Misandry: An Obstacle to Solidarity Between Men and Women
"Misandry" is a word with which I was not familiar until recently. It is a new word that made its debut around the 1970s, with a meaning analogous to "misogyny" (hatred or dislike of women or femaleness) but applied to men, thus meaning hatred or dislike of men or maleness. It is probably not a coincidence that the word "misandry" emerged when it did because it was 1971 when Gloria Steinem launched Ms Magazine to promote misandry among women in the name of feminism. Why would Steinem do such a thing? Feminism had until this time been seen not as misandry, but as a movement for the entirely worthy goal of equality between men and women under the law and equality of respect and dignity for men and women in all areas of life.
The explanation is that Gloria Steinem had long been a CIA agent employed initially to monitor and influence the international student movement and later on to promote misandry. Steinem was so comfortable associating with America's ruling elite that that she was photographed with Henry Kissinger in a way that made her think it necessary to publicly deny she was dating him.* Why would the CIA promote misandry? If there is one single thing that the American plutocracy, which controls the CIA and employs war criminals such as Henry Kissinger, cares about more than anything else, it is staying in power. To stay in power the plutocracy needs to use divide and rule to prevent ordinary people from developing solidarity with each other: men with women, blacks with whites and Hispanics, Americans with people of other nations, and people of one religion with another. Solidarity among ordinary people gives them the power to challenge the rule of the plutocracy, and to make the world be the way most people want it to be--more equal and democratic.
Misandry Comes from the Leadership of the Feminist Movement
No doubt many, perhaps most, women who view feminism favorably do not hate or dislike men, and they want solidarity between men and women as much as anybody. They may think feminism is the benign belief that society, in at least some of its aspects, is structured in ways that demean women and accord them an inferior status to men, and that the goal of feminism is merely to achieve genuine equality between men and women. The problem is that the top leaders of the feminist movement in the United States (I am not generalizing to other nations here because I have not studied them) are using their Big Money-backed influence as much as they can to get women literally to view men as their enemy. What is the evidence of this?
When Steinem launched Ms Magazine, it was with CIA funding. Ms Magazine was funded so well that, unlike other magazines, it was able to stop relying on advertising. Following this the Ford (see here also) and Rockefeller Foundation began funding "Women's Studies" programs at countless American colleges and universities. The theme of Ms Magazine and the Women's Studies programs was, and continues to be, that our society is a "patriarchy," meaning that men as a class are privileged and the oppressiveness of society is experienced chiefly, if not exclusively, by women, for the benefit of men. Modern feminist theory embraces versions of misandry that range from deceptively implicit ("men are a privileged class") to obviously and viciously explicit ("men should be literally eliminated from the world.") As discussed below, major feminist leaders are closely allied with the advocacy of obvious and vicious misandry, even if they personally prefer to express implicit misandry.
The implicit versions of misandry emphasize that men are a privileged class and if they want to do the right thing they will help women fight against the ways that men are privileged, in other words that a good man is one who helps women oppose a social system that is good for men. Some of these implicit versions of misandry are described in "Women's Studies: Our Perspective," in which the following assertions by various feminist theorists of "patriarchy" are presented:
Explict and obviously vicious misandry is advocated by feminists such as the late Professor Mary Daly who taught at Boston College. Mary Daly was interviewed about her recent (at the time) book, Quintessence, by Catherine Madsen. In her book, Daly describes a utopian future world without partriarchy. Catherine Madsen, speaking about Daly's book, said to Daly, "[T]he convenient disappearance of the patriarchs, and of males generally, just doesn't strike me as. . . sufficiently credible to give hope." The interview next touches on Madsen's use of the word "convenient" and then continues this way:
Daly sees the elimination of "males generally" as "wonderful" and the only way to end "patriarchy." The literalness of Mary Daly is reflected in the fact that, as Madsen reports in the introduction to this interview, "She [Mary Daly] is a proponent of parthenogenesis [reproduction from an ovum without fertilization by a male], in both its physical and intellectual forms -- the creation of 'unfathered works.'" Mary Daly also, quite literally, refused to admit men to her class at Boston College.
Here is another interview with Mary Daly:
Before seeing how feminist leaders have embraced Mary Daly's explicit misandry, let's go back and take a closer look at the wrongness and harmfulness of the implicit "male privilege" version of misandry. To appreciate how wrong and harmful--to both men and women--the notion of "male privilege" is, and how useful to the plutocracy this notion is, we need to examine who benefits from and who is harmed by social and economic policies that discriminate against women. Whenever a business pays a woman less than a man for the same work, even though they are equal with respect to skill and willingness and ability and long term commitment to doing the work and potential to learn new skills and become better at the job, then this is wrongful discrimination. If only on the basis of "never say never," it is undoubtedly true that such discrimination occurs in some places in the United States, even if it is against the law. It would be good to know how often it occurs and how big the pay gaps are, but as discussed below, estimates of the "gender pay gap" don't answer this question. Let us assume that this discrimination against women in pay happens in some places. The question is, Who does it benefit and who does it hurt?
Discrimination against women, against men, against blacks or Hispanics, against whites, against undocumented immigants, against anybody, really, undermines solidarity and trust among ordinary people. It creates resentment that makes it easier for employers to turn one group of workers against another. The mistrust and resentment caused by the discriminatory policy makes it harder for the workers to unite and successfully make demands on the owners for higher pay and better working conditions for any worker, male or female. This is elementary knowledge among people who have experience in the labor movement. Discriminatory policies benefit employers, espcially the wealthiest ones, the plutocracy, whose wealth and privileges and power all depend on preventing ordinary people, who want a more equal and democratic world, from achieving the solidarity and mutual trust that is required to enable them to remove the plutocracy from power and make a better world. Discriminatory policies don't just harm the group that is discriminated against; they harm all working people by undermining the solidarity that is the only way working people can resist measures that drive them all down. This is why the slogan, "An injury to one is an injury to all" is so ingrained in the minds of working people who understand the need to fight against the employers to win decent pay and benefits and conditions of work. Employers discriminate against some workers in order to pay all their workers less.
Even workers who are blinded by prejudice against others often, nonetheless, understand the need to fight against policies that discriminate against those others, as illustrated by this account by Hillel Levine and Lawrence Harmon from their book, The Death of An American Jewish Community, about Boston in the 1960s.
The mass media and Ms Magazine and the Big Money that stands behind them would like nothing better than for women to blame male workers for the discrimination done by business owners to make it easier for them to pay all workers less. Describing an employer's discrimination against women as "male privilege" tells men and women that the male workers benefit from it, when the truth is exactly the opposite. The "male privilege" notion encourages women to see men as their enemy, and this in turn makes men defensive and less inclined to join with women to fight the discriminatory policy. What has been said here about discrimination in pay in the workplace applies equally to corporate and government discriminatory policies in society generally. Neither ordinary men nor ordinary women are "privileged" by such policies. Only the wealthiest people--men and women both--benefit from these policies.
As awful as the "male privilege" version of misandry is, Mary Daly's "eliminate all men" version is even worse. But as explicitly hostile to men as Mary Daly was, she was very much part of, and warmly embraced by, the leadership of the feminist movement, specifically Gloria Steinem and Eleanor Smeal. Smeal was a former president of the National Organization for Women and subsequent founder and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which now owns and publishes Ms. Magazine. Daly was called a "pioneer of the women's movement" in the New York Times in the same article that also noted that "The Harvard theologian Harvey Cox wrote an editorial praising her in The Boston Globe" and that "Eleanor Smeal and Gloria Steinem have voiced support [for Daly]." When Mary Daly was dismissed from her position on the faculty at Boston College in 1999 for her refusal to admit men to her class, she filed a lawsuit and a feminist defense fund was created to support her; the fund's supporters included Eleanor ("Ellie") Smeal. Feminist Majority (the "sister political-advocacy organization" to Smeal's Feminist Majority Foundation) at the University of Chicago published its "Mission Statement 2000-2001," which said:
Mary Daly is not alone among feminist leaders in advocating explicit misandry. Robin Morgan, when a Contributing Editor of Ms Magazine in 1978, wrote in her book, Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist (p 178), "I feel that 'man-hating' is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them." Did such an odious statement end Morgan's career at Ms Magazine? On the contrary, Morgan went on to become its Editor in Chief from 1989 to 1994. Did the magazine's explicitly misandrist leadership cause it to lose its Big Money backing? Hardly: Morgan was able to publish Ms Magazine as an international bi-monthly without having to even rely on advertisements the way virtually all other magazines must.
In various ways, women are being taught, in the name of "feminism" and by Big Money-funded feminist leaders, to view men as their enemy and not as an ally in the fight against the plutocracy for a more equal and democratic world.
The influence of corporate and government funded misandry in American public discourse in the last several decades can be seen in the way that the issues of rape, domestic violence and the gender pay gap have been framed in the mass media, all in a manner designed to reinforce misandry by making it seem that men, as a class, oppress women and are essentially the enemy of women.
We are inundated with newspaper articles and public service announcements and campaigns about the problem of rape. It is true that if even one person is raped that is a serious problem. What is objectionable about these anti-rape messages is not their opposition to rape, but their defining rape exclusively as something that is done by a male perpetrator to a female victim. Here's a typical example, from Takebackthenight.org:
Here's another example, called "Men can stop rape," that treats men and only men as the perpetrators of rape. Here's another example of the same thing. These messages are ubiquitous, all telling women that when rape happens one can be sure it was a man doing it to a woman, that maleness is the problem for women.
None of these "stop rape" messages allow for the fact that sometimes a woman rapes a man, as happened to James Landrith, who describes what happened to him in detail here. One might object that what happened to James Landrith is too rare an event to be taken into account by anti-rape campaigns. But according to the Centers for Disease Control it is not rare at all. The woman who raped Landrith used her vagina to envelop his penis against his will. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)'s study based on 9,970 women and 8,079 men in the U.S. general population, titled the "National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Summary Report," Table 2.2 (page 19), the 12 month prevalence, among men, of being "made to penetrate" (what happened to Landrith) was 1.1% (with an estimated number of victims being 1,267,000). Not only is this a large number, it is equal to the number of women raped. According to Table 2.1 (page 18) of the same report, the 12 month prevalence, among women, of rape (all categories of rape combined) was 1.1%, with an estimated number of victims being 1,270,000--virtually the same as the number of men raped like Landrith. [For a blogger's careful discussion of these data go here.]
So why do we only read of rape happening to women and by men? One reason is that the CDC in their infinite wisdom chose to exclude events such as what happened to Landrith from their definition of "rape" and include them, instead, under the category of "Other Sexual Violence." Based on their definition of rape, according to the CDC, men do not get raped. Note that this survey is based on people in the general population, which may not include prisoners. Most prisoners in the United States are men, and many of them are raped in prison. Instead of the public being inundated with campaigns to stop the rape of prisoners, however, the fact of men being raped in prison is featured on prime time television police shows, such as the "Law and Order" trilogy, as a fact of life about which to make jokes or used to threaten suspects who don't cooperate with the police.
The FBI, in response to pressure from many organizations that support victims of sexual abuse (both male and female), changed its definition of rape in 2012 from "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will" to (as reported by USA Today) "any kind of penetration of another person, regardless of gender, without the victim's consent. It also includes a broad range of rapes involving both males and females in which attackers use objects to penetrate their victims." While the new definition of rape allows for the possiblity of a male being raped, it, like the CDC definition, still treats what happed to James Landrith, and what the CDC labels as "made to penetrate,"--an event as frequent as all categories of rape of a female combined--as not being a rape.
If the frequency of men being "made to penetrate" is equal to the frequency of women being raped, as the CDC reports, and if we count this event as rape, and if men are additionally (especially in prison) the "other person" referred to in the new FBI definition of rape ("penetration of another person...without the victim's consent"), then it follows that men are raped more frequently than women. This is not exactly the message the public gets when they read about "Take Back the Night" campaigns.
The misandric premise, that rape is virtually exclusively a crime by male perpetrators against female victims, is now so much a part of popular culture that many people failed to perceive how insulting to men was a video that went viral shortly after two young men were found guilty of raping a drunk sixteen year old girl. This video starts out with a young man in the foreground and an unconscious woman collapsed on a couch in the background. The young man says suggestively, "Hey bro, guess what I'm going to do to this girl?" And then, surprisingly, he kindly places a pillow under the woman's head, covers her with a blanket, and puts a cup of tea for her on the table next to the couch. It ends with the young man saying, "Real men treat women with respect." To see why this video insults men, consider how insulted women would feel if, shortly after Susan Smith murdered her two sons (one three years old and one fourteen months old) by placing them in her car and sending the car into a lake to drown the children, a video went viral that showed a mother in a car with her two little children buckled up in the back seat, and the mother says (with a suggestion of evil intent), "Hey gals, guess what I'm going to do to these kids?" and then gives them each a big kiss and says, "Real women treat their children nice and don't kill them." Of course it would be insulting to women, because it implies that so many women (but not men) are killing their children that they need to be told not to do so. We have viral videos telling men not to rape, and no viral videos telling women not to rape. This illustrates how misandry has entered the mainstream.
If the CDC and mass media acknowledged that James Landrith was raped and that men are raped about as often as women (arguably more if one counts prisoners), then the nature of campaigns against rape would be very different from the misandric nature of them today. They would say, essentially, "Hey everybody, men and women both, we have a rape problem. Some men and women are commiting rape and we need to do something about it." In this kind of campaign there would be a natural inclination for the vast majority of men and women who share an abhorance of rape to work together against it. Men and women would also see each other as allies in the larger effort to make a more equal and democratic world, and to oppose the plutocracy's efforts to make it the exact opposite of that. This solidarity between men and women is precisely what the plutocracy, with its CIA and its Ford and Rockefeller foundations, and its compliant directors of the CDC and its corporate-controlled mass media fear! This is why they ensure that people like Gloria Steinem and Eleanor Smeal, and "patriarchy" preaching Women's Studies centers on our college campuses are well-funded.
Much the same thing is happening with the issue of domestic violence as with rape. Domestic violence is almost universally portrayed as something that a male perpetrator does to a female victim, and never the reverse. Thus we have women's shelters and laws like the Violence Against Women Act. We don't have men's shelters and a Violence Against Men Act. Contrary to what most people have been led to believe, women commit domestic violence against men, and they do it often enough that it cannot be dismissed as an event so rare as not to be worth taking seriously in any discussion of domestic violence. Injuries inflicted by men may on average be more harmful than injuries inflicted by women, as suggested by these facts: "In 2000 [in the U.S.] 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner." But 440 men killed by an intimate partner is not zero men, as misandric commentary on domestic violence would have us believe.
Domestic violence by women against men is frequent enough that in "'Gender Symmetry' in Domestic Violence: A Substantive and Methodological Research Review" by Michael S. Kimmel, professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and spokesperson for the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, the author reports, "In the United States, numerous studies have found that women and men are equally likely to report to researchers that they have hit their partners during the preceding 12 months." According to a British Home Office Report, in the United Kingdom "Men are just as likely to be victims of domestic violence as women, according to the results of a Home Office survey issued yesterday. The research showed that 4.2 per cent of men and the same percentage of women said they were assaulted last year." Martin S. Fiebert, formerly professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach and president of the California Faculty Association, and author of fifty-five peer-reviewed scientific papers--in other words a person who relies on data and not just anecdotal evidence from which to draw conclusions--posted online here: "References Examining Assaults by Women on their Spouces or Male Partners: An Annotated Bibliography (last updated: June 2012)." This document begins as follows:
Closely related to domestic violence is what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls "physical dating violence" defined as "a response of 'yes' to a single question: 'During the past 12 months, did your boyfriend or girlfriend ever hit, slap, or physically hurt you on purpose?'" The CDC reports:
As with rape, if the truth about domestic (and dating) violence were made widely known, that it is something that harms both men and women, the public discourse about it would be one that encouraged men and women to work together to reduce domestic violence; it would not be framed exclusively as something that men do to women as part of a so-called patriarchal society in which men are the ruling class and women are the oppressed class.
The Gender Pay Gap
Forbes Magazine reports that "According to new numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 full-time employed women earned just 80.9% of the salaries their male counterparts did, down more than a full percentage point from 2011 when the number hovered over 82%." The National Committee on Pay Equity asserts, "With women making 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, that's nearly $11,00 in lost wages every year." There are countless reports like these about the gender pay gap. If one googles "77 cents for every dollar a man makes" more than 39,000 web sites are returned, all making virtually the same assertion.
There are two major problems with how the gender pay gap issue is discussed by the mass media and other organizations with enough money to be heard by millions of people. Firstly, the issue is wrongly framed as if men and women were in a competition, in a zero-sum-game, so that if women get paid more then men must get paid less, meaning that men are the enemy of women. We have already seen above how wrong this view is. Secondly, the reports on the estimated (and they are all just estimates) size of the pay gap virtually never explain that there are many subjective and quite controversial decisions that one must make in any method of estimating the size of the gap, and that depending on these decisions the estimated size of the pay gap can be made to be very large or very small or anywhere in between.
How is the gender pay gap estimated? When figures like the "77 cents on the dollar" for female versus male pay are bandied about, one seldom hears how these numbers are derived. Typically, these numbers come from comparing large aggregates, such as the total wages of women versus the total wages of men, and not by looking at what a woman is paid for a certain job and what a man--doing the same job with the same skill and the same willingness and ability and long term commitment to doing the work and the same potential to learn new skills and become better at the job--is paid. This latter comparison is a real "apples to apples" comparison; the former is only an "oranges to apples" comparison pretending to be "apples to apples." Doing a real "apples to apples" comparison is much harder to do than an "oranges to apples" comparison; it is virtually impossible, realistically, to do it for the entire population of American working people and come up with a single gender pay gap number.
The reason estimated sizes of the gender pay gap vary so much is because different people use different ways of trying to make their "oranges to apples" comparison more like an "apples to apples" comparison. For example, one might make comparisons only within the same industry, which is called "adjusting by industry" or "controlling for industry." Or one might, similarly, adjust for level of education, or training, or for the degree of risk of injury in the job, or for the likelihood of the worker staying on the job without interruption, etc. etc. There are countless variables one might adjust for or not adjust for. Furthermore, one can adjust for only one variable, or for two, or three or any number of variables, picking any combination one desires. All of these decisions will yield a different estimate of the gender pay gap. Every decision about what to adjust for is really a decision about what matters between men and women when it comes to how much they should be paid, and what does not matter. They involve questions such as, "Should two workers who are the same in every respect, except that one is more likely to want to take off several months in the future for personal reasons, be paid the same?" Depending on how one answers these countless questions, one can reduce the gender pay gap to insignificance or inflate it to an alarming magnitude.
One can find authoritative sources who say the gender pay gap is very small and possibly zero. Christina Hoff Summers's writes the following:
Summers's use of the word "vanishing" apparently refers to this concluding statement from the AAUW report (online here):
The mass media don't have to explicitly say that men and women are each other's enemy when it comes to pay. Simply reporting on the gender pay gap, alone, is sufficient because the overriding ideology of our capitalist society is that competition (not mutual aid) is the natural and essential feature of human relations, that everybody is in competition with everybody else, either as individual against individual or as group against group, be it racial or gender or ethnic or some other group.
Wouldn't it make more sense to forget this numbers game comparing "oranges to apples" and instead call on men and women at specific places of work to make real "apple to apple" comparisons and then join together to fight like hell against one "apple" being paid less than another just because "it" is a woman (or a man, for that matter)?
Click here to watch a good video about the gender pay gap.
This is What Misandry Looks Like
This section presents some examples of misandry in public discourse. The point is not that men suffer worse than women. There is no way to compare, and no purpose in comparing, the magnitude of suffering of men versus women in society. What is important is to realize that both men and woman suffer from the unjust inequality of our society ruled by a plutocracy, and that in many cases women suffer more in one way and men suffer more in another way. Misandry takes the form of refusing to acknowledge the reality of those cases in which men suffer greatly too--even sometimes as much or more than women. The ways that women suffer are often acknowledged in the United States by the mass media and ruling elites. The ways men suffer are often ignored. Thus the gender wage gap is widely talked about. Domestic abuse of women and rape of women is likewise widely reported and made a topic of public discourse and concern. Ignoring, or worse, denying the ways that men suffer is misandry. Let's look at some examples.
Hillary Clinton, when she was the First Lady, delivered a speech to the First Ladies' Conference on Domestic Violence in San Salvador, El Salvador, November 17, 1998, in which she stated, with a straight face presumably:
Only in a misandric culture could such a statement be uttered in all seriousness. Men die in war but Clinton concludes that the women, who don't die, are the primary victims of war. According to this logic, the dead men are less victims of war than the living women who are war's primary victims. War is hell, but at least the men, unlike the unfortunate women, get to die. The death of men in war is thus some kind of "male privilege." The only way that Clinton's remark can make any sense at all is if one views the death of men as of little concern compared to the difficulties that women face.
In June of 2012 Michigan's Democratic State Representative Lisa Brown, addressing the legislature's speaker (because all remarks are by protocol addressed to the speaker instead of other members of the House in order to avoid personal insults to those one disagrees with) in her speech supporting abortion rights in a chamber filled with mostly male legislators, said:
This remark, accusing the speaker and other (male) members of the legislature of being "so interested" in Ms. Brown's vagina, in other words accusing them of being lecherous men preoccupied in a legislative session with her vagina instead of the merits of the proposed legislation, was an over-the-top ad hominem insult. It was exactly the kind of insulting speech that is not allowed in the legislature. Furthermore, the insulting nature of Ms. Brown's remark had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she used the world "vagina"--a word that even Ms. Brown herself admits (timepoint 00:39 in the video here) appears in Michigan laws three times. If Ms. Brown had replaced the word "vagina" with any euphemism, such as "special place between my legs" or "flower of love" etc., her remark would have been not one iota less insulting and uncalled for. Ms. Brown was quite reasonably disciplined by the legislature for her behavior; she was banned from speaking on the House floor.
In a non-misandric culture, this story would have hardly made the news. A legislator violates the standard rules of the legislature by insulting its members and is disciplined. So what?
But in our misandric culture this story went viral. Google "'Lisa Brown' vagina" and you'll get more than 61,000 results. Read them (some are here and here and here for example) and you'll see that virtually all of them say that Ms. Brown was disciplined for saying the word "vagina." The New York Daily News reports "A lawmaker was barred from speaking on the floor of the Michigan state legislature for saying 'vagina' during a heated debate over abortions." CNN was determined to make the lie even more emphatic; their headline was "Lisa Brown: Silenced for saying (shock!) 'vagina'" and their online article features a video of their reporter interviewing Ms. Brown to find out from her why the male legislators are so "squeemish" about the word "vagina."
The overwhelming media reporting of this event tries to make people believe that the male legislators are priggish brutes who just "silenced" a woman for using the perfectly appropriate word, "vagina," in a speech supporting abortion rights. Only a person who understands how much the media lie to us to pit us against one another would be likely to investigate this story beyond the headlines, re-think its actual significance, and realize that it was Ms. Brown who was in the wrong, not the male legislators. The mass media's torrential message was: "How mean, how priggishly pathetic, how hateful and oppressive of women, these men are. Aren't men awful?"
Item # 3.
When police arrive in response to a report of domestic violence between a man and a woman, they typically arrest the man even if the woman and not the man is the criminal. An example of this is the arrest of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Scott Erickson for domestic violence in July of 2002, described by Glenn Sacks here as follows:
Is this just an isolated case? On the contrary, there is evidence that it is typical. For example, despite the fact that women are the perpetrators of domestic violence as often as men, the government of California reports the following for that state:
In divorce proceedings in Family Court, when children are involved, the mother almost always gets sole physical custody of the children instead of joint mother-and-father custody or the father getting custody. According to the U.S. Census data presented online here, as summarized here, between 1993 and 2007 the figures for each year show that the mother was given custody no less than 83% of the time and the father no more than 17% of the time; the mother was awarded child support no less than 57% of the time and the father no more than 40% of the time; and roughly 90% of all child support dollars received are received by mothers.
About two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women, typically citing verbal abuse or emotional neglect. Because no-fault divorce is available in every U.S. state, women don't have to prove anything to get a divorce. The state essentially tells women, "Feel free to leave your husband whenever you feel like it, no matter how trivial the reason, because the state will make sure you keep your children and your husband's income."
The misandric basis for these facts is the theory that the only importance of a father to a child is the father's paycheck. Academics deride fatherhood in books like Feminism, Children, and The New Families, in which Susan E. Krantz dismisses the notion that "two parents are necessary for the well-being of a child" and argues that "the role of the father is overemphasized." Academic "experts" are trying to split off Dad's "male presence" from the rest of him and make it just another commodity. Writing in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, Alan J. Hawkins and David J. Eggenbeen state, "Men may be important to children's healthy development, but biological fathers can readily be replaced by other adult men." (Cited in David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America, p. 80)
The philosophy underlying the guidelines for determining the amount of child support (typically paid by the father to the mother) in a divorce is illustrated by the New Jersey guidelines, which are typical of other state guidelines, and which read as follows:
What this means in practice is that the mother and children remain in the family's home and the father, now forced to pay the mother enough child support to ensure that there is no change whatsoever in the standard of living of the mother and children, moves into a studio (one room) apartment with a very low rent, or becomes a roommate with one room to himself, because he cannot afford anything else. This means that there is no place, other than a couch perhaps, in his new living arrangement for his child or children to sleep when they have (if he is lucky) a night or two a week for them to sleep over with him instead of Mom. It means that the inevitable lowering of a family's standard of living, as a result of the divorce (typically initiated by the mother) making it necessary to pay for two homes and probably two cars etc., is borne entirely by the father.
Though hard to prove, it is hard not to believe that misandry contributes substantially to the break up of marriages. If a woman believes misandric lies--that her husband, as a man, benefits from aspects of society that oppress her, that these oppressive things such as discrimination against women in pay are "male privileges," that her husband has far more in common than she does (because he is a male and she is not) with the rapist she heard about on the TV newscast the other night, that the only thing her children derive from their father is his paycheck--isn't she going to be more inclined to divorce him when something he does annoys her, than if she were not influenced by these lies? Since half the children who suffer from divorce are female, one can see how wrong it is to think of misandry as something that hurts just men.
Some women are influenced by misandry so much that they proudly declare their hatred of men. Their presence online can be seen at places such as here and here. An industry caters to women who hate men, as illustrated by many of the products sold here.
Despite the fact that both men and women commit violence against the opposite sex with comparable frequency, as shown above, governmental bodies promote campaigns that identify only men as the perpetrators and only women as the victims of violence. In my state of Massachusetts, the government's own web site features something called "VETO: Violence-free Education Training and Outreach." This government program asks "men to take the pledge, wear a small white ribbon as a symbol of men´s opposition to men´s violence against women, and enter into a dialogue about men´s violence against women." The pledge reads: "I pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women." If one goes to the home page of the official web site of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and uses its search feature to search for "violence against women" (in quotation marks) one finds 1,130 results. Replace "women" with "men" in the same search and one finds only two results, the first of which links back to the VETO page that is all about violence against women.
Misandry Is Being Used to Foment Violence Between Men and Women
Decades of the promotion of misandry has led to the creation of organizations of men and women devoted to opposing misandry. These organizations are collectively known as part of the Men's Rights (or, as some are starting to call themselves now to emphasize that they are for human, not just "men's," rights) Men's Human Rights movement. Members of this movement are often known as Men's Rights Activists (or MRAs).
Radical feminists who interpret everything in the framework of male-benefitting and male-privileging "patriarchy" accuse these anti-misandry organizations of being anti-women, and call on women to fight men in these organizations violently. An example of this is the recent declaration made by a feminist group that self-identifies as "revolutionary" and on the side of "proletarians"--the Toronto-based "Revolutionary Students Movement" that calls on its followers to "physically challenge" Men's Rights Activists, writing:
In the spirit of "never say never" it is impossible to prove that there is not a single anti-women organization speaking out against misandry. But contrary to what radical feminists want women to believe, the leading anti-misandry organizations, which include substantial numbers of women, bend over backwards to make it clear that they are for equality and not against women. One of the leading anti-misandry web sites is A Voice for Men. The most cursory examination makes its focus on equality and not opposition to women obvious beyond doubt. A leading anti-misandry organization, which is very large and focuses on issues related to Family Court, is Fathers and Families [renamed National Parents Organization after this article was written--J.S.]. It says:
The acceptance of violence against men is not confined to extremists groups like the Revolutionary Students Movement. It can be seen in one of the most mainstream T.V. shows--CBS's "The Talk"--during which (see the video here) celebrity women talked and joked about a woman's cutting off her husband's penis and putting it in the garbage disposal because he was going to divorce her. Sharon Osbourne says (beginning at time point 6:07) on the show, amidst the laughter and joking of others, that while she doesn't know anything about the circumstances that led the woman to do this or why the man filed for divorce, "However, I do think it's quite fabulous." The extent of the influence of vicious misandry can be gauged by comparing the reaction to this "The Talk" show with what the reaction would have been if instead it had consisted of a bunch of male celebrities laughing and joking about, and describing as "fabulous," a man's cutting off his wife's breasts and putting them in the garbage disposal because she was divorcing him.
The only way that otherwise sensible and decent women can be persuaded to "physically challenge" men in the name of feminism, is if they have accepted as true the collection of lies that are spread by the well-funded feminist leaders who advocate misandry and who have the backing of corporate and government leaders who control public discourse in a way designed to promote misandry. Belief in the lies of misandry leads to some women attacking men violently and other women tolerating or even sympathizing with women who attack men this way.
When ordinary men and women fight each other violently when there is no good reason for it, the goal of those promoting misandry is most completely achieved. The utter destruction of solidarity between men and women is what the plutocracy wants. This is why they funded Ms Magazine and the Women's Studies centers, and why the other institutions they control, public and private, either promote or at least uncritically accept the misandric lies.
Let's All of Us, Men and Women Together, Reject the Lies of Misandry
Ordinary men and women need each other's mutual trust and support if we are to have any chance of making a decent world for us and our children to live in, a world that is not dominated by a wealthy and privileged ruling elite who use divide-and-rule against us to stay in power at the expense of almost everybody else. The plutocracy goes to great lengths and uses its money and control of the major institutions of society to turn people against each other in many ways. Misandry is just one of the ways they do it, but it may be the one that is least recognized for what it is by most people, because it disguises itself as benign opposition to the very real ways that women are harmed by oppressive and discriminatory policies (that the plutocracy happens to benefit from.)
Misandry tells us that being against rape means being against men, that being against domestic violence means being against men, that being against the gender pay gap means being against men, and that being for gender equality means being against a "patriarchy" that benefits men. Misandry tells us that ordinary men, not rich CEOs and powerful politicians and billionaires, but the regular guys who die in wars more than women and have higher rates of suicide than women and higher rates of work-related injuries than women and higher rates of incarceration in prison than women and lower rates of college enrollment than women are the "privileged" "patriarchal" rulers of society because most of the tiny fraction of human beings in the plutocracy and top positions in business and government are men.
The plutocracy hopes that these misandric lies will obscure the fact that ordinary men and women have far more in common with each other, with respect to the kind of fair, just and decent world they want to live in, than either of them does with the ruling elite who dominate and exploit ordinary people, enforce extreme inequality, control people by pitting them against each other, wage unjust wars based on lies and pollute the environment for profit the way BP's owners fouled the Gulf of Mexico.
Misandry is pure poison, and calling it feminism doesn't change the fact. Instead of swallowing the poisoned Kool-Aid, let's spit it out and warn all of our friends to do the same.
To read about how we can make a better world and remove the plutocracy from power, please see Thinking about Revolution.
* This Boston Globe article is about how Gloria Steinem joined former Secretary of State Madeleine "Yes, killing 500,000 Iraqi children was worth it" Albright in scolding women for backing Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton, asserting that young women were doing that just because "When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.’ ”
Postscript #1. Here is a excellent video discussing misandry in academia.
Postscript #2. Here is an excellent video about radical feminism.
Postscript #3. Here is a video about a woman who disguised herself as a man and lived as a man. She decided that she much preferred being a woman and felt that it is a privilege to be a woman, and that men and women both suffer, but in different ways in our society.
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