You Say You’re Against Victimhood Culture Yet You Depict All Men As Victims
Edit: Many Liberals and Conservatives and Republicans and Democrats politicize sexism, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.
Neither side comes out smelling like a rose on these issues, and it’s pretty disgusting to watch it play out on social media and on the nightly TV news.
Post has been edited below (as of September 2018) to add Kavanaugh-related links because my fellow conservatives are now portraying all men as being victims of – I guess of women, of the MeToo movement, or who knows what…
In this post, I am specifically addressing Americans in American culture, though I have seen non-Americans play this game at times as well, in online news articles and editorials.
A lot of people – particularly those with a disposition against liberal feminism (or any type of feminism, actually) say that one problem they have with feminism is that, in their opinion, that all of feminism depicts all women as being weak little victims. That is their perception, but it’s not an accurate one.
This tendency to think of feminism as being a perpetuater of Victimhood Culture is especially true of conservatives, of which I am one myself (that is, I am a conservative).
Too often, those who hold this view never really take the time to try to actually understand feminists and what they’re saying, nor do they visit primary source material but read or listen to second-hand summaries of feminist views as spoken of or explained by conservatives or by conservative opinion sites, such as Rush Limbaugh, Twitchy, The Federalist, and so on.
Additionally, many conservatives are guilty of holding up the truly wacked out, kookified fringe of what is supposed to pass for feminism, the conservatives say – such as women wearing vagina costumes in women’s marches – and then broad-brushing all of feminism as being nutty.
Many conservatives love to produce memes of such crackpots (the vagina costumed women) and then write all sorts of slurs about feminism on them.
However, unlike other conservatives (or those who are anti-feminist but who may not go by the label of conservative), I’ve actually made it a point to get out of the conservative echo chamber and visit and lurk at sites by liberals and feminists.
Too often, many other conservatives get their information about liberals (or feminism) via conservative channels (such as conservative host Rush Limbaugh), which tend to skew, misunderstand, or misrepresent what feminism is about, and what feminists mean or are saying.
Usually, but not always, the people saying that feminists maintain or create a Victimhood Culture identify as conservative, or are at least sympathetic to some conservative ideals.
As I noted in another post, a lot of conservatives (of who I am one myself) and Christian gender complementarians (who tend to be religiously and politically conservative) frequently misunderstand or misrepresent feminism.
The Double Standard
The very same conservatives (or others of whatever political association who oppose feminism) who argue that feminism supposedly portrays all women as victims are the very same individuals who often depict all men as being victims.
This is hypocritical. It’s a double standard, but one that feminism haters have a blind spot to- they don’t seem to recognize they are doing the very thing they say feminists are guilty of.
When or if feminists (or anyone concerned about girls and women) publish studies, tweets, articles, or blog posts mentioning how women and girls have faced difficulty or unfair disadvantage or abuse in marriage, dating, employment, or whatever area of life, immediately, the feminist-haters will fire up their blogs, or Twitter accounts, to counter with commentary such as,
“But look at how much more worse men have it in that same area, far worse than women do, ever have, or ever will! According to a study by XYZ University, more men suffer than women because, …. (etc etc)….”
You see, the anti-feminists, who belittle feminists for supposedly supporting a “victimhood culture” like to counter their mis-perception of feminism by saying that men are bigger victims than women.
It’s an irony (and a double standard), as I said, that is lost on those who oppose feminism.
These types of conservatives, or other opponents of feminism, like to write many blog posts, tweets, or articles where they argue that men are victims.
They argue this in general terms – for instance, they’ll write that boys and men are victims of the public school system, or they may claim that men are victims of feminism. (I addressed this in more depth here: Are Schools or Pedagogical Systems Designed to Favor Girls Over Boys? No, Not By and Large)
Some of the people who depict all men as being victims, and of victims of feminism specifically, may, quite strangely, claim to be feminists themselves, or they may claim to be liberals, or of belonging to some other non-conservative political affiliation, who say they support feminism, but, their work is often quoted with glee by conservatives who hate feminism.
If you claim to be in support of women, but people who tend to harbor sexist views against women also enjoy quoting your work to argue against feminism or against equal opportunity for women, that should be a very big clue to you that you’re not quite as “feminist” or “pro woman” as you like to say you are.
(And, by the way, I may be doing another post about the deceitfulness of women who claim to be feminists or who say they support feminism (equality for women) but whose arguments are actually grounded in favoring men to women, denying that sexism against women exists, or casting men as victims and who are actually sexist against women and women’s concerns.
These types of women who pump out this sort of anti-women material, all the while swearing up and down that they they are really and truly “pro woman,” are usually quoted by misogynists and/or feminism- hating conservatives on blogs or on television, or are quoted by the bitter and sexist men who inhabit the “Manosphere,” “Men’s Rights Activists” type online communities on Twitter, Reddit, and anywhere else.)
There are several well-known women writers / researchers who claim to be feminists themselves, or who claim to be “pro woman,” and their political affiliation can range from liberal, to conservative, to god knows what (some of them are difficult to pin down).
These women actually write many books or articles, or grant several interviews per year, where they argue against feminism and argue against equality for women, who say sexism is not real and does not exist, yet they have the audacity to say they are feminists.
These women typically argue that men are victims of culture generally speaking, but of feminism – or the “MeToo” movement – in particular.
Some of these hypocritical, deceitful anti-feminist or anti-women self proclaimed feminists include women such as Catherine Hakim, Christina Hoff Sommers (of whom I wrote about in this post, about half way down the page), and Katie Rophie.
As I said, I may be writing a separate post about such women in a future post, so I don’t want to belabor this here and now.
What I will comment upon is that not only do these types of women writers (and it’s not always women, some male writers do this as well):
- deny the extent of sexism against women, or
- the level of its harm against women, or
- that even certain types of sexism exist (the very types of sexist actions or attitudes that women have in fact experienced),
but, these women (and some men) will go to great lengths to try to demonstrate that men have life, employment, education, dating (you name the category, they’ll lump that one in too) much more difficult than women do, or ever will.
The cherry on top of all that sort of argumentation is, though, that while out of one side of their mouths they will sneer and reject liberal feminism as supposedly depicting all women as being victims, they will turn around and portray all men as being victims.
But not the aforementioned conservative publication. Thursday night, National Review Online, in partnership with the nonprofit Independent Women’s Forum (known for objecting to college productions of The Vagina Monologues and trying to discredit stats about violence against women), hosted a debate on the topic: “Is there a war on women? Or is it a war on men?”
Moderated by NRO editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg, it featured Christina Hoff Sommers, author of the 2000 book ‘The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Young Men’; Fox News pundit Kirsten Powers; Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum; and Judy Bachrach, a contributing editor for Vanity Fair.
In her opening remarks, Schaeffer laid out the panel’s assessment of gender relations today: “Women are doing pretty well.” Yet the tone of the debate was hardly optimistic: It would seem that women doing well is a cause for concern. To hear Sommers tell it, boys are powerless against the oppressive women’s movement, which is apparently in the business of feminizing schools and excluding men from higher education.
“The powerful women’s lobby is fighting a war of attrition against men,” Sommers said. “Boys’ educational needs have been ignored. They’re noisier, rowdier, harder to manage. Today, in our risk-averse classrooms, boys are finding themselves unwelcome.
But these numbers don’t tell the whole story:
High school boys still get higher SAT scores, participate more actively in class discussions, and study science, technology, engineering and math at much higher rates than girls.
When I asked her after the debate why she was concerned by the prospect of women outnumbering men in college, but not by women’s underrepresentation in science and math, Sommers brushed me off, blaming the disparity on biological differences in men and women’s interests and IQ. [for refutations of that view, please see this post, with links]
As evidence of this supposed classroom prejudice against boys, Sommers told the audience that schools are replacing boys’ favorite game, “tag,” with a more female-friendly alternative called “circle of friends.”
Sommers has been winding people up with this story for more than a decade: It shows up in The War Against Boys; in her 2005 book One Nation Under Therapy; in an interview that year on “The Daily Show”; and in a Q&A last week with NRO.
So what schools, exactly, have outlawed tag?
When Jon Stewart asked her, Sommers awkwardly backtracked: “Well, this is recommended in a book called Quit It, which is an anti-bullying curriculum.”
In other words: “circle of friends” might be a real thing somewhere; it might not. Tag is not under threat.
And neither, contrary to Sommers’s claims, are American men.
In the last decade or so, many studies have been published about the American educational system, and how more girls and women are out-scoring and out-performing boys and men all the way from grade school to college.
More women are earning more college degrees (especially bachelor’s degrees) than men now.
So, in light of that information, the Christina Hoff Sommers, and other types of the contradictory “I’m a feminist, but I hate feminism” philosophy adherents, have been writing many articles and blog posts, or granting many television interviews, for years now, saying and claiming that boys and men are victims, one reason being that they aren’t doing at well in school as girls and women.
For instance, here is an article by Sommers on Time magazine’s site:
In that article, Sommers depicts boys as being victims.
Here is a blurb or two from that article:
As school begins in the coming weeks, parents of boys should ask themselves a question: Is my son really welcome? A flurry of incidents last spring suggests that the answer is no.
[She cites several news items of boys being suspended from school for playing with pretend guns]
In all these cases, school officials found the children to be in violation of the school’s zero-tolerance policies for firearms, which is clearly a ludicrous application of the rule. But common sense isn’t the only thing at stake here. In the name of zero tolerance, our schools are becoming hostile environments for young boys.
…Across the country, schools are policing and punishing the distinctive, assertive sociability of boys. Many much-loved games have vanished from school playgrounds. At some schools, tug of war has been replaced with “tug of peace.”
Also by Sommers, in The Atlantic:
Snippet from that page:
This we think we know: American schools favor boys and grind down girls. The truth is the very opposite. By virtually every measure, girls are thriving in school; it is boys who are the second sex
You can read rebuttals to Sommer’s views in this other blog post of mine:
(Again, I am just using this educational argument as one point – the anti-feminist feminists have other topics they bring up in which they point to as proof that men are victims. For now, I will discuss this one.)
The anti-feminists, or the “men are victims” types, further argue that schools are geared more towards feminine sensibilities, and this this harms boys, or is unfair to boys.
I don’t want to make this entire blog post specific to commentary about the American educational system, but here are a few thoughts on this, and why I disagree with this view.
Supposedly, the argument “boys and men are victims, even in schools” is that American public schools supposedly disadvantage boys because boys want to run, jump, and cannot sit still at a desk and concentrate for hours on end on workbooks and math problems, as much or as well as girls can.
It’s my take that a lot of that thinking – boys like to run and jump, girls are good at being quiet, and so on – is based on social conditioning and gender assumptions, rather than mostly or entirely upon biology.
Girls are often pressured and rewarded by parents, teachers, and by the culture, for sitting still, being quiet, and orderly. Girls are not encouraged to get up, run about, and be loud (as boys often are) but girls are corrected when they do these things. (See this post for links to information on all that.)
Perhaps if teachers, churches, parents and so on, heavily pressured boys as much as they do girls to do things such as take up less physical space, keep their legs crossed when seated, and taught them that being neat, orderly, and quiet was expected for their gender – the messages that girls receive often – then the boys would train themselves to sit quietly, rather than squirm around in their desks.
When I was a girl (and I’ve always been an introvert), I was a tom boy.
When I was a child, I preferred climbing trees and riding bikes to sitting about quietly all the time.
As an introvert, yes, there were (and are) times I enjoy sitting about quietly reading a book.
However, I recall as a kid sitting in a classroom getting bored by the day’s lessons and staring out the window day-dreaming about going on exciting space adventures (think Walter Mitty here), or wishing I could be outside on a pair of roller skates – any where but cooped up in a class, sitting at a desk, listening to a teacher drone on about some subject I found boring.
So, I’d say, based on my personal childhood experience, that this idea that only boys get tired, bored, listless and fidgety in class for having to sit still for hours listening to lectures but that this is not true for or about girls, is a bunch of crap.
It’s all gender stereotyped crap.
And it’s gender stereotyped crap that is meant to explain why boys do poorly in school but why girls have been showing improvement in some areas the last decade.
This sort of topic also gives the anti-feminists, sexists, and women-haters (who swear they don’t hate women) an excuse to publish yet another book or article explaining how it is that society victimizes men. Then three weeks to three months later, that same author is writing how feminism is all bunk because it tells women they are victims.
Months ago, I was skimming comments under one such article, about how schools supposedly favor feminine traits.
One woman, whose name I don’t remember, who said she attended school as a kid in the 1950s and 1960s, raised an interesting point.
She said that the public classrooms and the system at that time, the 1950s and 1960s, are no different than they are now.
This woman commentator said that most of the classroom practices back in that era, as now, involved boys and girls having to sit still for hours and be quiet while sitting at a desk reading books and working on math problems or listening to teachers lecture.
She said that the boys in her era did not seem to have a problem with that educational environment and that the boys in her day made good grades.
She says she suspects that if boys today are not doing as well in school as female peers, that there is something else at play, and it’s not the “sit still and be quiet for hours” approach to American education that is at fault, that it’s not that school systems favor female traits (which are, I maintain, culturally conditioned) over male traits (which are there again, culturally conditioned).
I am dubious of claims put forward by anti-feminists such as by the likes of Sommers and others that schools shortchange boys because they favor girls, because I’ve read books that mention, and studies and articles that mention, that the reverse is actually true.
Schools and teachers actually educate and run classrooms that usually favor males, or, they run things in such a way that discourage female students (links here).
There are entire online communites and groups, and real life groups, of men who sit around saying women have all the breaks in life, women have life easier than men, and that men are victims in life, victims in employment, etc and so on.
Some of the men who portray men as victims go by various names and labels, such as MRAs (Men’s Right Activists), Manosphere, MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way), and the “Red Pill” guys who haunt Reddit.
You can google to your heart’s content to find many, many articles about such groups. Here is just one:
A snippet from that page on The Atlantic:
by Angela Nagel
For eight years, I have been closely observing an array of rightist forums as they have followed a strange and marked evolution.
Initially, at least, taking the red pill was more closely associated with antifeminist and men’s-rights forums like Reddit’s /r/TheRedPill, which launched in 2012, than with the nativist or racist corners of the online right.
TheRedPill was infamous for its mix of virulent misogyny and retrograde dating advice.
The young men who frequented it obsessed over the male pecking order, evolutionary sexual psychology, and the decline of Western men, who had become too meek to stand up to their women.
It also played a significant role in popularizing terms now associated with the racial politics of the alt-right, including cuck, a derivative ofcuckold first used to describe an emasculated man and later adapted to brand conservatives who were seen as weak on immigration, or just weak.
Over time, this online “manosphere” would embrace an increasingly hard-line antifeminism, one that began to shade into broader critiques of a fraying social order. Daryush Valizadeh, known as “Roosh V,” launched his writing career with the Bang series of books, many of them essentially travel guides for pick-up artists.
His site, Return of Kings, was at first dedicated to crude misogyny and pick-up advice.
… The Proud Boys, a group founded by the former Vice impresario Gavin McInnes to fight the forces of emasculation (in part through a renunciation of masturbation), also blended sexism and creeping nativism.
If you’d like to read even more about what these sorts of groups are all about, please see this page on We Hunted The Mammoth (which is a very anti-Trump site, but they provide a good overview of what the Manosphere, Red Pill groups, etc, are):
Here is a snippet from that page:
Q) A mammoth, huh? What’s this blog about?
A) Misogyny, not mammoths.
Specifically, this blog focuses on what I call the “New Misogyny,” an angry antifeminist backlash that has emerged like a boil on the ass of the internet over the last decade or so. These aren’t your traditional misogynists – the social conservatives and religious fundamentalists who make up much of the far right.
These are guys, mostly, who range in age from their teens to their fifties, who have embraced misogyny as an ideology, as a sort of symbolic solution to the frustrations in their lives – whether financial, social, or sexual.
Some of them identify as Men’s Rights Activists, trying to cast their peculiar struggle against what they see as the excess of feminism and the advantages of women as a civil rights issue of sorts.
…Others proclaim themselves Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), declaring a sort of independence from women – while spending much of their time on message boards talking endlessly about them.
…Still, while some of the New Misogynists see themselves as conservatives, even “neo-reactionaries,” many identify themselves as libertarians or even as liberals. Theirs is a backlash that frames itself as a step forward.
One of several things I learned a few years ago, when reading about MGTOW, Manosphere, etc, etc, is that the men in these groups think of themselves as victims. They are permanent victims stuck in Victim Land, put there by women or by feminism.
So, we have all these men thinking of themselves as victims, saying men are victims of culture and women, yet I don’t recall ever seeing anti-feminists such as Christina Hoff Sommers or others, criticizing such men for creating and living in a male-created Male Victimhood Culture.
Being Victimized Doesn’t Mean One is Inherently Weak or Less Capable
By the way, I think some critics misunderstand women who talk about inequality. They make the following ignorant point: “Women say they are competent and strong. Well, then, why are they always wanting to be thought of as victims or treated as victims?”
I saw a conservative author raise that point in an editorial on conservative site Town Hall a few weeks ago (at least I think it was Town Hall). It was a staggeringly stupid point.
Such a point mixes apples with oranges, and shows a complete lack of understanding of what women who discuss sexism are saying.
Yes, many women are smart and capable.
However, often times, due to sexism, unconscious bias, or whatever other factors, women are not always given equal opportunities to men.
In the sense that women are not treated with respect by men, or that society or an employer favors men over equally competent women, women are victims.
In that a producer such as Harvey Weinsten exploited his position to prey on women who feared losing their jobs if they said no or reported him to police, women are victims.
It’s not as though any and every single issue women bring up about being taken advantage of by men is pure fantasy or a figment of their imagination.
That women are preyed on in careers by perverted bosses is not a sign that all women are inherently physically, intellectually, or emotionally weaker than all men.
That women are preyed on in careers by perverted bosses and then later start a MeToo hash tag trend, and openly disscuss rampant sexual harassment in workplaces, is not a sign that all women are inherently physically, intellectually, or emotionally weaker than all men.
Seeking redress for unfair, unethical, or illegal behaviors by men is not “playing a victim.”
If you are a man, and another man were to steal your wallet, and you reported this theft to police, you would indeed be a victim (victim of crime). I would not argue that a such a man, a man who is mugged, is inherently weak or lesser than women.
(Nor would I draw a conclusion that because some men rob other men, making some men crime victims, that therefore all men are incompetent, inept, weak, or stupid.)
Yet, I keep seeing men (and some women) who don’t like women, or who don’t like feminism, make this same accusation against women who speak out against unfair or immoral actions or attitudes towards girls and women.
Women’s Conversations and Concerns Are Often Shanghaied by Anti-Feminists To Turn Them Into Conversations About Men, What Men Want and Need, and Men’s Problems
You can count on this like taxes, death, or the sun rising in the east tomorrow:
One of the most sickening and disgusting tendencies I’ve seen by some men or by women who hate feminism is to take an issue that is very real, that negatively impacts many girls and women, and make it all about men, and even make MEN out to be the victims of an issue that actually harms women.
Take the ‘MeToo’ sexual harassment campaign as one example.
After the first few weeks of the MeToo sexual harassment campaign existence, people who detest women, who detest women being heard or receiving equal opportunity, who say they hate feminism (or say they are pro feminism, yet they bash feminism at every turn), they tried (and keep trying) to make MeToo about men.
MeToo was begun by women having had enough. So many women have been sexually harassed (on jobs) or abused or date raped by men. Women finally began talking amongst themselves on Twitter about this, around October 2017, using the “MeToo” hash tag.
In the following weeks, though, the usual gang of anti-feminist women and some men as well, began making “MeToo” all about men, men’s causes, men’s feelings, and what men go through, may go through, or what men suffer.
Some of this was done under the guise of, “But what about false rape allegations? I have a brother. I love him. I would never want to see my brother falsely accused of rape.”
Once more, a problem inflicted on women by some men was turned into a conversation about how men are Great Big Victims we all need to rally around, support, and feel sorry for.
Some men were asking to be treated like victims of “Me Too,” and some of their anti-feminist women allies were more than happy to oblige and go around blogs and Twitter braying about “what about false allegations,” and “isn’t this a witch hunt” and “women mentioning groping on a job diminishes the seriousness of rape,” and so on.
This is all very similar to the”Yes All Women” online conversation a few years ago, where a bunch of sniveling, attention-seeking, rubes responded to the “Yes All Women” campaign with the hash tag “Not All Men.”
You can read more about that here (much of this is also applicable to critics of the “Me Too” movement) – note how in this “Not All Men” response that men and their female allies wanted men to be depicted as victims (or, in other cases as benevolent, nice guys or as heroes):
Third, the people saying it [“Not All Men”] aren’t furthering the conversation, they’re sidetracking it.
The discussion isn’t about the men who aren’t a problem. (Though, I’ll note, it can be. I’ll get back to that.)
Instead of being defensive and distracting from the topic at hand, try staying quiet for a while and actually listening to what the thousands upon thousands of women discussing this are saying.
…Fourth—and this is important, so listen carefully—when a woman is walking down the street, or on a blind date, or, yes, in an elevator alone, she doesn’t know which group you’re in.
You might be the potential best guy ever in the history of history, but there’s no way for her to know that.
A fraction of men out there are most definitely not in that group.
Which are you? Inside your head you know, but outside your head it’s impossible to.
by Kirsty S.
But when women talk about sexual violence and harassment, as they have done in their droves since the Harvey Weinstein allegations came to light, you can bet your bottom dollar that men will queue up to take issue with it.
Here’s how it usually goes:
Woman: I’ve been shouted at in the street, groped in nightclubs, assaulted on the tube and was raped by my boyfriend.
Man: Actually, I think it’s important to make clear that not all men are like this. Most men would never behave in such a terrible way. I certainly wouldn’t. Isn’t it a bit sexist to tar all men with the same brush?
…If nearly every woman you know has faced sexual violence or harassment in one form or another throughout her life, then us asking why ‘’men’’ continue to perpetuate this culture, shouldn’t be controversial.
Yes, we KNOW that not every single man is responsible. Yes, we KNOW that you would never do that; and you’ve reminded us enough, thanks.
So #NotAllMen doesn’t clarify anything. It doesn’t add to the discussion or develop it in any way.
All it does is derail and dismiss the lived experiences of women and girls.
And what the men who leap to remind us that ‘’not all men are like that’’, are actually saying is, ‘’I’m not like that.’’ Or to put it another way, they are letting women know that discussing misogyny makes them uncomfortable, and they’d like to be absolved of any blame before they will let women continue.
Women undertook massive amounts of emotional labour and relived personal trauma in sharing their stories of sexual violence on #MeToo. To ask us to hand out cookies and ‘Well Done For Not Raping Anybody’ badges to men who rush to tell us #NotAllMen, is unreasonable at best, and insulting at worst.
If you are a man and don’t recognise yourself in the behaviour described by women recently, then great. Our discussion of it shouldn’t offend you, or put you on edge.. …
by Rakesh Mehar
…. So let’s set the record straight on this: when women begin a conversation on what men do to women, none of them are making the ridiculous claim that every man does so.
The numbers game is a spurious smokescreen to hide a more important reality – that sexual violence is a systemic problem in India today. A systemic problem means that there is a whole social environment in which thousands of men are encouraged to subject women and children to different forms of sexual violence.
What the #NotAllMen brigade really want us all to ignore is that rape and sexual violence don’t happen in a vacuum, that their occurrence is dictated by the everyday culture we live in, and the position this culture gives to women. And on that count, we constantly fail the test.
We fail to restrain male aggression from a young age, because, “boys will be boys”. We continue to let our sons live entitled lives, so that we still have the laughable phenomenon of thousands of adult men who can’t even perform the simplest tasks involved in taking care of themselves.
We continue to saddle such helpless men onto women who are then expected to be at the beck and call of these men for the rest of their lives. And we continue to judge women for how they dress, where they go, how they live, who they befriend, what desires they feel and a whole lot more.
All of this, and more, sets the tone for how men in our country see women, and behave with them.
by Chris Hemmings
Well, men, as an homogenous mass, are increasingly being called out for their behaviour and blamed for causing the mental and physical suffering of various different sections of society. As such, many men now feel they are being unfairly targeted simply for being male.
The predictable response to men being portrayed negatively in the media, and beyond, comes via the #NotAllMen trope. It’s quickly become the go-to moniker of those determined to distance themselves from stories of sexism, violence or sexual abuse.
So, if someone on Twitter writes about ‘sexist men’, a legion of (often anonymous) accounts pile in to reply “Not all men”.
While it’s perfectly obvious that not all men are sexist, it would be absurd to suggest sexism isn’t a mostly-male pursuit. Equally, it’s true that not all men are violent, but in the same breath almost 90pc of violent crimes are carried out by men. And, sure, not all men are rapists, but almost 97pc of sexual assaults have a male perpetrator.
It’s too easy to dismiss these as ‘women’s issues’ – aided by the fact it’s mostly women who campaign on them – but, given the reality that men are the biggest transgressors and often the victims, isn’t it more accurate to call these male issues? I’d say so.
And I’d also say men aren’t currently doing enough in terms of preventing these behaviours – and that’s what desperately needs to change.
There’s an interesting paradox at play when it comes to the male responsibility-psyche, too.
The more fervent of the naysayers will gladly point out all the wondrous things men have accomplished.
As they take collective responsibility for the many male achievements that have improved everyone’s lives, rabidly demanding praise for their forefathers having invented the wheel, they also point-blank refuse to accept that men might just be responsible for many of the world’s flaws, too.
They fail to understand that, just because we’ve laboured over most of the world’s buildings, we can’t simply absolve ourselves of responsibility for what happens inside them.
When women talk about experiencing sexism or feeling unsafe, it has become a cliché for men to respond with “not all men.” “Not all men sexually harass women,” some might say, or, “not all men are rapists.”
This is true, but there are many reasons “not all men” misses the point.
When we shift the discussion from the oppression of women to the protection of men’s images, we undermine the very real problems women and men face.
It’s appalling that any time women finally have had enough of being treated poorly by men in general, and who then start national conversations about such an issue, along come some men, or the hyper-ventilating women (who are traitors to their own sex) who like to defend men, to interrupt, to take the focus off women and on to men.
It’s as though these types of men and women resent women coming forward openly to share their negative experience at the hands of some men, to discuss how societal views about gender aids and abets men to get away with sexism.
It’s also as though these types of men and women have a standard playbook they follow any time a woman’s issue (such as college rape, domestic violence, sexual harasment at work, etc) comes prominent in the news cycle.
The sexists and anti-feminists tend to…
- claim that any woman who says she was treated badly by a man are “playing the victim,” or loving to wallow in a Victimhood Culture; and / or,
- they will steer whatever the original women’s experience subject was to talking about men and men’s concerns
When women are the actual victims of men – such as in the cases of date rape, domestic violence, workplace sexual harassment – the men step forward to argue over Victimhood Status.
‘Oh no,’ they say, and so too do their women allies, ‘men are the actual victims in life! Not only are men victims of X, Y, Z, but now, you women who dare to go public with how you are raped or discriminated against on the job by a man, but you are turning men into victims now’ (insert analogies or comments about crowds with pitch forks, due process, false allegations).
Even when men are raping, beating, groping and sexually harassing women, the men (and their idiotic female allies) try to make it out that men are the victims. Poor, poor men.
They are seeking Victimhood Status for men in the course of these “Me Too” or “Yes All Women” type national conversations but simultaneously wanting to dismiss such women as wanting to wallow in victim-hood. In their purview, it’s acceptable for men to be victims, to ask to be regarded as victims, to be treated like victims, but not for women.
For those of you who argue that all feminists are, or all of feminism is, in error because it presents a “woman as victim” attitude, or that it supports a “victimhood culture” mentality, you need to stop posting tweets, blog posts, forum posts, or books, and stop having guests on your conservative talk or radio shows, that argue that men have life worse than women.
Why should you stop doing this? Because you’re violating your own position, or that of other anti-feminists in these sorts of conversations, that’s why.
Because what you are actually doing is not opposing “victimhood culture” or “victimhood mentality,” what you are really arguing is as follows:
When asked or posed with the question, “Who is the greater victim in society or the world: men or women,” you are replying,
“Why it’s men, of course, you silly rabbit! Men are bigger victims in life than women are, or ever will be, obviously.”
You are siding with Team Men in the “Victimhood Olympics of Life.” You’re doing the very same thing you are accusing feminists are, only in the reverse.
The question that may also be posed, are all feminists really establishing a victimhood culture or mentality? I’d say no, not all of them. It would depend on the particular feminist or type of feminism or feminist person we’re talking about.
September 2018 edit:
Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Politicization of “MeToo”
An example of what I was writing about above:
By Cheryl K. Chumley –
The Washington Times – Friday,
September 21, 2018
The left has been having its usual field day with truth, drumming a beat that Christine Blasey Ford is a victim, simply because she pointed a finger Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s way, and therefore she has a right to remain hidden in the shadows, shielded from questioning and criticisms and prying eyes into her past because, after all — she is the Victim.
But let’s get the facts straight. At this point in time, it’s Kavanaugh who’s the victim.
Thirty-some-odd years ago, when this supposed drunken sexual assault by Kavanaughallegedly occurred, was the time for Ford to claim victimhood.
That would have been the time to call police, alert authorities, tell parents and school officials, collect medical evidence and witness testimonies — all the normal actions people who are victimized by sexual assault actually take. She was suffering and could not deal with the trauma at the time?
OK. Understandable. But Kavanaugh’s been a public figure for years. Surely, at some point between high school and now, Ford could’ve found the strength and inner courage to bring him to her version of justice.
She didn’t. And that’s suspicious in itself.
…Kavanaugh’s supporters are quite right to express skepticism with Ford’s accusations and yes, now, even with her character. It’s not politically correct to say that a woman could lie about a sexual assault simply to cause a man harm.
Regardless of what one feels about Kavanaugh, here we have an example of a woman, Ford, who has claimed she was pinned down on a bed by a teen-aged boy approximately 30 years ago, but a man (who happens to be Kavanaugh) is now being painted as a victim – and by another woman.
Even when women are usually targeted by men in sexual harassment and sexual assault situations, some continue to want to depict men as being victims – and some of these same writers would no doubt shame and scold feminists for allegedly creating a “victim-hood” mentality in women.
I guess their quibble is that it’s okay to create a “victim-hood” mentality in men, just not in women.
Regarding this portion of the op/ed by Chumley:
Nobody can say with 100 percent assurance what happened on the night in question thatFord’s referencing. But what can be said is this: Ford had a chance, decades ago, to make her case as a victim.
It’s actually quite common for victims of sexual assault not to speak up until many years (even decades) later – this is even true of male victims of male perps. There is a lot of shame and fear involved, which is one reason so many victims don’t immediately step forward.
It’s time for everyone, regardless of political stance (I happen to be a conservative myself), to stop nit-picking about when the victim comes forward.
Edit. Yet more hyper-ventilating by my fellow conservatives about all men being victims vis a vis the Brett Kavanaugh accusations:
Via conservative site Townhall:
by Joy Overbeck
If this outrageous 36-year-old claim by a leftist, anti-Trump marching, California psychology professor against Judge Kavanaugh is treated like truth, the p*ssy hat posse will begin a reign of terror that will destroy the careers, families, and futures of many innocent men.
No male will be safe if this travesty is allowed to stand.
All the usual restraints of the rule of law that protect the accused will be trampled by #metoo mob rule – the Furies will run wild.
I take it that the above editorial was written prior to the newer allegations?
October 2018 edit
I’m really embarrassed that my fellow conservatives continue to make us all look like clueless jackasses by still operating in a “depict men as victims of MeToo” mode, when, in fact, the MeToo movement was largely intended for female victims of male sexual aggression to openly discuss their abuse.
“MeToo” has shown that women are quite often sexually harassed by men – to quote Leonard Pitts, “Men are not the victims here.”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham continued going further in his defense of Brett Kavanaugh than most of his Republican colleagues, dismissing out of hand any suggestion that sexual assault victims would be more reluctant to speak out because of the confirmation.
Turns out, according to Graham, the real victim of the whole process was Kavanaugh. “I think the roles were reversed: The slut whore drunk was Kavanaugh,” Graham said shortly after the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Although certain accusations against Kavanaugh were “outrageous” and “making no sense,” Graham also suggested he was doing a favor to all men in public office by raising the standard of what kind of accusations would be believed by the establishment.
“We’ve got to have some verifications, some sense of balance, because if that’s enough, just the mere accusation, then you’re going to unleash Pandora’s Box here. Because those of us in public service, you should be scrutinized but you don’t want to set a standard where you just take anybody out by accusing them,” Graham said after characterizing Christine Blasey Ford as a “victim of a process.”
March 2019 edit.
Christina Hoff Sommers recently tweeted something or other about men being victims on her Twitter account, which I will try to link to if I can find her tweet again.
And in the meantime, conservatives are now saying that Tucker Carlson is a victim. See this post for more:
Additional, related articles and op/eds:
Snippets from that page:
It is a remarkable fact of American life that hordes of men are now defending sexual assault. It’s not immediately clear why. It seems like the very definition of an unforced error.
But a substantial group, many of them in politics, has taken to the internet to argue that a 17-year-old football player should get to do as he likes to a 15-year-old girl—say, for example, trap her in a bedroom, violently attempt to remove her clothes, and cover her mouth to muffle her screams—without consequences to his life or reputation.
The “locker room” once invoked to normalize Trump’s language (every man talks this way behind closed doors!) has expanded into a locked American bedroom with a woman trapped inside. It’s all in good fun, defenders declare. Horseplay.
Here’s the most surprising part: They’ve launched this peculiar defense despite the fact that the accused party denies it ever happened.
To be clear, there are perfectly feasible defenses of Brett Kavanaugh that others have attempted. One could respond to Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he assaulted her at a party while they were teenagers by saying (as some have) that we can’t know the facts or that more evidence is needed.
This group has opted instead to defend male impunity for sexual assault and frame a woman’s story of coping with years of trauma as a true crisis … for men.
A White House lawyer was quoted saying, “If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.” Similar things were voiced by Ari Fleischer and Joe Walsh. Per this dark vision of the future, any consequence for committing assault—even being unable to move from one lifetime appointment to another lifetime appointment—is the beginning of the end of a just society.
…. We knew this moment would arrive when the #MeToo movement began. It was clear that men and women were universally comfortable with the movement as long as its targets were unregenerate monsters like Harvey Weinstein, and it was just as clear that the tides would shift once attention expanded to the scope of what women routinely put up with.
Eventually, as I wrote then, there would be an attempt to “naturalize sexual harassment. If there are this many men doing these things, then surely this is just how men are!”
But I never imagined it would get this explicit. I never thought I would see a group that has spent years laughing at the very idea of anything like “rape culture” suddenly not just admitting that it exists but arguing that it should—nothing should be done about it; male malfeasance is an unstoppable cocktail of culture and biology.
The subtext—stripped of all chivalric pretense thanks to the recent panic—is that victims don’t matter. They’re invisible because they’re unimportant, and women’s pain is irrelevant.
… It’s as if men and women have different pain scales emotionally as well as physically.
Of course men believe they suffer more, and many women—having spent their lives accustomed to men’s feelings mattering more than everyone else’s—will agree with them.
Most of us have been socialized to sympathize with men, the troubled geniuses, the heroes and antiheroes. They’re the protagonists.
And this meritocratic American dream stuff (which, let’s face it, is 100 percent pitched as male) has a poetry that encourages pity.
If men on that journey experience a setback, their plight scans as injustice (the American dream does not reverse!). Their suffering must, therefore, be more acute.
The rest of that piece is located here.
More conservative-penned “men are victims of women / Me Too / Feminism” editorials or news reports…
President Trump also jumped on to the “Pity men, they are the real victims of sexual harassment of women by men” campaign:
Via Daily Beast:
At a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night, Trump showed more concern for the men who may be falsely accused of sexual assault than their potential victims
From PJ Media:
Women to Crazed Feminists: We Will Fight You to Defend Our Menby D C McAllister
Trump Takes A Stand For The Real Victims: Men – Video on You Tube
This post has been edited to fix mistakes, to clarify some comments