Sunday, June 20, 2010

Defining "Misandry": the best explanation of this term I've found yet

 [image/cartoon is from here]

First, about the cartoon. I did a Google image search on "misandry" and this came up, and, well, even though I'm not entirely what it has to do with misandry, it did seem appropriate to post on Father's Day in the U.S. My actual Father's Day post is here.

The web source for all that follows (I swear I didn't write this!) I'd like to credit whoever did write it.

Misandry a real word or shaming tactic?

“misandry” is a word that doesn't represent any real thing, a kind of a placeholder in our consciousness for an experience that does not, and indeed cannot, exist. so why have I been accused of perpetrating it about a million times in the last month?

I have come to see the word “misandry” as a euphemism for feminism, and “misandrist” as a euphemism for feminist, rather than anything that actually exists in real life, to any troubling degree, or in any meaningful way. while anti-feminists and misogynists bandy the terms about with glee, in reality, its just another flaccid jab at feminism, and feminists, by privileged men whose perverse denial of reality leads them to believe (or pretend to believe) that they are on the receiving end of institutional sexism as much as they benefit from it. and that they suffer relational abuse just as frequently as they dish it out. Only an anti-feminist would think to define misogyny’s ‘opposite’ as the hatred of men: more reasonably, woman-hating would be opposed to woman-loving, would it not? but leave it to a misogynist to define all things in relation to men’s experience: they wouldn’t think to define anything without evoking a male image, and considering (even imagining, with no basis in reality) not whether but how that “thing” would affect men, and whether misandry even exists is entirely beside the point, isnt it? in fact, whether an inversion of the word “misogyny” was even necessary appears to be irrelevant. its striking that power-grabbing and reclaiming behaviors are triggered whenever privilege is challenged, and that the power-grabbing often takes the form specifically of creating made-up words. privileged males have historically held power over the rest of us through language, including of course the written word and literacy, but also the making of language itself. they have historically chosen how certain issues are framed, by the way they are referred to, by words. referring to sexual intercourse as the man “penetrating” instead of the woman “enveloping” for example. more broadly, those who have traditionally benefited from social and political privilege coined the new, made-up term “politically correct” to undermine and denigrate those doing the questioning. the intellectual dishonesty is dizzying, truly