Man-bashing Has Become a Hobby

My girlfriend recently wrote me an email complaining about a minor infraction committed by her husband. She closed the email with, “I hate men.” Unfortunately, I hear this kind of language often from women. “I’d expect that from a man.” Or “Men are so unreliable.” Or one of my favorites, “You can’t trust a man to do anything right.”

I have several problems with this statement or anything like it for the following reasons: 

1) Many women in our society have adopted a reverse sexism. They spew male-loathing openly, loudly and in front of their children. They spread hate for nearly half of the population, including their own sons.

2) Blaming relationship difficulties or annoyance on an individual’s gender removes the responsibility from the individual. After all, that person can’t help being a man, right? That means that nothing will change because no one is really responsible.

3) By categorizing behaviors by gender, we perpetuate problematic stereotypes and teach our children gender roles that have nothing to do with biology. We make our children far more sensitive to gender than necessary and we define our children rather than letting them be who they are.

Women have suffered sexism for countless generations. The Bible and the Koran position women as sinful, dirty, disposable and lesser beings. In modern Western culture, women experience covert sexism in the workplace and often overt sexism at home. But hating back is not the solution. It’s part of the problem.

As mothers, we need to stop the man-hating rhetoric and teach our sons and daughters that they are equally worthy and responsible in this world. Hating anyone simply encourages them to hate you back.

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6 thoughts on “Man-bashing Has Become a Hobby

  1. I admire your urge for fair play. On the other hand, one of the things that’s happen in my working with thousands and thousands of couples is almost an embarrassment at being a man. In probably 75% of the relationships I’ve seen, the man is 75% to blame for the troubles the couple is experiencing. Generally, we’re lousy lovers, lousy listeners, selfish, childish and – well you get the idea. For the relationship to take a turn for the better, most of my time is spent motivating the man to get on board with what it takes to make a relationship work.

    • While I am not agreeing with your assertion that 75% of the time, problems in a (presumably heterosexual) relationship are the man’s fault, I would ask whether you think that is biologically determined (men are inherently lousy listeners and lovers) or learned. I posit that such behaviors or shortcomings are learned. We tell our sons to “act like a man” and not cry when they are hurt. We tell them to not be sissies, because feeling is somehow female rather than human. And by teaching them these rules of manhood, we teach our sons to deny feelings that make them human. They grow into men who have troubled relationships because of entrenched gender stereotypes.

      It sounds like you are a family therapist. I am now in the last stages of graduate school for therapy. In my work, I have come to recognize the damage that gender roles and stereotypes can have in relationships and families. Your post underscores my position that we need to stop gender-bashing and teach our children that we expect them to be loving, kind, sensitive individuals, regardless of their gender.

  2. I agree with this sentiment very much, and this is one of the few occasions I’ve seen someone else express it. I am tired of hearing someone’s negative behaviour written off as being ‘because he’s a man’ by various women I know. There is a tendency where a particular demographic has been victimised for some time for a backlash to develop where the previously repressed attack another demographic they see as being the repressors. This only perpetuates the cycle of abuse. Female chauvinism will not ‘put right’ history any more than the term ‘white trash’ and the attitude that goes with it will make up for years of racism. And it’s unfair and ridiculous to place the blame of women’s suffrage or racial slavery on the shoulders of people who weren’t even alive at the same time and never committed such acts, purely because they happen to fit into the same demographic as the people who were committing these acts at the time.

    A person is not defined by being a man or a woman, but as an individual who is responsible for its own actions. Cool post.

  3. Lol good for you, generalizing anybody for what they are (male/female, gay/straight, white/black, or bible/atheist, I believe it’s spelled) is just wrong and it’s discriminatory, (my mother raised me with some intelligence & I’m of mixed race, so discrimination of any kind gets me angry) so what about your father or your mother? I have dated some women with bad attitudes and an overall terrible outlook on life but I don’t see all women like that. I love my sisters, my one friend girl, and my mother to pieces. Don’t judge all on the position of one, are you going to say you hate ALL steak because you accidentally ate a burned one on occasion? I have some guy friends I would never let my daughter even know, but I’ve known some great men as well, I’m ok (I’m no misogynist, nor do I support such ignorance). Hatred or dislike of something cannot be tolerated if we are to evolve as a society.

  4. Forgive me, the complete thought was hatred or dislike of something purely because of what you were born as, cannot be tolerated.

  5. Exactly! At my school, one of my teachers dismisses ladies first every Friday. While I do support common courtesy, I do not respect sexism. I have decided to leave with the girls every other week and be a “gentleman” the other weeks. Yes, men should hold the door for ladies and yes, ladies should hold the door for men. We are equal. I am not too dainty to assert myself and men are not too tough to be quietly respectful.

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