When something is a systemic feature of a society two things happen. One is that people tend to get so used to it that it becomes normal and invisible to them. The second proceeds from this – even completely well-intentioned people can engage in and perpetuate some really bad aspects of society and its culture.
In a discussion of misandry, I don’t remember where, someone remarked “I don’t understand how a mom of sons could be.” [misandrist]
It’s actually pretty common, if you are strict about what you call misandry. After all are no fathers of daughters ever misogynist?
There are at least two levels of misandry that are pretty common. These outlines may seem extreme or exaggerated, but see if you don’t actually recognize almost everyone of these behaviors from either advertizing, other media, literature or comments you hear in daily life or read on blogs:
One is Lilith, the plain old man-hater. She runs the boy’s father down in front of him, accuses him of being just like him, etc. Men are all sex-hungry pigs, they are all violent and all the wars in the world were only ever the fault of men, they abandon their kids (never get run off by the Family Court system – no, never). She may fancy herself a feminist or she may not, but either way she couldn’t be any more traditionalist and patriarchal because this meme is loaded into the culture like software and it is completely traditional. A lot of really virulently anti-feminist men are the sons of mothers like these.
A central pillar of Lilith’s belief system is that only women are ever victims and men never are. Any example of a man being victimized she either minimizes by showing how has not really been hurt, how women have it worse when they suffer the same harm, or how if he complains of any of this he is just a pathetic worm and a weakling. And because women are always the victims in any situation, if someone points out she is bigoted and hateful, she responds that the “violence of the oppressed is not like the violence of the oppressor.” That is one reason why it is so important to insist on the eternal victimhood of women and that women are always and everywhere the primary victims.
Then there is Gorgo, the queen of Sparta who sent her husband of to die in a hopeless holding operation against impossible odds – all while she stayed at home. She’s the well-meaning woman who just buys into the culture’s roles it appoints for men. She has no malice at all that she is aware of, but she accepts that men are expendable or disposable while women are not and their lives and safety are sacrosanct. She is the Spartan mother who would send her own sons off to war telling them “Συν ται η επι ται!: “With it (carrying it) or on it!”
She raises her boys to protect women, regardless of any risk or cost to themselves, and to define their manhood in terms of how well they provide for a woman, whatever it may cost them in jobs they hate or that injure or sicken them, in lost time and relationships with their own children, and in lost relationships with other men poisoned by competition needed to maintain the cash flow. She raises teaches them to fawn over every emotional display of their future wives, but to suck up their own pain and show a game face to the world. She probably models this to them in her own relationship with their father, and reinforces it with comments here or there. She praises men who enforce this norm and who punish other men for deviating from it.
She didn’t invent any of this, she learned it as a girl and she is just suiting her sons to live in a society that expects exactly this of them.
She truly loves her sons – just not very well. You will find her exact male counterpart in Saudi Arabia, among men who see abayas and no-drive laws and all that as nothing more than caring concern for their daughters’ safety.