These survey studies are an attempt to better understand how men are seen and treated in our society. While not equivalent to peer-reviewed academic studies, they do provide some hard data that I hope will inspire thought, discussion, and further interest in these topics.
(Length: 1,400 words.)
Heterosexual dating typically involves men initiating contact (approaching and asking for a number in real life, or sending the first message on a dating site) and taking on a greater share of planning, proposing, and even paying for dates. Given this dating dynamic, I am interested in whether people perceive dating as being primarily about men proving themselves to women, like how job interviews are typically seen as more about the applicant proving themselves to the employer than vice versa. I am also interested in whether people perceive men as having less “value” in relationships than women.
In the survey study reported below, respondents were nine times more likely to say that dating was about men proving themselves than to say it was about women proving themselves (one third of respondents did not indicate any difference). When asked about relationship value, half did not indicate a difference between men and women; however, those who did were more likely to rate men lower in value, to the effect that the average man’s value was rated as 6.3 out of 10, compared to 7.3 for the average woman.
Continue reading “Are Men Perceived as Having Less "Value" in Dating and Relationships? (Survey Results)”
October 2017 saw a series of allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault in Hollywood spark a conversation about sexual misconduct in society. I don’t object to that conversation happening, but I do object to one concerning trend: people and outlets conflating unwanted sexual advances with sexual harassment.
(Length: 800 words.)
Continue reading “Be Careful Equating Unwanted Sexual Advances with Harassment”
We treat male and female sexuality differently. The most well-known example of that is the slut double standard for women (casual sex is seen as degrading and disgraceful for them to an extent that it isn’t for men), but we also have some important sexual double standards for men. The first and second (player and virgin) involve having or not having sex, while the third and fourth (creep and objectifier) are about expressing sexual desire. The fifth (“male nudity is funny, not sexy”) is a difference in how we tend to see men’s and women’s bodies. The sixth is “male homosexuality is uniquely offensive”.
Continue reading “Sexual Double Standards for Men? Player, Virgin, Creep, Objectifier (also: Male Nudity and Male Homosexuality)”
Men’s and women’s reproductive systems are different, and so a full discussion of reproductive rights needs to take into account each gender’s unique concerns. Being the ones to carry the child gives women unique concerns involving the physical/medical consequences of pregnancy, but not being the ones to carry the child gives men unique concerns as well, namely paternal uncertainty—men are at a natural disadvantage when it comes to knowing if the child is theirs. This page looks into how big of a problem this is, and what we can do to address this unique reproductive concern for men.
Continue reading “Paternity Fraud as a Violation of Men’s Reproductive Rights?”
Title IX (of the Education Amendments of 1972) prohibits discrimination based on sex at federally-funded educational institutions in the United States. Historically most known for ensuring equality between male and female athletics programs, in August of 2011 it was invoked to apply a new policy for sexual assault to all federally-funded universities and colleges. The “dear colleague” letter (pdf) from the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education under the Obama administration defines acts of sexual violence (rape, sexual assault, etc.) as “discrimination based on sex”. Among other policies, this letter mandates that universities and colleges (if they want to keep federal funding) investigate claims of sexual assault made by students and apply the “preponderance of evidence” standard when determining guilt.
Continue reading “Title IX and Low Standards of Evidence for Campus Sexual Assault”
“Yes, dear” is the characteristic phrase of a one-sided relationship dynamic where the woman functions as the “boss” of the relationship and the man is said to be “henpecked” or “whipped”. This is a common portrayal of marriage on TV or in jokes, but it also underlies a lot of real relationship advice for men. It’s a problem because taking it to heart can leave men unable to stand up for themselves in relationships.
Stories and jokes aren’t obligated to portray healthy relationships, but in light of these portrayals and especially the serious advice, men (particularly young men) need to learn that this is not ideal, and certainly not inevitable, in a relationship. It’s likely that we’re not as concerned about teaching men to stand up for themselves in relationships due to the history of men being head of household, but that’s largely a thing of the past.
Continue reading ““Yes, Dear”: Henpecked Husbands and One-Sided Relationship Dynamics”
“Homophobia is the fear that another man will treat you like you treat women” is a saying I’ve heard many times that I want to pick apart.
Continue reading “Questioning “Homophobia: The Fear That Another Man Will Treat You Like You Treat Women””
The courts have properly determined that a man should neither be able to force a woman to have an abortion nor to prevent her from having one, should she so choose. Justice therefore dictates that if a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support.
That’s according to Karen DeCrow, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) from 1974 to 1979. “Or, put another way, autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice.”
This page is an exploration (in FAQ form) of the idea of legal paternal surrender, which would allow men to opt-out of the responsibilities of parenthood within a certain time-frame, in order to bring them closer to women in terms of reproductive rights and options.
Continue reading “The Legal Paternal Surrender FAQ”
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”