Does Reverse-Sexism Exist?

An opinion piece by Charlotte Audley-Coote.

Whenever discussing the purpose of feminism with people I usually list some problems which effect women within Australia. When I do this, I’m often met with the exclamation that “actually, men have problems too you know, so really, you’re the sexist!” Usually a defiant look and smirk ensues as if someone has ‘caught me out’ on my secret radical feminist agenda. I’m not entirely sure what they think I’m hoping for, although I guess equality is a pretty crazy idea. It seems to me that words such as ‘discrimination’, ‘prejudice’, ‘oppression’, ‘sexism’ (along with other isms) have been used in a way that leaves them interchangeable, even though this creates a huge problem when trying to break down the way different people are affected by a social system.  You can’t slap on a one-word-bandaid to describe the massive spectrum of hurtful experiences. Not only will it have a generalising effect on something which should be discussed in detail, but it will also distort the role power/domination plays within patriarchal culture, when it is that specifically which needs attention to properly understand how oppression works. Although this silencing effect might be desirable to some, these semantic inaccuracies can only help fuel the fire that hopes to dismantle feminism as a faux cause.

When we talk of experiencing prejudice, we can safely use it in a way to cover most people’s experience of someone having preconceived notions about you according to some characteristic (skin colour, sexuality etc) before actually knowing you. We can speak of discrimination when someone acts on that prejudice, when someone experiences negative behaviour towards them which is based on such ignorance. When we move onto words such as sexism and oppression, a sweeping effect can no longer be accurate (vocab-lesson over). Now, I often get told that stereotypes of men or the behaviour expected from them can be described as reverse-sexism. For example:

  1. Men being thought of as unmanly or rude if they don’t pay on a date or open a door
  2. Having specific women’s groups in government or ‘women’s rights’ organisations
  3. Male sexuality viewed as uncontrollable and compulsive, depicting men as ‘wild beasts’

Although these issues hurt men, they are not oppressed by them. Being oppressed depends on your personal power being taken away by the acceptance and affirmation of a system which inflicts mistreatment on a group. From laws to social beliefs, oppression serves to justify this treatment and invalidate the experiences of people who are oppressed. Even though the issues which affect men are important, what is vital to note is that despite these experiences, men can feel safe in knowing that their personal power will remain intact.

  1. This stereotype (aka: benevolent sexism) puts women on a pedestal as ‘delicate’ and in need of support. It empowers men to be independent (powerful) while it enforces the idea that women should be dependant (not so powerful).
  2. Although men may feel that they’re missing out by not having a special ‘men’s rights group’ (although there are some scary ones lurking out there), it should be remembered that they already have this kind of representation…. The entire government!
  3. Being teased about not being sexual enough can be embarrassing, I’m sure. However, what his sad expectation really does is enforces the notion that women are the ‘gate keepers’ of sexuality and that because men simply can’t help themselves, it is up to women to make sure they remain safe from unwanted advances, which is an extremely dangerous notion.

There are many more examples, but what these few really illustrate is that the system wants, expects, affirms and praises men for being in power of their financial independence, in power of the legal system and makes it acceptable to overpower women’s bodies. The system hurts, degrades and scorns women for being successful, for expecting equal government representation/consideration, and enforces the idea in which women are responsible for the experience of sexual assault (not deserving to be safe ¾ now that’s pretty disempowering).  So, reverse-sexism doesn’t exist because men cannot experience oppression. What does exist is a sexist society which oppresses women that can also have a negative effect on men.

The real red-flag with these attitudes, I think, is that they perpetuate the ideals which reverse-sexism spokespeople are apparently angry about. It invalidates women’s experiences by forcing them to take gender out of the picture, even though that is central to the problem. Women experience their lives differently because they are women, and there should be space for them to speak about how this has affected them without being criticised for neglecting men’s problems. Because patriarchy promotes male domination in almost every (mostly powerful) societal facet, the idea of women commanding their own domain of experiencing oppression really goes against the grain, especially as this notion can be extremely powerful! People fighting to insert men as victims of sexism are perpetrators of sexism itself, as insisting that men dominate every part of society only serves to sustain patriarchy.

~ Charlotte Audley-Coote

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22 thoughts on “Does Reverse-Sexism Exist?

  1. Jo says:

    This is an excellent, excellent piece! Well thought out as well, especially your response to the stupid argument that women’s spaces etc. discriminate against men. I think there’s still a lot of historical ideas about women’s space as the private and men’s space as the public going on, which is really quite damaging to women in the public sphere.

  2. mattrundle says:

    I think it’s reasonable to claim that arguing “what about men’s rights?” in feminist discussions derails and marginalizes the discussion of women’s rights.

    However, I don’t think it’s fair to say that in no cases are men (as individuals) systemically oppressed by patriarchal cultures. For instance:

    – male victims of sexual violence, domestic violence and indeed any sort of violence don’t have access to the same support structures that are available to female victims.
    – men are less likely to seek therapy for mental illness than are women.
    – men are much more likely to be assaulted or murdered by strangers than are women.
    – men are much less likely than women to get custody of their children in a divorce.
    – males convicted of crimes recieve harsher sentences than do women convicted of the same crimes.
    – men are more likely than women to work in life-threatening jobs.

    These are not structures and behaviours that empower men. Nor are these usually considered important issues outside of (scary) mens rights discussions.

    The statement that in no case can men be oppressed on basis of gender in a patriarchal society is problematic. To say that men are never the victims of sexism or sexist culture is to render those victims invisible.

    I don’t make this claim because I don’t care about womens rights, but because I think that mens rights are also important.

    • uqwomynews says:

      I think you missed the point of Charlotte’s article. She does not omit that fact that men are affected by patriarchy, but rightly concludes that they are not oppressed:

      “Although these issues hurt men, they are not oppressed by them. Being oppressed depends on your personal power being taken away by the acceptance and affirmation of a system which inflicts mistreatment on a group.”

      I think that there is a difference between being a gender that, as a collective, is oppressed, and being a gender that is victimised in certain aspects of their lives. I think men can and are victimised in areas of society, but as a whole are not oppressed – and that is the point Charlotte is talking about. Don’t you think feminism would have vanished in a puff of smoke YEARS ago if there wasn’t, and still is, a pertinent need for it?

      All of the things you said are true about men, except the custody of children – the court actually sees parents as equals and makes judgements from their time commitment to raising their children, past behaviour, and the child’s wants. As often the female in a heterosexual partnership is the primary caregiver, this is why she will get children most of the time.

      I think perhaps your comment would have been received a little better had you taken the time to reflect on Charlotte’s piece rather than push your own men’s rights argument onto it, which is not the point of her piece.

      ~ Emma

      • mattrundle says:

        I did consider Charlotte’s argument carefully.

        The point of Charlotte’s piece is to define ‘sexism’ and ‘oppression’ in such a way that they cannot and should not be used in cases where males are discriminated against on grounds of being male. That it’s impossible for individual men to be oppressed because as a class, men hold power. That to name these cases as cases of ‘oppression’ and ‘sexism’ would invalidate the experiences of women.

        I absolutely agree that feminists should not be criticised for their focus on women’s issues, especially because outside of feminism those issues are too rarely discussed. But here, Charlotte’s piece is about whether sexism and oppression on grounds of gender can affect men, and she claims that they cannot. This is the crux of charlotte’s piece (it’s in her title, it’s in her conclusion).

        It is an intellectually dishonest claim, because it ignores real situations where men’s personal power is removed by society. Are men empowered by harsher criminal sentences and poor access to crisis councelling services in the same way that (Charlotte argues) men are empowered by being allowed to pay for dates and by a narrow view of men’s sexuality? I can’t imagine that these other cases can be so explained.

        It’s unfair to claim that sexism against men cannot exist (and should never be considered valid of concern) because such a claim renders the victims of sexism invisible.

      • Bob rouse says:

        I have to say this is some really ignorant things to put, I mean you cite absolutely nothing and yet everything is spoken as if its fact. Too keep it short, women are from oppressed in today’s society and unfortunately many thing’s you’ve said are just plain wrong while I truly believe you think these statements to be somewhere based on studies somewhere, but its so overly superfical that an angry 7th grader tha didnt get picked for cheerleading could have wrote it. The legal system is most likely my biggest issue because unfortunetly men and women are not seen as equals and because of this men’s rights are often trampled over in favor of simply a woman’s word. Child placement after a divorce will go to the mother if she so choose’s unless the father can produce copious amounts of documentation that the mother is unfit. this is reguardless of if she was the primary care taker or not. It is just set in the mother’s care and it’s the father’s job to fight against that if he wants. Even more so is spousal abuse which new studies have show is predominantly female of male. More and more cases go un reported though simply because all a woman has to say is that she was hit and again it is the man’s job to have some kind of serious proof that nothing happend. On top of that that men being view as tougher has such a negative impact that even in cases of obvious abuse nothing will happen to the female simply because the man should be tough. These alone show over oppression going on through our own legal system. Another issue you just passed over as if it was nothing was that a man;s sex drive is seen as impulsive and uncontrolable which quite frankly is just incorrect. Though we can not stop that from being that society thinks is ok and with that men are harassed on a daily basis if they are with their daughters in publics. As if they are pedophiles simply because they are men. Any situation with men and children has because increasingly tense because of articles like this that just brush it off as fact and when you mix that with the insurgence of stranger danger than quite frankly another form of dirct opression occures. Even though numerous news articles and studies have shown that stranger danger is such a fractionally small part of the population, one simply would notice with all the fear that goes toward men, simply for being men. How your article can just skip over these and say men face no oppressions in their life is just ludacris and with all honestly, things like this truly hurt equality movements that actually want to see women and men both on a more equal level. Finally I will have to say that from the people that Finally I will have to say that from the people that have shown me this website it is not surprising that you take such a shallow and selfish few towards women’s rights and almost banish men as some evil creatures. I hope that you will come to learn a way to rectify you thought process to a one closer to the truth or quite this endeavor all together for fear that you are hindering the very same women I believe you think think you’re helpinghave shown me this website it is not surprising that you take such a shallow and selfish few towards womens rights and almost banish men as some evil creatures. I hope that you will come to learn a way to rectify you thought process to a one closer to the truth or quite this endeavor all together for fear that you are hindering the very same women I believe you think think you’re helping

  3. Charlotte Emily Vere Audley-Coote says:

    You make a lot of great points, all of which really highlight some of the unpleasent stuff men have to put up with, or be worried about or scared of and feel hurt by. But, I still stand by my original position. It’s far too easy to say something like ‘harsher criminal sentances’ and have that appear as enough to mean what you feel like it means. But, if a closer look is taken into what it really represents then we can see that this is by no means an example of oppression. I don’t claim to have read everything on the topic, but thus far in my studies my opinion has been formed by the following information:

    ‘Harsher’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘more than’ women. What this most often reflects is that women are sentanced ‘less than’ men, which is an important distinction. Men’s personal power is not being taken away from them because of the sentacing disparity, because the disparity reflects a certian expression of benevolent sexism towards women and not a type of discrimination against men which pushes punishments that exceed what fit the crime.

    The fact that being a judge is largey a male-dominated profession, it isn’t suprising that paternalism and stereotypes of women can be witnessed to play a part in the sentancing process. Considering the grading effect of sentancing (social ramifcations, likeliness of recidvicating etc), the disparity often reflects the fact that judges are under the impression that women aren’t as dangerous or that they are more likely to be deterred (for example). Or, due to the delicate, childlike and depedant nature of women – they shouldn’t be in jail and a more ‘fitting’ punishment is sentanced. Also because women are viewed as passive, their crimes are more often associated with being a ‘mistake’ because it seems ‘unnatural’ for them to have that level of intent or culpability. Or, they should/would be better off (not just because of prejudice, but also because of cost to the state) going back home to look after their children (considering women are usually the primary care-givers or the only care-givers of kids [especially low income women who commit crimes], this plays a part in the way women are processed). These are not the only examples, but the main aspect here is that evidence of more lenient treatment of women within the legal system (due to pre-existing notions which are the foundations of their oppression) does not automatically equate to men being judged more harshly.

    I know this is just one of your examples, but I have already spent too much time not doing my assignments haha. But really, I totally get what you are saying… I just think we have to be very careful in the way we evaluate the information/stats and to really make sure we know where they are coming from and what they mean. It’s okay if we don’t agree, I’ve enjoyed having my ideas discussed anyhow. Your accusation of intellectual dishonesty was quite a sting though, I will admit!

    – Charlotte. =].

    • mattrundle says:

      (sorry for the late reply, I also have assignments I should be doing, instead of this.)

      (a)-men recieve harsher sentences than women.
      (b)-women recieve lighter sentences than men.

      these two statements are logically equivelant. (b) can’t be more true or less true than is (a).

      I think that the set of assumptions you describe, where women (as a class) are considered childlike, dependant, passive, as though they shouldn’t be in jail, or that criminal intent and culpability for crimes are outside their nature – the assumption that these qualities apply to all women and specifically to women – is not reasonable and should not go unchecked.

      Ultimately the problem I have with this is the idea that a female defendant would be treated as a victim of circumstances, where a male defendant would not be.

      I don’t mean to say that women don’t deserve leniency, only that the the factors that indicate leniency should not be determined by gender.

      (I should not skip over the childcare thing. I concede that women are more likely to be a primary carer for children than are men. However, here too exists a set of assumptions that should be challenged: that a woman is a better carer for a child than a man, that an absent mother is a critical issue and an absent father is not.)

      I can see that I will not be able to convince you that instances of discrimination against men are instances of oppression. Still, to relegate these issues to some lesser class of issues (discrimination, not oppression) is to make them seem trivial, and they aren’t trivial issues.

      I also don’t mean to say that issues that affect men are equivelant to issues that affect women. For instance, in this set of problematic assumptions for (het) relationships:
      (a) women are largely valuable for their beautiful appearance or as objects of sexual desire
      (b) men are largely valuable for their financial position or as providers of stability

      We are presented with (broadly) two separate issues, and they aren’t equivelant issues. I won’t claim that they have the same enormity, (because I can’t imagine how to measure that, or to what end I would do so). But I do claim that that working to dispel one assumption won’t dispel the other. But both should be addressed. And that the opinion that addresses how the issue affects women is not the only opinion worthy of concern.

      (a) suggests:
      -it is generally acceptable to criticise a woman on her appearance
      -it is generally acceptable to consider women primarily as objects of sexual desire
      -women are required to have an appearance that meets some measure of beauty
      -people who are not women can not be largely valuable for their physical appearance or as objects of sexual desire
      -people who are not women are not required to have an appearance that meets some measure of beauty
      -these are the only criteria that matter in determing the worth of a woman
      -for determining the worth of somebody who is not a woman, these are not valuable criteria

      (b) suggests:
      -it is generally acceptable to critise a man on his financial position
      -it is generally acceptable to consider men primarily as providers of stability
      -men are required to have a financial position that meets some measure of success
      -people who are not men can not be largely valuable for their financial position or as providers of stability
      -people who are not men are not required to have a financial position that meets some measure of success
      -these are the only criteria that matter in determing the worth of a man
      -for determining the worth of somebody who is not a man, these are not valuable criteria

      in general these things are true:
      -(a) is not equivelant to (b) (even though i’ve broken them down in the same way – to address (a) is not to address (b))
      -to address how (a) affects women is not to address how (a) affects men. to address how (b) affects women is not to address how (b) affects men.
      -however you choose to address these issues, it’s important not to make light of how some other person might try to address these issues. If equality is truly the goal for all parties, you’re trying to solve the same problem. It’s basically important that nobody is left out.

      I’m arguing that men’s issues are real issues and they truly need to be discussed somewhere, although perhaps not here on WOM*NEWS. That in no case should they be dismissed as unworthy of concern.

      If I accuse you of intellectual dishonesty, I mean that as a criticism of your argument and not as an attack on your nature. If your goal is truly the pursuit of equality, then you should be willing to concede and address cases where women recieve support and men do not.

      • A D (@bookaholic_au) says:

        I read the use of the word “sexist” in Charlotte’s explanation to mean that women lighter sentences as men was wrong. However, it seems to me that the you and Charlotte are engaging in an oppression olympics type debate. What matters is not who has it worse, but that the assumptions of the patriarchy lead to men and women being treated differently which is wrong. Instead of arguing over how to phrase it, we should work together to eliminate the disparity in sentencing.

  4. mattrundle says:

    also:

    whenever you frame discrimination of men as ‘benevolent sexism’ of women you reframe the issue as though it does not affect men.

    whenever you frame women as the victims of sexism and men as its perpetrators, you’re ignoring cases where men victimise other men, and cases where women victimise other women.

  5. Jo says:

    Ok, so I’m just gonna throw in one quick point here: Yes, there are instances where men are disadvantaged or judged different and perhaps more harshly than women. But those instances don’t measure up to a whole system of institutionalised disadvantage that many women face. That’s why argument like “oh but look, a female prime minister!” and your the prison sentence argument aren’t actually arguments.

    Oh, and it’s always nice to hear from a guy that once again, we’re doing it wrong. Maybe you should do some 101 reading before going any further. Try this one: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/

    • mattrundle says:

      I haven’t posted anything here with the intention to offend anybody. My comments are on topic, and my only intention is to discuss the topic. I think you might be (rightly) accusing me of mansplaining, but the topic (of whether men can be victims of sexism) is, I hope, one where a male opinion is valid.

      I mean what I say, when I claim that issues that affect men are not equivelant to issues that affect women. But that they are issues, and need to be addressed, and should not be dismissed.

      • Jo says:

        Yes – I also think that these issues (facing men) need to be addressed. But I don’t think that this particular space (where we are discussing women’s oppression in particular) is a space for men to draw attention to their own issues RATHER than talking about the challenges that women face.

        It’s a trend that I see far too often of late, and I think it just shows that often men are unwilling to concede that “women’s issues” are worth talking about. I’m not saying that this is your intent, Matt – I’m pretty sure it isn’t. But the way this happens so often just goes on to show that when women talk specifically about things affecting women, they are often pushed aside to see the “male side of the question” – which is as such implied to be more valid and more important.

      • mattrundle says:

        I resent your implication that I haven’t done enough reading. I am very familiar with feminism. I haven’t found anything in this wiki that disagrees with my argument.

      • mattrundle says:

        okay, yeah. my argument is that the ‘male side’ is also valid, and also important. I get mad about the way the ‘male side’ is usually discussed, and people who study gender should know better.

        i am not the guy who’s here to explain how men’s issues are important and women’s issues are not important. that, at least, is not my intention.

        but i can see how i can still seem like that guy. i have, for instance, neatly avoided talking about women’s issues while i’ve been posting here.

  6. Charlotte Emily Vere Audley-Coote says:

    Well, first of all… I don’t intend to frame men ‘against’ women in the way you suggest via benevolent sexism or any sexism really… Patriarchy is a system and all genders can contribute to this system in different ways, depending on how the hierarchy has placed them. Using examples of what men can sometimes do against women as a result of patriarchy (such as the judge example) does not equate them as the villains but is simply an expression of this issue at large. Pitting different genders against each other in any sense would only be submitting to patriarchy, so to use that as a battle strategy would be pretty silly. Everyone and anyone can be a victim of patriarchy (you and I agree on this) and I would never consider dismissing the pain someone experiences because of it just because they are not a women. I never alluded to finding these issues unimportant, only that due to the frame that sustains patriarchy, the issue that power plays makes a huge difference… not to the hurt someone may feel in a situation but in the way in which they are positioned in society to experience it.

    What I mean when I speak of how the sexist ideas which oppress women cause discrimination against men, it didn’t mean that men are not affected by this but it details how the system of oppression works. In such a system there is always the ‘Other’ (getting a little Beauvoir) and basically, the Other sucks, and so anything that is like the Other (according to whatever ridiculous stereotype) is discriminated against. So even if not all women like shopping, this is an activity associated with being a women. Thus, shopping sucks. Thus, if you’re a male and you like to shop you will get some pretty rude comments. The way in which to dismantle this is to stop Othering women. If being a women doesn’t suck, then shopping doesn’t suck, then men who shop don’t suck! A similar example is with the way that a girl is praised for ‘throwing like boy’, whereas a boy wearing a princess outfit is considered terrible! Masculinity = yay.
    Femininity = nay. If femininity also becomes yay, then suddenly it doesn’t matter what you are expressing or what your gender is, because behaviors have not been determined by the gender police and thus all these ‘assumptions’ no longer have anything to hold onto. This is a step in the right direction to breaking the gender binary, which is usually the perpetrator in both your and my examples.

    The point is that equality (which yes, I am serious about) will be possible when every gender is accepted as a subject, and not an Other. This means that dismantling patriarchy begins with dismantling the oppression of women. Caring about women IS caring about men. I see now that it is this point in which we fundamentally disagree. But, I find that women’s/men’s issues ARE almost always linked in this sense. This seems unavoidable in a system which always positions ‘groups’ in opposition to each other (where one group is always more dominate)… This is what patriarchy relies on to exist so it seems to me as if you are suggesting a different system which has caused these disparities. You are suggesting that men are also the Other and if this is the case then there has to be a subject to be taking their power away, that women are subjects. If this is the case, then we cannot be living in a patriarchy (and I believe that we do). But either way, this doesn’t mean that there cannot be male-directed care. You seem to assume that by simply identifying the power disparity within society, that this makes men invisible but I’m not sure how you get to this conclusion. Again, let’s be clear that I never suggested that men shouldn’t receive help or consideration and, recognisng that women are oppressed while men are not does not lead to this conclusion either.

    And, you are right about this:

    (a)-men recieve harsher sentences than women.
    (b)-women recieve lighter sentences than men.

    these two statements are logically equivelant. (b) can’t be more true or less true than is (a).

    However, I don’t really think this accurately presents the actual content of my position… Which was more along the lines of

    A. Men receive sentences which fit the crime.
    B. Women receive lighter sentences which do not fit the crime.

    Anyway, like you…. I must continue actual essays now. I wish I could write as much in assignments as I do here in in the same amount of time. Sigh.

    – Charlotte =].

    • mattrundle says:

      (i should stop writing these long replies. i don’t mean to take up so much of your time.)

      I think in general we differ in methodology but agree in intent.

      >’some other system’

      I prefer the idea of Kyriarchy – because it better addresses intersectionality, and (perhaps self servingly) because it doesn’t explicitly identify ‘men in power’ as the ultimate cause of society’s ills.

      >’the judge example’
      I think there’s an implied assumption in this example, that if the judge is a woman then the outcome is different.

      this is my issue with ‘benevolent sexism’:
      -when a man is favored, that’s sexism, some woman has been oppressed by the Patriarchy
      -when a woman is favored, that’s sexism, because that woman is being oppressed by the Patriarchy

      i think this is a weird leap of logic, and only comes about if you’re unwilling to see men as victims, and unwilling to see women as something other than victims.

      i would claim that:
      -women can favor women in the same situations where men do.
      -women can discriminate against women in the same situations where men do.
      -women can discriminate against men in the same situations where men do.
      -women can favor men in the same situations where men do.

      >’I never alluded to finding these issues unimportant,’

      i understood these sections as that sort of allusion:

      >’being thought of as unmanly or rude if they don’t pay on a date or open a door’ … ’empowers men to be independent (powerful)’

      which i read as ‘this is not truly an issue, it’s a boon to men’

      >’not having a special ‘men’s rights group’ (although there are some scary ones lurking out there)’ … ‘they already have this kind of representation…. The entire government!’

      the government does not rally for men’s rights, at least not in the same way that that feminism rallies for women’s rights. it has innumerable other concerns, and men’s rights is probably not really among them. men’s rights are not a popular cause, a ‘men’s rights’ candidate could not today be elected.

      >’depicting men as ‘wild beasts’’ … ‘what this sad expectation really does is enforces the notion that women are the ‘gate keepers’ of sexuality’

      which i read as ‘this is not really an issue, what’s really an issue is this other thing which chiefly affects women’

      your examples were not the ones I would choose, to make a case that men are oppressed, which is why I presented my own examples. I considered those to be omissions.

      ‘You seem to assume that by simply identifying the power disparity within society, that this makes men invisible but I’m not sure how you get to this conclusion.’

      identifying women only as victims and men never as victims makes male victims invisible. if men can’t be victims, male victims are either not truly victims, or not truly men.

      I believe that men can be othered, and that men and women both are othered constantly, and this is a huge deal. whenever someone says ‘men are x’ as though all men carry that trait, they are othering men. it implies ‘all men are x’ and ‘anything that is not x is not a man’

      • A D (@bookaholic_au) says:

        I see a distinction between oppression and favouritism.

        There have been studies done which show that blondes and stereotypically beautiful women are more likely to impress interviewers of either sex, and therefore have an easier time of hunting for jobs. I’ve witnessed my blond, be-dimpled sister use this to great effect in avoiding her bus fare, for example. She averages one completely free trip to uni (an impressive two sequential free buses) every second month.

        But is this oppression? I think that it is a result of people making decisions based on stereotypes imposed by an oppressive system. In my view, faring less favourably in one regard does not always mean that oppression is at work. Oppression works in systems, not isolated examples. For example, because Aboriginal Australians fare less favourably across the board, their disproportionately high prison population can be seen as evidence of their oppression. The fact that men receive harsher sentences than women; or women lighter sentences than men; does not demonstrate that men are systematically oppressed by society.

        I, among with many other feminists, are subjected day in day out to a world in which our voices are treated less valuably than men, and where women’s concerns and issues are treated as less important. Personally, I am tired of using feminist spaces to debate the inclusion of men and men’s issues in the feminist movement. It’s been done to death. This is why you get this phenomenon in the feminist blogosphere where a male commentator comes on board, says something tangentially related to the article to the effect of “men are oppressed by the patriarchy/kyriarchy too,” and is shot down in a very terse manner by the resident readers. You will particularly notice this when you try to explain how women are doing feminism wrong. Don’t get me wrong — I’d love to have a debate about the use of the word kyriarchy in feminism; but I do not want to have that debate in the context of why your model of feminism is better than Charlotte’s.

        The feminist blogosphere is a place for women’s voices. We are told how we think and feel constantly in the outside world, but this is our safe space, and visitors have to respect the rules: let women speak, don’t tell them how best to do feminism and keep the “what about the menz” comments to a minimum, preferably focused directly on the subject at hand

        You have to check your privilege at the door. At the moment, as far as I can see, you are not doing that well enough.

      • Matt Rundle says:

        I don’t think this will show up in the right place. it’s a response to A D’s comment (on May 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm)

        Yes, I am privileged. I’m a straight, white guy. People listen to me, and not because of anything that I did. I get that. I try to compensate for this, by listening to people, only saying things that are true, and generally not being a dick. I don’t always manage it. I feel like I should not have to put a disclaimer like this paragraph before any comment I write, wherever. If this means that I can only be an invader or a nuisance to you, then I’m sorry.

        I thought it would be okay to argue for men’s rights here in reply to this article (and no others) because this article considers (and dismisses) men’s rights. I don’t mean to say that Charlotte is doing feminism wrong, and I don’t believe that she is doing it wrong.

        I don’t like that men’s rights are generally dismissed in feminist spaces, because it means that men’s rights are generally discussed only in spaces that don’t include feminists.

        I think that [we already had that discussion before you got here and we decided that you’re wrong] is not an argument that will generally sway people.

        I’m sorry for drawing out this discussion. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

  7. Bob rouse says:

    Here are some neutral websites and articles i’ve found that you might not know about, They are things like a state study of men vs women pay rates don’t by the state and the labor department that show women get paid more than men, Also a state study that shows domestic abuse is 45-50 percent women to men abuse, to where because of shelter laws men can not take children to escape even though it is 50/50 against them and really if anything the children shouldn’t suffer. Also I’ve included a 3rd party look at how feminist legislators have geared laws toward letting women have children after the divorce whether they are fit or not and letting them blackmail the children back to the husband for money. Just some common myths about oppression women go through that once they are taken out of feminist organizations and the studies are done by a state firm show very different results. I hope in the spirit of honest and teaching people the truth about things you can show how today is a brave new world for the new interdependent women of the new generation and old myths should be put to bed.

    http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

    http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/intimate-partner-violence/measuring.htm

    http://glennsacks.com/blog/?p=5013

    http://family-law.lawyers.com/visitation-rights/Parental-Alienation-Syndrome.html

  8. uqwomynews says:

    From The Mods: We thank everyone for their input and for those who took the time to consider others’ opinions about women’s and men’s issues from the comments on this article. Due to the negativity stemming from the most recent comments in regards to our Collective and the nature of our website, and comments which are hurtful in nature towards other commenters, we have decided to close comments on this post. Wom*news is space where the UQWC members and allies have a safe and welcome place to express themselves and we will not tolerate hateful comments.

    We will be posting a commenting policy soon so that this doesn’t happen again.

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