MISANDRY – MEN AND CHILDREN – Again

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Men keep reporting all kinds of bigoted women confronting them in public when they are around children, even their own.

I’ll quote the first incident in full, because it hits a lot of points and it can’t really be excerpted:

“I’m a child free kind of guy. I don’t want kids and I’m quite glad that my being gay means I cannot accidentally have kids and I’d have to plan ahead if indeed I wanted to bring children into my life. That being said, kids are often amusing.

 I’ve been really depressed the past couple of years, and the past couple weeks have put a pressure upon me that is nearly unbearable.

 I went for a stroll at around 730pm. The sun was dipping low and there was a mom, a dad, a little boy of about 6 and a little girl in a stroller. As I stopped to cross the road, I turned off my music and put my headphones away.

The little boy plopped on the grass and made a hilariously exasperated sigh. The dad asked what was wrong and the little boy sighed again and said in a tone usually reserved for divorcing middle aged men, “Life.”

Me being quite saddened, I was prone to being susceptible to stronger emotions. I laughed aloud, and looked at the

kid, saying “Aww.”

Mom went apeshit.

“Uh, excuse me but who the hell do you think you are looking at my kid?” I was puzzled at such a response and only got “uh” out of my mouth before being verbally attacked again.

“Are you some sort of sex offender? You’re not exactly handsome so I guess you’d only get someone unwilling and I’m guessing g you’re a faggot with looking at my son.”

The light turned and she stormed off. Her husband didn’t say anything but he didn’t have anything to say either.
I ended up sitting on the grass for a half an hour trying to gather myself. My mother died recently and I was blamed for her death so I’m fairly unnerved when it comes to my emotions and I was hoping for a cleansing walk, not to be brutally attacked for finding the action of a toddler cute. Christ.

Quick synopsis:

1. A woman accuses a man of pedophilia, in public.
2. This verbal assault leaves him shaken for half an hour.
3. He does not defend himself in any way.
4. The woman’s husband also fails to restrain his wife’s assault on the man.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the homophobic slur.

In the second incident a 20 year old man was taking his 5 year old sister to Six Flags. A strange woman walks up, kneels down, and starts interrogating the girl as to where her daddy is. Then she presumes to start peppering the young man with questions. He fends her off and she stomps off with a glare. He reports he just froze up.

Quick synopsis:

1. A woman approaches a child and ignores the accompanying adult.
2. The woman interrogates the child without permission.
3. The young man tells the woman to leave and she finally does. He takes no further action.
4. The woman’s own explanation is that she saw a man and a child and assumed the worst.

Here’s a piece gets to the heart of the problem. Notice how thoroughly Natalie gets it, although she feels she has to backtrack and blow it on the last line. Well, take the good and leave the bad; she’s not completely useless.

Here’s an incident a woman witnessed that left her gaping at the bigotry expressed. Good for her. (Note her language a little further on.)

An excerpt:

So there’s this guy playing with his baby … kid’s not even old enough to crawl, but he’s grabbin’ onto the fence on the outside of the dog park enclosure and standing on his own that way.

Totally and completely adorable, that kid … and so was his happy-ass dad. Gorgeous.

So this woman (in her 50s, I’d wager) … takes it upon herself to go stand on the other side of the fence and commence to “careful … careful!” the hell outta the innocuous “situation.”

The guy picks the kid up and holds him upright by his meaty thighs … baby is smiling and doing that thing where they gnaw on their fists and make weird, happy sounds.

And the lady starts freakin’ out!

“DON’T HOLD THAT BABY LIKE THAT!”

The dad (still smiling) obliges her and says, “He’s fiiiiiiiine” in such a soothing, placating voice.

The lady turns to everyone watching and goes, “Oh LORD, it’s a good thing the mother isn’t here!” … and walks the fuck away.

Dad just stands there, holding his happy kid and watches her leave.

I couldn’t fucking BELIEVE what I just saw.”

One last one, lest you think this is only misandry and is only directed at men. Last night the kids were over with my six-month old grandson. My daughter-in-law was saying how obnoxious it is to be out with him and to have random women come up and start babbling all kinds of advice and then start in on how their kid this and their kid that and finally she ended with this “Yeah, okay, I get that you breed. Now get the fuck away from me!” My daughter-in-law blends candor with an unerring instinct for the exactly appropriate tone to couch her remarks in, one more reason we love her.

You know how sometimes when you are on the street, some random dog will come around and try to sniff you up? You know how sometimes random strangers will reach over and pat a pregnant women’s belly approvingly with a smile? I’m sure they have only the best intentions. So what? They in are in the same class – no boundaries, no manners, no sense of anyone else’s dignity.

In summary – I think there are several things going one here. One is the standard misandry of assuming men are sexual monsters and that children aren’t safe around us. Then there is the female chauvinist trope that women are natural nurturers and natural experts on children. There’s the beaten dog male trope that you never answer back to a woman or make her mad in any way, you just placate her ebcause tey’re all too hysterical to reason with anyway – misogynist as hell. And then there is the final thing, that women are finally getting fed up too and are rebelling against this, both EvaSylvstere, the redditor who submitted that third incident, and my daughter-in-law too.

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Jim Doyle

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="2927 http://www.genderratic.com/?p=1988">24 comments</span>

  • I have four kids. I used to spend a lot of time thinking about exactly how what I am doing can be perceived by others to avoid these interactions. After so many of them even when trying to avoid them, I just don’t care anymore. I do what I want to do with them.

    On a positive note, this hasn’t been caught by all women. Me and my 8 year old daughter were laying under a tree in the park. She was curled up on my chest like when she was a baby, except she covers most of my body now. A woman walked by, and in passing “How adorable, she has a good daddy.” The thing is, the fact that anyone noticed at all made me a bit nervous, because of past reactions of people to the mundane interactions of me as a father with his children.

  • I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that at least a few of these women (perhaps most?) are among those who grumble about “men not doing enough childcare”

  • HeligKo,

    You bring up a good point, that even when a woman says something completley positive, oyu are so habituated to negativity that you still flinch. This is an exmaple of male privilege, whereby you never have to thjink about where you go or how you appear to anyone./s

    Well, keep fighting the good fight. The next generation is going to have been raised by men like you, and the tide will begin to turn.

    Paul,
    Oh, absolutely. That’s an measure of how this is misandry, when you’re in that damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of double bind.

  • What gets me is, we have spent like 30-40 years trying to get men to take equal responsibility for children, and then when they DO, we harass them for it.

    Not intelligent. Doesn’t make them eager to take care of kids, now does it?

    I want ALL men to babysit, too, not just the dads! And if this is how they get treated, they will be understandably reluctant to do so.

    (sigh) Its like when the men start to cook, and the wife comes in and says DON’T USE THAT SKILLET, USE THIS ONE! And yes (raises hand!), guilty! I was finally told, if you want me to cook, I will use whichever skillet I want, thanks, now GTFO.

    🙂 So I did! And its so nice to have a man who cooks. LOL

  • Daisy, please explain to my wife about the cooking thing. I swear to god I can’t put a knife in my hand without comments about how I am going to adjust my recipe to make it healthier. I consider unsolicited recipe advice to be an insult on par with backseat driving and crossword puzzle finishing.

    I know when I am with my nephew, I don’t get any looks of reproach, but that might be because he is a super active, super talkative *boy*. I do get strange looks when I am with my nieces, although that may have to do with the fact that they are not adults, but only a decade or so younger than me, and both very beautiful. Still, when I am with my brother (who looks a lot like me) and his girls (who look like their mom) we have both gotten weird looks. I shudder to think what its going to be like in a few years when I have kids of my own.

  • weird looks and people’s misconceptions:

    1. My ex-wife’s first husband, my ex-in-law, was Japanese. My ex-wife and I lived outside Ft. Lewis where there is a large Korean community, and everyone always assumed stepdaughter was mine frorm an earlier mariage. When we would go out as a family, peopel would asume my wife was the step-parent.

    2. I had a friened, short. balding and blond, who was in the Special Forces battalion that goes to Thailand all the time. He had a Eurasian kid working in his office, and when they were over there on exercise he and this guy woudllrun around on errands, almost always in civilian clothes because my friend spoke better Thai than anyone else in the unit. He would always get approving smiles because people thought he had come back and recognized some wild oat of his.

    Those are benign. This shit is not benign.

    Daisy, men get this particular kind of shit, women get the other sort – the intrusive mothering advice. It’s all sexist bullshit. And how do you like my D-I-L, at least from this story?

  • “I swear to god I can’t put a knife in my hand without comments about how I am going to adjust my recipe to make it healthier. I consider unsolicited recipe advice to be an insult on par with backseat driving and crossword puzzle finishing.”

    ES, start waving your knife back and forth while you are saying how human fat tastes as good as pork fat but is much lower in cholesterol. If you can work up a creepy glare in your eye, so much the more effective.

  • Equal: When I went vegetarian, I smugly told husband if he wanted meat, he would have to cook it himself, so there. To my surprise, he DID! But as a result, he does eat a lot *less* of it, so I count that as a win. But I said that as a bluff, initially, I did not expect him to take me up on it. He pretty much shrugged and said, okay. I tell people I have a mixed marriage, vegetarian and carnivore. 😀

    Years later, he told me he never expected me to stick to it the way I have, and he now respects my commitment to my ideals. He takes my ideas about animals more seriously now that I back this up in practice. I actually heard him making fun of some sentimental animal-lover types on TV recently: “They probably eat meat!”–something *I* would say! (again, I count that as a win)

    Gingko, sounds like your DIL has been influenced by your ideals, however indirectly!

  • I also have to disagree that Natalie’s piece is a true equivalent.

    The equivalent would be if there was a popular book about a virgin male being willingly dominated BY A WOMAN. “50 shades of gray” for men, means exactly that. A billionaire WOMAN dominating a nice virgin MAN.

    Now, would that book ever happen? If so, could it ever be a best-seller? If it did, would men cop to it? Would men be put down for it?

    That’s the question.

    I can’t see that happening, and we might ask ourselves why that is… that fact goes to the heart of gender roles in our culture.

  • I don’t expect a book like “50 Shades” with a femdom theme to be anywhere near as popular , although it might still sell well. Men don’t tend to buy those sorts of books and women, on average, prefer sexual submission fantasies.

    That being said, I don’t think such a book – even though I think you could make a PROFIT from it , in part because they are so rare , the market for such a book is hardly saturated – has even been considered. That IS sexism and part of the omnipresence of the majority and the erasure of a minority.

  • Daisy, I take no credit for the DIL. I just have the sense to appreciate her. We do happen to see things form the aame angle and she is blunt and straightforward, and that happens to be congenial to me and homey since the women I grew up wiht were all like that.

    Clarence and Daisy, I am noticing a pattern such that when some aspect of culture is gendered, you won’t find the same thing with the other gender but the mirror image instead. You find submission to a rich man is a common female fantasy? Then expect to find dominating a rich woman to be the male equivalent. I am not convinced yet because I havene’t seen enough to convince me, but it’s something I have started looking for.

  • @Dasiy. It would probably never sell. I often read femdom erotica online and it’s pretty popular. That however is just why it wouldn’t sell: Men know finding free smut is as easy as using a google search bar. My impression is that a lot of women tend to look down on internet porn, having to pay for it in a bookstore can be seen as a tax on the feeling of superiority.

    There is of course also the fact that maledom is a gender role conforming fantasy and femdom is a gender role rejecting fantasy so people would treat men more harshly for that as well as because male sexuality is seen as more dirty. And both would make fewer men openly admit it.

  • What gets me is, we have spent like 30-40 years trying to get men to take equal responsibility for children, and then when they DO, we harass them for it.

    Harassing them for it is part of the reason why they stopped taking equal responsibility in the first place, which is assuming that they ever truly did. The evidence for a historical absentee dad is flimsy at best. Tradcon groups, such as the WCTU, spread vicious stereotypes about men throughout our culture. And they’re still at it: http://wctu.org/ The baby boomers are probably the first, and perhaps only, generation where fathers’ non-involvement had any sort of truth to it. It’s a generation that experienced perhaps the nadir of father’s rights, which was culturally unprepared to deal with divorce and every other family law issue that affect’s a father’s ability to build his life around his own children the way that women can.

    I was finally told, if you want me to cook, I will use whichever skillet I want, thanks, now GTFO.

    🙂 So I did! And its so nice to have a man who cooks. LOL

    Women often frame it as having “taught” men how to perform women’s work for themselves. I’ve been doing my own cooking for the better part of 15 years as a single adult. But I’ve had girlfriends who would barge into my life and take over the kitchen, blocking me out of it, only to insist that I stop being an oaf and cook something for myself. So then I’ll bake them a vegan stuffed winter squash and they’ll be like FTW where did that come from?

  • You know dungone, I have experienced the same thing. I’ve been cooking for myself since before I was a teenager (and only one fire, which was minor, not my fault, and I put it out). Yet, every time a woman who has more than acquaintance level familiarity with me sees me cooking, I get hassled for “not doing it right” or some other such nonsense. Same goes for cleaning (I have been vacuuming and cleaning toilets since I was 5, thank you). When I help a woman hammer a nail, I help them in inverse proportionality to her experience with it. I’d just like the same treatment.

    /endvent

  • @EquilibriumShift, I was washing the dishes once when a woman came up to me and asked if I was aware that you’re supposed to use soap. I wanted to throw her into the mess hall in boot camp where I had spent a week washing dishes twice a day for 2,500 men.

  • Oh, and let me tell you, there was soap, clearly visible had she bothered to look… and instead of scampering off, she started inspecting the dishes in the drying rack for missed spots one by one before placing them back into her cupboards. She had invited me over hang up her curtains and cooked an amazing dinner for me at her place, but that pretty much killed the mood.

  • “Oh, and let me tell you, there was soap, clearly visible had she bothered to look… and instead of scampering off, she started inspecting the dishes in the drying rack for missed spots one by one before placing them back into her cupboards….”

    Oh fuck…… This is one part no boundaries and one part gendered permision for women to violate boundaries. correcton, not “women” but certain women, the same ones who feele ntitled to come up to young mothers or working class women and lecture them on how to raise their children and run their lives.

  • “… and instead of scampering off, she started inspecting the dishes in the drying rack for missed spots one by one before placing them back into her cupboards.”

    The soap comment sounds dickish but to be fair I know a lot of people who always check dishes for spots regardless who washes them. I myself am such a person and it just falls into more a neurosis, hell I check for missed spots even if I was the one who washed the dishes. I only bring it up because I too often watch feminists read far too much into individualistic behaviors and find gendered assumptions as the cause.

  • @UnbiddenKarma: I myself am such a person and it just falls into more a neurosis, hell I check for missed spots even if I was the one who washed the dishes.

    I’m the same way, and it annoys the hell out of some people. I always have to, for instance, flip over a fork to check for spots before I use it even if I washed them and later ran them through the dishwasher. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I do.

  • Daisy:
    What gets me is, we have spent like 30-40 years trying to get men to take equal responsibility for children, and then when they DO, we harass them for it.
    With the way women harass men for taking their equal responsibilities in parenting I honestly wonder if they really spent 30-40 trying to get men to take those responsibilities or did they spend 30-40 years whining about men that weren’t taking them on and upon seeing that men were doing the very “stepping up” they wanted from us realized that they would no longer have a hobby horse to bring up whenever they wanted to feel like victims.

    I’m sure that there are women that they really do want men to take on said responsibilities but I wonder if if women like you are the rule or the exception.

    You would think these women would realize, “Hey the more men that do these things, the less people would realize that I am not required to do it because I’m a woman.” The sexism goes hand in hand. Thinking that women are required to do child care and that men are forbidden from doing child care.

    🙂 So I did! And its so nice to have a man who cooks. LOL
    Oh yeah.

    The equivalent would be if there was a popular book about a virgin male being willingly dominated BY A WOMAN. “50 shades of gray” for men, means exactly that. A billionaire WOMAN dominating a nice virgin MAN.
    I actually looked for such a book in a Barnes and Noble and the guy I asked looked and thought on his own, came up short, came back to ask if it was cool if he asked some of the others what work there, and then came back short again after I gave him the okay to ask others.

    If there is such a book out there as far as I can tell it isn’t anywhere near as famous. But seriously if someone finds it LET ME KNOW.

  • @UnbiddenKarma, I knew this girl and it would help if you heard the full extent of the conversation. I’ve seen her washing dishes other times and never checked for spots. The entire vibe was awkward and wrong; a few minutes before she was whispering sweet nothings in my ear and we were going to go to a park together so I helped her clean up, but as soon as I walked into her kitchen it was like a dangerous stranger had walked into her house. She not only checked for those spots but would do stuff like rub vigorously at something she thought she saw and then say, “oh, nevermind…”, then continue to pick up the dishes to hold in the light and squint at the damn things. Eventually, she gave up and left, probably after noticing my blank, emotionless stare.

  • My anecdotal experience on online roleplay sites bears this premise out. Also that people are often painfully cissexist even when they don’t have to be. *shudders* But that’s another story.

  • To the same extent as women, TMK?

    “Based on the numbers above, we can make several general conclusions. First, bottoms almost always outnumber tops by at least a small margin. Second, this ratio is gendered, with women being considerably more apt to be bottoms, while men are about evenly likely to be tops or bottoms. Finally, tops and bottoms together usually outnumber switches, although this is sensitive to how we define “switch.”

    There is some evidence that this pattern may get stronger as people age. Following Hamilton (1929), it would seem that tops, and especially dominant women, often abandon their kink. It seems that very few submissive women do this. So perhaps at an early stage, these ratios are more even, and they succumb to various influences over time.”

    http://kinkresearch.blogspot.com/2009/10/sex-role-ratio.html

    As a “switch” male I take this stuff very seriously. A one -to one correspondence between male and female subs or bottoms has never been my experience. It feels kind of lonely being a male switch.

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