I was in a bar, having a nice drink with my boyfriend when a man looked at me from across the room. Suddenly, I exploded into a tirade at my boyfriend about how men are sleazy, stupid, ignorant and how women are by far superior. I eventually stopped and realised that I’d been ranting like this for a good twenty minutes. My boyfriend blinked at me, bewildered. Poor bloke; he’d only come out for a pint.

That night I realised that I was a sexist: a proper sexist, which is as bad as any racism or homophobia. I, along with every female I’d ever known, had my own tales of man-woe, but it goes deeper than being stung by men. Within society, there is now a new and permissible form of sexism — that of anti-male sexism, which is purporting subconscious ideologies within society that men are less emotionally (or otherwise) intelligent, and that they are generally inferior to women.

Without even exploring child custody rights, pension ages, paternity rights or woman-instigated domestic violence, the evidence for male-oppressive sexism is rife within the media, which is usually the primary factor in influencing any cultural ideology. Advertisements, television programmes and magazines are full of (sometimes not so) subliminal messages that advocate derogatory behaviour towards men. Through the following examples of anti-male sexism in media, I challenge you to revert the roles of the men and women and then try not to picture the ensuing Ofcom investigations and public outcry.

The age-old stereotype that men are cheats or love-rats who can’t keep wandering eyes at bay is made explicit in Cosmopolitan magazine, which states on its website that: “Most men dream of having a string of women hanging off their arms, so they fulfil this fantasy by…seeing several girls at once.” In a recent issue, they published a feature titled Inside Men’s Minds: Confessions of a Love Rat, which offered polemics such as “good cheats, like good criminals, don’t get caught”. That men are “dirty” and “disgusting” is discussed with free reign in the notorious ITV show Loose Women, such as when the subject of sharing a bathroom with a male spouse was raised:

“I cannot bear sharing a bathroom with a man!”
“Oh no.”
“That’s disgusting!”

Furthermore, in some adverts, men’s apparent stupidity, immaturity and ignorance is fully played up in order to juxtapose the intelligence and composure of women, such as in the Bachelors ‘Soupfuls’ adverts, in which two men duel like children, falling over and breaking things. The woman sits calmly and maturely, and eats the soup so that by the time the men have stopped messing around they realise that there is none left. In the Belvita ‘Breakfast Biscuits’ advert Lisa Snowdon patronisingly talk about the “breakfast biscuit” to Johnny Vaughan. The advert ends with him accidentally spilling too much sauce on his breakfast, thereby ruining it, and Lisa laughing at him. It reinforces the stereotype that men are ‘simple-minded’, whereas women are more graceful and intelligent.

One of the most recent — and yet pervasive — negative gender stereotypes is that women have control over men.  Rochelle Wiseman of The Saturdays states on Glamour.co.uk that: “In every solid relationship that I’ve been in or been around, the man thinks he’s holding the reins, but the woman really is”, while one of the lovely Loose Women — still on the subject of sharing a bathroom with a man — cackles to the other, “do you still make him poo in McDonalds?”

Boots seems to be by far the worst culprit in sustaining the idea of the woman having control over the ‘ignorant’ man. In one advert, the husband stands at his front door gratefully thanking his wife for ‘allowing’ him to go to the football match. She slams the door with a “You go darling” and then heads for some pampering in the bathroom, laughing to herself. In another Boots advert, one woman points to a leaf in a tree, exclaiming that she’d love the colour for her hair. Her male companion looks pained when she widens her eyes and whimpers at him “will you get it for me please?”, but without even so much as a protestation, he climbs the tree to fetch the leaf. The adverts are intentionally comedic but in spite of the humour there is still the explicit notion that men will do anything for a pretty face and a fluttering of the eyelashes.

Superdrug, hot on the heels of their competitor, clearly knew a good thing when they saw it and followed with their own man-bashing adverts, such as the one in which a man sees a picture of himself in his girlfriend’s wallet and exclaims, “It’s a picture of me isn’t it!?” The woman and the checkout girl smile insidiously at each other and the man follows his girlfriend out of the shop reassuring himself, saying “It is!” It’s important to note the songs played in each of the adverts, ‘Here Come the Girls’ from the Sugababes and ‘She’s So Lovely’ by Scouting for Girls, for Boots and Superdrug advertisements respectively. The songs kick in at the punch line of the advert, when the man does something wrong or the woman shows him up.

It’s not just pop culture that is to blame: anti-male sexism pervades all aspects of media. In a recent BBC World Service programme, the female host, upon introducing the only male on the panel, says: “And we have a man here…you’re our token male”, which is followed by chortles from the other female panellists. This was in all probability an innocuous statement yet the situation would be different if the guest in question was the ‘token black’, the ‘token gay’ or indeed, the ‘token female’ surrounded by a panel of guffawing males.

Individually, all of these sexist media components may be light-hearted, but it’s important to consider what these messages are doing together, to our collective consciousness. It all boils down to the fact that just because a group of people are not part of a minority who are discriminated against, it doesn’t justify their being ridiculed, mocked or discussed in a derogatory way.  There appears to be a consensus in society that the ‘non-discriminated against’ can be objectified. So, men have become an easy target. Apparently, sexism sells.

While researching this article I came across a thread on The Student Room forum titled ‘Sexism Towards Men’. One user wrote: “In the eyes of society, sexism towards men is acceptable but sexism towards women is wrong/ taboo/ sexual harassment and unacceptable because [sic] the way women have always been seen as the ‘lesser’ gender”, while another commented: “I believe sexism exists in society against both males and females, but I do think that sexism against females is decreasing and against males it is increasing.” On Glamour.co.uk, under the feature ‘Is it Ever OK to Makeover Your Man?’ (which goes on to list celebrity men who are ‘better’ after their girlfriends have changed them), one astute reader comments: “Try to turn the headline around: ‘Is it okay to makeover your girlfriend or wife?’… the answer is quite simple, most of us will loathe to be told how to look or act so why in the world would anyone think we have a right to makeover our man?”

Beware of the media’s messages and think about how they affect your thoughts. You may be a sexist without even realising it.

Sian Boyle

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55 Comments

  1. Rachel
    December 12, 2011 at 16:11 — Reply

    Really good article – made me think a lot. There seemed to be a lot of examples from advertising and TV here, but I wonder how much this stuff has really affected our everyday lives…

  2. Matt
    December 12, 2011 at 17:01 — Reply

    Interesting article, though I do disagree on a couple of things.

    Some of the examples you give of anti-male sexism I think are perhaps instead actually symptoms of more insidious and less-obvious anti-female sexism. Loose Women is a prime example. This is an utterly horrendous programme ‘aimed at women’, where a group of awful people sit around cackling to each other about utterly stupid, banal and unimportant ‘topics’. That’s what ITV came up with when they decided they should have a daytime show aimed at women. The content isn’t offensive, it’s just completely stupid, because obviously, ‘women’ can’t deal with any ‘serious’ issues. It’s much the same, though to a lesser extent, as in the 19th Century where romance and melodrama novels were produced by the bucketload aimed squarely at the women of the upper and middle classes – to try and suppress them being interested in anything important like society or politics, because that was for the men to sort out.

    Secondly, whilst I think a lot of your points are entirely valid, compared to anti-female sentiment misogyny and sexism spread through all forms of the media and life in general men have it easy. From reproductive rights, access to abortion, societal views of female sexuality, use of the word ‘slut’, the portrayal of women in video games and music videos and lyrics, all the way to the fact women still do not universally get the same pay as men are all hugely problematic. By contrast, the fact that men occasionally get portrayed as idiots who think with only one part of their anatomy is rather minor.

    Though I agree, it’s worth pointing out now, because if people don’t realise this now, it won’t take long to become a much bigger issue.

  3. J
    December 12, 2011 at 17:52 — Reply

    What rubbish. A bit like saying poking fun a white people in black comedy, or straight people in Will and Grace means there’s a terrible problem with anti-caucasian racism or hetero-phobia. You need to look at historical and sociological context to see why no-one cares about these things except insecure, probably sexist, males.

    • Christopher Horner
      December 5, 2012 at 08:25 — Reply

      Go away you stupid man hating twat.

  4. Stuart Neyton
    December 12, 2011 at 18:16 — Reply

    wow, you’re really scraping at the bottom of the barrel with those examples. If you think any of those examples of “anti-male sexism” are anywhere near as bad as the tirade of completely open abuse, stereotyping, objectification, sexualisation that women go through every day then you must live a really sheltered life. Particularly regarding the way you seem to think men are shown to be stupid, immature, ignorant etc, have you not seen just how much the media idolises women who play up to these characteristics (Paris Hilton etc etc etc) and just how much more emphasis is placed on women’s looks over minds compared to men (for example, look at how few visibly aging women read the news compared to men?).

    Our society is intrinsically sexist towards women, and to put the tiny handful of cases where men are seen as submissive or weak on par with that is quite frankly offensive.

    • Christopher Horner
      December 5, 2012 at 08:24 — Reply

      Well done sir on just dismissing men’s issues. We are a nicely trained mangina aren’t we?

    • Stackhouse
      November 28, 2013 at 00:59 — Reply

      Great article. Thanks for having the guts to write this.

  5. Kate
    December 12, 2011 at 20:42 — Reply

    What absolute drivel.

  6. December 14, 2011 at 08:18 — Reply

    Thank you for this brave article Sian and for being responsible for your own judgments about men – we’re all human and we all have judgments about others if we’re honest – it’s just some judgments – like anti-male judgments– are more culturally acceptable – until such time as people like you start to question this

    And though the examples given are fairly light they are symptomatic of a social attitude that ‘men and boys don’t matter’ that filters right through our culture in a way that damages not just men – but women and children too

    As a result, in a world where ‘men don’t matter’ we end up with:
    – 1 in 4 men dying before they reach retirement and 40% dying prematurely
    – Boys underperforming girls at every stage of education
    – 80% of children excluding from schools being boys
    – Young men 2.5 times more likely to die before 25
    – 75% of suicide victims male (with 10 male suicides every day)
    – 70% of murder victims – men
    – Men twice as likely to be victims of violent crime
    – The majority of rough sleepers, prisoners and drink and drug addicts – men
    – Men being 70% more likely to die of cancer
    – The majority of parents separated from their children –men
    – Men less likely to go to university
    – Male graduates 50% more likely to be unemployed
    – Women in their 20s paid more than men in their 20s
    – Men 40% of domestic violence victims but twice as likely to tell no-one
    – Male victims of rape half as likely to tell the police

    In a society where ‘men don’t matter’, where ‘boys don’t cry’ where women have problems and men ARE problems – all of the above passes un-noticed – and it impacts not just men, but the women and children in their lives too

    Does that mean sexism against women doesn’t happen – of course not – and there are still issues that women face that need addressing
    The sexism against men that Sian highlights may seem trivial to some but they are part of a culture that produces all of the problems listed above through an attitude that “men don’t matter”

    For further reading on gender equality and sexism I’d recommend:

    http://brightonmanplan.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/13-reasons-its-unlucky-to-be-a-man/
    http://brightonmanplan.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/have-women-swung-the-pendulum-too-far/

    On sexist Boots adverts (and an insight into the commercial reason behind this approach) I recommend this:

    http://brightonmanplan.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/is-boots-ad-sexist/

    On the portrayal of men in advertising this is worth a quick read:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1290144/Why-DOES-TV-love-portray-men-idle-feckless-idiots.html

    Thanks for the article Sian
    Best
    Glen
    Glen Poole
    Strategic Director
    The Men’s Network
    e: glen@themensnetwork.org.uk
    t: 07981 334222

    CVSF Representative for Men & Boys in Brighton & Hove
    UK Co-ordinator for International Men’s Day 2011

    http://www.themensnetwork.org.uk
    http://internationalmensdayuk.wordpress.com/

  7. […] is a remarkable article in Nottingham University’s student magazine  – Impact – from a woman called Sian Boyle who has had a “light bulb moment” and noticed her own […]

  8. Dave
    December 14, 2011 at 12:10 — Reply

    Good article Sian – highlighting an important issue.

    How anyone could claim that young men have it easy when the biggest cause of death of young men is currently suicide, I haven’t a clue.

  9. G
    December 14, 2011 at 19:42 — Reply

    A compelling and interesting article. It seems to me a compassionate, personal and open minded account of your own realization about the way you have made certain personal judgements prematurely.

    I think the criticisms written here against you are entirely unjustified, it’s certainly a controversial topic and I hope it will get people who read the article to think more carefully about whether they might be being sexist as you suggest, and remind them that it’s not a term that JUST designates to misogyny.

    It also concerns me to have seen a number of replies to this topic (not just here) that imply that to discuss misandry means to detract from the inequality women have suffered. It’s not a less or more game, talking about inequality towards men is important just like talking about inequality towards anyone is important, but it doesn’t in any way detract from any of the inequalities women have had to face. It’s unjust to take out the past and present mistakes of a society on single individuals of people from the gender that are most often blamed for said mistakes. Sexism against either gender is bad for both.

  10. December 14, 2011 at 20:11 — Reply

    What a brave and honest article. For those saying ‘waht rubbish’ just turn the genders around – imagine the protests!

  11. Shelley
    December 14, 2011 at 21:22 — Reply

    Sorry, I can’t agree.

    Yes, some people (apparently yourself included Sian) can be sexist. I wouldn’t say this was a huge issue by any means.

    Bigger issues for men in my opinion are the fact that the leading cause of death is suicide, or young white males tend to do worst in exams.

    These issues are not because of sexism.

  12. C
    December 14, 2011 at 22:22 — Reply

    The idea that making fun of men is on a par with the systematic oppression and violence that face women every day is offensive, illogical, and absurd. Yeah, it’s lazy and sometimes unkind to make fun of men – no one is defending it – but it’s trivial, and ultimately, men are still the dominant sex in terms of political, social, and economic power. Laughing about sharing a bathroom with a man is not on a par with the numerous examples of everyday misogyny women encounter – e.g. street harassment, rape culture, the gender pay gap. You clearly haven’t even attempted to research this issue; this is a very lazy piece of journalism.

  13. Dave
    December 18, 2011 at 18:13 — Reply

    Do people really encounter a ‘rape culture’ (what’s a ‘rape culture’, by the way? A culture that glorifies rape?) on an ‘everyday’ basis? Over exaggeration much?

  14. Frank Lucchese
    December 20, 2011 at 02:43 — Reply

    I work as a social worker in an office which is predominantly female. I get along with my co-workers well but I have noticed the women say things about men that would get me fired if I made similar comments about women. It doesn’t bother me, just an observation. These types of double standards don’t seem to bother men very much. Men aren’t conditioned to think of themselves as victims.

  15. December 20, 2011 at 05:19 — Reply

    Honest. Courageous.

  16. Mary
    December 20, 2011 at 13:24 — Reply

    It’s strange that feminism has always focused on the differences between rich men and rich women. Life’s never been good for those at the very bottom. Those in jail, on the streets, in risky low paid jobs, and these people have always been men. Even in the days of the suffragettes, the real group who was suffering was the men dying in the trenches in the worst conditions we’ve known (those men also didn’t have the vote).
    Perhaps the answer is that gender stereotyping helps neither sex, yet so far we’ve only addressed it one way…

  17. LanceSmith
    December 20, 2011 at 14:41 — Reply

    Excellent article! Oh some will turn this around and still try to make the anti-male sexism you underscore more about anti-female sexism, but those people are delusional and have been brainwashed into believing that women are among the perpetual victim class.

  18. Natalie
    December 20, 2011 at 16:14 — Reply

    What a wonderful article that I hope will become more a part of the mainstream dialogue.our advocay for womens issues wont be comorimised by adressing, the challenges that our men and boys currently face.

  19. Poyoman
    December 20, 2011 at 17:00 — Reply

    Very accurate article. If roles were reversed, feminists would rage.

  20. Chris K.
    December 20, 2011 at 20:40 — Reply

    It used to be that I would rise to defend women when the old boys got to pointing out the obvious truths about females . They’d say that women were illogical , over-emotional , unable to focus , incapable of handling pressure , and generally incompetent in matters traditionally regarded as male . A quarter century of feminist brainwashing had taught me that none of this was any more true of women than of men . I was taught that whatever a man could do , a woman could do better .

    Thanks to feminism and its influence on the media , government , law , education , … well , everything really , I’ve learned that a feminist is the most self-centered creature on Earth . We’ve allowed feminists to brainwash us into believing what are obvious untruths and the result is that too few people are willing to point out that modern Western men simply can not stand modern Western women . Allowing feminists to define gender-roles has resulted in nothing less than the baring of true female nature in all its narcissistic glory .

    The old boys were right . Women are like children at every stage of their lives . They just get better at hiding it .

  21. Matthew
    December 20, 2011 at 21:22 — Reply

    The notion that no man, anywhere, suffers as a result of anti-male bias because the tiny minority of people who run the world is mostly comprised of men, is “offensive, illogical, and absurd.”

  22. Kratch
    December 20, 2011 at 21:23 — Reply

    Shelly: “Bigger issues for men in my opinion are the fact that the leading cause of death is suicide, or young white males tend to do worst in exams.”

    Let me ask you this… Do you believe that the media’s portraying women as highly sexual and attractive have any impact on girls’ self-esteem? That it plays a part in the eating disorders and whatnot? Why then do you not think that men being portrayed as stupid and inferior might also have an effect on boys self-esteem? At least with girls portrayal, they have a goal, a way to succeed (by becoming that sexual attractive woman. Boys are just told they are failures, and so give up (ether with academia or in general), and the general hostility to the very idea that boys and men can be harmed (as witnessed within these very comments) doesn’t help any.

    Furthermore, the idea that boy’s failure in school isn’t due to sexism is ridiculous. 40 years ago, it was claimed girl’s failure in school in the past was due to sexism because boys and girls were inherently the same and thus, the only thing left was sexism. So ether they are inherently the same, and so the failure of boys only denotes sexism, just as it did 40 years ago, or else boys and girls are different, and so the last 40 years of improving things for girls and largely ignoring boys in the process has resulted in an imbalance (the result of unintentional sexism), and refusal to acknowledge this imbalance is actually an overt sexism. It is denying an entire group, due solely to their gender, from being included (in the ability to be discriminated against).

    C: “… and ultimately, men are still the dominant sex in terms of political, social, and economic power. “

    Political power: VAWA, Title IX, Women’s health councils, Council for the status of women and girls, Minister for the status of women (Canada). Not a single male counterpart to any of these woman centric programs and policies. You can claim that there are less women sitting in the seats of power, but to claim their interests aren’t being served by those men is actually quite ignorant.
    Social: not entirely sure where you get off claiming women have no social power. Women’s honor is routinely protected by complete strangers at the drop of a hat. Women and children first is a long lasting and largely still followed adage. Women are still largely the person who chooses their mates, accepting or rejecting the males who approach them, then continuing social custome dictates that male pay for dates. If you’re referring to the term “slut”, you should be aware that that is largely propagated by other women (men tend to use it when wronged by a woman, usually sexually), while women use it as a means to tear down sexual rivals. Plus I think being claiming women have it worst because they’re called sluts, while men are largely portrayed as buffoons, abusers or rapists, is a little dishonest.
    Economic power: I assume you are referring to the wage gap, which has largely, not only been debunked as a matter of women’s choices, but also been shown to be quite the opposite. Unmarried, childless women tend to make noticeably more (up to 10%) than their equally educated and experienced male counterparts within the same career field. It isn’t until a woman’s priorities change from career to family, and the option to work part time comes into play, that the aggregate income of women starts to decline. Further, taking into account career choice (of course, the truly diehards will claim those choices are forced upon them by a sexist society, but a large portion of those choices are for women’s studies, who’s encouraging that?), the gender gap disappears. Furthermore, claiming women have no economic power, when 70% of money spent is by women or for women, is rather dishonest. Economic power isn’t about who makes the money, but who gets to enjoy it.

    I actually think the unwillingness of some people to acknowledge men can be discriminated against, in itself, is a demonstration of discrimination. “You can’t hurt them’s feelins, they ain’t got no feelins. Them’s er just dumb ***** don’t know enough to get offended” fill in the blank with any selected group’s derogitory term and tell me if it doesn’t sound familiar.

  23. Crash
    December 21, 2011 at 03:50 — Reply

    It’s called misandry.

  24. K
    December 21, 2011 at 18:00 — Reply

    Discriminating against men can be rude and hurtful but it’s not sexist, by definition, because there’s no oppression involved. Men are the privileged group, here, so we can theoretically be as misandrous to them as we like and it still wouldn’t be sexism, just general dickery.
    I realise this’ll get ignored but I felt it was important to point this out…

  25. John
    December 21, 2011 at 19:23 — Reply

    Excellent article. Thank you for having the courage to post it.

  26. GhostOfAFlea
    December 21, 2011 at 20:52 — Reply

    Thank you for this article Sian.

    Every decent guy I know had a point in their development when they sat down and took a hard look at their attitudes to women. It looks like you just had a similar moment!

    Here’s a great exposition of Radical Feminism’s misandric roots and the influence it has wielded in politics and the media: http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/scum-manifested/

    It’s incredibly heartening to see young British women such as yourself starting to speak out about this.

  27. GhostOfAFlea
    December 21, 2011 at 21:02 — Reply

    Ps. If you really want to see how crazy some influential feminists are, buckle up and take a look over here: http://agentorangefiles.com/

  28. GhostOfAFlea
    December 21, 2011 at 23:21 — Reply

    Good on you, Tom.

    Love your YouTube vid, especially the lecturer peeking out from LSE, wondering where he left his balls. :-)

  29. Dave
    December 22, 2011 at 11:15 — Reply

    K – sexism can definitely go both ways. Women may have taken possession of the word in their own minds, but that doesn’t change anything.

    I would venture that the only difference between male and female sexism is that female sexism is far more politically acceptable. Look at some of the comments on here, with that daft person trying to claim that all women face a ‘rape culture’ on a day to day basis. S/he is essentially accusing all men of being potential rapists, or sexual harassment perpetrators. Nobody seems to have batted an eyelid on this thread about that except myself, but it’s actually deeply offensive – would they get away with a similar suggestion about black people, for example?

    Sian has exactly hit the mark in this article when she talks about the casual misandry that occurs in society on a daily basis. It’s not difficult to come up with examples – as Sian has – of things where women could easily say something insulting about men, but a man saying the reverse would result in the female intelligentsia manning the barricades. This is at low level (any casual comment that men are less emotive, men aren’t domestically capable), getting to the more serious (men are less able to raise children than women, it’s ok for a woman to hit a man) and high level political (all women shortlists for Parliament, calls for a ‘female-quota’ in boardrooms).

    • December 22, 2011 at 14:20 — Reply

      @Dave:

      There certainly is such a thing as a rape culture. South Africa, shockingly, has a practice known as ‘corrective rape’ ; i.e. attempts to ‘cure’ lesbian women of their ‘disease’ by sexual violence. Or let’s not forget the Congo, where the systematic rape of women and children is common day. I could imagine that certain parts of Asia have this problem too. Rape is not acceptable to us, but within some realms of the third world, it’s probably just the equivalent of giving a woman a slap to ‘discipline’ her.

  30. dan
    December 22, 2011 at 13:29 — Reply

    lighten up people. Hate is such a strong word, almost pathological. I would often use the word confused, confusion about our roles or responsibilities.

    Also I’d say its fine for a woman to hit a man. Its a generalisation but men hit to hurt physically while women hit to hurt emotionally as an appeal. I’ve been hit a few times and I deserved it mostly and learnt from it eventually. I’m still outraged by one slap ;). (I would make a comment about it being with the iron or pan but it might seem too jovial/sexist in this thread)

    • Keeley
      November 28, 2013 at 01:47 — Reply

      Dan. Any form of violence is unacceptable, irrespective of the gender of the perpetrator. You imply that you, as a male, deserved to be a victim – this is your prerogative, however, please do not seek to belittle victims of violence, whether male or female.

  31. dan
    December 22, 2011 at 16:28 — Reply

    Following on from Eric’s comment, its certainly true in SA is a part of ghetto culture there as power relations are warped. But it also occurs within prison regimes as to ensue conformity worldwide.

    I’m not sure its a third world idea though and to a degree it happens in the Middle East where tribal women are handed over as a form of payment for misdeed. You could eve argue arranged marriage follows the same logic. Its not usual at all in East Asia.

    An MA student Catherine Workmen wrote her dissertation about rape in war (distinction) if anyone is really interested. Vanessa Pupavac in Notts IR Dept also writes about empowering women in conflict/post conflict.

  32. Dave
    December 22, 2011 at 18:11 — Reply

    Whoops, delete my post above (the comment box is far too small!)

    1. It’s impossible to define why people hit each other in general terms – I’m finding it difficult to tell whether you’re talking in jest there Dan! To suggest that whenever a woman hits a man it is only an ’emotional appeal’ (essentially shifting blame onto the man in all cases) is exactly the sort of discrimination that male activists are trying to fight. If that’s your real belief, it’s actually quite apalling.
    2. Eric you know I wasn’t talking about Africa, and neither was the person I was responding to. The specific suggestion put was that women in the UK face a ‘rape culture’ on a day-to-day basis, something any reasonable person knows is utter tosh.

    • December 22, 2011 at 22:15 — Reply

      @Dave: I am simply making an observation, and if we had to go by C’s words:

      “Laughing about sharing a bathroom with a man is not on a par with the numerous examples of everyday misogyny women encounter – e.g. street harassment, rape culture, the gender pay gap.”

      There is no specific suggestion about women in the UK, but I won’t blame you for assuming that it is about women in the UK when he/she talks about the gender pay gap in the same breath. Still, we should never be dismissive of such important issues. You could consider sex trafficking and gang violence to be a form of ‘rape culture’, so it isn’t too far-fetched to say that a rape culture exists in the UK.

  33. Dave
    December 23, 2011 at 09:55 — Reply

    I think trying to suggest 1. that women face gang violence on a day to day basis, and 2. that gang violence has anything to do with our society possessing a ‘rape culture’ is pretty far fetched, to be honest. It’s a stretch on the same level as if somebody had blamed the banking crisis on the fact that men had something to do with it. Oh wait, somebody did: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/harriet-harman-if-only-it-had-been-lehman-sisters-1766932.html

    I doubt C would defend it this far to be honest – it was a throwaway line that just happened to be one that demonised men. If I said something similar about any minority group on here, I don’t doubt the Students’ Union (or Impact editorial team) would have something to say about it. Do you disagree?

    • December 23, 2011 at 23:23 — Reply

      @Dave: I am just not reading into C’s comment as much as you are…but then again, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that violence towards women (domestic or otherwise) is not comparable to laughing about sharing a toilet with a man. I do think there are parts of society where rape or the risk of getting raped is an everyday culture, i.e. sex-trafficking, as aforementioned. ‘Voluntary’ street prostitution as well. Our latest lead article really opened my eyes to the dangers women who work on the streets face, so I feel very strongly that we, as the next generation who could actually come up with solutions, should never be dismissive of such a big problem. Apologies if I got carried away, but it’s really not in the spirit of debate to start pulling the ‘Student’s Union’ card! The comments section is for debates and discussions after all.

  34. dan
    December 23, 2011 at 15:17 — Reply

    @Dave – well Dave yes I was jesting somewhat and I also did say I was generalising. A point you should take note of rather than then replying as if I said it exclusively.

    But in general both are displacing however men displaying anger is far more dangerous than women. That’s how we’re hardwired. Men are more dangerous than women. That’s almost a fact. More aggressive and insensitive to nuances.

    You can argue we humans have changed in many ways but the beast still lies within and primarily within men.

    The fact that many men don’t have this understanding or feeling says a lot of how modern society has shaped gender relations and the confusion some men feel.

  35. Jim R.
    December 24, 2011 at 01:08 — Reply

    At first I was going to respond to the second commenter named “Matt” on his attempt in trying to minimize the male experience amidst the zeitgeist of misandry in today’s culture, with the usual feminist shibboleth. However, not necessary since many have already done so. It brings me great joy to see men beginning to speak up for themselves and no longer allowing feminists to define the nature of the argument. They’ve had a big head start so there’s much work to do fellas, but it will be done. Our time is a comin’.

  36. Kratch
    December 24, 2011 at 07:59 — Reply

    K: “Discriminating against men can be rude and hurtful but it’s not sexist, by definition, because there’s no oppression involved.”

    What definition of “Sexism” are you using that requires oppression? Or are you just adding that to the definition now in order to deny men access, to discriminate?

  37. December 24, 2011 at 12:49 — Reply

    @Eric – The article is entirely about the UK, so I really don’t see where the references to Africa and the Middle East come into Sian’s original piece. Of course, the atrocities you mention are awful, but they distract from the central point.

    Also, I cannot vouch for the SU, but in all honesty I am certain that as Website Editor I would be under pressure to remove comments if the following statements were made (NB: the following statements are not my opinion, merely examples) –

    “Discriminating against Women can be rude and hurtful but it’s not sexist, by definition, because there’s no oppression involved. Women are the privileged group, here, so we can theoretically be as misogynist to them as we like and it still wouldn’t be sexism, just general dickery.”

    “What rubbish. A bit like saying poking fun at black people in white comedy, or gay people in Little Britain means there’s a terrible problem with anti-black racism or homophobia. You need to look at historical and sociological context to see why no-one cares about these things except insecure, probably sexist, people.”

    “Yeah, it’s lazy and sometimes unkind to make fun of women – no one is defending it – but it’s trivial”

    “Also I’d say its fine for a man to hit a woman. It’s a generalisation but men don’t generally hit to hurt physically – they hit to hurt emotionally as an appeal.”

    If anyone wrote any of these I would almost certainly face calls to take the comments down. Quite blatantly, it doesn’t work the other way round. For the record, I do not agree with any of the above ‘quotes’, but nor do I believe that it works the other way. Rather than complaining that one side has it worse, surely we should try and make sure it doesn’t go too far either way? After all, sexism does work both ways; being dismissive of male sexism will not, in the long run, make it easier to be rid of female sexism.

  38. December 27, 2011 at 18:24 — Reply

    […] a good post in Impact that starts off with the author catching herself after she launches into a hate-filled misandrist […]

  39. December 29, 2011 at 16:18 — Reply

    Can I just say one thing: not once in the above article have I said that male-oppressive sexism is worse than that against women. It’s really ignorant of people to think that just because I’ve said sexism against men is something to be aware of that I’ve suddenly said simultaneously that sexism against women is somehow not important anymore. I still genuinely believe that women are far more oppressed than men in almost every aspect of life, but that there are some ways of thinking about men that need to be addressed.

    Come on people, think critically- nothing is black or white.

    Other than that this is a good debate!

  40. […] pieces on sexism against men and whether controversial speakers should be allowed on campus also sparked furious debate on the […]

  41. Mike
    January 16, 2012 at 12:54 — Reply

    An interesting article. Though obviously some people have taken it to mean, that men are more predominently discriminated against. Of course they arent, at least in a global sense, but there is definitly an increasing trend in male discrimination. Maybe worth remembering that both genders are discriminated against.

  42. Demarcus
    January 16, 2012 at 18:36 — Reply

    This is a good article. Some of your commenters are mad becuase you spoke out. Keep speaking out.

    Some question your examples. Well I have another example I read a few days ago.
    http://antifeministsite.blogspot.com/2011/12/nuturing-male-discrimination-in.html

    The main point of the article I thought was that feminist are trying to skew the job market against men.
    The last line was probably the best when it said feminist claim they are against sexism yet they alwys form groups where the main determining factor for advancement is gender.

  43. Sarah
    January 22, 2012 at 10:47 — Reply

    “Thanks to feminism and its influence on the media , government , law , education , … well , everything really , I’ve learned that a feminist is the most self-centered creature on Earth . We’ve allowed feminists to brainwash us into believing what are obvious untruths and the result is that too few people are willing to point out that modern Western men simply can not stand modern Western women . Allowing feminists to define gender-roles has resulted in nothing less than the baring of true female nature in all its narcissistic glory .

    The old boys were right . Women are like children at every stage of their lives . They just get better at hiding it .”

    My gosh, Chris K, I hope you are trolling… Otherwise I would have to say that your little rant was one of the most horrible things I’ve read all year!

  44. William Foster
    May 20, 2012 at 10:25 — Reply

    It is still legal to strap down a baby boy, only days after birth, and forcibly cut part of his penis off without his consent. Americans think doing this is normal. There is considerable evidence that circumcision is devastatingly harmful and that there are no health benefits. Nonetheless, Americans do this to their male children and think nothing of it, then criticize isolated tribes in Africa that still circumcise their women.

    Is it any wonder that women in the west can’t even see the sexism against men and that the men stand by idly and take it?

    I mean after all, this is a society that cuts men’s dicks without their consent. You think this society is going to care about other, less harmful forms of sexism against men? Really? It’s already proven it can commit one of the worst sex crimes in existence against men, and not only will most people not care, they will promote it.

    And of course, without even skipping a breath, all the misandrists and grievance mongers who can only believe there is sexism against women have come out to shout down this article.

    • Keeley
      November 28, 2013 at 01:50 — Reply

      Good point, William. I note that the campaigners who, justifiably, oppose Female Genital Mutilation (F.G.M.) make no mention of Male Genital Mutilation, a.k.a. circumcision.

      • A
        June 9, 2014 at 17:44 — Reply

        Circumcision isn’t Male Genital Mutilation, as it doesn’t affect the function of the *ahem*.

  45. Eugh
    March 1, 2013 at 11:09 — Reply

    I’m so thrilled that MRA’s can use this argumet to prop up their notion that all women are horrible bitches, blame feminism!! Christ, lady, way to throw us under the fucking bus. Some things are meant to stay in your diary.

  46. A
    June 9, 2014 at 17:42 — Reply

    Good article, Sian. One thing, though. Most of the anti-female sexism is due to pornography and the idea that women need to look “beautiful”. I reckon most of us men don’t really give a smeg how a woman looks; really, it’s better for her to be beautiful on the inside, i.e. her personality. If we can get rid of porn and objectification (both ways), then we can easily get rid of anti-male sexism.

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