I was on http://noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz.wordpress.com/faqs/ earlier, as I often find myself having arrived at random feminist websites that I then check out and see if I agree with, and while I was going through their FAQ’s, I saw something… curious. A new concept. Masculism. Now, to be clear, I totally love the idea of Patriarchy Hurts Men Too. Because it does. And I think it’s cool that someone started a blog that appears to detail all of the ways that patriarchy hurts men.
However, I don’t think I like this “masculism” idea. To quote, being a masculist means “that you think men should be equal to women”. Except… the majority of the ways that men are not equal to women are results of the patriarchy. The website goes on to talk about sexism against men… which doesn’t exist. Discrimination, yes. Sexism… not exactly. This is of course because of the definition of sexism, which requires prejudice and power. Living in a patriarchy, men have the power. Therefore, one can’t be sexist against them. (For the purposes of the argument I’m not going to discuss the kyriarchy, mostly because the kyriarchy is not discussed in the definition of masculism I read, but to be clear I do believe that there are plenty of ways that men are opressed because of other things, like their race or socioeconomic status.)
They mention that men experience sexism in many aspects of society… but the majority of the things that they list are a result of the patriarchy.
Like the draft, which is inherently sexist, because women aren’t seen as desirable or competent fighters because they’re seen as weaker than men. It also perpetuates the idea that men are the protectors, and women are supposed to stay home and take care of the house. (Which is fine to do, it just shouldn’t be expected or required. It should be a personal decision for every couple.) Does it hurt men? Yes. Is it because people are being sexist against men? No.
Or FGM versus circumcision, and while I don’t really know much about the subject, from what I do know it seems like FGM seems to happen in more non-western countries while circumcision has more Christian origins and is more westernized, and it’s really more about the west being quick to rally against genital cutting in other cultures and not recognize their own hypocrisy. That being said, genital cutting in general (to children without their consent) is just not a good thing.
Or divorce proceedings. Again, I’m not an expert on the subject, so I’m going to assume they’re either talking about A) how women are more likely to get the children, in which case it’s again sexist against women because they’re expected to be the caretakers, or B) how women are more likely to benefit financially from divorce proceedings (and I don’t know if this is true, it’s just the only other thing I could think that they meant), which would again be an example of sexism against women because they’re either seen as one dimensional victims without higher-functioning and more complex desires and emotions or as less capable of supporting themselves and therefore more in need of financial compensation.
I could go on, but it would make this post really long, so I won’t. Basically, most of the things they listed as sexism against men are really just sexism against women that hurts men too. While it may seem to benefit women in the short term, in the long term it generally perpetuates a negative and dehumanizing stereotype against them.
The point being that yes, men are disadvantaged in some ways. However, most of those ways are a result of the patriarchy, and they ways that aren’t because of the patriarchy are probably a result of the kyriarchy. Therefore, while it is important to recognize the menz too, the idea of “masculism” is completely ridiculous and harmful because all of the issues facing men are feminist issues. (Assuming you’re an intersectional feminist.)
And I don’t mean to hate on this particular blog because I’m sure they have good intentions and the only part I’ve really seen is the FAQ’s up to the question about masculism. So the blog could be fabulous for all I know, it’s just that they have some problematic things in their FAQ’s.
So, followers, now that I’ve said my piece, what do YOU think about the idea of masculism?