Feminist Fiction Vs Reality
Viewing The World With One Eye Open
Feminism holds the perspective that society resembles a patriarchy, that women are oppressed and there exists a thing called male privilege. This is mainstream feminist theory. I am sorry, I just can’t accept that this reflects modern Western society and I won’t delude myself into thinking that it does. I do accept though, that in some corners of the world and at times in the past, this is a somewhat accurate description of reality. Emphasis on the word somewhat. I think we can all agree that in countries such as Afghanistan, women are oppressed, male privilege does exist to an extent and society is structured as a patriarchy. Likewise I think we can all agree that in medieval times, particularly during the persecution of witchcraft, women were oppressed, male privilege existed to some degree and a minority of men held the majority of power and authority (although most men like most women had little power and authority at all). However these statements are not entirely accurate.
Women's Supposed Oppression Vs Reality
A Case Study Contrasting The Feminist Account Of History With Reality
Even in such times and places, the social situation turns out to be considerably more complicated than making the sweeping generalisation that everything can be explained away with the feminist description of patriarchy theory (see adjacent video). Men might have had the sole right to own property in the past, but they also had the sole legal obligation to financially provide for their own children and families. Women of the time had no such legal obligations to children and families and therefore were given no such entitlements. Men might have been given the right to vote a little earlier than women in the past, but they were also expected to fight and die for their country in war. Unlike women whom got the vote but were spared from being cannon fodder, the vote was given to men, but only men were subject to eligibility for conscription/the draft or mandatory registration to military selective service. So whilst men might have had some privileges women did not have in the past, men also had considerable obligations and these obligations were not expected of women. Men did not get something for nothing and often the privileges that men were given, were merely just handed out as tools to fulfill the obligations that society expected of them, rather than as true rewards or incentives to work hard or sacrifice for society. This remains the case today in some areas of the Middle East. Men in the Middle East have privileges women lack, but also obligations that come with them that are not expected of women. Don't believe me? Watch the adjacent video above "on women's supposed oppression". I would also urge people to watch this speech by Canadian senator Anne Cools and the case study in the video above, which further debunk the myth that men were somehow privileged relative to women in past society and disproving the myths of female powerlessness and that the law and norms of past society only discriminated against women and never men.
It is very misleading to make the sweeping generalisation that men have historically had power and authority over women and have oppressed them. For much of human history the only people that have had power and authority over women, men or anyone for that matter, have been royalty and aristocracy. That is a fact. It is also a fact that like many women of the past, most men were fairly powerless in society. Most men like most women, were poor peasants at the mercy of their emperor, empress, king, queen, lord or dame. Generally speaking, most men had as much power and authority as most women. That is they basically had no power and authority at all! Rewriting history to fit a worldview and ignoring facts that show both genders have historically faced different forms of hardship, as modern mainstream feminism has done, is the hallmark of an ideology that spreads mass delusion and is detached from reality.
Is This Indicative Of An Historical Oppression Of Women By Men In Past Society? I Don't Think So.
Some Realities About Life As A Man In Modern Western Society
My Problems With The Feminist Description Of Reality
When we are talking about present times and modern developed Western nations, I find it rather difficult to agree that the key tenets (discussed in the section above) of feminist patriarchy theory have an empirical and factual basis to them in reality. Don’t get me wrong, there are areas where women face discrimination today in Western society. However there are undoubtedly many areas of our Western society, where it is the men that are the ones being discriminated against.
Tell me, where is the male privilege in our Western societies in…
Health funding and health care?
Parental and reproductive rights (See this article by Ambercita04)?
The fathers whom are victims of paternity fraud?
The majority of the homeless which are male?
The military draft and selective service?
Circumcision or genital mutilation of male babies?
The more vigorous criminal prosecution, harsher sentencing and longer prison time for men committing the exact same crimes as women?
The majority of workplace deaths and injuries which are male?
The male suicide epidemic (See this article)?
The majority of deaths in war which are male, even when non-combatants and civilians are included (97% of fallen US soldiers have been male since the first Gulf War and similar statistics are found in other countries)?
The majority of victims of all forms of violence combined, which are male?
Being treated as nothing more than an ATM and respected only for the size of your wallet?
The general lack of interest in society for the rights and issues affecting men and boys (See this article)?
If there is a male privilege in our Western societies then …
Why is it always left to men to fight the wars and do the hazardous jobs?
Why do we rob men of fatherhood and treat them merely as disposable sperm banks?
Why are men thrown in jail (or debtors prison) for failing to pay alimony and child support that exceeds their incomes?
Why are men portrayed as idiots and deviants in the media and in advertising?
Why do politicians pander to feminist groups and completely ignore critical issues affecting men?
Why do we have literally hundreds of government and independent bodies and billions of dollars dedicated to women's issues and relatively only a handful of organisations and funding for men's issues?
Why do we have talk shows which make fun of a man’s penis getting chopped off, after he asked his wife for a divorce (See video and watch the female panel and female audience shamelessly laugh it up on national TV)?
Why do we have T-shirts encouraging girls to throw rocks at boys and ten year old girls wearing such shirts, saying they enjoy making boys feel bad because it is "fun" (See article)?
Why do we have books titled the “End of Men” (See this article)?
Why do women make most of the spending decisions in the household?
Why is there a culture of misandry in Western society (read this book)?
Why are men becoming increasingly unemployed and turning to a life of crime and poverty?
Why is male mental illness skyrocketing and why are so many men killing themselves?
I could go on and on and on….
I have some questions. If men were in control, running a patriarchy and serving their self-interest, why would we disadvantage ourselves, make our young suicidal and promote misandry in our culture? Why would men not get the women drafted to be the cannon fodder instead? The idea that a group of evil men sit at a table and oppress women is complete and utter nonsense! In reality women exercise a lot of power by proxy in relationships and in society. I think most husbands can attest to that! It's called emotional manipulation. Perhaps people have heard of the sayings, "what's mine is mine and what is yours is ours" or "happy wife, happy life" or "behind every great man there is a great woman" or "the power behind the throne". Men might earn more money, but who is spending the majority of household income? Women. Who is the voting majority? Women. Men might hold overt power through positions of authority, but who exercises power by proxy on elected officials and businesses from a safe distance and free of accountability? Women of course, with their voting majority, control of household spending and powerful women's lobby groups.
Who is forced to conform to one social role, the provider, workhorse or walking ATM? Men. Who really has the greater choice over whether they build a career or stay at home? Women. Who really has the greater freedom to decide who they are and their role in life? Women. Whose safety and welfare does society prioritise more when they are in danger or facing hardship? Women. Does women and children first ring a bell? The reality is there are a number of areas in society where women are privileged above men and women have power. They are just different forms of power and privilege. Do feminists seriously believe their own movement would have emerged if society was the patriarchy they describe? I don't think so. Feminism would have been crushed very quickly if that were the case. A tiny minority of men may hold the top positions in society, but that does not mean men run the world free of female influence and that it is male dominated. Things are a little bit more complicated than that, but feminists never acknowledge these realities because they do not conform to their narrow worldview. The power, wealth and social status of the top 1% of men in today's society, does not represent the remaining 99% of the male population. Ordinary men are no better off than ordinary women.
Modern Western society simply does not reflect the premise that only men are privileged, that only women are oppressed and that society resembles a patriarchy. Realistically our society is a mosaic of male and female oppression, male and female privilege and patriarchal and matriarchal characteristics. Indeed even in nations where women are clearly the more oppressed, oppression of men exists. Yet feminism would have us believe that only one gender has issues and that it is always men that are to blame. I have spoken to a few feminists. It would appear that many of them seem to want to downplay or trivialise men’s issues. I cannot take a movement seriously if the people in that movement refuse to acknowledge half of reality and show such a lack of compassion for half the population. I cannot support a movement that perpetuates a delusional bubble that only one gender faces hardship in society and which inspires hatred toward men and boys.
Still Not Convinced? Here Is A Mountain Of Empirical Data Debunking The Idea That Men Are Privileged In Western Society
Girlwriteswhat Debunking Feminist Patriarchy Theory
My Problems With The Feminist Interpretation Of Reality
My problems with feminism go beyond their description of society and reality. I also have major issues with their conclusions about what it all means. For instance, their notion that patriarchy and male privilege automatically mean that women are unfairly treated relative to men. Girlwriteswhat gave an excellent critique of how wrong this perspective can be. She discussed one example of a patriarchal society called the Inuit (see the adjacent video). The Inuit are a group of people that live in the Arctic and have had one of the most patriarchal societies in the world. It is not by accident that our most patriarchal societies live and have lived in the most hazardous environments on Earth. Arguably for most of it’s history, the human race has struggled against nature to continue it’s existence. The environment was harsh and our ability to adapt to it before technology really took off, was far more limited than what it is today. The reality is that life was harsh for most human societies from the ancient Sumerians right through to 1850s Europe, arguably up until the industrial revolution. So why is it that a patriarchy arose in the first place?
Girlwriteswhat contends that under such challenging circumstances, like what faced(s) the Inuit and what most civilisations have historically faced, communities required(s) men to risk their own lives, safety and health, to provide the food and resources necessary to keep their societies going. Much of the labour was extremely physically demanding and hazardous and completed in relatively dangerous environments. Men are considerably stronger and fitter than women and women are especially vulnerable when pregnant and when exposed to harsh environmental extremes. Women are also the rate limiting factor of reproduction thanks to the nine month human gestation period. Minimising female deaths from the harsh environment through having men who are considerably stronger and fitter than women on average, provide and protect for women and children, enabled enough women to survive to produce enough children to sustain communities. Therefore in the case of the Inuit, it is the men that have been required to risk life and limb to hunt for the seal on the thin ice and in sub-zero temperatures. Women on the other hand have been expected to look after the children in the relative comfort of shelter and remain protected. In these societies, men have had a much harder and more demanding role than women.
Bill Burr Explains Male Privilege
The only way you can get men or any sane rational individual to put in a greater effort than someone else, is to give them a greater reward. Inuit men won’t go on the thin ice and risk their lives for nothing. How fair would it be for the Inuit society to expect men to risk their lives, while women live in the safety of shelter and they are both given equal reward? Would women support a women’s only military draft? No. That would not be fair would it? Unless there was some incentive! Men in patriarchal societies like the Inuit, have been expected to put their safety and lives at risk for their community. In return for providing such a great sacrifice, they were given higher status and privileges than women. In such societies, women saw this transaction as a small price to pay for men protecting them from life threatening work and a hostile environment. For most of human history, civilisation has been built on the backs of men and often over their dead bodies. It has required a patriarchal social system to recognise the great sacrifice men have been asked to make for society.
Only when technology started to reduce the need for such sacrifice and also caused the population to explode, thereby eliminating the female gestational/reproductive rate limiting constraint on sustaining communities (we have 3.5 billion women today, there is no longer any gestational/reproductive bottleneck), did we start hearing about feminism and the oppression of women. I can guarantee that these same women would go quiet and turn to men the moment humanity faced a catastrophe and reduced daily life to its earlier primitive survivalist form. For instance, if a massive solarstorm similar to the one we had in 1859, wiped out our mostly unprotected electrical grid and satellite network.
Women And The White Feather Of Cowardice
So when feminists bring up male privilege, it is worth noting that historically men have had to sacrifice their lives or put themselves at significant risk for such a privilege. It has been men and not women that have been required to fight the wars. It has been men and not women that have been asked to do the hazardous jobs. Indeed they were expected to. Women used to give white feathers to men that did not enlist in the British Army in World War One as a sign of cowardice. Apparently not signing up to be cannon fodder and failing to be a good male drone was met with female disapproval. Oh how quickly the attitude of these women would have changed had they been the ones being called up! But I digress…It is hypocritical to expect women to have equal privileges to men, if men sacrifice more than women. Voting was historically one such example of such a disparity. In the US for instance, men got the vote but were also subject to conscription/drafting and military selective service. Also initially only landowners and the wealthy could vote in the US. Many men like women, did not have the right to vote in early US history. The vote was not just given to men. Men and women's right to vote followed a similar pattern to the United States, across the Western world. This pattern was discussed in a video given earlier in this article titled, "A Case Study Contrasting The Feminist Account Of History With Reality". For most of human history the right to vote did not exist for anyone, male or female. When voting rights came into existence, many men like women had no right to vote. Initially voting was for the wealthy upper class. The gap in time between all men getting the right to vote and all women, is small relative to human history. In some countries and states it was only a couple of years apart, or there was no time gap at all between voting rights being extended to all men and all women.
I acknowledge that a patriarchy can oppress women, but it can also oppress men. I don’t think such societies were or are ideal. However in a community where survival is the paramount objective, liberties that we take for granted today simply don’t work. Men have to risk their lives for the greater good and be rewarded for doing so and women have to be protected to an extent that limits their freedom. Ideally such a system is not good for either gender. However such a system has historically been a necessity. Technology has enabled both genders to be freed of their traditional roles. My problem with feminism is that it ignores the harsh realities of the past and the sacrifices men had to make to earn their privileged position in society. It also advocates for the freedom of only one gender from their traditional social role. This is why men’s right’s is important. It helps balance out the social equation.
Lecture By Dr. Farrell On 25 Reasons Men Earn More Than Women
Technology has allowed society to evolve into one based on egalitarian principles. If we want women and men to truly be treated equally, then that means equal sacrifice for equal reward. Equality does not mean getting all the same opportunities and freedoms as men, with none of the responsibilities and obligations that come with them. If women want equal treatment, then they should be drafted as well. Women should also have to do the hazardous jobs, not just men. Is this practically possible? And if it is not, are we prepared to accept that men need an incentive to do the undesirable work women cannot or will not do? Dr.Warren Farrell has written a book, “Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap--and What Women Can Do About It”, outlining 25 reasons women earn less than men. Some of the reasons given include the fact men work in more hazardous conditions, work more inconvenient hours like night shift and are in professions where they cannot simply leave their work in the office. He found after controlling for these 25 variables, that women actually earn more than men for the same work. He suggests that women can help close the pay gap by doing the type of work men are expected to do. An alternative of course would be for women to simply accept that men will be paid more because they do the work that no one else wants to do. Yes a minority of women (some men are too, in some jobs) are discriminated against in pay, but this is not even remotely a systemic issue in our economies.
As with many things, the reality is a little bit more complicated than what feminists would have us all believe. Aside from Dr. Warren Farrell's research, the gender pay gap myth has also been thoroughly debunked by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Prof. Christina Hoff Sommers and Prof. Thomas Sowell amoung others. If we are going to eliminate sexism, then we cannot afford to tell half truths or engage in disinformation. If we see a disparity between the genders in some area, we cannot afford to keep having this knee jerk reaction that it automatically means women are being discriminated against. Men might be being treated differently for reasons that make such treatment well warranted.
Fairness does not mean treating people the same when some are working or contributing to society under harsher circumstances!
Part 2 Of Girlwriteswhat Debunking Feminist Ideology
Feminism has distorted history to convey a fictional narrative that women were oppressed by men and to promote a fallacy that women were powerless in past society. Don't believe me? Watch part 2 of Girlwriteswhat debunking the feminist ideology in the adjacent video. Feminism has even extended this fictional narrative into the present day and attempted to frame modern Western society as a patriarchy where women are oppressed by men. Feminism has used this fictional narrative to play on peoples heartstrings and elevate the needs of women above the needs of men, without anyone batting an eyelid on the inherent unfairness. Frankly feminism is a movement that is focused on gaining privileges and freedoms for women and removing all of the obligations and responsibilities attached to those privileges and freedoms. Feminists want women to have what men have, without all of the costs and obligations men have to pay for them. Feminism is about giving women special exemption from accountability and responsibility, whilst giving them the same agency as men in society.
Feminism is a movement for female supremacy dressed up as a movement for equality. Playing the victim card and crying misogyny when people question the double standards and hypocrisy of feminism, is a routine shaming strategy to keep dissenters in check. Want an example? Watch this video. It is a strategy that is failing because the fundamental contradictions of feminism are now becoming impossible for them to hide from society at large. The truth will always rise to the surface no matter how well it is covered up. One way or the other, feminist ideologues will be held accountable for their lies and hypocrisy. Feminists might control the mainstream media, but they don't control the internet.
Male Self Loathing And Radical Feminist Whingers
How Men And Boys Are Marginalised In Modern Society
On a parting note, like the Amazing Atheist (I am agnostic myself), I am sick of the notion that I should hate myself because I am a white male. I am sick of the whining, the blaming and the externalisation of responsibility for pretty much everything by these man-hating gender ideologues. It's about time we started reflecting on the virtues of masculinity and men. Western society needs to start telling us that we matter and that we are valued. Otherwise the suicide rate and incidence of mental illness among men will continue to rapidly grow. Why should men, "feel obligated to earn money someone else spends while they die sooner" (Dr. Farrell on how men are socialised to define power)? In a society that no longer respects men and excludes them, why should men feel obligated to provide society with anything? The inescapable reality is that men and boys face real issues in modern society, are marginalised in a number of areas and are not privileged because they are male.
For further discussion on what is wrong with modern feminism, see this hub.
Feminist ideology is marginalising men and boys and undercutting our capacity to deal with the major problems facing the human race. See this article for further discussion.
Still Not Convinced That Feminist Ideology Is Seriously Flawed? Watch Part 1 Of A 16 Part Series Dissecting Feminist Ideology
Ryan (author) from Australia on July 27, 2014:
-Gina. For every step feminism has gone forward, it has taken two steps back. Feminism has a bad reputation for a reason. Their bad rep did not just pop out of nowhere. There is a reason why most of the female population and the male population do not identify as feminists and that is that feminism has nothing to do with equality. The feminist PR campaign might claim otherwise, but the actions, rhetoric and blatant bigotry of prominent feminists has more to do with female supremacy and outright hate than gender equality. Actions speak louder than words. Talking about culling the male population for instance, as prominent feminist academics Mary Daly and Sally Miller Gearhart and other influential feminists have discussed, has nothing to do with equality.
If you are looking for a list of examples of why feminism has a bad reputation then go to my article, “Why So Many People Are Against Feminism” and then read the section, watch the videos and click on the links in the section titled, “Not All Feminists Are Like That”. Then perhaps read and watch the content in the rest of that article and all the lectures. If you want to understand where feminist hate and bigotry comes from, then read my article titled, “The Transformation Of Feminism Into A Hate Movement And Their Censorship Of Free Speech”.
Aside from prominent feminists discussing the culling of most of the male population, feminists have also discussed eugenics and infanticide against men. Feminists have even sent death threats and bomb threats to prominent individuals that disagree with their worldview. Erin Pizzey the woman that founded the first women’s shelter for example, is very staunchly anti-feminist and has had bomb threats made against her, her dog killed and was forced to flee the UK from feminist intimidation. I could go over a number of examples where feminists have manipulated the education system, legal system, public policy and so on to further their agenda and marginalise men and boys in society. I would also recommend a book for you to read, “Who Stole Feminism” by Christina Hoff Sommers and I would seriously recommend you review the video content I have embedded in this article.
My point from all of my response thus far, is that feminism has earned their bad reputation. Feminism deserves the criticism coming it’s way. The reason why feminism has gone backwards is because it simply refuses to acknowledge the reality that sexism and gender issues affect men as well as women. It focuses on one half of reality and one half of the social equation and then completely ignores, downplays and even disgracefully attempts to justify the issues facing men and boys and the ways in which the male half of the population are marginalised and discriminated against in society. In a number of instances feminists have actually brought about or increased the severity of the issues facing men and boys.
As Karen Straughan or Girlwriteswhat mentioned in her videos debunking patriarchy theory embedded above in this article, she believes feminism is hate because you kind of have to hate men to look the other way or pretend that men are privileged and oppressing you, when they clearly are not and are facing oppression and discrimination themselves.
So your main concern is how women are misrepresented in the media and entertainment industry. Well I am concerned with how tens of thousands of men every year are financially exploited, impoverished, forcibly alienated from their own children and even imprisoned for failing to pay alimony and child support exceeding their incomes, by a corrupt family court and divorce system which is heavily biased in favour of ex-wives and mothers and sees men as nothing more than a paycheck. Debtors prison and legalised slavery is a reality for divorced men and their basic human rights are being tossed out the window by the corrupt and biased family court and divorce system. Then there is the fact that children, including young girls (like boys), are being forcibly deprived of contact with their fathers by this corrupt system and vindictive ex-wives and mothers that use this system, which is biased in women's favour, as a weapon against the husband and father and the long run impact that has on future society. Those are just a few of my concerns.
You speak of the media and entertainment. Right now we have people like Hanna Rosin and Maureen Dowd going on talkshows, writing books, newspaper articles and having televised debates about how the male half of the human race is obsolete, redundant and finished. Oh and this is on mainstream media, like the magazine Time, papers like the The New York Times and The Atlantic and televised media debates such as Intelligence Squared and the Munk Debates. Yes that’s right, society has sunk to such a low, that we are having debates about whether or not the male half of the human race is obsolete.
Men and boys are routinely portrayed as idiots, incompetent, lazy, irresponsible, deficient, deviant and violent on TV, ads and mainstream media. Fathers are constantly attacked in sitcoms, ads, newsprint and mainstream media. I could go on….Prof. Paul Nathanson and Prof. Katherine Young have written extensively about the rampant misandry in the mainstream media, entertainment industry and popular culture in their book titled, “Spreading Misandry”. Prof. Jim McNamara from the Sydney University of Technology found that on 69% of occasions men are portrayed in a negative light in the media. Masculinity is routinely demonised and made fun of in the mainstream media.
Now what do I ask about feminism? How long are feminists going to continue to delude themselves that this is a man’s world, when men and boys are clearly not privileged and face very serious and wide ranging discrimination and margnalisation? When will feminists stop ignoring half of reality and pretending that only women face discrimination and oppression, when men and boys clearly are marginalised in this society in a number of areas, such as family court?
Gina on July 24, 2014:
Great strides have been made with feminism. It gets a bad rep, but really the word has more to do with equality. In regards to the Western world being aware is a big thing. My main concern is how misrepresented women are in the media and entertainment industry. When you go to the movies look closely and you will see. Now you ask what that has to do with feminism ?
Ryan (author) from Australia on November 25, 2013:
My thoughts exactly. Yes, I do know of that show and used to love it. No, there are no cigarette smoking men planning some diabolical plot to subjugate women. Perhaps they are projecting?
Crimsonfalcon on November 25, 2013:
I swear that their patriarchy theory reads like a conspiracy theory out of the X-files. I am 28 so does anyone else know of that show?
Ryan (author) from Australia on January 27, 2013:
Exactly. I also think women are a little sick and tired of feminists criticising them for deciding to stay home and look after the children, rather than work full time. It was meant to be about having the choice, not about attacking women for not conforming to some idealised version of what modern women should be. In many respects pressuring women to conform to social expectations makes some feminists no different from misogynists.
samowhamo on January 27, 2013:
You said in one of your comments that feminists are trying to tell women what to do a good example of that would be Julie Bindel and Sheila Jeffreys trying to force lesbianism on women with Jeffreys saying we believe feminists can and should be lesbian. Well yes they can but that does not mean they should not if they are not happy with it and Bindel saying lesbianism is fun then she says women are told we must love our oppressors while as feminists we are fighting to end the power afforded them as a birthright then she says come on sisters you know it makes sense stop pretending you think lesbianism is some exclusive members only club and join in I promise you won’t regret it. This woman is a liar she can’t realistically promise that no one can promise something like that her commenters were not very happy with what she suggested (political lesbianism) because she is basically saying you are less of a feminist if you are not lesbian. You are right Ryan no wonder women are getting mad I don’t care if a woman wants to be lesbian but they have no right trying to force it on other women if they are not happy with it then they are no better then people who try to force heterosexuality on homosexuals. I don’t know if such a thing exists or not but these two could be heterophobic.
samowhamo on January 22, 2013:
I am absolutely convinced that as far as women go (some not all) feminists are the worlds greatest liars.
Ryan (author) from Australia on January 21, 2013:
Amber-You are most welcome.
Darkproxy-My thoughts exactly.
Darkproxy from Ohio on January 21, 2013:
Its not like feminism hasn't done good its just not doing good
Amber from Winter Park on January 21, 2013:
Enjoyed reading! Great article! And thanks for the link!