"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Misandry ??

My writing below is inspired by a deleted recent response from a disgruntled man.

I encounter situations where women are rude, condescending or otherwise inconsiderate at various times.

This doesn't mean that I face "reverse discrimination".

A woman may treat me in a way I don't appreciate for varying reasons. She may:

1. object to something I have done - what I have said, her perception of the tone of my voice, etc.
2. be having a bad day and I may be in the wrong place at the wrong time,
3. look down upon me and perceive me as "inferior" because I appear to not be of a "high enough class" to merit her time or am otherwise "objectionable" (my clothes are 'dirty', 'not neat', 'not stylish') or I am "ugly", "old", "fat", "thin", my hair doesn't look "right", etc,
4. know me or thinks she knows me and have baggage from the past,
5. be afraid of me because I am male,
6. generalize from past experiences with males that she associates with me or

many other reasons.

There are plenty of women who are "better" than me in the eyes of others due to various reasons despite the fact that I am a "man" and they are "women". Rich women often will have more status in various areas than less well off men. Being male isn't the only characteristic that we have in our lives.

My partner is: Black, Female, Bi-sexual, Large Bodied. All of these "classes" could lead her to be treated in a "discriminatory manner" and she certainly does face at least minor discrimination at various times. At the same time she has an excellent job and is definitely "upper-middle class".

Is "B" my partner higher or lower than me in status - being a Woman? When she's in public and someone hits on her, her status is "lower". Her earning capacity and skills in various areas are far stronger than mine.

Underneath everything - when we are "naked within our souls" - B - probably has "less status" than I do, not because she is Not a Success - which she is, but rather because the price she has paid for all that she is, including the effects upon her parents who raised her, including the issues she faced as a Girl because of who she was then have affected her more than what I faced as a lonely, awkward, Jewish, White Boy.

It is easy as a male to feel negative feelings about women! Whether such feelings relate to individual women or women as a whole the feelings are real. We may say: Women are "bossy". Women are too ... . My partner is controling. This bothers me some of the time.

Men are certainly excluded from certain areas such as:

1.) Some health clubs,
2.) Some social Clubs,
3.) Some self-defense classes
4.) Some colleges and other schools.

Men - as a class - have some "priviliges" that women don't have.

We have a disproportionate number of politicians, judges, heads of corporations, high level officials in most government entities and large corporations etc. We have a history of having more "power" than women do. The power continues today, though thankfully things are seemingly getting more equal.

Many "female only" institutions provide women an opportunity to experience equality and feel comfortable in ways that would be much harder in a co-ed organization.

A similar set of arguments could be made for me a White Person vs. Black People. Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson and many other well-to-do Black people obviously wield far more power than I do, though they are Black and I am White.

Morehouse College in Atlanta, a predominantly Black institution, is no doubt a better college than many predominantly White colleges. It serves a purpose in allowing gifted Black (and other) students an opportunity to get an education they might not get elsewhere. It doesn't "discriminate against White people" because it is predominantly Black. I might well feel "discriminated against" if I had attended Morehouse, because of its foci on the needs of Black students.

I object to exclusive social clubs Which Wield Power over others or similar - such as The Bohemian Club - which tend to be limited to Wealthy, White Men. In general I do not see how most exclusively female organizations wield power over me as a man by excluding me. I do understand that the social networking within any club that I am not a part of can give an "advantage" to its members that I don't have. I do not see, however, that "female power" is a "class power" that in general discriminates against me as a Man.

I don't think that any of us as men can fully understand all that Women face as a result of their gender - that results in them being second class citizens as women. I know that I can' t fully understand: body image issues, hormonal cycles, derisive comments - catcalls etc., the fears of being assaulted or harassed by men and many other things.

I do not believe that we as men have it easy! Our fears may include:

1.) Being ridiculed or assaulted by other males because we are male and a threat to the feelings that other males have in wanting to feel in control - we can't be "sissies" or "weak".,

2.) Health issues - we die younger than females - from birth onward at much higher rates,

3.) Learning difficulties - in school as children we have far more troubles with attention deficit disorders and various other ailments,

4.) Dealing with our feelings - being independent and autonomous in healthy ways. It is hard to share our feelings safely.

5.) Rejections - from women - we try to date or marry (if we are heteroseuxal). Interpersonal relations can be very difficult

No doubt others could note many other areas we have troubles with.

I will be 56 years old in several months. I've made plenty of mistakes in my life. I've felt bad about many things over many years in my life. I do not see though how my being Male has made me face a rougher path than it would have been had I been born Female.

Yes, at times I do resent individual women as well as women in general. No, I'm not discriminated against by being male.

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