Saturday, June 7, 2008

Reverse Misogyny

Your daily dose of Amber's rantings. Word of the day: Misandry, the hatred of men.

I consider myself to be a feminist in all of the good ways (God is the creator of the feminine) and, hopefully, none of the bad.

So it irks me to no end when we women take the social freedom we've gained in the past hundred years and clobber men over the head with it.

Mao Zedung said that women "hold up half the sky," a turning point for women in China who finally were granted recognition for their societal contribution. Twice recently, I've read or heard this metaphor used: "In China, they say women hold up half of the sky. But in America [or enter your country of choice here], we hold up all of it." (Giddy cheers from the crowd.)

The cliche of the uber-competent, dynamic woman/wife and the oafish, blunderer of a man/husband is so accepted these days in our commercials and TV shows and email forwards. Where the women wink to each other about what fools their husbands are, knowing they're the real brains of the operations. Think King of Queens with that hot, smart wifey and her portly, goofy husband. Think of those life insurance commercials where the wife dishes to the camera about her idiot husband. But what if this was reversed once again, and it was the men winking at our stupidity? Them hogging the sky? We'd call them pigs.

Why do we rejoice in the delinquency of men? And, although many men wouldn't let us have any of the sky for so long, why are we now not allowing them even a corner of the sky, elbowing them in the face as we hog it all for ourselves? We're like the archetypal abused child who goes on to beat their own children.

There are many places where women do hold up the entire sky out of necessity, women whose husbands are sluggards and no-shows, but they would tell you it's not the ideal to have the entire sky sagging down on them and certainly not cause for celebration. Yes, many men are idiots. Many men are creeps. But this is true of many women too. We just can't reduce the world to "we're good"/"they're bad."

I understand why there's this tendency; it's a natural reaction to want to "get back" at those at whose hands we were made weak, to "get out" some of those feelings. When having been treated as inferior, to now reign as superior. It's a natural trend we've seen in history over and over. Conquered wants to become conquerors.

Let's be the ones mature and self-assured enough that, now that we've been finally given the respect we deserved so long, we don't yank it out from under men. Down with misandry! God created women marvelous and intelligent and wonderful. And the same can be said for men.

11 comments:

T. said...

I agree with many of your points, but we are still having to climb our way to true equality. Women still make less than men in the same positions. We are still wanting the true equality where we are not judged in the workplace as a B@#$%^ if we are driven where men are seen as strong and respected with the same behavior. I work in a world of women and we don't make as much money becasue of the stereotyped role (which is why teaching is mostly women--we still fall into those stereotypes). Many women are able to multitask easily because of the way our brains are wired differently than men--this is where many of the stereotypes are born and sometimes--even I-- become sexist, making bad comments about the opposite sex. We still live in a world where only men will be president because women come off to others as soft. Most of my focus in my masters degree was surrounding gender in education and boys and girls do learn very differently--our brains are very different. In the 90's there was a shift in the ways that teachers looked at students--there are studies that show that teachers gave better grades and more attention to the girls because of the past studies where the same was given to boys. The pendulum is swinging again. I am not sure we are headed but so many of these little stereotypes influence every aspect of our world whether we want it to or not.
I will try to be nicer with my comments about how awesome women are--since all the men in my life don't fall into those other stereotypes.

Anonymous said...

I agree Amber! Women are pigs!

....

I have a question. In all honesty, do you think that women inherently have lower self-esteem than men? Or maybe it's not lower self-esteem, but a greater need to be accepted/encouraged? Socialize?

I often wonder which of these characteristics are based on differences in the gender, and which are simply products of being raised in our culture. It's funny too, because many men don't care if they get portrayed as dolts, many men would prefer to have less responsibility. If our wives think us incompetent, then they are less likely to demand things from us that would interrupt our golf and fishing expeditions. Obviously shirking responsibility isn't a good thing, but it's a touch of irony that guys get what they want while women are exerting their equality.

I agree most ardently with your post.

Anonymous said...

Oh,,, I didn't sign my post!

-J

Also, since T. brought up multitasking, I will post this link... http://blogs.wsj.com/informedreader/2007/03/07/men-and-women-are-equally-bad-at-multitasking/

Personally, I think it's hard to gauge successful multitasking, as many things simply cannot be done simultaneously, and the things that can be done simultaneously cannot often be done as efficiently as if tended to solely. Some people are better at managing multiple tasks, but this notion that they are congruently talking on the phone, writing an email, balancing the checkbook and cooking breakfast is obviously silly.

This quote is a good example:
“I challenge any man to talk on the phone, send a fax, reply to an email, change a diaper, get a toddler a snack, monitor what your school-aged children are watching on TV and add to the grocery list — all at the same time,” says one mother who runs a home-based business.

Some studies have come to various results on the subject, but what amuses me the most about that article is this line: "A 2003 survey by political scientists at Rutgers University found three-quarters of women think women are better at multitasking than men. One-third of men agreed."

Which lends itself to the question, is perception reality in this case? Just like the notion of 'falling into stereotypes'?

As a prideful male I'm inclined to argue against female multitasking dominance, though I don't think I really care all that much, and it is certainly tangential to the thrust of the post, which I agree with for the most part.

Also, while I wrote this, I simultaneously made a phone call and ate food, which explains why it's not as high quality and took twice as long as it would had I been focused on the one task.

:o)

-Jonathan

Amber said...

Hi Friends! Thanks for being so stimylating.

I would say that even if women are still climbing to equality (which I agree that they are in some instances...though we're doing very well in this country comparatively), let's still do it with respect for others and grace.

And T. by no means do I think we have to stop saying that women are great (I agree, they are great), but we shouldn't do it at the expense of others (namely, men).

The whole multitasking thing, I don't know if the stereotypes are true or not. (I'm the world's absolute worst multi-tasker--I can't even floss my teeth and listen to Mike at the same time. Mike can listen to a book on tape, write a paper on Kant, and clean the toilet all at the same time.) But anyway, even if the multitasking thing is true, it's still not reason to act like men are clods...If it is, then I'm a clod, because I can't multitask. :)

Amber said...

P.S. Jon, I'm glad we finally agreed on something. I just wrote this post solely to get back in your good graces. :)

Mike said...

Personally, I think male and female are all inferior to me. As a highly evolved life form on a level beyond that of ordinary mortals, such trivial concerns of whether one squirming maggot gets to hold its filthy head up one one inch higher than another squirming maggot matter little to me.

While we're at it, why don't we address height inequality? Studies have shown that height and pay (and especially leadership position) and how seriously people take what you say and respect you have a strong relationship. Lame. But that's what hundred foot tall robotic deathlord suits are for. Evening the playing field.

On a side note, it would be more accurate to say a "country" rather than a world where a woman can't be president (though there were plenty of people wanting to back Hilary; I wasn't against her because she was woman, only because she was a Clinton, and the worse of the two in terms of who I agree with; side side note: I don't back Obama or McCain either). There are female heads of state out there (New Zealand, for instance).

I think guys don't mind being publicly mocked as much; I think they don't care as much about what people say. It's like with weight. Most women judge themselves as being more overweight than they are, whereas most guys judge themselves as being less overweight than they really are (not just an assertion; studies show). There is some irony now, though, that (in our climate of political correctness) there are things it's fine to say about men in public forums that you would never be able to say about women. That's pretty typical of America, though. We're actually unable to be unbiased and not be jerks, so we just switch who it's ok to be a jerk about (blacks to whites, homosexuals to heterosexuals, women to men, communists to traditionalists). It's not right either way, but we're not actually great people, so we have to be snotty and disparaging about someone/something. And we love to root for the underdog and the oppressed. It's great, but it's not a one-dimensional virtue; it can go wrong and be manipulated.

As for multitasking thing, brain function is really very theoretical (very very theoretical; no one knows how the human mind actually works, we just have theories based on cause and effect). Men and women's brains are different, though, and I've heard about the white-matter/grey-matter thing (processing vs. connectivity). Anyway, nothing to say on that, really. End of post.

Jon The Hart said...

Interesting that women on average are shorter than men, maybe that alone is to blame for the income disparity between the sexes.

Also, Mike, why don't you start up a bloggerdiggy, you could fire up 'beyondordinarymortals.com', and in other news, we should Smash each other sometime.

Mike said...

That occurred to me, Jonny. I bet it really is all about height. And yes, we should Smash each other. It hadn't really occurred to me before. Let me check my friend code. Is it my serial number? LU102703113. (Should I be posting this on a public blog?) Hey, it's raining.

Stunted man that I am, I yearn for the day when we will rise up and put all the ganglion monsters to the sword.

Jon The Hart said...

I think you should cherish your stature. Reepicheep was not but a foot tall and yet he fought better than many a man of average height. Also, taller people hit their heads on things.

However, if it does come to bloodshed, what is the cutoff (funny) height? Anyone taller than you? Taller than me? It'd be a shame to have to strike you down, but draw that line on the wrong side of me and I will end you.

Mike said...

I'm going to be lenient. People of six feet and taller are the primary offenders. I'm concerned that they may be the offspring of Anak.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think you need to drop the feminist label.

Let us disassemble the word into its base components.

femin from femina (latin)meaning woman
and
ist which is denoting an adherent of a system of beliefs, principles, etc., expressed by nouns ending in - ism.

The word itself is contrary to equality in that it represents only a single gender.

To be more clear, if this word was appropriate than masculinist would mean the same thing.

however..
Definition of MASCULINIST

: an advocate of male superiority or dominance
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/masculinist

Clearly feminism should follow a parallel definition for equality to be true

Egalitarian is a more appropriate word.

Please define yourself thus.