In what could possibly be a first for Ireland a conference has been arranged on the theme of a satirical imaginary concept.
‘Men’s Voices Ireland’ has organised a conference for November called ‘Challenging Misandry’.
Misandry for those not in the know is defined as the:”dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men.”
Not many people would object to any kind of conference that furthers social causes or seeks to make life better for others. However, unfortunately for the conference organisers, misandry is about as real as “reverse racism.”
Sure there are some women who don’t like men (and some men who don’t like men) but men are not oppressed, dehumanised and subjugated in a systemic way by society and the State. It is impossible to have an “ingrained prejudice” against men when we live in a world made by men for men.
In a patriarchal society, the idea of men who are oppressed by virtue of their gender could never be anything but a joke.
The Twitter timeline of ‘Men’s Voices Ireland’ reveals a piece that declares lesbian women are more likely to beat and sexually abuse women than heterosexual men, a post suggesting women who withhold access to children and whose ex-partners take their own lives should be arrested for manslaughter and a slew of MRA (men’s rights activist) type posts.
Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. Kimmel says,
“There is a deep contradiction at the heart of Men’s Rights movement: women, especially feminist women, must be seen as to blame for every problem men seem to be having. The Men’s Rights movement became a movement of – and for – angry white men.”
Professor of Sociology and author Linda Connolly has taught gender and family sociology courses in Ireland for 20 years. Her speciality areas are on the crisis in masculinity literature and pro-feminist masculinities literature. Professor Connolly suggests that a misguided belief in misandry can be harmful to the actual issues that do negatively affect men’s lives.
“Believing it can only obstruct appropriate action on really important issues like men’s mental health, prisoners, violence etc.”
Sexism has a large part to play in the continuing myth of misandry Professor Connolly says,