50 (Masculism is Problematic, IMHO)

July 9, 2012

OK, so i’ll get to the Fusion write ups later, but i had to put this out there first. And a big h/t to my friend Eden for the editing help. ❤

note: The concepts of misandry and masculism are inherently binarist — and this is in fact, a criticism I have of the two. Because of this, any critique of the ideas of masculism and misandry will deal with binarist claims. I’ve done my best to not be binarist in my critiques, but I felt this needed to be pointed out.

I have to say that i have a problem with Masculism (and misandry and other supposedly equal but opposite terms to feminism) as a concept for the same reasons that “reverse racism” is bullshit. The things that people call “man hating” are, in my opinion, not anywhere near on the same level as systemic misogyny because they are NOT SYSTEMIC and do not in anyway result in “female privilege.” I blogged about this a little while ago here .

As i said in that blog, while i do totally believe in, and have experienced, something that could be called sexism against people read as men, i don’t believe that it’s actually misandry. What i do believe is that as traditional gender roles continue to shift and break down, the sexism (against people read as women) that has pervaded society and has become systemic is now hurting men.

It’s a backlash.

So when men feel like society is coming down on them for performing in a way that is considered traditionally feminine, it’s not because men are hated, it’s because women and femininity are hated. Thus to take on what’s considered to be a feminine role is considered to be degrading to men, or lowering himself, or otherwise not performing in a “manly” way.

There are many ways in which this manifests, which those who call themselves masculists are perfectly valid in discussing and breaking down, and they do, so that’s great. But my issue is that it’s framed in this idea that such a thing is systemic, and (from what i’ve seen) completely devoid of the context that all of the traditional and assumed roles that are set up for people in society are rooted in sexism against women, not men. One passage that i saw was: “Many people find it so unthinkable that men might want to have traditionally feminine jobs such as nurses or teachers that they tend to promote men out of those jobs and into more traditionally masculine positions such as administration; this sounds like an advantage, but most people become nurses to take care of patients, not to deal with paperwork, and it’s based in misandric stereotypes around what men can do.” In my opinion, that last sentence is problematic because it ignores the systemic reality that misogyny dictates what women can do. As a result, it ALSO dictates what men can do, but this is not misandry. It’s simply the backlash of misogyny. The sentence is more correct when phrased this way: “it’s based in misogynistic stereotypes around what women do.” That, of course, IS systemic, and conversely this affects what’s expected of men as well, but that’s not the dominant issue.

If masculists acknowledged that more often (i have seen it in a few places), i’d have way less of a problem with masculism as a concept, i think.

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