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Misandry can take the form of the marginalisation of men, in which they perform the most dangerous occupations and are regarded as being disposable, men having lower life expectancy and higher suicide rates than women. It has been described as damaging to both men and women, preventing mutual respect between the sexes.
Radical feminists have been accused of misandry although other feminists have criticised this, describing it as a "lazy and insidious" culture within the feminist movement. Use of the term has been criticized as an attempt to discredit the feminist movement and has been considered by them to be not comparable to the character and systemic nature of misogyny.
Although the word is relatively modern, there is evidence of implicit, even explicit, misandry in literature from the Ancient Greeks to Shakespeare and modern literature, such as The Vagina Monologues and even comic book heroes.
Misandry, a word which appeared in the nineteenth century, is parallel in form to 'misogyny'. The form "misandrist" was used in The Spectator magazine in April 1871. It appeared in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) in 1952. Translation of the French "Misandrie" to the German "Männerhaß" (Hatred of Men) is recorded in 1803. Misandry is formed from the Greek misos (μῖσος, "hatred") and anēr, andros (ἀνήρ, gen. ἀνδρός; "man").
'Patriarchal' and 'disposable' males
Warren Farrell has written of how men are uniquely marginalized in what he calls their "disposability," the manner in which the most dangerous occupations, notably soldiering, were historically performed exclusively by men.
In The Myth of Male Power, Dr. Farrell argues that patriarchal societies do not make rules to benefit men at the expense of women. Farrell cites many examples to the contrary, such as male-only draft registration not benefiting men at the expense of women; or men constituting 93% of workplace deaths; or being expected to risk sexual rejection, pay on dates, and buy women diamonds. According to Farrel, once married, rules made by men are more likely to lead to men losing children and their home after divorce—what he cites as another example of male disposability. Farrell contends that nothing is more telling about who has benefited from "men's rules" than life expectancy and suicide rates—and men lose in both of these categories.
'In the past quarter century, we exposed biases against other races and called it racism, and we exposed biases against women and called it sexism. Biases against men we call humor.'
Religious Studies professors Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young made similar comparisons in their 2001, three-book series Beyond the Fall of Man, which defines misandry as a form of prejudice and discrimination that has become institutionalized in North American society, saying "The same problem that long prevented mutual respect between Jews and Christians, the teaching of contempt, now prevents mutual respect between men and women."
Sociologist Anthony Synnott argues that the reality of misandry is undeniable when one looks to cultural, academic, and media depictions of men. He states that "misandry is everywhere, culturally acceptable, even normative, largely invisible, taught directly and indirectly by men and women, blind to reality, very damaging and dangerous to men and women in different ways and de-humanizing." He also criticizes modern scholarship on men as "dehumanizing" and lacking in awareness of statistical reality.
Radical feminism and misandry
Academic Alice Echols, in her 1989 book Daring To Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975, argued that radical feminist Valerie Solanas, best known for her attempted murder of Andy Warhol in 1968, displayed an extreme level of misandry compared to other radical feminists of the time in her tract, The SCUM Manifesto. Echols stated,
Solanas's unabashed misandry—especially her belief in men's biological inferiority—her endorsement of relationships between 'independent women,' and her dismissal of sex as 'the refuge of the mindless' contravened the sort of radical feminism which prevailed in most women's groups across the country.
Andrea Dworkin, herself frequently accused of misandry, criticized the biological determinist strand in radical feminism that in 1977 she found "with increasing frequency in feminist circles" which echoed the views of Valerie Solanas that males are biologically inferior to women and violence by nature requiring a gendercide to allow for the emergence of a "new Ubermensch womon".
Bell hooks has discussed the issue of "man hating" during the early period of women's liberation as a reaction to patriarchal oppression and women who have had bad experiences with men in non-feminist social movements, but has criticized separatist strands of feminism as "reactionary" for promoting the notion that men are inherently immoral, inferior and unable to help end sexist oppression or benefit from feminism. In Feminism is For Everybody, hooks laments the fact that feminists who critiqued anti-male bias in the early women's movement never gained mainstream media attention and that "our theoretical work critiquing the demonization of men as the enemy did not change the perspective of women who were anti-male" leading to an unnecessary rift between the men's movement and the women's movement.
Though bell hooks does not name individual separatist theorists, Mary Daly's utopian vision of a world in which men and heterosexual women have been eliminated is an extreme example of this tendency. Daly argued that sexual equality between men and women was not possible and that women, due to their superior capacities, should rule men. Yet later, in an interview, Daly argued "If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males."
Naomi Wolf in Fire With Fire contrasted "power feminism" with "victim feminism" arguing that the latter promotes the "angelization" of women as victims that speak with a pure voice and inversely demonizes men as inherently amoral. Wolf's analysis of victim feminism echos the criticism that Betty Friedan made of female chauvinism which she defined as "the assumption that women have any moral or spiritual superiority as a class".
Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young argued that "ideological feminism" as opposed to "egalitarian feminism" has imposed misandry on culture. Their 2001 book, Spreading Misandry, analyzed "pop cultural artifacts and productions from the 1990s" from movies to greeting cards for what they considered to be pervasive messages of hatred toward men. Legalizing Misandry (2005), the second in the series, gave similar attention to laws in North America.
In 2002, pundit Charlotte Hays wrote "that the anti-male philosophy of radical feminism has filtered into the culture at large is incontestable; indeed, this attitude has become so pervasive that we hardly notice it any longer".
Wendy McElroy, an individualist feminist, wrote in 2001 that some feminists "have redefined the view of the movement of the opposite sex" as "a hot anger toward men seems to have turned into a cold hatred." She argued it was a misandrist position to consider men, as a class, to be irreformable or rapists. McElroy stated "a new ideology has come to the forefront... radical or gender, feminism," one that has "joined hands with [the] political correctness movement that condemns the panorama of western civilization as sexist and racist: the product of 'dead white males'."
In 2001, novelist Doris Lessing delivered a speech at Edinburgh Books Festival criticizing a "lazy and insidious" culture had taken hold within feminism that reveled in flailing men. Lessing stated "I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed" and linked the pervasiveness of these attitudes within schools to boys educational underachievement.
Barbara Kay, a Canadian Journalist, has been critical of feminist Mary Koss's discussion of rape culture, describing the notion that “rape represents an extreme behavior but one that is on a continuum with normal male behavior within the culture" as "remarkably misandric".
Criticism of the use of the term
In his 1997 book The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, sociologist Allan G. Johnson stated that accusations of man-hating have been used to put down feminists and shift attention onto men in a way that reinforces male-centered culture. Johnson said that comparisons between misogyny and misandry are misguided because mainstream culture offers no comparable anti-male ideology. He says in his book that accusations of misandry work to discredit feminism because "people often confuse men as individuals with men as a dominant and privileged category of people." He wrote that given the "reality of women's oppression, male privilege, and men's enforcement of both, it's hardly surprising that every woman should have moments where she resents or even hates 'men'."
In the 2007 book International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities, Marc A. Ouellette dismissively contrasted misandry with misogyny, arguing that "misandry lacks the systemic, transhistoric, institutionalized, and legislated antipathy of misogyny" though acknowledging the possibility of specific "racialized" misandries. Anthropologist David D. Gilmore argues that while misogyny is a "near-universal phenomenon" there is no male equivalent to misogyny. Gilmore also states that misandry refers "not to the hatred of men as men, but to the hatred of men's traditional male role" and a "culture of machismo". Therefore, he argues, misandry is "different from the intensely ad feminam aspect of misogyny that targets women no matter what they believe or do".
A study of feminist and non-feminist ambivalent sexism towards men published in 2009 found that non-feminists had more hostile views towards men than self-identified feminists, contrary to the stereotype that feminists maintain hostile attitudes towards men.
Ancient Greek literature
Classics professor Froma Zeitlin of Princeton University discussed misandry in her article titled "Patterns of Gender in Aeschylean Drama: Seven against Thebes and the Danaid Trilogy." She writes:
The most significant point of contact, however, between Eteocles and the suppliant Danaids is, in fact, their extreme positions with regard to the opposite sex: the misogyny of Eteocles' outburst against all women of whatever variety (Se. 181-202) has its counterpart in the seeming misandry of the Danaids, who although opposed to their Egyptian cousins in particular (marriage with them is incestuous, they are violent men) often extend their objections to include the race of males as a whole and view their cause as a passionate contest between the sexes (cf. Su. 29, 393, 487, 818, 951).
Feminist philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers has highlighted the misandric nature of Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues where "there are no admirable males...the play presents a rogues’ gallery of male brutes, sadists, child-molesters, genital mutilators, gang rapists and hateful little boys" which she finds out of step with the reality that "most men are not brutes. They are not oppressors"
Julie M. Thompson, a feminist author, connects misandry with envy of men, in particular "penis envy," a term coined by Sigmund Freud in 1908, in his theory of female sexual development. Nacy Kang has discussed "the misandric impulse" in relation to the works of Toni Morrison.
In his book, Gender and Judaism: The Transformation of Tradition, Harry Brod, a Professor of Philosophy and Humanities in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Northern Iowa, writes:
In the introduction to The Great Comic Book Heroes, Jules Feiffer writes that this is Superman's joke on the rest of us. Clark is Superman's vision of what other men are really like. We are scared, incompetent, and powerless, particularly around women. Though Feiffer took the joke good-naturedly, a more cynical response would see here the Kryptonian's misanthropy, his misandry embodied in Clark and his misogyny in his wish that Lois be enamored of Clark (much like Oberon takes out hostility toward Titania by having her fall in love with an ass in Shakespeare's Midsummer-Night's Dream).
Literary critic Harold Bloom argued that even though the word misandry is relatively unheard of in literature it is not hard to find implicit, even explicit, misandry. In reference to the works of Shakespeare Bloom argued "I cannot think of one instance of misogyny whereas I would argue that misandry is a strong element. Shakespeare makes perfectly clear that women in general have to marry down and that men are narcissistic and not to be trusted and so forth. On the whole, he gives us a darker vision of human males than human females."
- Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them! controversy
- Female chauvinism
- Men's movement
- Men's rights
- Violence against men
- SCUM Manifesto
- "Misandry" at Oxford English Dictionary Online (ODO), Third Edition, June 2002. Accessed through library subscription on 25 July 2014. Earliest recorded use: 1885. Blackwood's Edinb. Mag, Sept. 289/1 No man whom she cared for had ever proposed to marry her. She could not account for it, and it was a growing source of bitterness, of misogyny as well as misandry.
- "Misandry"at Merriam-Webster online ("First Known Use: circa 1909")
- Review of novel "Blanche Seymour", The Spectator, London, Apr. 1, 1871, p. 389. “We cannot, indeed, term her an absolute misandrist, as she fully admits the possibility, in most cases at least, of the reclamation of men from their naturally vicious and selfish state, though at the cost of so much trouble and vexation of spirit to women, that it is not quite clear whether she does not regard their existence as at best a mitigated evil.”
- "Translations for Männerhaß in the German » English dictionary". Pons Dictionary German To English. PONS GmbH, Stuttgart. Archived from the original on Mar 19, 2014.
- Johann Georg Krünitz (1803). Oekonomische Encyklopädie oder allgemeines System der Staats-, Stadt-, Haus- u. Landwirthschaft: in alphabetischer Ordnung. Von Lebens-Art bis Ledecz : Nebst einer einzigen Fig. Friedrich's des Einzigen, u. 3 Karten 90. Pauli. p. 461.
- Oxford Dictionaries http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/misandry
- Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, (N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1993), Chp. 2
- Warren Farrell "The Myth of Male Power," Berkeley Publishing Group, 1996.
- (Nathanson & Young 2001, pp. 4–6)
- Why Some People Have Issues With Men: Misandry, Psychology Today, October 6, 2010
- Echols, Nicole. Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989, pp. 104-105, ISBN 978-0-8166-1786-9.
- Castro, Ginette. "American Feminism: A Contemporary History". New York: New York University Press, 1990, p. 73, ISBN 978-0-8147-1435-5.
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- Dworkin, Andrea. (1993), Biological Superiority: The World's Most Dangerous and Deadly Idea, LETTERS FROM A WAR ZONE WRITINGS 1976-1989: http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/WarZoneChaptIIID.html
- Hooks, Bell (2000), Feminism is For Everybody: Passionate Politics, South End Press; Cambridge.
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- Hooks, Bell (2000), Feminism is For Everybody: Passionate Politics, South End Press; Cambridge, p. 69.
- Daly, Mary. (1998), Quintessence...Realizing The Archaic Future, Beacon Press; Boston.
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- (Nathanson & Young 2001, p. xiv) "[ideological feminism,] one form of feminism—one that has had a great deal of influence, whether directly or indirectly, on both popular culture and elite culture—is profoundly misandric".
- Hays, Charlotte. 'The Worse Half.' National Review 11 March 2002.
- The Independent Institute
- (McElroy 2001, p. 5)
- (McElroy 2001, pp. 4–6)
- Gibbons, Fiachra. "Lay off Men, Lessing Tells Feminists", The Guardian, Tuesday 14 August 2001.
- Barbara Kay, (2014) ‘Rape culture’ fanatics don’t know what a culture is", National Post, http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/03/08/barbara-kay-rape-culture-fanatics-dont-know-what-a-culture-is/
- Johnson, Alan G. (2005). The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy (2, revised ed.). Temple University Press. p. 107. ISBN 1592133843.
- Flood, Michael, ed. (2007-07-18). International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities. et al. London; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-33343-1.
- Gilmore, David G. Misogyny: The Male Malady. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009, pp. 10–13, ISBN 978-0-8122-1770-4.
- Anderson, K.J., Kanner, M. and Elsayegh, N. (2009), "Are Feminists Man Haters? Feminists' and Nonfeminists' Attitudes Toward Men", Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 33, pp. 216-224
- Zeitlin, Froma I. (April 1, 1990). "Patterns of Gender in Aeschylean Drama: Seven against Thebes and the Danaid Trilogy" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-12-21. Princeton University, paper given at the Department of Classics, University of California, Berkeley
- Sommers, Christina Hoff. (2008), What’s Wrong and What’s Right with Contemporary Feminism?, Hamilton College. Retrieved 2014-01-27..
- Emphasis added. Julie M. Thompson, Mommy Queerest: Contemporary Rhetorics of Lesbian Maternal Identity, (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002).
- Kang, N. (2003), "To Love and Be Loved: Considering Black Masculinity and the Misandric Impulse in Toni Morrison's "Beloved", Callaloo, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 836-854.
- Gender and Judaism: The Transformation of Tradition, Harry Brod
- Brockman, Elin Schoen. (1999, July 25) "In the Battle Of the Sexes, This Word Is a Weapon", New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/25/weekinreview/in-the-battle-of-the-sexes-this-word-is-a-weapon.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar
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- Smith, William A., Yosso, Tara J., Solorzano, Daniel G. (2007), “Racial Primes and Black Misandry on Historically White Campuses: Toward Critical Race Accountability in Educational Administration”, Educational Administration Quarterly, vol. 43 no. 5, pp. 559–585.
- Rosenblum, Darren (2010), “Beyond Victimisation and Misandry”, International Journal of Law in Context, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 114–116.
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- Nathanson, Paul; Young, Katherine R. (2006). Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-2862-8.
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- Bailée, Susan; Sommers, Christina Hoff (2001). "Misandry in the Classroom". The Hudson Review (The Hudson Review, Inc.) 54 (1): 148–54. doi:10.2307/3852834. JSTOR 3852834. "My rough-and-tumble first grader, Mark, came home from school yesterday and nonchalantly told me a story about his day that set me shivering"
- Leader, Richard (2007). "Misandry: From the Dictionary of Fools". Adonis Mirror. Retrieved 2007-12-28. article critical of the use of the term
- Wilson, Robert Anton (April 1996). "Androphobia: The only respectable bigotry". The Backlash!. Shameless Men Press. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
- Lay off men, Lessing tells feminists.