Misandry and Misogyny, the divide and conquer tag team of privilige abuse

Privilege (social inequality) is a way of framing issues surrounding social inequality, focusing as much on the advantages that one group accrues from society as on disadvantages that another group experiences.

As a group role privilege differs from conditions of overt prejudice, in which a dominant group seeks to oppress or suppress another group for its own advantage. Instead, theories of privilege suggest that the privileged group views its social, cultural, and economic experiences as a norm that everyone should experience, rather than as an advantaged position that must be maintained at the expense of others. This normative assumption implicitly constrains discussions of social inequality within the dominant discourse: such explanations are limited to factors specific to disadvantaged groups – who are viewed as having failed to achieve the norm – and solutions focus on what can be done to help those groups achieve the ‘normal’ standards experienced by the dominant group.

In essence, theories of privilege assert that discourses on social inequality do not truly discuss differences between privileged and marginalized groups, but only discuss the failure of marginalized groups to achieve normal social status, effectively turning inequality into an issue that does not involve the dominant group. In this sense it is similar to confirmation biases and the fundamental attribution error in social psychology.

As far as framing of this definition of privilege goes: when steps are taken to reduce social inequality, those steps can be interpreted as two effects: reverse discrimination for one group, that is, as a loss of benefits that the group deserves to keep; and affirmative action for the other group, that is, as giving benefits to a group that may not deserve to have them.

Framing the issue in term of special rights highlights an author’s belief that the privileged group never deserved to have the benefits conferred on them to begin with. Thus, rather than the marginalized group unfairly gaining benefits at the privileged group expense, it is  interpreted as leveling the playing field, and as ultimately fair.

This part until now was just me transcribing the Wikipedia article (this transcription is from the time I first started writing this article if the Wikipedia entry has changed in the meantime you have this link) on the definition of privilege in the study of social inequality.

Now lets look at sexism and its stereotypes as products of patriarchal privilege: every sexist stereotype has a misogynistic and a mysandristic side to it.

What are the things that both misandry and misogyny have in common? The belief in the privilege that a person is born into with their gender: Men are born with a duty of leadership of their families/societies and protection and women are born with a duty of child care (bearing and rearing children) and being the support pillars of their own homes/communities.

So what is wrong with men and women having the privilege of being the breadwinner/housekeeper and protectors/caregivers? What is wrong is that those are the only two options given to either gender and picking only one of the two is not an option.

Some of the criticism I know of for the statement above goes like this:

You can not say that your statement is true because there are single men and women who do not have families and are not interested in family life. My response to this criticism goes like this: Then why is shipping such a large subsection of fanfiction  and gossip? Why are we so interested in pairing up our favorite characters and peoples into families and then writing and they lived happily ever after at the end of the pairing story?

You can not say that your statement is true because there are men who are stay at home dads and there are women who go to work to earn money. OK here is a mental exercise that I want you to try and do and that I believe will be a valid response to this criticism: Try and find an example of a husband/wife who was a housekeeper, caregiver, protector and breadwinner or at least actively participates in all of those activities. And no I am not asking for examples that are single parents or people who live alone but did not chose to be alone as they do all those functions out of necessity, not because they chose to do them and they also look for people to do at least some of those duties with or for them (or as everybody calls those people: roommates and/or servants). Also if you know someone who does do all of the 4 above mentioned duties for themselves, please answer this question for me: how large a part of your society do you think these self-sufficient people and the parents who share all of their duties between themselves belong to?

You can not say that your statement is true because people can chose something other then being a breadwinner, protector, housekeeper and caregiver. This is true, but let me ask you this: can a person chose not to take either the male (protection/breadwinner) or the female (housekeeper/caregiver) package without social stigma?

I could try and list a few more criticism on my statement above but I am tired and I have been trying to write this article for almost a year now, so I will just put it out now and ask that whoever is reading this to offer criticism if you have so we can talk about this topic.

In conclusion such as it is for now:

The purpose of both misogyny and misandry in our society is to put women/men into easily recognizable boxes that are fully defined and without any mystery, unpredictability or complexity.


About dmol8

I am a young Serbian gamer and a male (in that order), who lives in Belgrade with his brother and attends Belgrade university.
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