When people point out instances of misandry and say that it is systemic, one of the common objections is that if men run the system, it can hardly be misandrist. Usually this objection is just thrown out as if it is intuitively obvious, the idea being that men will back men the same way that women supposedly back women.
The idea is so naïve that no one who has matured beyond about the sixth grade can take it seriously. There is no logical reason why it should be true and a mountain of evidence from everyday life that contradicts it. If you are unaware of all that evidence, then that is one more example of how privilege blinds.
So when you see men saying and doing misandrist things and enacting them into law and public policy and saturating the culture with them, and when you see women opposing this state of affairs, you have to ask what is going on. People do things for reasons, and however unreasonable those reasons may be, from the viewpoint of the person doing them they make sense. So what do men get out of pedestalization of women and the misandry it entails, and what about it troubles women?
Here are three very recent articles on male victims of DV in the Daily Mail.
The first article tells Ian MacNicholl’s story:
“Ian McNicholl had bleach sprayed in his eyes and had lit cigarettes placed up his nose, his arm was also scalded with an iron and he suffered attacks involving hammers and metal bars and his girlfriend was jailed for seven years for GBH.”
Paul Roberts: (Here’s a clear case of a woman resorting to violence only as a last resort in self-defense.)
“The first time my ex-wife’s temper turned from vicious insults into violence was after I’d had a haircut she didn’t like. She dragged me down the hall by my hair, punching the back of my neck. Soon after, she repeatedly hit me on the head with a telephone receiver after she didn’t approve of the way I’d spoken to my mum. And, most absurdly, she set about my shins with a child’s plastic golf club after I’d hung my underwear out to dry without folding it the right way.”
The last one is the story of how Simon Boswell’s wife relied on gender bias in the court system to abuse him by means of accusations of abuse – this one can’t be summarized as easily as the ones above so you should really read the whole thing.
Now there will be those superficial and elitist enough to be tempted to dismiss the stories in these articles because they appear in the Daily Mail. That’s not only superficial and elitist; it’s also beside the point because the point is the nature of the comments. There is a clear pattern in these comments. Women commenters support the male victims and add stories of similar instances. The relatively few negative comments – and it is real progress that this kind of comment is becoming more and more infrequent and that it gets so many down votes – are almost all from men. They ask the usual bone-headed accusatory questions abuse victims get – Why didn’t you fight back? Why didn’t you leave? In the case of male victims these are especially cruel since a man who fights back is almost certain to be charged with the abuse he is in fact defending himself from and since a man who leaves is almost certain to be abandoning his children to the permanent physical custody of an abuser.
And when they are asked by men they are especially dishonest. A woman can be forgiven for being unaware of the nature of the legal regime that husbands and fathers live under. Men cannot be unaware in the same way, unless they are not husbands or fathers. If that’s the case why are they even saying anything?
So why do men say all this man-hating crap and why do women push back? I think it bears out Typhonblue’s contention that this system of pedestalization of women and denial of their violence suits some men and harms a lot of women. (Of course it suits certain women and their toadies, and those are perhaps the few female commenters who made stupid and hateful comments.) These commenters, male and female, see that and speak accordingly.