Friday, April 11, 2008

Ask Dr. Helen: Are Men Keeping Other Men Down?

My PJM column is up:

Male judges who deny men access to their kids, male professors who bypass men for tenure, and certain male presidents who sexually harass women all help fuel anti-male bias.

Read the column and let me know if you think men are also playing a role in the anti-male bias in our society.



Blogger Danny said...

Sure, they are. Any number of liber-left leaning men are trying to be more loyal than the king, as it were. These men are tryin greal hard to prove that theyare pro-women.
Kinda like all the white folks who are overcome by Obama-love. It is their opportunity to prove that they are not the "mean,racist, white people", that the rev Wright accuses them of being. To prove thattheyare better, non-racist folks, who are down with their Nubian brothers and Sisters!!!

9:35 AM, April 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course.

I hate to be direct, but if all men were on the side of men, there wouldn't be much of a "gender war", would there.

A lot of men have it built into them to play the hero for women against other men. Chivalry runs deep. Lots of stuff going on.

9:48 AM, April 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"liber-left leaning men are trying to be more loyal than the king,"

It's not just liberals- right-wingers and conservatives as well, because Republicans want to be tough on 'dead-beat' dads in an effort to combat welfare. Conservatives in this regard can be far more damning to fathers than even liberals.

Conservatives don't even know what is GOING ON. That freak/mannequinn Mormon that was running for president didn't even know what VAWA was. This is why everything is SO screwed up, because we get it from all sides with no help from anyone. The problem women have in understanding the way men think is that we as men do not see ourselves as a 'group' i.e. 'group of men'- men are far more individualistic, which makes us easy targets, which is what makes women and these male politicians alike so sick & perverse for zeroing in on us.

Plus, seeing your own gender as a 'group' is very, very, very, very stupid to begin with- i.e.- the 'women's movement'- feminism, etc. as if they are a 'minority,' when in fact they are the MAJORITY.

10:20 AM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Danny and reality2008,

I agree that both sides are fueling the anti-male bias in society. The left with extreme identity politics where privileges and specials laws for women take precedence over equal justice and the right with their chivalry and crackdown on men. Individualism is a good thing and an ideal that this country was founded on, yet if men stay too isolated, they risk allowing laws that harm men to flourish without protest. There must be some happy medium.

10:31 AM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger jay c said...

There couldn't be a movement or a 'bias in our society' without the complicity of men.

11:09 AM, April 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There couldn't be a movement or a 'bias in our society' without the complicity of men."


You have to look at how feminists and other female manipulators work: They shame men and appeal to men's chivalry.

Feminists and other female manipulators don't do things directly, it all comes through manipulating men. That is why you see feminists moving more and more towards victimhood - it works. If you happen to do a certain type of swing and it vastly improves your tennis game, you take on the new action, sometimes unconsciously.

Men are easily shamed, and the shame and guilt are very easily exploited.

11:15 AM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Many men are willing participants in the beating down of other men. It is a tremendous boost to their egos to feel they are "saving" women. For many ego tripping is what it's all about.

Like Walter DeKeseredy, the truth, or right and wrong have nothing to do with it. They can envision themselves as knights in shining armor saving fair maidens. Any warped logic, like the Georgia judges's, will do.

11:24 AM, April 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another technique that women use to control men is the "real man" technique. A REAL MAN would [fill in whatever she wants the man to do].

I've been listening to some recorded radio interviews by a men's rights guy named Marc Rudov lately.

Although he's fairly harmless (like asking why high-earning women should have their dates, vacations and all the rest paid for by men - equal is equal), some of the callers to the radio shows use the same technique:

One woman said something like, "My husband is a real man and always pays for me and pays for me to stay home. If he heard what you were saying, he would pound you into the ground."

The "real man" technique is very effective against young men and men who are shaky about their masculinity and manhood (also assorted hotheads, "hero" types and comic-book readers). It is extremely effective with those groups.

11:47 AM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger BobH said...

At the risk of being trite, there is a societal bias against men because that is what many, probably most, American women want. And these women are willing to make men's lives, especially the lives of male politicians, a living hell until they get what they want. Since these male politicians what to hold positions of nominal power, they do what they are told and try to convince everybody, including themselves, that their actions are due to their principles and convictions.

So, what is so complicated about this? Anybody who says that a western democracy is a "patriarchy" is a fool or a liar or both.

11:48 AM, April 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Individualism is a good thing and an ideal that this country was founded on, yet if men stay too isolated, they risk allowing laws that harm men to flourish without protest. There must be some happy medium."

Therein lies the problem.. just try & even convince the average guy of what is even going on- (until they get burned themselves by the court system, etc.) most of them will just try to tell you you're some kind of loser that can't 'get a woman' or some other brain dead response, like certain individuals that visit this very blog.. i.e. 'Maginas.' When in reality there is nothing further from the truth- if I couldn't get a woman- I wouldn't even care about these issues.

A lot of men cannot even accept that women can be so back-stabbing and ruthless, & then expecting men to form a 'group' to combat women- look, the whole situation is CRAZY-
just because women were and are insane and stupid enough to join a group to combat men (who else?) men are not that crazy & stupid & have refused to stoop that low. Are we supposed to be a society of opposing forces?

12:12 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

I think that real men don't really care what other people think if they are certain that they are in the right.


12:47 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger jay c said...

The entire planet is a patriarchy.

There is no escaping that fact. With only brief experimental interludes, all of human history has been patriarchal. Democracy exists because men allow it to exist. Women vote only because men allow them to vote. If that weren't so, then women wouldn't have to resort to manipulation tactics to get what they want.

Patriarchy is the way people were designed to live, and it is the way they will always live. Whenever we try to suppress that reality, we find ourselves in chaos. Without patriarchy, we are animals without justice, science, or art. The more democracy, feminism, and egalitarianism we adopt, the more we resemble a herd of emasculated, mindless beasts.

2:17 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

and certain male presidents who sexually harass women

Shouldn't that read: a certain male president?

This is likely your most passionate PJM article yet and I thought it was great. You kind of touched on this, but I think some men have started believing that we are naturally lazy and need women to help us out.

Reality2008: men are far more individualistic, which makes us easy targets

I agree with you, and it makes it harder for sweeping changes.

BobH: Anybody who says that a western democracy is a "patriarchy" is a fool or a liar or both.

Even some men believe this or at least use the term as derogatory.

2:21 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Chivalry, and the entire concept of overbearing male “responsibility”, needs to have a stake put through its heart and die a permanent death once and for all.

Let’s clarify this: our only hard-and-fast responsibilities that anyone has to any other person are clearly defined in the laws of whatever jurisdiction they live in. Beyond this, there are social conventions, based upon a reciprocal grant of position within a social setting under those conventions, that impose a few other expectations. As men’s position and prestige in society has waned, so too ought those expectations. Anything beyond this comes from nothing more than generosity and magnanimity, which we are under no obligation to show.

So men need to stop being generous, with our time, rights, lives, and property, and need to stop encouraging other men to do so as well. Atlas needs to shrug. Men’s rights activists are guilty as well, in this, for too often promoting the old, dead “father knows best” notion and trying to revive a dead ideal. Forget “being a man” for anyone else, do what’s best for yourself.

2:53 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

I am a little uncomfortable with the tone of some of the posts that seem to relegate women to an inferior role. While I love being a man, and am certainly not self hating, I think that a large part of my role is to make life good for my wife and children.

I was able to make enough money for my wife to stay home and be with the children until they got to be 5. I am enormously proud of this, and know that the children were blessed by having a mom who loves them, who knows how to connect with and discipline them, and that I gave her the space to do her thing.

I am not sure that anything is more important than her giving our children a secure, attached brain. In that way, I am in service to her.

Honestly, she is better at that than I am, she has more patience and relational connection with them. I do not see it as matriarchy that I work so hard to protect her abilility to do that, I see it as smart for all of us.

Now, she is going back to work, and I am helping out more with the kids and the inside household chores. That is just right and fair. I think that doing what is best for my family involves taking care of myself too, but it also involves a goodly amount of sacrifice. And that sacrifice makes me feel good and strong and like a man.


3:09 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger jay c said...

It depends on how you define superior. Better? More important? Greater authority? Stronger? Smarter? Men were made for a role, and they are better at that role. Women were made for another role, and they are better at that role. Men have higher authority than women in almost everything. Men are physically stronger, as well as smarter in many ways. Women tend to be better at some cerebral functions. Importance? That's almost meaningless when talking about the sexes as a whole. Where would men be without mothers to bear and rear them? Where would women be without men to protect them and guide them?

Of course, I'm only relying on reason, the daily news, neurology, anthropology, history, and the Bible for all of this. I could still be wrong. ;-)

3:37 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Mortimer Brezny said...

I'm not sure why you assume minorities aren't men. But it seems when you say anti-male bias, you just mean anti-white-male-bias. I didn't expect an article about misandry to be an article about white male supremacy. Thanks for the terrible read.

4:05 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Mortimer: My point is that we have white male supremacy now -- with the white males at the top cementing their position by pretending to care about women and minorities. If they really want to help, they should retire early and open up some slots.

5:51 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Helen --

"If they really want to help, they should retire early and open up some slots."

And, you just espoused chivalry -- step aside guys, it's the manly thing to do. There's no reason on earth that someone with bucks, position or whatever should "step aside". And how exactly would you determine that those stepping in would be any better? It's a non-solution.

How about this instead -- whomsoever is at the top and behaving badly should stop. Which is itself a non-solution as I have no idea as to how to make them.

6:40 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer: My point is that we have white male supremacy now -- with the white males at the top cementing their position by pretending to care about women and minorities.

Your point seemed to be that the only men who count as men are white men. If that's not what you meant, then a number of passages from your column don't make sense, like your assumption that qualified males passed over will be white. The possibility you ignore is that qualified male minorities mght be passed over also. That would be misandry, but has nothing to with white male supremacy. You narrowly constrict misandry so that only white males receive the brunt of it, which makes no sense if non-white men are men. To you, apparently not.

7:39 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger tweedburst said...

mortimer - Ooowee! You're really getting your PC groove on! You're just looking for a pretext to browbeat Dr. Helen and I don't get the sense you think there's anything at all wrong with mistreating white men. In fact, I get the impression you think it's a good idea.

10:57 PM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Margaret said...

I hate to suggest it in this forum, but maybe a bit of feminist theory can be useful in examining the phenomenon of men who support anti-male bias.

According to feminism, "patriarchy" is a set of systems and assumptions that privilege elite men over everyone else (i.e. women and most other men). Many kinds of anti-male bias promote the ideas that open up the most powerful positions in society to men. For example:

-- The idea that women are uniquely qualified to care for young children frees men (or at least those men who can support a stay-at-home wife) to put in the time necessary to rise to the top. But if enough people continue to buy into that idea, then women are going to have an advantage at custody hearings.

-- Many men have a vested interest in encouraging the idea that women should embrace the bulk of unpaid household labor. This belief leads to the kind of humor in "Everyone Loves Raymond" and other shows in which men are portrayed as incompetent buffoons when it comes to house and child care. A lot of women embrace this humor too because it is good for the ego and is a small compensation for the time many women spend on unpaid drudgery. (Personally, I find this kind of humor toxic for precisely the foregoing reasons. Also I don't do the bulk of the housework and my husband is perfectly competent.)

-- Men often have an interest in promoting the idea of men as having little sexual self-control. The notion of men's sexual helplessness places the burden of being the sexual gatekeeper squarely on the woman, such that she is often to blame if sex occurs -- whether it is consensual (she is a "slut") or she is raped ("she allowed the situation to get out of control in the first place by wearing provocative clothing, going to his apartment, sending the wrong signals, etc. etc. etc.") Sure, the idea that men can't control themselves is grossly insulting to men but often benefits men as well.

I should note that a similar mechanism works when it comes to anti-female bias. Some of the worst misogynists I know are women. Misogyny is their schtick and helps them curry favor with the boys. Grossly insulting attitudes about female helplessness or incompetence can benefit certain women in certain situations such that some women have a vested interest in promoting stereotypes that hurt the rest of us. The same phenomenon occurs among men too.

2:29 AM, April 12, 2008  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

If they really want to help, they should retire early and open up some slots.

Heh. Tell it to the Queen of England.



9:36 AM, April 12, 2008  
Blogger Mortimer Brezny said...

You're just looking for a pretext to browbeat Dr. Helen and I don't get the sense you think there's anything at all wrong with mistreating white men.

Not at all. There's no pretext, just what is in her actual article.

As for your sense, it's absolute nonsense. I think misandry should stop and was eager to read a piece that was about misandry. Not about how unqualified minorities are or how minorities are like women.

6:49 PM, April 12, 2008  
Blogger Nom dePlume said...

Dadvocate said it well: "Many men are willing participants in the beating down of other men. It is a tremendous boost to their egos to feel they are "saving" women."

Look no further than juvenile and family courts, where social workers, (mostly male) judges, foster-care agencies, and doctors suckling at the teat of the child-welfare system collaborate to destroy families, and sustain their egos and lifestyles, in the name of "protecting the children." In that environment, he-said usually loses to she-said, the assumption being that women are truthful victims, men the lying aggressors.

I once tried to do something about this in my state. The insane bias and mistreatment I saw happening in juvenile court, to an innocent man and his kids that I knew, motivated me to start an initiative campaign to change the state law. The goal was to do one simple thing: Require trial by jury in juvenile court when requested by a parent.

The effort was doomed to fail, and did. People who cared were mostly poor. People who had money were indifferent. The burden fell most on those least able to cope, and it proved impossible to raise the funds required to pay for the petition process. It was a painful experience, not the least because of the financial debt I incurred.

Change cannot happen unless those who can make it happen have the motivation. When Bill Gates or Larry Ellison has a child taken away because of false claims of abuse, we may see some action.

8:01 PM, April 12, 2008  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Call me sheltered and/or naive, but I don't feel like anyone is oppressing me.

11:29 AM, April 13, 2008  
Blogger Joe said...

There are men out there who act like complete assholes? Who make life miserable for other people? Who, once in power, abuse that power?

Who knew?

11:35 PM, April 13, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

Olig, I think she is talking about white liberal men who pay lip service to minorities and women, but are really holding them back. My guess is that most men don't care about quotas and just want their employees or co-workers to be responsible and reliable workers.

3:05 PM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is gonna make some people mad, but oh well...

The short answer is "yes." Women would be incapable of keeping men down without the cooperation of men. Bottom line is, men are bigger and stronger, and women wouldn't stand a chance against men without the protection of men. That is not intended to offend, just an observation. Ask women in the middle east to treat men the way they do here, or walk outside with their burka's off an declare themselves liberated from men, and see what happens to them when men don't protect them.

That said, I'm very glad that women here are free to do what they please. I'm certainly not saying the Taliban-type governments are good. They are evil. Women are not animals and should not be treated as such. But odds are, when men are jailed or ravaged by the courts, they are more commonly arrested by other men who obey the laws, even when they are wrong.

8:14 PM, April 14, 2008  
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