being men. Don’t celebrate a woman’s body. No! Promote all body sizes are beautiful! No fat shaming. This is the feminist movement.
I sincerely doubt that most women who identify as feminists want to become more like men. I’ve met quite a few, and every single one of them would find the idea absurd.
Regarding your point about fat shaming, I have three things to say in response.
1) Women are not obligated to conform to our standards of beauty or to change their appearance to suit our preferences.
2) Has it ever occurred to you that there are plenty of people – many of them cisgender men – who find curvy women beautiful? I’ve dated a plus-sized woman, and I thought she was smoking hot from head to toe.
3) Some people don’t care all that much about physical appearance. It’s happened more than once where I’ve developed a crush on someone without even knowing what she looks like. I’ve dated women of all body types – short, tall, petite, curvy – and every single one of them was the most beautiful person I had ever seen while I was in love with her.
But the problem for men, is not that we are made to feel like less of a woman! NO! Men are made to feel less like men! Women don’t understand this. You think you are fighting the same battle, but it is in fact the complete opposite!
Exactly what battle do you think we men are fighting?
This attack on men, it’s humiliating! It’s emasculating! You are stripping us of our identity! Do you think it’s easy for men to come out and say, I feel like less of a man today than my grandfather and his father? I feel like my wife walks all over me. I feel like a failure. I feel like I can’t be a man today, because it’s been labelled as a bad thing. I can’t be the provider and protector of my household and be the traditional role of the sturdy oak for my family. THAT’S why the issue has stayed silent all these years! Male suicide rates are higher than ever. More men are in prison. More men are failing in school. There are more households with without a father. Men today feel like failures. They don’t want to carry the burden of failing a kid. So they avoid it.
Okay, I can’t respond to this.
Not because I don’t have a response but because that response would necessitate a post equal in length to everything I’ve written thus far. There are many, many reasons why the mental health of people of all genders is failing. For instance, you might want to look at the work of Richard Wilkinson. His research on the detrimental effects of wealth inequality is quite illuminating. And that’s just one factor.
Women are not the cause of our mental anguish; if anything, we’ve done that to ourselves.
Here’s some fun sci-fi with a diverse cast.