One very familiar silencing tactic in gender discussions is the accusation of misogyny. Given the gynonormative value system of our culture, a charge of hating women is a scathing accusation. People have been seeing through it more and more, but it is still matter of some concern among MRM commenters. On r/MensRights it’s quite common to find comments warning that the MRM will never have any credibility as long as there are people saying misogynist things.
Credibility with whom? Credibility is not some free-floating, self-existent substance or some kind of trait that a person inherently has or doesn’t. It arises when someone finds you credible. That’s all. So the first question is: “credible to whom?”
Because there may well be lots of people, and perhaps the ones whose opinions will end up making an actual difference, who aren’t quite so hyper-sensitive to misogyny or consider it some kind of abomination-before-the-Lord invalidating flaw.
It seems to be a hot question at the moment. A Voice for Men has a couple of posts up right now that denounce charges of misogyny as a silencing tactic and deal with the toxic backlash that doing that provokes.
Commenter forweg and I had this exchange in this article. I think it advances the discussion:
“The MRM gets called out for misogyny a lot, and it’s a valid complaint in a lot of cases. I started noticing something a while ago – many of the most misogynistic, even toxic MRAs were men raised by feminist mothers.”
Name some names, eh?”
“Name some names, eh?”
Who wants to know? Think someone is talking about you? I’m not, because the issue doesn’t matter that much to me. We need to stop crumpling every time someone flings the misogyny accusation.
And what would be the point of naming names? I don’t see the point; it’s not like I think it’s a problem that needs to be fixed. Misandry was never enough of a problem to feminism that it kept feminists from achieving their aims; why should misogyny impede the MRM any more? I don’t appreciate the way charges of misogyny have the power to shut people down, to be debate-stoppers, so I refuse to regard misogyny as some kind of heinous sin. I am not interested in worrying about the hurt feelings of people who think you or I are sub-human.
It is probably impossible in our society and our culture for a man to be as misogynist as most women (and most men) are misandrist. A serial killer like Gary Ridgway, who raped and murdered however many women that was, is not half the misogynist that a surburban housewife with a gas-guzzling SUV, that drives all these oil wars, with one of those motherfucking yellow ribbon decals to show her crocodile tear support, full of giggling little girls who will never register for the draft, is a misandrist. In the past ten years over 6,000 men have died in these wars – in that time how many women have male serial killers killed?
“Yes, I can certainly agree with all of that. Was just wandering which “toxic” MRAs you were talking about is all, as I find such people rare at the “MRM” places I read.
But the “MRM” is such a hazy, constantly shifting, ill-defined concept that it’s difficult to clearly attribute any qualities to it. Unlike with feminists, many people who are labeled “MRAs” do not actually self-identify as such.
Anyway, you are on the right trail with your article. As Fidelbogen has pointed out many times, the greater power and influence feminism exerts upon the world, the more misogyny will inevitably flourish as a result. Misandry and misogyny flow from the same source.”
“forweg, there’s a lot here.
Starters – no one on any manosphere board comes close in toxicity of misogyny to the rampart man-hatred that is trumpeted and celebrated in radfem spaces. And it doesn’t work to label to call those people marginal – Agent Orange’s work on RadFemHub has shown that those people are in positions of institutional power. They are thoroughly mainstream. And until feminists – all feminists – clean their own house, with denunciations and expulsions from the movement and demands for disciplinary firings, and pull the log out of their own eye, they have no room to say anything about the speck in someone else’s.
Second – Look at the difference between what gets called misogyny and what gets called misandry – or doesn’t even get called anything at all Look at the man-hatred roiling in this thread – and OP for that matter – http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/09/19/is-it-rape-if-you-dont-mean-for-it-to-be-rape/ And then there is this abortion of a thread – http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/09/25/lets-stop-attacking-aids-researchers-yeah/#comment-528703. It is a false equivalence to equate the misogyny you do see on men’s site’s with the misandry you see in the femmisphere.
Because what is getting called misogyny? See Aych’s comment above for an example*. Nothing sets the misogyny accusations going like a MGTOW. It is an intolerable affront to far too many women’s – most probably – sense of self-worth and attractiveness to be turned down by a man. (And society condones this, chuckles at it – Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. So you’ve been warned; from now on it’s all your own fault if you make her mad and she does whatever she feels like.)
So when a gay man turns a woman down, he’s in the wrong, he’s a misogynist. Because she has a right to sex from him, and he’s a woman-hater if he denies her that. It’s pure rape culture and the feminists response is to accuse men instead of women’s own crimes.
Third – The whole “toxic MRA” meme is a damseling plea for pity. It’s not even conscious most of the time, it is so normalized in the culture that people who do it think it’s just normal. Why is misogyny considered such an abomination when misandry is either as existing at all or else is celebrated as some kind of you-go-grrrl form of righteousness?”
* I’ve seen a gay relative be accused of misogyny simply for not wanting to have sex with women. It’s turned into a meaningless accusation.
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