The Myth of Misandry

Males of the Internet, I submit to you the following:

If you think you’re the target of misandry, you’ve probably done something to deserve it.

Before I elaborate, let’s cover some trigger warnings. I’m going to talk about misandry, obviously, but I’m also going to talk about misogyny, degradation and devaluation of women, acerbic Internet culture, racism, homophobia, defamation, and rape. Just so we’re clear before I start rambling.

There are some folks out there who would like to tell you that gaming culture has always been ‘a certain way’. The prevailing sentiment is that everything from teabagging in first-person shooters to calling someone a faggot for inadequate game performance is normal. You can tell someone they’re about to get raped or suggest they kill themselves or get cancer when they beat you, and it’s fine. That’s “just how it is”. “Oh, you know how gamers are.” “Don’t be a little bitch, learn to take a joke.” And so on.

Lately, some folks have been fighting back against this. Everything from Anita Sarkeesian’s series on Tropes vs. Women in Video Games to posts about sexism and misogyny in areas outside of gaming (like this great stuff from Chuck Wendig) has emerged to fight back against this rather callous and insensitive habit of men to use the defamation of women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community as a source for humor that reinforces their need for cultural dominance. And what has their response been?

The threats of rape, I get. That’s a knee-jerk, juvenile reaction from a knee-jerk, juvenile culture. It’s a three-year-old stomping their feet while screaming and maybe chasing the cat with a crayon intending to draw dicks in poor kitty’s fur. It’s as tasteless as it is pathetic and useless.

Guys saying they won’t watch/read/buy anything from the person again, also understandable. I’d even say that’s a reasonable response. Sure, it’s usually wrapped in the sort of puerile drivel I’ve mentioned above, but people expressing themselves with their wallets is legitimate.

But guys saying they’re victims of misandry?

Really?

How is this even a thing?

Let’s look at the big picture, here. Until the 19th century, in most parts of the world that were affluent enough to do so, it was perfectly acceptable for people to own other people. Most if not all of the time, the owners were white males. Democracies began to emerge around the same time, and guess who got to do all of the voting? White males. Before then, we had a lot of dictatorships and monarchies, and most of them were controlled by men. And then there’s the institution of religion, especially in the form of the Catholic church.

Looking at that, men have had it pretty sweet for centuries. White men, especially. As our global population and culture continues to grow, and barriers of communication and distance break down, it’s logical for more people of different races, genders, creeds and outlooks to become involved in every level of living life on this planet, from governing the populace to charming diversions. To try and hold onto a position that’s been held through intimidation, abuse, defamation, character assassination, and the myth of “tradition” or the excuse of “that’s how it’s always been” is selfish, childish, and pretty damn unfair.

I’m not saying that misandry doesn’t exist. I’m sure there are people out there who hate men vehemently and violently. What I’m saying is that misandry as a tactic to be used against the ‘traditional’ gamer culture (and entertainment circles in general) does not exist. There is no great movement to rain hatred and destruction on men in entertainment. There’s no feminist conspiracy to take your games away. Just like the ‘gay agenda’ that FOX News loves to bang on about in their little corner studio in the asylum, misandry in gaming and entertainment is a great way for guys to deflect the thrust of the main issue at hand, which is that as our culture changes and evolves, those participating in it as creators or audience need to change and evolve with it.

And some men are either too lazy or too scared to do it.

That’s right. This talk of misandry, these threats of rape against rational voices pointing out the flaws in our culture, the pedantic and obstinate words that continue to get thrown around the gaming table; all of this is born out of fear and sloth. I know I’m going out on a limb here a bit, and I won’t be correct in every case, but from everything I’ve seen and heard, for the most part, guys who continue to use these words, spew this hatred, make these threats and “jokes”, are too lazy, too scared, or too dumb to change their ways. They’re not as powerful as they’d like people to think they are. They’re cowards, frightened to be placed on an even level with women and people of color and folks born with orientations other than “heterosexual”, and every time they tell a female gamer to get back in the kitchen or talk about getting ‘gypped’ in a game or indulge in other racial slurs, they prove it.

Misandry, as a general mode of behavior, is a myth, gentlemen. We don’t hate you because you’re men. We hate you because you’re behaving like spiteful, scared little boys. This isn’t the schoolyard anymore. It’s time to put away childish things. It’s time to grow the fuck up.

6 Comments

  1. Bravo! Very well said.

  2. While I admit there is a point there, and a strong one, I think you’ve chosen your words badly.

    Misandry can and does happen. Victims of such are often hurt, crippled or even die.

    Nearly 3 million men have been injured or abused by partners in 1996: https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=178705

    (60/40 Female to Male)

    4552 men took their own life in 2011 http://www.samaritans.org/sites/default/files/kcfinder/files/research/Samaritans%20Suicide%20Statistics%20Report%202013.pdf

    (25/75 Female to Male)

    Some of these have taken place by all the normal methods, but some will have taken place for exactly the same reasons that misogynists target women.

    The cry of “misandry” is often fake, and is often used by people who really don’t understand it – but the crime is still committed often enough for it to be a real thing. And yet the spell checker still puts that wavy red line under it.

    As a general mode of behaviour? Not that often. But ruling it out entirely is dangerous for understanding why all gender hate crime exists.

    The general mode of behaviour of looking back on the past and saying “How could we?” is as tainted as “Weren’t things better when….”. What we should be doing is saying “Why did they…” and move on from there.

  3. @ Mike- Not sure how you missed this, but to quote the post: “I’m not saying that misandry doesn’t exist.” … “What I’m saying is that misandry as a tactic to be used against the ‘traditional’ gamer culture (and entertainment circles in general) does not exist”

  4. Except, of course, for how the only appropriate human targets of violence in entertainment circles are almost exclusively men.

    And, of course, for not only how the inappropriate targets are almost exclusively not men, but how violence against them is used as a hallmark signal of villainy.

    And, come to think of it, for how the only appropriate human villains in entertainment circles are almost exclusively men.

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

    So. . .no. You’re wrong. Because you’re ignoring at least three significant counterexamples of your point.

    And as far as misandry in the wider community goes. . .

    . . .tell me, please; which gender in the anglosphere is NOT protected from the amputation of their normal, healthy, functional genital tissue, and the selling of that flesh to bioresearch and production companies, and then the reselling of products made from it to the public, for profit?

    If we were only circumcising non-white children and selling the industrial commodities made from their flesh, would that not count as hatred of non-whites to you?

  5. >This talk of misandry, these threats of rape against rational voices pointing out the flaws in our culture, the pedantic and obstinate words that continue to get thrown around the gaming table; all of this is born out of fear and sloth.

    I see.

    All those years I’ve spent and work I’ve done trying to figure out why my “community” insisted I had to stay with my alcoholically abusive, hateful, lazy mother as a child and not my supportive, loving, hard-working father. . .

    . . .no, that wasn’t actually exhausting, agonizing, almost completely unsupported self- emancipation; silly me, it was just fear and sloth!

    All those years I’ve spent and work I’ve done and costs I’ve paid, both social and financial, trying to figure out why I got falsely accused of stalking and harassment the third time I’d ever asked a woman out in my life. . .

    . . .no, that wasn’t actually agonizing, exhausting, completely unsupported self-emancipation; silly me, it was just fear and sloth!

    All those nights I spent naked in the bathroom, staring at a roll of plastic sheeting laid out in the tub and a bottle of sleeping pill and a fifth of scotch, trying to make it to just one more midnight, one more hour, one more minute, without killing myself because of the constant refrain of male-bashing in news, entertainment, and regular society. . .

    . . .no, that wasn’t actually exhausting, agonizing, almost completely unsupported self- emancipation; silly me, it was just fear and sloth!

    And that’s just for starters.

    You’re wrong because you’re ignorant. You have no idea what men on the crap end of the stick have suffered historically. All those “white” men you cite as in charge? You seem to have forgotten about both asia and africa.

    You also seem to have forgotten that for every one man in the aristocracy throughout history, there has been about one women in the same socioeconomic class.

    Your nonsense about “male supremacist oppression” throughout history conveniently ignores that fact.

    You also ignore the fact that the power and sovereignty gap between men of the lower classes and women of the upper classes has inarguably been orders of magnitude greater than the gap in power and sovereignty between men and women within the same socioeconomic classes.

    WOMEN.

    OWNED.

    MALE.

    SLAVES.

    Throughout history. If a male slave gave even just backtalk to a female aristocrat, historically, what happened?

    You know damn well what happened.

    How many of your “oppressed” white women were responsible for lynchings through false accusations of black men because they didn’t want to get caught fooling around with the wrong white man?

    Let alone because they did have sex with the same black man, and then had him murdered by their “white knights”. . .y’know, the Ku Klux Klan ones?

    So. . .NO.

    When people like me. . .people who have paid hard and long, people who have given up pretty much any hope of a “normal” life in order to speak out for the abused and victimized. . .see their own normal, natural, healthy masculinity and aesthetic preferences fundamentally pathologized. . .

    . . .no. It’s not fear and sloth.

    If there’s any fear and sloth here, it’s on your end.

    Fear of the criticism and losses you’d suffer from the bigots around you if you actually stood up and told the truth. . .

    . . .and the sloth of never actually bothering to find out that truth in the first place.

    You’re projecting.

  6. “@ Mike- Not sure how you missed this, but to quote the post: “I’m not saying that misandry doesn’t exist.” … ”

    But you start by saying – “If you think you’re the target of misandry, you’ve probably done something to deserve it.”

    Most people will only get that far.

    “How is this even a thing?”

    just mocks anyone who has ever been abused, and reinforces the idea that there is never a time where men could be attacked just for being men. Just as we used to say that women were making it up.

    So we are left with one set of men saying women are rubbish, while the other set of men (yourself included here) say that men are rubbish.

    Apart from anything else, we shouldn’t be trying to solve feminism for women. We should be helping them to achieve it. But they have to lead the fight, or it will just be another bone we’ve thrown them.

    40% of domestic violence have a male victim, 75% of suicides have a male victim, 95(?)% of war deaths will be male. Just because there’s a group of trolls using that as a fall back argument does NOT make it a very real and underplayed threat to the well-being of society.

    Like I said, the choice of words was very poor, even if the spirit was strong. Had you have started with “What I’m saying is …” then I’d have no argument. And I feel relatively sure that’s what you meant – hence why I’m commenting.

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