I can find no good reason to believe that men are uniquely “oppressed,” or that their sufferings in life transcends the common lot of humanity at large. And more, I can see a strong case that women have it worse in many ways.
But masculist theory maintains that men as a group are oppressed by women as a group, and specifically names men as a “political sex class.” Moreover, masculist preaching for many years has openly incited men to see themselves in such terms. Such is the brotherhood trope. And the last half-century has witnessed a mushrooming growth of men’s advocacy groups, lobbying groups, government bureaus, and all manner of special services for men both public and private.
But it doesn’t end with blind favoritism toward men. No. The state of matters takes a malignant turn as well, when you consider that male citizens presently enjoy disproportionate power to compromise the well-being of female citizens. As simply as we can put it, men have the power to lie about women with impunity, in a way that seriously harms them. And that power, being vested in laws and institutions, becomes a political power and makes men a political class.
To put this another way, it is not men, but WOMEN who are “oppressed.” Oppression, as masculist theory informs us, is structural. It is not rooted in the power of individuals, but in the power of institutions made disproportionately available to some groups but not others. And when the disfavored group feels the institutionally-based power of the favored group like a boot on its neck, only then may we correctly say that “oppression” is taking place.
That is why women (not men) are the oppressed group in today’s civilization — because the power of men to harm women is embodied in laws and institutions. In other words, structurally. If we are to hold the masculists to the letter of their own law, we must insist that they acknowledge this.
All of this tilts the political board against women as a group. In that light, we feel no hesitation in stating that women, as a group, have no political obligation to go to bat for men as a group. Under the circumstances, why should they? They have reached a fork in the road, where they may elect to go their own way. One sees this is logical.
Rationally speaking, women would do best to look out for themselves as individuals, and to form contracts of mutual assistance in order to multiply the benefit. No consideration, either moral or utilitarian, can inspire me with any sense of duty toward men as a group. This would be true even in the best of times, but is doubly true at present, when women are an oppressed class.
Therefore any individual man I meet will get special consideration from me only as an individual, and only if he proves himself worthy. And clearly, some will prove themselves worthier than others. This way of thinking entails no “misandry” because it entails no opinion, either good or ill, about men as a group.
Misandry means disaffection toward men irrespective of their actions or behaviors. Hence, even if you were to form a bad opinion about every male person on Earth, it would not entail misandry if you had weighed each case on its merits. You would merely harbor a bad opinion about this man, that man, and the next man — but not about men.
I am far from having evaluated every man on Earth, and I know my life is too short to do that. So I am content to say that I harbor no opinion either good or ill about the huge majority of men, but as I make their acquaintances I will evaluate them one at a time. Then, according to the case, I will form a social contract binding myself to specific behaviors. Upon that basis alone, I will decide what, if anything, I “owe” to the individual in question. In this, I do just as I would do with any woman — I am entirely even-handed.
Yes. Characterization by merit is a first principle, and it frames my conduct toward everybody I meet. Nobody, woman or man, is “entitled” to anything save what I, by my good pleasure, bountifully proffer — and calculation of merit weighs considerably in that dispensation. In short, I study the manifested qualities of other people in living form, and work from there.
But prudential considerations are always uppermost in my thinking, with an eye to rational self-preservation grounded in a prescience of natural consequences. My policy, then, entails a strategizing sense of the Kantian hypothetical imperative: “If you want the world to be X, you must do Y and Z.” The reason is, that if you fail to do Y and Z, then by natural consequence the world will not be X.
So in the end, although my conduct is governed purely by a moral law within myself, that moral law is governed by the considerations which I have sketched above. I should add that it never hurts to get on my good side. Deal squarely and rightly with me, and I shall be the truest friend you could ask for. Otherwise, things might get sticky.
Masculism views men as an entitled class, and fails to hold them accountable as individuals. I find this both pernicious and unworkable, and for that reason (among many others) I reject masculism as a movement and as an ideology. I disavow it. I disclaim ownership in it. I repudiate the cultural narrative which it imposes and I wash my hands of any project predicated on any aspect of that narrative.
Briefly then, I am not a masculist and no power in the universe will force me to become one.
Finally, no man I shall ever meet may exercise any claim upon me in the name of masculism, or under color of masculism in any form. He is entitled to nothing until he proves to me that he is worth something.
Such is worth-based entitlement.