Feminism has a special preoccupation with women’s physical safety. “Violence against women” is a key topic in feminist discourse, frequently discussed with a tone of unique seriousness, urgency, and outrage that portrays it as something separate from, and worse than, “regular violence” (i.e., against men). What is interesting, but hardly ever remarked on, is that this special concern for violence against women actually looks a lot like the protective attitudes towards women commonly found in traditional gender roles. Feminists and traditionalists obviously differ in some of the details but both sides have rhetoric that sends similar messages when it comes to violence and safety.
(Length: 2,800 words.)
Continue reading “Seeing Women’s Safety as Sacred Is Not New or Progressive”
The outrage over and public inquiry into “missing and murdered Indigenous women” (MMIW) is a major story from Canada that deserves wider attention. It demonstrates attitudes or even policies of male disposability (less concern for the safety and well-being of men than of women) from a government that vocally champions gender equality.
(Length: 1,200 words.)
Continue reading “Male Disposability and Canada’s Public Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW)”
News organizations and human rights groups reporting on tragic events commonly single out the victimization of certain groups (based on gender, nationality, religion, age, etc.) as especially noteworthy. Sometimes this is based on the circumstances of the incident, like if a group is disproportionately targeted or affected (“Gunmen shot dead 11 people, mostly Christians, in central Syria on Saturday”). Other times it is based on properties of the group, such as if they’re more relatable to the audience (“At least 2 Americans among the dead in Nice, France attack” in an American outlet).
Singling out “women and children” is especially common in this reporting. Sometimes it happens when they’re disproportionately affected (“Dozens killed in Aleppo; mostly women and children among the dead”), but even when men are disproportionately affected—which is very often—it’s still generally “women and children” whose victimization is singled out. I consider this an example of male disposability and finding the suffering/death of men less distressing than that of women (and children).
Continue reading “Men’s Lives Matter Less? “Among the Dead Were Women and Children””
This page is a resource on suicide as a gender issue for men. It includes first some statistics demonstrating the concerning fact that men are a lot more likely to kill themselves, and second some possible explanations for why that’s the case, including in the context of the “gender paradox of suicide” where men kill themselves much more but women consider and attempt it somewhat more.
Continue reading “Spotlight on: Men’s Suicide Rates”
Male disposability is our society’s tendency to have less concern for the safety and well-being of men than of women. The concept is central to many men’s advocates’ critiques of society similarly to how women’s traditional lack of access to power (and their current lower levels of direct participation in it) is central to most feminist critiques of society.
(Cet article est également disponible en français.)
Continue reading “Defining, Demonstrating, and Understanding Male Disposability”
It’s commonly believed (or just assumed) that violence against women is more common or worse than violence against men, even though the actual statistics do not support that (Non-Feminist FAQ). Here I examine some of the ways that people talk about gender and violence that have the effect of downplaying or side-stepping violence against men and contributing to that misconception.
Continue reading “Methods for Downplaying or Side-Stepping Violence Against Men”
It’s a common misconception (seen from, e.g., Emma Watson, Maisie Williams, and the Geek Feminism wiki) that if you believe in gender equality then you must be a feminist. That’s like saying that if you believe in morality then you must be a Christian, or if you care about the working class then you must be a socialist. In reality, feminism doesn’t have a monopoly on gender equality; it’s just one approach (or more accurately, a group of related approaches), whose beliefs and actions are up for debate.
Continue reading “A Non-Feminist FAQ”