Masculism

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Masculism (or masculinism) is political, cultural, and economic movements which aim to establish and defend political, economic, and social rights and participation in society for men and boys.[citation needed] Issues of concern to masculists include legal equalities, such as those relating to conscription, child custody, alimony, and equal pay for equal work. Its concepts sometimes coincide with those of the men's rights, fathers' rights, and men's liberation movements.[citation needed] Masculinism strives to achieve these aims by advocating for the rights or needs of men; by the adherence to or promotion of opinions, values, and attitudes, regarded as typical of men;[1][2][3] or, alternatively, through an androcentric approach,[4][5] including the exclusion of women.[1]

Definition and scope[edit]

The Oxford English Dictionary regards masculinism as "Advocacy of the rights of men; adherence to or promotion of opinions, values, etc., regarded as typical of men; (more generally) anti-feminism, machismo."[6] The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a "masculinist" as "an advocate of male superiority and dominance".[7] Philosopher Ferrell Christensen differentiates the words "masculism" and "masculinism"; he defines the latter as promoting the attributes of manliness.[2] Political scientist Georgia Duerst-Lahti also distinguishes between the two terms, with masculism being more associated with the early gender egalitarian days of men's movement, while masculinism refers to patriarchy and its ideology.[8][9]

Christensen differentiates between "progressive masculism" and an "extremist version". The former welcomes many of the societal changes promoted by feminists, while stating that many aimed at reducing sexism against women have had the effect of increasing it against men.[2] The latter promotes male supremacy to some degree and is generally based on a belief in women's inferiority. Nicholas Davidson, in his book "The Failure of Feminism" describes an extremist version of masculism which he termed "virism". According to Davidson, in this view "What ails society is 'effeminacy'. The improvement of society requires that the influence of female values be decreased and the influence of male values increased…."[2][10] Gender theories, which have frequently focused on woman-based or feminist approaches, have come to include a "masculism" approach which seeks to examine oppression in a masculinist society from the perspectives of men, most of whom do not benefit from that society.[11] From a feminist perspective to philosophy, masculinism seeks to value and include only male views, and claim "that anything that cannot be reduced or translated in men's experience should be excluded from the subject-matter of philosophy.[1]

Topic areas of interest to masculism[edit]

Education[edit]

Many masculists suggest the abolition of co-educational schooling, believing that single-sex schools are preferred for the well-being of boys.[12]

Employment[edit]

Data from 1994 in the U.S. reported that men make up 94% of workplace fatalities. Masculist Warren Farrell has argued that men are often clustered in dirty, physically demanding and hazardous jobs in an unjustifiably disproportionate manner.[3]

Violence[edit]

Masculists express concern about violence against men being depicted as humorous, in the media and elsewhere.[13]

Masculists also express concern about violence against men being ignored, minimized, or taken less seriously than violence against women.[12][14] Some assert that there is gender symmetry in domestic violence.[12] Another concern expressed is that assumptions of female innocence or sympathy for women may result in disproportionate penalties for women and men for similar crimes,[13] lack of sympathy for male victims in domestic violence cases, and dismissal of female-on-male sexual assault and sexual harassment cases.

Custody[edit]

"Custody law is perhaps the best-known area of men's rights activism", as it is more common for the mother to obtain custody of children in case of divorce. David Benatar, head of philosophy at the University of Cape Town, argues: "When the man is the primary care-giver his chances of winning custody are lower than when the woman is the primary care-giver. Even when the case is not contested by the mother, he's still not as likely to get custody as when the woman's claim is uncontested".[15]

Suicide[edit]

Masculists cite high rates of suicide in men.[12]

Reactions[edit]

Feminism[edit]

Feminists respond to the different ideologies of masculism in different ways. Masculists who promote gender equality are often considered male feminists.[16] It is the general opinion of modern feminists that masculism, when defined as "male superiority or dominance",[4] is inherently opposed to the equality cause and is a form of misogyny.[17]

Philosopher Ferrell Christensen states that if masculism and feminism refer to the belief that men/women are systematically discriminated against, and that this discrimination should be eliminated, there is not necessarily a conflict between feminism and masculism, and some assert that they are both.[2] However, many believe that one sex is more discriminated against, and thus use one label and reject the other.[2]

Criticisms and responses[edit]

To the extent that masculism is associated with antifeminist masculinism, its primary focus is on "masculinity and the place of white heterosexual men in North America and European societies."[12]

Some masculinists believe that differentiated gender roles are natural. There is considerable evidence for social influences (e.g. gender division of labor, socialization) as the sole or primary origin of gender differentiation.[18][19] Furthermore, belief in inherent gender differences allows for inequality and for the dominant group to assert power by means of perceived difference.[18] Some parts of the masculinst movement have to some extent appropriated the concepts of evolutionary psychology: this theory argues that adaptation during prehistory resulted in complementary but different roles for the different genders, and that this balance has been destabilized by feminism since the 1960s.[12]

Some masculinist movements are explicitly antifeminist.[12] According to Blais and Dupuis-Déri, "the contents of [masculinist] websites and the testimony of feminists that we questioned confirm that masculinists are generally critical of even moderate feminists and feminists at the head of official feminist organizations."[12] Some masculinist activism has involved disruption of events organized by feminists and lawsuits against feminist academics, journalists, or activists.[12] Furthermore, masculinist actions are sometimes extreme; father's rights activists have bombed family courts in Australia and have issued bomb threats in the UK, although it is ambiguous whether there was public and organized militant group involvement.[12] They have also engaged in "tire-slashing, the mailing of excrement-filled packages, threats against politicians and their children."[12] Spokesmen for these groups have also spoken out against public awareness campaigns to prevent sexual assault, arguing that they portray a negative image of men, and one masculinist group harassed administrators of dozens of battered women's shelters and women's centers.[12]

See also[edit]

Men's organizations[edit]

Notable persons associated with masculism[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Manliness (2006)
  • Baumeister, Roy F. (2010). Is There Anything Good About Men?: How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199752559.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Politics of Aristotle asserts excellence varies with social role, including gender.
  • The Legal Subjection of Men, 1908 antithesis of John Stuart Mill's 1869 The Subjection of Women.
  • The Fraud of Feminism by Ernest Belfort Bax, 1914.
  • The Myth of the Monstrous Male and Other Feminist Fallacies; John Gordon, Playboy Press, New York, 1982; ISBN 0872237583
  • "La condition masculine dans le Rouge et le Noir" Gilles Aerts, mémoire de maîtrise, University of British Columbia, 1987.
  • The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex; Warren Farrell, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993: ISBN 0671793497
  • Manliness by Harvey Mansfield (2006) Yale Press ISBN 0300106645
  • Not Guilty: The Case in Defense of Men; David Thomas, William Morrow and Co., Inc., New York, 1993; ISBN 068811024X
  • Good Will Toward Men; Jack Kammer, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994; ISBN 0312104715
  • Moral Panic: Biopolitics Rising; John Fekete, Robert Davies Publishing, Montreal-Toronto, 1994: ISBN 1895854091
  • The New Men's Studies: A Selected and Annotated Interdisciplinary Bibliography (2nd Edition); Eugene R. August, Libraries Unlimited, Inc., Englewood, CO, 1994: ISBN 1563080842
  • A Man's World: How Real Is Male Privilege – And How High Is Its Price?; Ellis Cose, Harper Collins, New York, 1995: ISBN 0060172061
  • Why Men Don't Iron: The Real Science of Gender Studies; Anne & Bill Moir, Harper Collins, Hammersmith, London, 1998; ISBN 0002570351 (Trade Paperback); ISBN 0002570483 (Hardcover)
  • The Strong, Sensitive Boy; Ted Zeff, Prana Publishing (May 3, 2010); ISBN 0966074521
  • The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity; Leon J. Podles, Spence Publishing Co., Dallas, TX, 1999. (The title is a play on the Christian theological terms church militant and church triumphant.)
  • Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture; Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young, McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal, 2001; ISBN 0773522727
  • "Feminine" Heterosexual Men: Subverting Heteropatriarchal Sexual Scripts?; Darryl B. Hill, The Journal of Men's Studies, Spring 2006, Men's Studies Press; ISSN 10608265
  • Re-Thinking Men: Heroes, Villains and Victims; Anthony Synnott, Ashgate, 2009; ISBN 9780754677093
  • The Second Sexism; David Benatar, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012; ISBN 9780470674512
  • Email to the Universe; Robert Anton Wilson, New Falcon Publications, 2008; ISBN 9781561841943
  • Sex Differences, Modern Biology and the Unisex Fallacy, Yves Christen
  • Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women; Christina Hoff Sommers ISBN 0684801566
  • The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men; Christina Hoff Sommers ISBN 0684849569
  • Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren't Supposed to Know by Thomas B. James ISBN 1593301227
  • Ceasefire!: Why Women And Men Must Join Forces To Achieve True Equality; Cathy Young ISBN 0684834421
  • The Masculine Mystique; Andrew Kimbrell ISBN 0345386582

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Nicholas Bunnin; Jiyuan Yu (15 April 2008). "Masculinism". The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. p. 411. ISBN 9780470997215. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Christensen, Ferrell (1995). Ted Honderich, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198661320. 
  3. ^ a b Cathy Young (July 1994). "Man Troubles: Making Sense of the Men's Movement". Reason.  "Not to worry" there seems to imply that this conception of masculism poses a threat to women, or to the women's movement. A broader conception of the women's movement, however, recognizes that patriarchy is harmful to both men and women, and therefore that prejudice and discrimination against both genders will need to be recognized and redressed.
  4. ^ a b "masculinist, n". Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  5. ^ Arthur Brittan (1989). Masculinity and Power. Wiley. p. 4. ISBN 9780631141679. Retrieved 11 May 2013. Masculinism is the ideology that justifies and naturalizes male domination. As such it is the ideology of patriarchy. Masculinism takes it for granted that there is a fundamental difference between men and women, it assumes that heterosexuality is normal, it accepts without question the sexual division of labour, and it sanctions the political and dominant role of men in the public and private spheres 
  6. ^ "masculinism, n". Oxford English Dictionary Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2015-02-17. 
  7. ^ "masculinist". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  8. ^ Georgia Duerst-Lahti (2008). "Gender Ideology: masculinism and femininalism". In Goertz, Gary; Mazur, Amy G. Politics, gender, and concepts: theory and methodology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 159–192. ISBN 9780521723428. 
  9. ^ Dupuis-Déri, Francis (2009). "Le " masculinisme " : une histoire politique du mot (en anglais et en français)". Recherches féministes 22 (2): 97. doi:10.7202/039213ar. ISSN 0838-4479. 
  10. ^ Nicholas Davidson (1988). The failure of feminism. Prometheus Books, Publishers. pp. 274–. ISBN 9780879754082. 
  11. ^ Gunhild Hoogensen; Bruce Olav Solheim (2006). Women in power: world leaders since 1960. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 21–. ISBN 9780275981907. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Melissa Blais and Francis Dupuis-Déri. "Masculinism and the Antifeminist Countermovement." Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest 11:1 (2012): 21–39.
  13. ^ a b Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1993; ISBN 0671793497).
  14. ^ iol.co.za
  15. ^ "Just who are men's rights activists?", BBC, 2 May 2012
  16. ^ Janet M. Martin and Maryanne Borrelli, Other Elites: Women, Politics, & Power in the Executive Branch (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000; ISBN 1555879713, ISBN 9781555879716).
  17. ^ Susan B. Boyd; Dorothy E. Chunn; Hester Lessard (2007). Reaction and resistance: feminism, law, and social change. UBC Press. pp. 65–97. ISBN 9780774814119. 
  18. ^ a b Barbara Risman, "Gender as a Social Structure: Theory Wrestling with Activism." Gender & Society 18.4 (2004): 429–450.
  19. ^ Susan A. Basow, Gender Stereotypes and Roles (Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1992).

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