Defining My Terms

Recently I wrote a post where I stated that men’s rights websites frequently contain misogynistic articles, and feminist websites often have misandrist content.

Francis Roy challenged my claims.

Before going further I want to say: I invite anyone to challenge my ideas. As I responded in the comments, “One reason for blogging is to have my thinking challenged, without which one’s thoughts become a broken record” (sixth comment).

The challenge is to give examples and define what I mean by misogyny and misandry. I realized that I call something misogyny based on my emotional reaction to it. There’s nothing wrong with emotions, but they are inconsistent and I need a standard by which to assess things.

So, here goes:

Misogyny and misandry are attributing inferiority to or hating a particular sex.

But:

  • Do not include hatred of an individual or particular subset of that sex. For example, hatred of MRAs or feminists, but not men or women in general, is not misandry or misogyny but instead is hatred of MRAs or feminists.
  • Do not include disagreement or even hatred of ideas, actions, policies, etc.
  • Do not include mere sexism, such as stereotypes, etc. that are unduly biased or based on ignorance (for example, “Men are selfish”), but do not extend to hatred or inferiority.
  • Do not include fear of a particular sex.

In the comments of my previous post I provided examples of misogyny on MRA websites. So let’s revisit this based on the above misogyny/misandry definition.

Return of the Kings mocks women with eating disorders. First, I should note that Zodak pointed out that RoK is not an MRA site as evidenced by their unambiguous statement to that effect. Further, to mock is not necessarily to hate. Clearer evidence of hate is needed. Nor is there any statement that women are inferior. So while the article is sexist, crude, and ignorant, it doesn’t meet the above definition of misogyny. The same is true for RoK’s post about shaming women.

Regarding the Red Pill reddit, it was also pointed out to me that Red Pill is not the same as MRA.  The Red Pill reddit thread on Asian women contained this statement: “This may be why they’re attracted to you: safety & security is job #1, stereotypically. Asian girls are attracted to providers (again…)”. The writer admits this is a stereotype, but again I cannot assume hate based on this alone.

And then there’s the Men’s Rights reddit “Do women’s choices make domestic violence a self-sustaining cycle? Feminists would deny this, blaming only men’s choices“, which I stated blames female victims of domestic violence because one individual wrote, “So a preference for violent men is deeply ingrained in many (but not all) women”. I still think this specific statement blames women. It was not made by the original author, however, and thus I can’t assume he would agree with that statement. The original post doesn’t express hate or state women are inferior, though it doesn’t offer any real evidence to support the claim.

Turning to Jezebel.com, I also cited their support for airlines removing men from their seats if a child is nearby. Certainly this is discriminatory and treats all men as potential molesters. When airlines treat all Muslims as potential terrorists we call it racism. But again, there’s no evidence of hatred or dehumanization (molesters are, after all, human), nor are they trying to ban men from flying. Jezebel is being sexist, but nothing more.

Jezebel also has an article called, “Have You Ever Beat Up A Boyfriend? Cause, Uh, We Have“, which I stated “promotes domestic violence by women against men”. The article sites example of women assaulting men for breaking up with them or flirting with other women.

The one stands out the most, however, describes a woman hitting a man who ” ‘thought he had breast cancer.’ (Okay, that one made us laugh really hard.)”. Though less common, men do get breast cancer, so one of two conclusions can be drawn here: the women at Jezebel are uneducated regarding basic medical science; or two, the women at Jezebel think it’s funny when men have cancer and that men with cancer deserve to be assaulted.

Giving Jezebel the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume they’re just ignorant. Still, thinking that violence is funny shows a strong possibility of hate. The hate is not explicit, but it’s a reasonable assumption, so I think it’s not unfair to label this misandry).

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3 thoughts on “Defining My Terms

  1. I’m impressed that you’re working this stuff out with your own skull-sweat, but more so that you’re willing to discuss it. Some uncharitable and mean-spirited individuals might view this as “flip-flopping.” I view this as honestly working though an issue and changing one’s mind as they think better of things. I just finished an unpleasant conversation with the sort of individual, anti-feminist, but blessedly he disclaims being an MRA, that when called out on something chooses to protect his sense of ego or status rather than a mere “Oh, yeah. I get that.”

    Good on you. You’re the sort of person I welcome into my sphere of interlocutors. It’s a fair and open mind that will help the world become a better place.

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