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"Masculism" may also refer to the clinical condition of male physical traits appearing in a woman, see masculinization.

Masculinism (also Masculism) is the advocacy of men's rights, and the adherence to or promotion of social theories and moral philosophies regarded as typical of males. The term masculinism was coined as the counterpart of feminism in the early 20th century. The shortened form masculism appears in the 1980s.[1]

As a political movement, "Masculism" originates with E. Belfort Bax' 1913 The Fraud of Feminism. The term Masculism itself gained currency in the late 20th century, the 1990s or 2000s, in the context of changing gender roles, advocated by authors such as Warren Farrell.


[edit] Masculist concerns

Masculists cite one-sided legislation, selective enforcement, and neglected civil rights as examples of discrimination against men and boys. Examples of questions raised by masculists may include:

[edit] Violence

Masculist concerns focus on societal acceptance of violence harming men paired with the stigma against violence harming women, as well as males being taught or expected to take on violent roles.

  • men forced to risk their lives in male-only conscripted military service.
  • violence against men minimalized or taken less seriously than violence against women [3] [4]
  • depiction of violence against men as humorous, in the media[2] and elsewhere (see Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!), when women are also violent.
  • assumption of female innocence or sympathy for women, which may result in problems such as disproportionate penalties for men and women for similar crimes,[2] lack of sympathy for male victims in domestic violence cases, and dismissal of female-on-male rape cases.
  • societal failure to address prison rape issues such as prevention (e.g., reducing prison crowding that requires sharing of cells), impunity, and even correctional staff punishing prisoners by confining them with known rapists.[3] Attention has been drawn to portrayals of male rape by women, or implied rape, as humorous.
  • Circumcision (characterized as harmless tradition by some, and as male genital mutilation by others) being advocated while female genital mutilation is prohibited.[4]

[edit] Parenting

  • equality in child custody, such as shared parenting
  • pregnancies carried to term despite agreements ahead of time that they would not be, subjecting men to unwanted parental responsibilities and/or child support expectations (see Dubay v. Wells)
  • The opposite of the above, where a man who feels he wants to have a child has no say in whether his girlfriend/wife aborts their child (see paternal rights and abortion)
  • Equality in adoption rights allowing either unmarried males or females to adopt.

[edit] Discrimination

  • Legislation that addresses women's needs without considering the corresponding need in men (e.g., Women, Infants, and Children Act; Violence Against Women Act)
  • Biases in the justice system against men, such as higher incarceration rates and longer sentences for men (compared to women) for the same crimes
  • Statutory rape laws enforced more vehemently in instances where the victim is female and/or the perpetrator is male.[5]
  • Rape shield laws, which may prevent some men from adequately challenging their accuser
  • Cathy Young, who does not consider herself a "masculinist," argues that in rape cases, "the dogma that "women never lie" means that there is, for all intents and purposes, no presumption of innocence for the defendant"[5]
  • Women may marry at younger ages than men in some U.S. states. [6])
  • Men pay higher premiums for auto[6], life and disability insurance, though discrimination according to race or other criteria is prohibited.
  • In some countries, men have to pay more income tax than their female counterparts. Eg in India the income tax exemption limit for men is Rs 1,50,000 per annum while that for women is Rs 1,80,000 per annum.[7]
  • Men not being believed after having been raped by their wife, girlfriend or fiancee; lesser or no penalty for women that rape men

[edit] Social concerns

  • Increasing suicide rate among young men, four times higher than among young women [7]; (73% of all suicide deaths are white males in the United States;[8] In the United States, more men than women report a history of attempted suicide, with a gender ratio of 3:1)[8]
  • It's usually seen as socially acceptable for a female to try out or follow masculine social norms, whereas if a male does the same for feminine social norms they often attract unwanted attention and are victims of ridicule and insult, with derogatory terms like "pussy" and "faggot" being used.
  • Lack of advocacy for men's rights; more social programs for women than for men.[vague]
  • Bias in health concerns; for example, more advertisements and awareness for breast cancer than prostate cancer, though both cancers kill approximately the same number of people each year.[citation needed]
  • Incarceration for not paying child support, particularly for unwanted children, in contrast to women's right to abort (see Male abortion)
  • Special government agencies for women's affairs with no corresponding agencies for men's affairs
  • Lack of legal ramifications or enforcement for paternity fraud
  • Lack of positive reinforcement and role-models for young boys in the media, while presentation of positive female figures is a large aspect of much of the media.[dubious ]
  • Men are often expected to behave in a macho way. There are also expectations for women to behave in a certain way but not to the extent that it occurs in men.

[edit] Education

  • Lack of educational aid for boys and men, given that their performance/enrollment at most levels lags behind that of girls and women; some states declaring (de jure or de facto) all-male schools illegal and all-female schools legal.
  • Investing money addressing female underachievement in mathematics or sciences, while ignoring male underachievement in reading.
  • There is concern that some university women's studies departments are more concerned with teaching feminist ideology than equality of gender. The content and emphasis of these courses vary, and some even discuss "masculinities"; but masculists fear that many such courses contribute to animosity towards men.
  • Some universities also carry men's studies courses. Some feminists argue that these are redundant, stating that academia throughout history was predominantly focused on men; however, supporters of these courses note that most subjects throughout history have not dealt with gender directly.

[edit] Employment

  • Harder physical entrance criteria for men in many occupations, such as the army, police and fire service. Requiring men to be physically stronger than women in these occupations leaves men responsible for a greater share of the physical work, for no more pay.[citation needed]
  • Legal inequality and protections of paternal vs. maternal leave[citation needed]

[edit] Differences in masculist ideology

There is no consensus as to what exactly constitutes "masculism." Some feel the word describes a belief that the male and female genders should be considered complementary and interdependent by necessity. Such expressions of masculism are built around the belief that differentiated gender roles are natural and should be exempt from government interference. Others masculists, such as Warren Farrell, support an ideology of equivalence between the sexes, rather than a belief in unchangeable gender differences. A more encompassing definition might be "a movement to empower males in society, and to redress discrimination against men."

Because it is the name of a political and social movement, masculism is sometimes considered synonymous with the men's rights or fathers' rights movements. However, many of the fathers' rights movement make a clear distinction between masculism and their own often quite varied approaches to gender relations.

Some masculists[who?] state that there is a covert matriarchy and that one of their goals is to overturn it, and elect masculist politicians, whom they would consider more altruistically motivated. Theorists such as David Constantine envision structural changes in taxation or other areas to compensate for what they see as natural differences and expectations between genders.

Gender roles in religion are a source of disagreement among masculists: some support a general leadership role for men, while others argue for relative equality between the genders. Liberal masculists such as Warren Farrell tend to favor a secular, gender-neutral stance, whereas conservatives tend to prefer a religious approach, such as represented in The Inevitability of Patriarchy by Steven Goldberg. Conservatives may promote a "New Patriarchy" by countering feminist ideology with their own. Such liberal-conservative dynamics illustrate the diversity of a movement that nonetheless has a unified purpose of promoting men's welfare.

[edit] Progressive Masculism

Progressives masculists view masculism as a complementary movement to feminism, both movements seeking to correct gender discrimination. Progressive masculists do not reject feminism as a movement nor consider feminism a hostile movement and adopt cooperative vision. [9]

Warren Farrell, widely seen as a progressive Masculinist stated in The Myth of Male Power that both genders are hampered by the "bisexist" roles of the past: sexism that oppresses both genders.[10] He emphasises the compatibility of both movements: "I use two podiums to debate myself as a feminist and masculist".[11] Fred Hayward, in his speech to the National Congress for Men in 1981, states: "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." Farrell suggests that masculism in his conception can assist and aid the women's movement.

Likewise, gender egalitarians call for both masculists and feminists who are truly interested in equality to unite under one banner of gender egalitarianism. This philosophy is sympathetic to legitimate grievances of both males and females.

The principle of defining masculism on is by reverting the definition of feminism and including the same two levels – men are subordinate to women, this condition has to be changed. Masculism carries assumptions about the proper distribution of power and privilege and serves as the bases for a plan of action. Masculism here is defined as a tool to reveal gender inequality. It focuses on the domination of women over men and claims that men are oppressed by hierarchal structures and stereotypes in different levels of society. The scapegoats of masculism are women and domains of female dominans, claimed to be responsible for all the injustice done to men in particular and society in general. Men and women both are found equaly responsible for the unsatisfying relations between sexes. Where does the reponsibility of women lie? Check matriarchy

[edit] Literary theory

Masculist literary theory is a response to feminist literary theory. The term was coined by Rachel Bishop in "The Masculinist Manifesto".[citation needed]

[edit] See also

[edit] Men's movements and organizations

[edit] People associated with masculism

[edit] Bibliography

  • Sex Differences, Modern Biology and the Unisex Fallacy, Yves Christen
  • Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women; Christina Hoff Sommers ISBN 0-684-80156-6
  • The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men; Christina Hoff Sommers ISBN 0-684-84956-9
  • Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren't Supposed to Know by Thomas B. James ISBN 1-59330-122-7
  • Ceasefire! : Why Women And Men Must Join Forces To Achieve True Equality; Cathy Young ISBN 0-684-83442-1
  • The Masculine Mystique; Andrew Kimbrell ISBN 0-345-38658-2

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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