Far too many men tolerate anti-male sexism because they are socialized to, among other things, repress their feelings about personal matters the way women have been socialized to repress their feelings about sexual matters.
“…I really believe…that this country is in trouble because men have given up the debate. Whatever women say, men just nod along. We don’t know how to fight back. We don’t know how to stick up for ourselves. Women say such things as ‘Women are more spiritually evolved,’ and men just nod….”–HBO’s Bill Maher
“When you make fun of a white, Anglo-Saxon male, husband, dad, you don’t get a single letter of complaint.” –Terry O’Reilly (page down to Comments) of Pirate Toronto, a leading audio advertising firm
While many ideological feminists talk about male conspiracies to silence women, the male’s fear-induced apathy conspires to silence men. In this way men are divided and conquered in “The Battle Over Gender Issues.” -Male Matters
FAR too many men tolerate anti-male sexism because they are:
· Socialized to repress their feelings about personal matters the way women have been socialized to repress their feelings about sexual matters, and hence are often as uncomfortable talking about gender issues as women have been talking about pornography!
· Fearful of being the first to speak up in a group and being scorned with: “Why are you the only one having a problem with this? Get over it.” Go here to see the price MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough paid for speaking up for men on his own show! (Probably most men are socialized to fear being told they have a problem — with anything; they especially fear being told they have a problem with fear! A là Betty Friedman, I have named this fear “the problem with no name,” a topic perhaps worthy of a book-length discourse itself.) The anonymity of the Internet gives many men the courage they need to counter the ideology of the single-party system of gender politics.
· Silenced by the chivalrous fear of upsetting women, whom men are supposed to simultaneously see as capable of handling the violence of hand-to-hand combat with enemy soldiers but incapable of handling men’s mere words. Radical feminist ideology informs us that women can cope with death-threatening revilement – “Die, slut!” – from an enraged enemy soldier on the battlefield, but cannot cope with a good-intentioned compliment – “Hi, gorgeous!” – from an effervescent man in the workplace.
· Silenced by seeing themselves as protectors of women. Many men, especially feminist men, want to be known as protectors of women (often to earn female approval or female votes). Since such chivalrous men are sometimes willing to sacrifice their lives for women, many can certainly be counted on to sacrifice their rights for women.
· Silenced by a political correctness that is hostile and censorious to non-feminist views on gender, particularly when such views are offered by men.
· Silenced by the mistaken belief that all feminists work in the interest of both sexes and for the good of the country, and that to be against feminists is to be against women. And to be “against women” (to be against women’s gender views, etc.) may mean, for a man, to make people suspect he is homosexual, or that he is not a masculine man.
· Taught by feminists and the media, in a sleight-of-hand manner, to see only female burdens and male power, taught even to see male powerlessness as male power. (The military conscription of men is presented as male power, not the male powerlessness that it is. So is having to work long hours in an oppressive job to raise the income that supports a family, that gives the wife the option of staying at home to raise the children.)
Perhaps yet another reason men tolerate antimale bias, as a friend reminded me, is to avoid being pissed off: the friend refuses to read my blog for that reason. He says he wants “to be happy, not angry at women.” He wants to stay out of “all that gender crap,” preferring instead, I suppose, to adopt the ostrich mentality and keep his head in the sand, maybe hoping it will all blow over some day.
Often, when men do enter the fray and complain about antimale sexism, many people, especially ideological feminists, try to shut them down. (That’s what Mika Brzezinski did to Joe Scarborough.) These feminists remind these few vocal men that most of the wealthy and powerful are men* — as if no individual man has a right to complain regardless of how bad off he is. But when a woman complains about female bashing, no one tries to shut her down by pointing out that virtually every wealthy man has a wife who on average is far freer, less oppressed, healthier, and longer-living than he is (thus she will enjoy the wealth he created longer than he will), and that women control over 50 percent of the nation’s wealth and 80 percent of the spending.
“But the mere suggestion that men need their own health bureau or that they must advocate for their rights like a victimized minority rankles some women’s health advocates, and some politicians are reluctant to take men’s health on as a cause, for fear of alienating women.” –Roni Rabin, The New York Times How does this differ from whites being reluctant to take blacks’ health on as a cause for fear of alienating other whites? (Emphasis by Male Matters)
All this may help explain why the “powerful, privileged” sex has no large men’s movement to counter the antimale sexism.
*These feminists are unconsciously influenced by the apex fallacy, which largely drives their sexism against men. “The apex fallacy is the idea that we use the most visible members of a group to make generalizations about the entire group; i.e., we see prominent men at the top of the pyramid and think all men are doing well, when in fact there are a great many at the bottom of the pyramid, too.” –Alison Beard, a senior editor at Harvard Business Review
[As always, by “feminists” I mean both female and male ideological feminists, not such feminists as Christina Hoff Sommers and Reason magazine’s Cathy Young, who write about the burdens and responsibilities of both sexes.]
Recommended book: “Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say“