Misandry is the hatred of men as a sex. The word misandry is derived from the Greek words misos, which means hatred, and Andros, which means man – hence, hatred of men. It is the male counterpart to misogyny, the hatred of women. Although the concept of the word is ancient, it wasn’t added to the dictionary until the late 1900s. For many years, it was considered a newly coined word that hadn’t yet been assimilated into modern English usage. Over the years, however, it’s grown to become much more widespread; today, it is a controversial term that initiates much debate regarding gender inequality and sexism. Contrary to what the definition suggests, the term generates just as much discussion on the effects of misandry on women as it does on men.
The term isn’t recognized by every person; while some people – like men’s rights activists (MRAs) – will relentlessly protest against the supposed misandry within society, many others will deny that such a thing even exists. To many MRAs, any feminist movement that – in their opinion – tries to tip the scale in favour of women is an act of misandry. Somehow, they’ve managed to come up with a whole list of instances to support their stance. The following is some of their evidence for the presence of misandry in society:
- Television programmes that portray men in a negative light, i.e. stupid boyfriends, abusive husbands, pedophilic fathers, bully brothers, etc.
- Acts like the Violence Against Woman Act which protect women against domestic abuse but ignore the under-reported instances of domestic violence by women against men
- The imbalance between funding for prostate cancer research and breast cancer research
On the other hand, the word ‘misandry’ also receives much criticism. This side of the argument suggests that the constant accusations of man-hating take the attention away from feminist issues to the male-centered culture embedded in our societal structures. Consequently, the sympathy is redirected towards the male population while feminists are – once again – forced into the defensive position for criticizing it. Furthermore, many people refute misandry since no discriminatory remark or action could ever have the power to ‘oppress’ the entire population of privileged and dominant males. In a society that is built upon patriarchs, no ‘act of misandry’ is capable of upsetting the male advantage over women. Any joke that might appear to demean or belittle men is still surrounded by an overwhelmingly male-identified world in which misandry simply does not exist. People who work to fight misandry often view men as victims in the same way that women are the victims of misogyny. What they fail to see is that misogyny is focused on devaluing femaleness while the hatred of men is motivated by the experience of being subservient in a patriarchal culture.
- "Gender Knot Revised Ed:." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <http://books.google.ca/books?id=3nnxlqbN-IEC>.
- "Misandry." Home : Oxford English Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/234242?redirectedFrom=misandry>.
- "Misandry." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Nov. 2012. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misandry>.