Posts Tagged ‘masculism’

Looking Back at Feminism, 50 Years From Now

Monday, October 5th, 2009

What will people think of feminism 50 years from now, or however long it takes for a more balanced view of gender issues to permeate society?

The first question will likely be: how could we let it go so far? How could men be seen as the oppressors and sole winners in the gender role system when

  • The vast majority of homeless people and prison inmates are men
  • The vast majority of people who die in work related accidents are men
  • The only group of people forced to fight in wars are men

What kind of patriarchy protects its men in such a lousy way? Well, it’s certainly not a patriarchy designed to give men all the perks while leaving women empty-handed (women are the only oppressed class in history who had their oppressors go out and work in the fields for them, as Farrell says).

The second question would likely be how feminism could ever have been looked upon as revolutionary, when it simply perpetuates the view that men are responsible for society while women are seen as not affecting society at all through their lives and choices. That’s a weird way of looking at things once you start thinking about it, but it is one of the root assumptions of contemporary feminism.

Feminism’s belief that women do not have agency and are constant victims of “structures”, while men have nothing but agency and cannot be the victim of structures, is so simplistic that it wouldn’t have been believable if it didn’t play into our deepest instincts. These deep instincts tell us to protect women and children at all costs, and in turn make us listen without demanding proof when a group of women (i.e. feminists) say that they are victims and need more protection.

Anyone who’s interested in truly revolutionizing gender roles (I’m not, by the way), would have passed a law forbidding men to enter combat while forcing women into combat through an exclusively female draft or military service. However, such a proposal–though truly revolutionary in the very spirit that feminism claims to be representing–will never see the light of day since it violates the most basic principle of our gender roles: protect women, let men take the risks.

Feminists have demanded more freedom and better protection for women, but they have never demanded that women take more risks and that men be better protected. There is no outcry about men dying or being injured at dangerous jobs. There’s no lobbying to have women be better represented in the “death professions” that men dominate.

When looking back at feminism 50 years from now, people will likely say that feminism did get one thing right; it opened up our eyes to gender roles, and that there is a lot of room for improvement in both gender roles. We need movements that work with gender issues, and most of all we need men and women who truly care about these issues. However, feminism is not the movement that can make change happen in a constructive way, being far too polarizing and one-sided to be able to see the full spectrum of gender dynamics.

In fact, as long as feminism is seen as the one-stop shop for discussing gender issues, we run the risk of creating more tension and more of a gender war than was ever needed. But if we can let go of feminism sooner rather than later, we will be judged more favorably in the future, and I won’t have to change the title of this post to Looking Back at Feminism, 150 Years From Now.

Men’s News Daily

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

I’ve started writing for Men’s News Daily. At the moment there’s an article by me on the front page.

Male Sacrifice

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

I visited the American Military Cemetery in The Netherlands yesterday. More than 8000 American soldiers are buried there, most of them represented by white crosses.

All of these soldiers have one thing in common: they were men, and they died because they were men.

Never has my experience of male disposablility and male sacrifice been stronger than when walking around that cemetery. It angers me that many feminists will dismiss male war sacrifice by saying that “men are the ones who start wars anyhow”. Saying that is akin to dismissing women traditionally being stuck in the home by saying “that’s where women have chosen to be anyhow”.

We all need more compassion when discussing gender issues.

The men who lie buried in Margraten, The Netherlands, fought to keep Nazism as bay. As such, they are heroes. And as always, when humankind needed a dangerous task to be performed, men came to the rescue.

Margraten American Military Cemetery

Gay Men and Feminism

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Feminism often positions itself as the ideology that cares about the rights of GLBT people. If you take a class on Women’s Studies or Gender Studies, you’ll learn about the concept of intersectionality, which claims that all kinds of oppression – whether based on gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, class, etc – interact.

This means that if you as a gay man want to accept the recognition you get from feminism (i.e. recognition and understanding that discrimination against gays exist), then you also need to accept that men are an oppressive class, and as a gay man you are part of that oppressive class. In other words, feminisms extends one helping hand, and uses the other hand to accusatorily point out gay men as oppressors.

My view on gender roles is that it is far from easy to determine which gender role is “better”, since there are so many downsides to both of them. Therefore I don’t believe in comparing the gender roles; instead, it makes more sense to try to improve both gender roles in tandem. From the position I take on gender roles, I don’t see why gay men should have to put up with being called oppressors (however indirectly), when there is an alternative that accepts their sexuality fully, without slapping the oppressor label on them.

IMO, the natural place for gays to fight for their rights is in a men’s rights movement or a gender liberation movement beyond feminism. As men, gay men experience many of the downsides of the male gender role, except for the downsides that are directly connected to heterosexual marriage and relationships.

Straight men and gay men have more things in common when discussing gender issues than do gays and feminist women.

Concerning Female Sainthood

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

If you were brought up with feminism and a well-meaning mother, you may have gotten the impression that women are frail, honest and moral creatures. No, let me rephrase that (because this blog is not about attacking women). If you were brought up with feminism and a well-meaning mother, you very likely got the impression that women are more frail, more honest and more moral than men are.

Roy F. Baumeister, professor of social psychology, summarized the phenomenon of idealizing women the following way:

Eagly’s research has compiled mountains of data on the stereotypes people have about men and women, which the researchers summarized as “The WAW effect.” WAW stands for “Women Are Wonderful.” Both men and women hold much more favorable views of women than of men. Almost everybody likes women better than men. I certainly do.

Societal stereotypes would thus have us believe that women are better or at least preferable to men. In a post-feminist world, where criticism of women is considered to be sexist, and criticism of men is considered to be politically correct, it can useful to take a look at research that shows us that women are just as human as men.

In a large UK survey about women and lying, some very interesting results were obtained:

HALF of all women would lie to their husbands or partners to keep their relationship going if they became pregnant by another man

They also said four out of ten (42%) would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, in spite of the wishes of their partner.

The new survey of women’s attitudes to truth, relationships, and behaviour, said the overwhelming majority (96%) admit to lying

Eight out of ten women (83%) admit to telling “big, life-changing lies”

Partners (70%) are most likely to be lied to by women

Half (49%) would “kiss and tell” to the media for ’25,000 if they had a one-night stand with a celebrity, and 38% say they would marry purely for money.

An alarming 31% of all women say they would not tell a future partner if they had a sexual disease. This rises for 65% for single women

A fifth of women with a long-term partner (19%) say they have cheated on him by having an affair, while 30% of all women have had an affair with a married man.

These are some pretty serious results, and they are hardly encouraging for a man looking for a committed relationship.

Does this mean that men are more honest than women? Probably not, my guess is that if the same survey had been done on men, the results would have been no more flattering. However, this survey shatters the stereotype that claims that women are wonderful, or at least more moral than men are.

Women are no more moral than men are, and the sooner we all realize that the sooner we can have true equality between the sexes.