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Masculism

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Masculism is a movement and an ideology that considers the sexes complementary and interdependent by necessity; masculists generally believe that the expression of differentiated sex roles is natural and should be exempt from government interference. This contrasts with how these masculists view feminist ideology.

Masculism is the ideological flip side of feminism, as was capitalism and communism in the economic realm. The first secular ideological response to feminism came from a leading Socialist theoretician in Socialism's heyday at the turn of the 19th century, and he was also an associate of Marx. It was E. Belfort Bax who wrote The Fraud of Feminism that was in essence the first Masculist. The term Masculism itself didn't gain currency until the end of the 20th century.

While some feminists consider the sexes as having the same capacities in virtually every respect, they denounce differentiated sex roles as an oppressive artificial construct. Many masculists believe, to the contrary, that profound sex differences are inherent in human nature, and that feminists who have attempted to negate these differences by legislation and social engineering are dragging civilization through a fallacious experiment. Many masculists blame this experiment for high divorce rates, alienation of the sexes, disintegrating communities, fatherless children, high school dropout, drug addiction, consumerism, teenage pregnancy, suicide, violent crime, and overfilled prisons.

Some masculists further state that sexual equality laws (beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1964) have resulted in making feminist ideology, as they see it, as mainstream - that such laws serve primarily women and have created significant unconstitutional discrimination against men. While, in their view, most feminism rails against an all-powerful patriarchy, many masculists consider patriarchy "inevitable". Many masculists accuse feminism of characterizing women as powerless victims of patriarchal oppression, and of using this as a device used to justify the vilification of men and the curtailing of men's rights. Some masculists believe that feminism has achieved a covert matriarchy by means of such devices.

Masculists, in general, cite many examples of anti-male discrimination,. They include one-sided legislation, selective enforcement, and neglected civil rights. Neglected civil rights include:

  1. Child custody strongly favoring mothers
  2. Men incarcerated for inability to pay unrealistic support payments
  3. Children aborted or given up for adoption without fathers' consent
  4. Men risking their lives in military service
  5. High-risk employment but receiving no special honor for doing so
  6. Men charged in domestic violence cases even when victims
  7. Men charged in rape and sexual harassment cases with no evidence beyond the plaintiff's claim, where the mere accusation frequently destroys a man's life
  8. Research and free speech repressed unless pro-feminist
  9. Men fired from their jobs for dissenting with feminist ideology in the workplace
  10. Hate crimes against men
  11. Relative lack of funding for men's health
  12. Lack of advocacy for men's rights, entitlement programs for women only
  13. Special government agencies for women's affairs with no corresponding agencies for men's affairs

Masculists also complain that feminist ideology is taught in universities, where it is misleadingly labeled as "Women's Studies". The greatest area of disagreement among masculists has to do with religious proscriptions for sex roles. This is largely a matter of degree; some masculists claim a general leadership role for men and greater contributions to society, while others argue for relative equality between the sexes. The term "masculism" may be used interchangeably with "men's rights movement", but conservatives in the men's rights movement often reserve the term "masculism" for the liberal branch of the movement (as epitomized by author Warren Farrell). The essence of the division between liberal and conservative anti-feminists is secularism versus religion, with the liberals more prone to take an ideological stance, as pioneered by Farrell, or a religious approach as represented in patriarchy by Goldberg. Leftist masculists are fond of pointing out in this regards that the same conflict existed in feminism until the past few decades when the patriarchal women of the Right were converted to feminism. Masculism is simply an attempt to counter ideology with ideology and in that manner create a "New Patriarchy". There's no conflict in goals, only the usual Left-Right dynamics.

Masculism, in general, envisions a greater role for men in both the family and society. Most masculists note that father custody is assigned less often than mother custody, and argue that this should be made equal or even reversed. The latter cite lower incidence for all child development risk factors in single-father households compared to single-mother households. They also believe that women initiate most family breakups, that this is exacerbated by women's expectation of full custody, and that the expectation of father custody would therefore reduce the divorce rate. One of their goals is to overturn the ?covert matriarchy? and elect masculist politicians, whom they would consider more altruistically motivated. Most masculists support opportunity for women, though some envision structural changes in taxation or other areas to compensate for the natural differences and expectations between sexes.

There exists an alternate view of masculism as a complementary movement to feminism. In this viewpoint, both feminism and masculism are attempts to correct disadvantages induced by gender roles -- feminism addresses areas where women are (seen to be) disadvantaged (e.g., pay and promotion) while masculism addresses areas where men are (seen to be) disadvantaged (e.g., criminal prosecution and sentencing). Masculists with this view may object to specific aspects of feminism, or to the expressed views of specific self-defined feminist groups, but do not reject feminism as a concept, or believe that the feminist movement as a whole is inimical to masculism. For example, Warren Farrell states in The Myth of Male Power that both sexes are hampered by gender roles of the past. On his Web page (http://www.warrenfarrell.com ), he further expands on this compatibility: "I use two podiums: Dr. Farrell, Masculist; and Dr. Farrell, Feminist." Another example is found in Fred Hayward's speech to the National Congress for Men in 1981: "We must not reverse the women's movement; we must accelerate it... [Men's liberation] is not a backlash, for there is nothing about traditional sex roles that I want to go back to..." However, it should be noted that many masculists vehemently decry this idea, and do not believe that masculism and feminism can possibly co-exist.

Recent opposition to masculism includes a $75,000 tax-paid report requested by Status of Women Canada[?], a department of the Canadian federal government. "School Success by Gender: A Catalyst for the Masculinist Discourse" (http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/pubs/0662882857/200303_0662882857_3_e) examines a wide variety of masculinist Web sites and finds, "these groups are largely composed of white, heterosexual, middle-class men who have not been successful in coping with the challenge to masculinity posed by feminism."



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