The Misandry Problem

Article here. Excerpt:

'Today I’m going to ask you to take misandry seriously, because Wesleyan University has a misandry problem. I know it’s a tough ask, but I hope after a laugh with your friends you’ll consider what I have to say, and hopefully bring along a little compassion. Although there are many other significantly more harmful forms of bigotry in American society, change is most realizable at a local level. And while not as serious as other forms of discrimination, misandry is prevalent enough in Wesleyan culture to warrant some discussion. It is common in many progressive spaces, and Wesleyan is no different. And with men making up about 46% of Wesleyan students, I believe there’s good reason to address one of the most accepted forms of bigotry on our campus.

First off, misandry is sexism, discrimination, or bigotry towards men. It’s okay to want to dismantle oppressive systems like the patriarchy, or hate the damage that toxic masculinity causes. But doing so by holding contempt for men is unproductive, and, equally as important, hateful. It forgets that not just men, but also women and non-binary people contribute to and perpetuate the patriarchy. We can’t dismantle the patriarchy if we can’t correctly identify the problem. It also forgets that toxic masculinity hurts men. I oppose toxic masculinity based on my values of egalitarianism, but also from my own selfish desire to not be confined based on my gender.

As a man, Wesleyan University is shrouded in a hostile atmosphere. For me, the prevalence of misandry is undeniable. Men are a statistical minority of students. This means that more often than not, women are the dominant gender in student culture. This means frustrations with men are often expressed through jokes. While the occasional joke from anyone is fine, these jokes eventually compound and add to the misandrist atmosphere of campus. In female-dominated spaces, it feels like almost a certainty that a man doing anything of note is talked about sexistly. It feels nearly impossible to avoid at least one comment when I’m in these spaces. I’ve heard too many variations on “Why would you, as a man, do [action]?” to count. I’m told to carry my friends’ laundry. I’m pressured to wear a certain Halloween costume like I’m an accessory. I’m “just a man.” It’s confining, and I don’t want to be confined by my gender. Many women and non-binary people probably relate to this feeling, because we’ve replicated the culture that confines them on a smaller, less damaging scale at Wesleyan. We’re further normalizing conventions of toxic masculinity that we otherwise criticize.'

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