Society Ignores Misogyny, But Lets Men Play The Victim Card Against Feminism

Society slams women when they call out misogyny, but as soon as a man screams "misandry" it hands him the victim card.

Rudrani Gupta
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Feminism started as a movement that demanded equal rights for women in a world that had been partial to men. But gradually as it gained roots, feminism came under scrutiny for being "anti-men". But does feminism actually peddle misandry? And why is society bothered more by the idea of women disliking men than vice versa?

Just recently, BJP MLA CK Rahulji defended 11 rape convicts’ release under Gujarat’s remission policy by saying that those men are Brahmins with good sanskaras. “I don’t know whether they committed any crime or not. But there has to be some intention of committing the crime.” The MLA also said that their conviction could also have been a result of someone's ill intentions.

Similarly, in 2014, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had (in)famously questioned the death penalty for men in cases of rape and said, “Boys will be boys. They commit mistakes. Will you hang them for it?” Moreover, he also said that it is women who start the friendship with men, and then when there is a dispute, it is named rape.

From North to South, we have seen male politicians trivialise a heinous crime like rape, which puts the safety of millions of women at risk every single day. Who can forget how Congress leader KR Ramesh Kumar had said in 2019, “If rape is inevitable, then lie back and enjoy it,” that too during a session in the Karnataka State Assembly.

Not just rape, men get away with problematic behaviour which demeans women often- be it at workplace or in drawing rooms. Many Indian dads still don't respect their wife's opinion because they feel, "Auraton ko kuch samajhta nahi." Male colleagues still speculate if their female colleague got a hike because of her work or her looks. What's more, society turns a blind eye when men dismiss, dehumanisation and violate women.

But when women fight back and try to reclaim their agency, society gets intimidated, thinking women might the patriarchal system that favours men. And consequently, they end up equating empowering women to misandry. I am not saying that men lead perfect lives. Patriarchy has been oppressing men in a completely different way. The system only grants favours to the male gender because it wants them to live and behave in a way it approves. However, any privileges given to men on basis of gender still will be counted as a bias. To level the playing field, women must demand either removal of privileges from our society's ecosystem, or to gain equal privileges. In both cases, since men lose exclusivity over gendered privileges, it leaves them with a sense of victimhood. And patriarchy further fans this feeling so that it can continue to pit men and women against each other.

How long will society hide or refuse to acknowledge gender crimes in society? How long will men continue to join hands with patriarchy in pushing women back? How long will feminism be criticised for misandry while patriarchy shamelessly advocates misogyny? Why don’t we often hear opposition to patriarchy and rape as we hear against feminism? Why don’t people who criticise feminism also raise their voices against the normalised misogyny in our society?


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The problem is that men are the ones who hold the power and privilege to pull someone up or to push someone down. Hence, people don’t think about hurting a man’s sentiments even if it means siding with social evils like misogyny. Just tell me how many times have you questioned your own father for his sexist behaviour? Or your uncle for demeaning women of the family openly? But on the other hand, when a female relative openly critiques a male family member's behaviour, she is either shamed or outcast as a "bad influence". This is the difference between supporting women and supporting men. The prior is about going against the power and the latter is about subjugating and ignoring the ones who are already marginalised. In other words, the latter is easier as women are susceptible to blaming and shaming without causing any harm to the questionable harmony of society.

But how long will we reel under this dominance? When will opposing misogyny and misandry be normal? Until when will we support one concern (misandry) by overlooking the other (misogyny)? Why is opposing women and subjugating them easier than asking men to treat women as equals?

It is high time now that we focus on equality and not power dynamics. We need to stop siding with men and their issues just because they are the dominant gender. We need to support women too whenever needed. Men and women together form the population of the world. Then how does it make sense to value and support only one-half of the population? If the other half is not supported, how will democracy justify its existence?

Views expressed are the author's own. 

Gender discrimination