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Are Men Victims of Sexism?


Or at least, not in a widespread, pervasive way, as this headline (and article) suggests:

In some respects, women have fought to become equal with their male peers and won. However, in others, the scales have tipped the other way, leaving men wrong footed. I can already hear the cries of ‘RUBBISH!’ now, but hear me out for a second or two.

Okay, I will. Continue.

Any male who wants to get involved in a ‘caring’ profession, or in any aspect of the beauty industry, is instantly thought of as effeminate. This male nurse has defended why he chose the profession, but why should he? This is the flip side of women taking on ‘manly’ roles, such as fire-fighters, mechanics and engineers. However, we tend to celebrate women in ‘male’ roles, while we deride men in ‘female’ roles.

This isn’t the only area where men are at a disadvantage. During custody battles, it is usually assumed women are the best carers for the couple’s children.

Nonsense. Assuming men are untrustworthy caregivers, either professionally or personally, isn’t a result of feminism’s achievements; it’s just the flip side of the gender stereotyping feminists work so hard to combat. Get back to me when someone starts discriminating against men for jobs in STEM fields.

Back in the early days on TV and cinema, men were always the heads of the household, where women had to obey them. However, in the last two or three decades we’ve seen the arrival of the ‘dumb dad’. Think Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin. They are dads who, deep down, love their families, but are also selfish, stubborn, ignorant, and just basically infantile. They are usually backed up by the loving wife character, someone who is much smarter than their husband, but who doesn’t receive the credit for keeping the family together.

This argument might hold water if Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin didn’t ring so true. Some actual men, including fathers, are boorish, irresponsible people, and those character flaws, like all others, make for good comedy. Portraying these sorts of characters in TV might present a problem if no other, more positive male role models existed. Fortunately, they do; the fact that the defenders of pure fatherhood have been using Homer Simpson as a pariah for over 20 years demonstrates the relative paucity of this particular stereotype.

It’s all too easy, as a ‘modern woman’, to do down a man just because of his gender. After all, who hasn’t heard a friend utter the phrase, ‘Ugh, men, they’re all bastards’? Imagine if that were swapped around. As a woman, would you stand for it? Of course not!

Look, as long as people exist, some of them are going to hate each other for bad reasons. Some won’t actually hate but will occasionally say hateful things they don’t quite mean. We will never fully eradicate sexism (or racism, or homophobia, or any other brand of hatred), but we can make headway, and we have. Occasional incidents of man-hatred don’t indicate a pervasive cultural misandry, and if you need evidence that the scales have not actually “tipped the other way”, I invite you to read every other post on this website.