Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Disassembling Misandry

Hi folks.

A few days ago I came across an interesting post that got me thinking about men, the resentment they have towards women, and giving voice to that resentment with the purpose of making constructive change. I found it on reddit written by u/woah77. With his permission I'm just going to copy/paste the post directly.
[[Disclaimer: This is not a post about all of any group. Merely about members who engage in the activities described within. No part of this post should be construed as generalizing or describing any group in its entirety.]]

Misandry. Something often spoken of as a myth. When someone is criticized for it, they often respond that such could not be the case for it doesn't exist. When described as sexism against men, one is often told such things are impossible. It is the most interesting term in the world. It doesn't always drink beer, but when it does, it drinks The Order of Yoni.

Over the past few weeks I've posted a few times about why men need to be allowed to be "Misogynists". I've repeatedly mentioned how feminists and women have been allowed to be misandrists (to differing amounts of protestation). I wanted to take some time today to attempt to disassemble Misandry, because while I am disgusted every time I see it, I've recently run into somethings that made me reconsider why it exists.

Human evolution has lead to a deeply seated need to preserve oneself. When you see a shape moving through the bushes, a first instinct is to think Tiger! or Wolf!, because that though helps defend you. Even if it isn't a wolf, treating it as a wolf leads to you running which, over time, increases the chances you'll survive. We do the exact same things with personal experiences: someone hurts us, and instead of going "well it was just that one person" we generalize to all people who look, or act, or smell like the person who hurt us.

Sometimes we grow up in an oppressive culture, one that shames us for taking care of ourselves, or simply for being who we are. This can build into a resentment that can manifest itself in many painful and disgusting ways, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense. I strongly suspect that many misandrist feminists have had very bad experiences with men, and have started to have a hard time blaming them for being defensive towards all men. I've read u/lordleesa 's stories and I can't blame her for any suspicions she has about men, given her experiences.

Even though I point out disgusting things that women have written in my posts about misogyny, I'm not calling for them to stop. I understand that many women have been hurt by men and are angry. That's entirely reasonable, and it would be cruel to prevent them from experiencing their grief and anger. I hope that feminism can come to a place where they see that men have been hurt by women and that men need to be able to experience their grief and anger.

To make a final analogy, asking either men or women to be silent about their pain is like asking the atheist who was abused by the Jehovah's Witnesses as a child to be silent about their contempt towards religion just because you were raised Deist and have no ill will towards religions. Context of experience matters, and silencing the experiences of the hurting makes one more cruel than any single abuser.
Now there is a lot going on here and I'd like to over everything a piece at a time. Let's start.
Misandry. Something often spoken of as a myth. When someone is criticized for it, they often respond that such could not be the case for it doesn't exist. When described as sexism against men, one is often told such things are impossible. It is the most interesting term in the world. It doesn't always drink beer, but when it does, it drinks The Order of Yoni.
I don't think there is much to explain here. Misandry simply is regarded as being either a man made myth, simply does not exist, or some method of taking attention away from misogyny (or that bringing up misandry is in and of itself misogyny).
 Over the past few weeks I've posted a few times about why men need to be allowed to be "Misogynists". I've repeatedly mentioned how feminists and women have been allowed to be misandrists (to differing amounts of protestation). I wanted to take some time today to attempt to disassemble Misandry, because while I am disgusted every time I see it, I've recently run into somethings that made me reconsider why it exists.
This I'm sure refers to the protected (or at least acknowledged status) granted to women that want to express their anger towards men, about men, and/over men. While I do think it's often taken a bit too far I can understand the value of simply being able to express your anger towards the point of trying to come up with a solution not just being permanently anger for the same of being angry.To that end it's worth looking at where that anger comes from.
Human evolution has lead to a deeply seated need to preserve oneself. When you see a shape moving through the bushes, a first instinct is to think Tiger! or Wolf!, because that though helps defend you. Even if it isn't a wolf, treating it as a wolf leads to you running which, over time, increases the chances you'll survive. We do the exact same things with personal experiences: someone hurts us, and instead of going "well it was just that one person" we generalize to all people who look, or act, or smell like the person who hurt us.
Here I think Woah is trying to explain how a person may come to generalize groups of people. It develops as a response to thinking you are in danger. A survival tactic.
Sometimes we grow up in an oppressive culture, one that shames us for taking care of ourselves, or simply for being who we are. This can build into a resentment that can manifest itself in many painful and disgusting ways, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense. I strongly suspect that many misandrist feminists have had very bad experiences with men, and have started to have a hard time blaming them for being defensive towards all men. I've read u/lordleesa 's stories and I can't blame her for any suspicions she has about men, given her experiences.
While its easy to pick over why generalizing is wrong it must be bore in mind that there are often legitimate sources for why people generalize. For example there likely understandable and possibly relatable reasons why there are misandrist feminists/women who generalize all men. Most likely a bad experience or a string of bad experiences. Not hard to imagine wanting to avoid pain.
Even though I point out disgusting things that women have written in my posts about misogyny, I'm not calling for them to stop. I understand that many women have been hurt by men and are angry. That's entirely reasonable, and it would be cruel to prevent them from experiencing their grief and anger. I hope that feminism can come to a place where they see that men have been hurt by women and that men need to be able to experience their grief and anger.
From that place of understanding I agree with Woah that it wouldn't be reasonable to expect feminists/women to stop writing about their bad experiences with men. They have their stories to tell and they shouldn't be prevented from speaking them. There are a lot of women out there that have been hurt by men. There are a lot of women out there that have been hurt by men and have been left angry, in pain, and suffering.

I also hope that in due time feminists/women can come to understand that there are also a lot of men that have been hurt and left in a place of anger, pain, and suffering by women. Women are not the only ones that have stories to tell.
To make a final analogy, asking either men or women to be silent about their pain is like asking the atheist who was abused by the Jehovah's Witnesses as a child to be silent about their contempt towards religion just because you were raised Deist and have no ill will towards religions. Context of experience matters, and silencing the experiences of the hurting makes one more cruel than any single abuser.
There needs to be room for everyone to express and talk about their experiences. Trying to keep one side silent because their speaking up would "offend" someone would be additional pain on top of the pain people on that side has already experienced.

Woah has more posts like this and over the next few weeks I'll be going over them here.
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