August 2014 saw the publication of a number of articles discussing an unfortunate development in the gender debate that has been labelled ‘ironic misandry’.
Misandry is, of course, the irrational fear and loathing of men. These articles spawned the #MaleTears hashtag on Twitter, as well as the production and marketing of a range of products on the theme, such as coffee mugs and t-shirts.
The Rise of the Ironic Man Hater by Amanda Hess (8 August 2014)
Me and my #MaleTears: Facing the consequences of ironic hatred by Ally Fogg (10 August 2014)
Ironic Misandry: Why Feminists Pretending to Hate Men isn’t Funny by Sarah Begley (12 August 2014)
Hating men isn’t funny, says writer who doesn’t get good jokes by Dayna Evans (12 August 2014)
Your Guide to Understanding Ironic Misandry by Clementine Ford (26 August 2014)
1. Ironic misandry is entirely at odds with the credo of ‘do unto others’
According to Wikipedia, “the Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code or morality that essentially states either of the following:
- One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself
- One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated
This concept describes a reciprocal, or two-way, relationship between one’s self and others that involves both sides equally, and in a mutual fashion.”
Many of us think of ‘do unto others’ as being a Christian credo, but the same or similar phrase is common to many religions and cultures across history. That’s no accident. ‘Do unto others’ is a noble and eminently sound ideal that would be understood and supported by most reasonable people.
Ironic misandry runs contrary to how I want to treat others or be treated myself. Ironic misandry does not represent how I want my friends and family to be treated, and I don’t think it’s how most women want their male friends or family members to be treated. And don’t even try to suggest that mocking men is different because … patriarchy.
And in terms of the community generally, how would most women would react were this concept to be turned back onto them in the form of ‘ironic misogyny’? But more on that later.
2. Ironic misandry isn’t ironic
The definition of ‘irony’ is:
- the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.
But the indisputable fact is that real life feminists don’t believe or act in the opposite manner, i.e. treat men in a loving and respectful manner. Look at my posts on feminism, feminist anger, and feminist censorship for examples of what feminists say about men and how they treat them. Heck, just look at comments by Clementine Ford in her paper listed above, or Samantha Allen in this article.
Clementine Ford describes the “I bathe in male tears” logo and associated paraphernalia as “one glorious phrase and a handful of beautiful associated memes“. She goes on to state that “images such as the above pillory the buffoonery of the MRA movement while giving increasingly stressed out and undermined women a means of laughing at the enemy.”
Ironic misandry isn’t rocking the boat with regards to the status quo – it’s reinforcing it.
The proponents of ironic misandry consider it first and foremost a humorous invention. I beg to differ. As would, I would suggest, most mature adults concerned about social justice and the welfare of men and boys. In fact pretty much anyone with an ounce of empathy, a conscience, and a brain in their head. Either way, you can’t change sexist bigotry into something else just by claiming it is funny. As they say, “a monkey in silk is a monkey no less“.
Regardless of the selective blindness of feminists, many men and boys are suffering and their tears are very real. For example, we have just experienced the suicide of comic genius Robin Williams, at a time when the suicide rate for men is substantially greater than for women. Ditto for homelessness, etc.
3. Ironic misandry erodes mutual respect between the genders
Ironic misandry removes even further respect between the genders, when mutual respect is an essential ingredient in moving onwards and upwards with the gender debate. We need to be doing everything we can to build respect not eroding it further. Ironic misandry and other feminist devices like it will condemn us to many more years of lobbing grenades from trench to trench instead of working together to address a multitude of issues of shared concern.
Given that that the original ‘Slate’ article has been addressed by others, I’ll conclude this post with some comments in relation to the paper by Clementine Ford which I found to be particularly noisome:
MRAs will have you believe that misandry is:
a) rampant within the feminist community and
b) capable of causing equal if not greater harm to men than millennia of oppression and disadvantage could ever possibly do to women.
As I indicated earlier misandry IS rampant within the feminist community, as is feminist denial about that fact. I challenge you to assume a male identity and go online and try to post reasonable comments in debates regarding gender, and see how you are treated. How you are are routinely abused. How your posts are removed. How often you are banned, excluded, denied a voice.
Oh, and by the way Clementine, didn’t you/your editor close your article to comments so very quickly once the expected support failed to materialise? Let’s see what reader Jane was able to contribute before the shutters came down on your sideshow:
Baffled to why teenage girls don’t describe themselves as feminists? Re-read this article and imagine yourself as a teenage girl looking for relevance to her life. Instead of a reasoned argument, inspiration or anything that might be impacting her now or in the future, Clem “click-bait” Ford delivers a short rant on why it’s fun to ridicule certain people on the internet. Sure it might be a “release valve” to Ford who must have to deal with some crazy nutters on the internet but if this is the only article they read on feminism this week while asking, “Am I a feminist?” then I can understand why many, a few or even one young woman might reply, “If this is feminism, then no.”
Feminists just love to exaggerate the position of MRA with assertions like “MRA claim that men are more oppressed than women”, “MRA would have you believe that everything bad that happens to men is because of women”, and so on, and on. Can Clementine point us towards even one reference where MRA have stated that misandry can cause more harm than all the oppression and disadvantage ever experienced by women? Of course, she can’t – because no MRA ever made such a statement.
“Misogyny and misandry are treated by MRAs as interchangeable things, with the latter being widely viewed as ‘just as bad, if not worse’.”
No, MRA treat these as two distinct things. The fact that some MRA might consider ‘misandry’ to be worse, is due only to the level of denial and hypocrisy within the feminist movement (regarding their inherent misandry), and the resultant chasm between how feminists demand to be treated and how they treat others.
“Feminism seeks to dismantle the patriarchy, thus liberating both women and men from its suffocating clutches.”
OK, Clementine, please provide some examples of feminism “liberating” men from anything.
“Humour is a vital tool for feminists lest we lose our marbles completely when dealing with the irrational and factually incorrect bleatings of people who, among other things, argue that sexual violence statistics have been made up by feminist run government agencies to oppress man’s sexual nature.”
Clementine, some examples please of statements made by MRA that are “factually incorrect”, or where MRA have claimed that sexual violence statistics were made up … “to oppress man’s sexual nature”. MRA have highlighted inaccuracies and distortions within statistics related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and other issues. I invite you to examine and comment upon the many examples that are provided in my blog posts on these topics. MRA raise these concerns only in the interest of enabling informed public debate based on a balanced and accurate portrayal of these important social issues.
4. Gender reversal: What happens when a man attempts ironic misogyny?
In 2010 Paul Elam published an article entitled ‘October is the 5th annual Bash a Violent Bitch Month‘ in response to an earlier article in the feminist journal ‘Jezebel’. Although Paul has always asserted his article was satirical, years later it is still cited by feminists as proof of the alleged hideous misogyny of the men’s rights movement. A well-written discussion of Paul’s article can be found here.
In early 2016, Daryush ‘Roosh’ Valizadeh hit the headlines across the world when it was reported that he supported the legalisation of rape. This is what he actually wrote. Roosh’s article is explained further in ‘What Roosh’s satire exposed about modern-day socialism’.
Did feminists extend the same patience and understanding towards Paul’s or Roosh’s ironic offerings, to which they themselves felt entitled? Absolutely not, and in Roosh’s case both he and his supporters were subjected to a global campaign of harassment and threats of violence. Yes, the very same behaviour that feminists angrily assert that men oppress women with. Anyway read both this article and this one, and you can form your own view.
Moving forward to June 2016, and Australian TV personality Eddie McGuire chose to offer up a little of his own brand of irony. Team feminism went ballistic. And on and on they went:
I refuse to date men who like footy, by Koraly Dimitriadis (13 July 2016)
Time to call BS on the ‘just jokes’ defence, by Chris Bath (28 June 2016)
There can be a fine line between humour and menace in blokes banter, by David Penberthy (26 June 2016) Male self-loathing tosh (**Then read a good rebuttal by Mark Dent here**)
This is what happens when you call out sexism in Australia (25 June 2016)
Police: Don’t take McGuire’s comments lightly (23 June 2016)
And finally, Miranda Devine’s sensible comments on the matter here
The evidence is mounting – a man’s place is in the home (4 November 2017) I don’t see the humour here but the author, Hadley Freeman, claims it’s satire:
Hadley’s article was very similar to this 27 October 2017 article in Slate.com
In this article Irish feminists reject the notion of misandry (October 2017)
“It is impossible to have an “ingrained prejudice” against men when we live in a world made by men for men. In a patriarchal society, the idea of men who are oppressed by virtue of their gender could never be anything but a joke.“
Clementine Ford: This is the personal price I pay for speaking out online (13 July 2017) Such a martyr to the cause of misandry. And “a message that was quite clearly withering satire” Oh yes. Clearly. Because vagina.
Men shouldn’t get offended by people saying that “men are trash” (12 July 2017) Reddit discussion thread
Michelle Carter found guilty by judge in text message suicide case (16 June 2017) USA
Why you should think twice before laughing at that rape joke online (8 June 2017) Clementine Ford rails against “dark humour” – now that’s ironic
I am so sick of people acting like “misandry” is equivalent to misogyny (1 June 2017) These feminists won’t even concede that misandry is a thing.
Bad Girls Advice members call for the group to be shut down after posts made fun of terror attack (24 May 2017) In this case, not so much ‘ironic misandry’ as ‘ironic misanthropy’
The one question I’d like to ask those who defend Wicked Campers’ vile ‘humour’ by Clementine Ford (19 February 2017)
Woman urges people to ‘murder all male babies’ (24 January 2017)
Women kicking balls, I’d like to see that (22 January 2017) New Australian women’s football ad campaign
Hwages: Music clip sparks debate, celebration in Saudi Arabia (5 January 2017)
#KillAllMen: A feminist play at Australia’s National Institute Dramatic Art (October 2016) as discussed in this blog post
“Eight women create an internet utopia where they discuss the most intimate details of their lives, the most righteous, and the most hilarious. Dating, camming, work, love, and how to be an out and proud feminist. But when one of them disappears after being attacked everything changes. #KillAllMen suddenly moves from joke to reality.”
Feminists treat men badly. It’s bad for feminism, by Cathy Young (30 June 2016)
Now this IS ironic (25 May 2016) USA
Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson’s diversity solution: ‘Kill’ all the old white men (13 February 2016) UK
Men: Here are ten perfect holiday gifts for the feminist in your life (21 December 2015) So a Masters in Gender Studies qualifies someone to write articles like this … impressive
Some people sadly missed the point about #MasculinitySoFragile (24 September 2015) with related reddit discussion thread here
Hateful Guardian writer Julie Bindel proposes Feminazi concentration camps for all men (5 September 2015) Further good paper on this issue here (The Other McCain)
The irony of ironic misandry (13 May 2015)
‘Rape prevention tips’ go viral. Upset men (23 March 2015)
29 Perfect Accessories For All Women Who Don’t Give A F*ck (22 March 2015)
Feminists are bad comedians (15 March 2015)
http://www.reddit.com/r/TumblrInAction/comments/2d0wax/tw_not_tumblr_men_that_dont_laugh_at_ironic/ (the disscussion thread from which the discussion thread extract shown above was sourced)
No, we don’t literally want to ban men. But 2014 was the year women got even (16 December 2014)
Samantha Allen explains why she hates men (7 November 2014) An example of not-so-ironic misandry
Deprogramming women’s hatred of men (10 September 2014)
The ironical irony of ironic misandry (4 September 2014)
Clementine cashes in (12 September 2013)
Clementine Ford calling fellow feminists stupid (8 May 2012)
More bleating from Clementine Ford by Greg Canning (3 June 2012)
Down under news roundup by Greg Canning (14 September 2013) Refer para.6
The Misandry Choir by Andy Bob (31 December 2012)