5 Ways Society Is Sexist Against Men (and How We Can Fix It)
Society is obsessed with women's issues, but men have problems too. And with the growing influence of feminism, things are just getting worse and worse for the male of our species: after all, it's called "feminism," not "everyoneism." In fact, we've been receiving complaints from some men's groups that much of the Internet (including this very site) is being overrun not just by feminists but also by "SJWs," which some Internet research has led us to assume stands for Skeleton Joust Wizards.
Above Right: An SJW, shown here with its "White Knight" companion.
Now, obviously this is pretty scary and threatening, because a spooky SJW could be creeping up behind any one of us right now. And so after a few panicked phone calls, Cracked decided to address this rampant anti-male sexism, and weigh in on whether these issues merit beating back the waves of feminism. For example, one problem in our society is that ...
Men Are Still Not Allowed to Hit Women
In popular culture, a man who punches a woman is a bad guy who's probably cruising for a brutal death by the time the credits roll. But as movies from 10 Things I Hate About You to Frozen have shown us, a woman punching a man in the face is something audiences cheer over. And it's no different in real life. Women say they want equality, but as soon as you punch even one of them in the face, everyone gets mad:
Why this double standard? We hope you won't call us misogynists when we say that Mother Nature is a bit of a bitch when it comes to women. Humans in general tend to be pretty equal in lower-body strength, but when it comes to the upper body, men are on average about twice as strong as women. And since most hitting is done with the upper body rather than with a series of acrobatic kicks, this gives men an advantage that just isn't sportsmanlike. It's similar to why it's socially unacceptable to punch children in the face. Most children are smaller and weaker than most adults, so whereas in movies like Home Alone and Dennis the Menace a child hurting an adult is played for humor, the opposite usually doesn't fly.
Above: A child who you should probably not punch in the face.
But there are women who are stronger than men, you say! Yes, and there are also children who are bigger than adults, but societal norms tend to be based on generalities. For example, everyone can agree that it's frowned upon to yell at complete strangers on the street, but it would probably be OK if you were warning a stranger that there was a bear behind him.
What We Can Do About It
Clearly, since this problem is caused by Mother Nature, it can be fixed only by solving Mother Nature herself. We can do this by buying gym memberships and personal trainers for every woman in America. Women's lower levels of testosterone make it more difficult for them to put on muscle, so I guess men should be banned from gyms for a while, too, just to help even the playing field. Then when the majority of women have upper-body strength comparable to an average man, we can have an announcement from the president saying it's no longer funny or cool for a woman to hit a man, and Frozen can be banned. Or Michelle Obama can do the announcement; she's pretty ripped already, so imagine how awesome it will be when she gives a speech and then tears up a bunch of Frozen DVDs with her bare hands.
It'll still be unacceptable to hit this kid, though.
Domestic Violence Affects Men Too
Men suffer from domestic violence just like women, and yet they're not always treated well by the country's domestic-violence services. Many shelters in the United States do not admit males, and men who report being abused by their female partners are often ridiculed instead of helped.
"What is that, a pink and purple bruise? Gay."
Unfortunately, male-on-female violence is perceived as more serious than female-on-male violence, because a lot of the time, it is more serious. For example, in 2007 1,640 women were killed by their intimate partners, compared with 700 men. And then you have to take into account that 96 percent of intimate-partner murder-suicides are committed by men, and that women are usually in more danger after they try to leave their abusive partners. Domestic violence shelters and other services have limited budgets and staff, and since statistically men are less likely to be maimed or killed by their partners than women are, they miss out on the biggest slice of the domestic-violence funding pie.
It also means that there is little money left for actual pie, which is sad.
What We Can Do About It
For a start, we can support more domestic-violence funding. The more money shelters have, the more they'll be able to spend on victims, including those that aren't in quite as much danger but need help nonetheless. The second thing we can do is an extension of our plan from the last entry. America's newly ripped, muscular women should be given training on how to kill their husbands in proportionate numbers to how often men kill their wives.
"OK, Janet, today's lesson is to make sure you do the murder before the suicide.
You don't want to make that mistake."
This would require about 1,000 more men to die every year, and we'd probably also have to extend the police budget to deal with all the murders, and maybe hire some more of those people whose job it is to clean up blood at crime scenes, but at least female-on-male domestic violence would be taken more seriously, and- you know, we're not really sure this is a good idea after all. Maybe we should instead focus on deconstructing the notion that men are always tough pillars of stoic non-victimhood and that women are weak little flowers, which might allow male victims to be taken more seriously. Wait, isn't that idea pretty similar to the aims of most forms of feminism? There must be some mistake here, because feminism hates men and wants them to suffer. Oh well, we'll get back to this later.
Men Die on Sinking Ships
This one seems to strike fear in the hearts of a lot of dudes out there. If a man is ever out on the water on a large boat, there's a chance that boat might sink, and if that happens he might be encouraged to wait before he gets on a lifeboat. It's enough to keep you up at night.
What We Can Do About It
The good news is that our recurring "oh god the lifeboat is full of vaginas" nightmares are not even remotely based on truth. A study by Uppsala University in Sweden that looked at a century's worth of maritime disasters found that men are twice as likely to survive shipwrecks as women, while children had the lousiest survival rate of all.
Turns out that the "women and children first" protocol is little more than a myth that arose mostly because of the fame of the Titanic disaster, in which more women did survive than men. Afterward, the British media pushed the Titanic narrative, possibly as a way of arguing against female suffrage: after all, if men were already so protective of women that they'd voluntarily die in the cold-ass ocean for them, why couldn't men be trusted to keep women's interests in mind when they vote too?
But can men really put their lives in the hands of those statistics? Let's say you're on a sinking ship and all the other passengers turn out to be members of the Chivalric Reenactment Society holding their annual Titanic costume party: what do you do then? Well, here's a second piece of good news: you don't have to go on a ship at all. The ocean is now criss-crossed on a regular basis by giant machines that can simply fly through the air without touching the water. And unlike maritime disasters, these machines tend to go down in giant fireballs that pay no attention to gender, so we can all rest easy about long-distance travel now.
Men Die in Combat (and at Work)
It's hard to get good figures about gender-based deaths and injuries in war, but in America at least, most war casualties are male. Men accounted for more than 97 percent of the combat deaths in Iraq and a similarly high proportion of combat injuries. Furthermore, 93 percent of workplace fatalities are males. This is because men tend to take more statistically dangerous jobs, not because they're all doing dares or something.
"All right, now I'll chop the tree down while you put your dick in that knothole."
What We Can Do About It
I don't think we're going to come up with a solution to war in a Cracked article, but we can at least help out our disproportionately male injured compatriots. Luckily, people have already been fighting for a while now on behalf of those mostly-male people who have been injured in wartime adventures overseas. For example, there's Torrey Shannon, who along with a bunch of journalists, social workers, and volunteers helped expose bad conditions at the Walter Reed military hospital in Washington. On the less depressing side, there's this woman who ran across America to benefit wounded veterans, or this woman who has spent the last eight years visiting veterans in hospital and raising truckloads of money for them. We looked around to see if any of the men's rights activists complaining online about feminism had done anything to help soldiers or victims of workplace injury, and we couldn't find much, but we're sure they'll get to it after reading this.
"Fuck you guys and your subreddit. I'm off to rehabilitate some lumberjacks."
Another way of fixing this is to further support the lifting of restrictions about women in combat, which many feminists have been doing. As for non-military work injuries, we can push for more gender parity in male-dominated fields, and do everything we can to ensure that women don't get pushed out of these professions despite their usual lack of knothole-violating appendages. Wait, this is starting to sound a bit like feminism too. Damn.
Fathers Don't Get Custody of Their Children
If men have it so good in America, why are they so often denied custody rights? This is one of the hottest topics at MRA meetings and on their websites, because as men's rights activists tell us, mothers are so favored in American family courts that they pretty much have to strip naked and perform Satanic rituals in the courtroom before judges will even think of giving custody to a father.
"Bailiffs, go retrieve my gavel and- wait, no. I don't want it back anymore."
What We Can Do About It
More good news for men: this situation has been improving. In recent decades, sole-custody cases (where children are awarded to one parent, usually the mother) have been dropping, while joint-custody cases have gone up. Family courts are leaving behind the assumption that mothers are inherently more suited for child-raising tasks, and these days if a father wants custody of his children, he will most likely get it. It's taken courts a while to catch up with wider social changes, and some states are more on the ball than others, but in general things are getting better for fathers who want to take an active role in child-rearing.
But there's still work to be done, and you can help by letting yourself, your friends, and your children know that men can be just as nurturing and caring as women. If you're a man, you can also help out by taking on an active role in the childcare of any children around you (ask permission first. Don't just take over childcare of the nearest child -- that might freak someone out).
Now, we realize that this, just like most of the solutions in this article, makes it sound like anti-male sexism can be helped by advancing the aims of feminism rather than fighting them. We're not sure how that works, because so many of the people who bring up these issues seem to think that feminism is the enemy, but hey, maybe they're just afraid of skeletons. That's perfectly understandable.
Or maybe it's just that feminism needs a rebranding. After all, advertisers have taught us that you can apparently increase the amount of men who'll consume a product, even a traditionally female-associated product like scented candles or yogurt, simply by manning that product up a bit. In light of this, we present to you the new feminism:
For more on understanding our feelings toward females, check out 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women and 4 Ways We're Programmed to Think Women Aren't Funny.
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