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Male Bashing: Man Bashing Behavior is Unacceptable in Chat.

By-Will

In her best-selling book, "Are Men Necessary?" Maureen Dowd writes, "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them."

During an interview with a jilted bride, Today Show host Katie Couric asked, "Have you considered castration?"

In another segment, Couric invited Jim Kelly, Time magazine managing editor, to explain why they decided to honor a soldier as person of the year and not a woman. Kelly pointed out that the person on the cover of the magazine was indeed a woman. Couric's response was, "Oh, I couldn't tell because of her helmet."

Target Stores, a leading retail chain, has carried cards with gender epithets such as: "Women are from Venus, men are disgusting pigs."

And....

"Men only want one thing. Well, two things. I forgot the remote."

"I suffer from PMS - Pathetic Men Syndrome."

"Speak slowly, there are men in the room."

"If his lips are moving, he's lying honey."

These are only of few examples of the ubiquity of male bashing in our culture. Television commercials show men as cumbersome goofs, incapable of doing simple, daily tasks.

Men in situation comedies are portrayed as insensitive, not caring about their families, friends or responsibilities. Often, men are represented as submissive sidekicks to their wives or girlfriends.

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Sound familiar? Have you experienced bitterness in seeing women as affable halfwits in the press, television or everyday life? Your anger is justified when you see inappropriate, demeaning ways people treat others. It is called gender bigotry and the double standard is, "man bashing."

Slanderous remarks directed towards women, men, race, religion, economic/social status or physical/mental disabilities, simply are unacceptable. Imagine what would happen if any male television interviewer would ask a jilted bridegroom, "Have you considered tearing out her uterus?" His employment would have been terminated. He would be fortunate to ever find a job in broadcast journalism again.

Would you want to live in a society where degrading remarks, such as "Women are from Venus, Jews are disgusting pigs," are used as models to teach children how to behave and treat others?

How about, "Speak slowly; a Latino just entered the room?" Or how about "Poor Asian Syndrome" as an acceptable part of language in our culture? I can't perceive anyone in mainstream media saying such things. Why, then, is male bashing pervasive?

I talked about this topic with friends and acquaintances, both women and men I know personally and others from our transsexual chat room. (Editor's note: We have had plenty of feedback about male bashing in our chat room, which is why I wanted this article written.)

The sentiment from most men I spoke about the topic at hand was, "I have heard remarks about male bashing, but I simply do not have time to feel one way or the other about it. I'm too busy building and maintaining a relationship with my wife and seeing that our children are raised and educated in the best way we know how."

A friend of mine, a woman in her early 40s, said, "Women my age or younger are fed up with the feminist movement. Initially they had good points! While most people (men included) feel that equal rights are essential, they have done more harm by distancing men and women by use of propaganda."

While origin of gender bigotry is too broad of a subject for this article, a report on male bashing in our community is needed. All too often, we see defamatory remarks involving bigotry. Our community TSG chat room is no exception.

Male bashing, in our chat room often starts when a new man enters the room for the first time. It is common to make mistakes and break rules. An infraction of the rules should always be pointed out to the "newbie." Occasionally, though, comments such as "Typical, he is a male," Or, "Can't this guy read?" and, "Oh duh, he's a male," flash on the screen. No wonder men are afraid to ask questions, start a conversation or tell a joke. When seeing remarks such as these, most men become too intimated to become a part of the community. A hasty exit, never to return, is common.

Our chat room is not the exclusive domain of a small minority of men who have passed the "acid test" given by resident women. It should be an inclusive, comfortable place for anyone who is interested.

Each of us was new at one time. I remember the frustration of trying to navigate during my first visit to TSG. Having never been in a chat room of any type, I didn't know how to communicate. I thought the way to talk to someone, was to click on their name and start chatting. My first night was almost my last .I was accused of PMing someone without their permission. I told the Room Monitor in charge how this is new to me and please hold up 'til I got my bearings. Once acclimated to the mechanics of the room, I used common sense in how to approach people for conversation. Thankfully, the RM in charge had the patience and understanding to help guide me along.

One woman from the room had this to say to say about being new to "chat": "Everyone was a newbie once and has experienced some sort of (endless) learning curve. I hope that we could be sensitive to the difficulties of people coming out as trans-people or trans-admirers and educate."

A male acquaintance said, "How can a new man find the right way to someone's heart? Shoot him right away, or help him to understand what's what and let him grow and learn?"

Justification for gender discrimination is varied. Another woman viewed male bashing from a relationship perspective: "To protest male bashing is like bees protesting honey. Betrayal from a lover is a deep cut."

While betrayal is painful, haven't we all experienced it? Many men feel reluctant to start new relationships based on unfaithfulness from someone they loved. She continued with, "Women are the fresh blood being poured into the sea for sharks to feed on. We are defensive and angry because we are treated like disposable products." This often occurs. However, when men are manipulated by women, we are not allowed to talk about it. This is a double standard. Women have complained for decades that men don't "share their feelings," yet when truth about abuse of any type is evidenced, we are relegated to the "whiner's circle."

Another woman commented that "Male bashing is done in anger. Someone had a bad date or got a nasty PM or broke up. Someone was treated badly, thoughtlessly, rudely, by a man. The woman in question lashes out in anger at the next available man target."

A nasty PM or a rude comment from anyone is not justification to lash out at an innocent passer-by. It is disrespectful and shows insensitivity. How can a man have respect for anyone who assails him with insult, speculation and conjecture? Mutual understanding is given when people can honor others as they would themselves. It can also begin by men informing women who feel entitled to make disparaging remarks, that what they are doing is inappropriate.

None of us are smarter, or better, than others. Whether it is intelligence, spirituality, creativity or moral strength, neither gender can lay exclusive claim to most any territory of life.

A friend had this to say about the issue: "I personally do not consider the men of the species to be inferior or superior. They simply are. Some may be more appealing for an infinite variety of reasons, but to consider them good or bad is no more appropriate for considering us for the same reasons." She continued with a question for women from our community; "How can we, who have experienced some of the worse prejudices life has to offer, not be sympathetic to anyone we might consider less fortunate than us, whatever the reason?"

Most men will never be part of the same club as a Bob Dylan, Ezra Pound. Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Cronkite, Mahatma Gandhi, Jonas Salk or others who made contributions to humanity through the arts, medicine, philosophy and writing. Many of us, however, are part of a global movement to make the world a little bit better place to live. Whether by instilling ideas of tolerance to our children, helping out a neighbor in need, or making someone's day with a warm smile, men everywhere want and need to bring good to the world.

Male bashing is not just a problem for the men and women today. If we don't put a stop to it now, it is a problem for our children and generations to come.


Copyright 2006 by the author, all rights reserved.


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The topic of this page is Male Bashing, That Man Bashing Behavior is Unacceptable in Chat.