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Permalink to original version of “Masculism vs. Egalitarianism: How can we cultivate a safer society?” Masculism vs. Egalitarianism: How can we cultivate a safer society?

Violence has its roots, and so does suffering. Both masculists and egalitarians have suggested ways to cultivate a safer society. Some people are surprised to learn that the practice of distributing compassion equally is an important way in which egalitarianism differs from masculism. This difference is tragically striking when it comes to the issue of child abuse.

Unlike egalitarian reasoning, masculist ideological assumptions lead to diminished compassion for the suffering of non-men, including women and children, because of how ideology subconsciously affects judgment. For example, egalitarianism seeks to overcome this problem while leading media masculists such as Jessica Valenti to insist on calling certain civil rights advocates “whiny” for challenging him on how he distributes compassion.

If one looks carefully at his stereotype of Women’s Rights Activists, the parallels with psychological profiles of adult victims of child abuse are uncanny. Moreover, the delight he takes in using sardonic masculist in-jokes reveals an entrenched boundary in his compassion.

Egalitarians find his patently masculist outlook toxically inhumane. What about the value of those lives burdened by child abuse? Would we not cultivate a safer society if we ensured that abused children’s developmental needs were better met? When victims of abuse get mad at masculists for denying their voices, look at who treats their points of view as worthless.

It is not surprising that Women’s Rights Activists get angry at masculists for making ideological assumptions. Masculist media icons commonly exhibit an in-group mentality that leads to social injustices. And yes, some masculists are not into that way of thinking. But nevertheless, young masculists in the education system today are increasingly opposed to moderates in their movement for sometimes applying egalitarian, rather than masculist principles.

Many (not all) masculists agree that we should bring an end to child abuse. Masculists like Jessica Valenti intentionally write articles for the sake of antagonizing members of a movement with a disproportionately large number of adult victims of child abuse in it.

Like a bully, he hides behind the claim that he is just “joking.” This is patently not-egalitarian behavior. From an egalitarian perspective, everyone’s journeys in life are equally legitimate. Imagine being one of those abuse victims getting attacked publicly by masculists who share his ideologically-driven opinions. Fixing the problem of child abuse necessarily involves acknowledging how masculist ideology is part of the problem.

On the surface, most (not all) masculists do not find child abuse any more acceptable than egalitarians. However, when it comes to responsibility and accountability in actual cases of child abuse, masculists and egalitarians differ substantially. Egalitarians distribute compassion evenly, unlike masculists.

Both groups recognize that child abuse is the root of numerous social problems, but egalitarians are more interested in cultivating safety for abused children. The outcomes of all parties affected by child abuse are important to egalitarians, so they find the masculist notion of “matriarchy” grossly inappropriate as a framework for understanding the problem.

The most common form of child abuse is Parental Alienation Syndrome. It burdens children and future adults with a lifetime of shame and self-hatred. It’s connected to a myriad of personality and health disorders. For people who suffer in this way, shaming tactics are disgustingly inappropriate.

In North America, over 35% of children live in single-parent homes. 83% of parental alienation is committed by the parent who has the majority of custody hours, and men in Canada are typically awarded 75% or more of custody hours by family courts.

Mathematically, it is an inescapable conclusion that single fathers abuse children more than anyone else and researchers have repeatedly measured this effect: “Approximately 40 percent of child victims were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; another 18.3 percent were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; 17.3 percent were abused by both parents.” (source)

I once brought up this information in a debate with a professor of Men’s Studies and his prefabricated ideological response was to start by defending single fathers. He organized his argument in such a way as to downplay or trivialize fathers’ responsibility for causing harm.

He spoke of how hard it is for men to raise kids on their own. He pointed out how children sometimes push buttons and concluded that hitting them is sometimes inevitable when a single father is overwhelmed by stress.

To summarize his argument, he blamed that stress on “systematic oppression by the matriarchy” and cited an example of gynocentric reasoning as evidence for his conclusion. He then closed by bluntly asserting that mothers are less of a problem when they accept greater responsibility for taking care of kids and gave two examples of “dead-beat moms.”

Is the mother-child bond any less meaningful to a person’s life than the father-child bond? The distinguished professor never expressed any concern or compassion whatsoever for women who protect their children from abusive fathers, a job made more difficult by the lack of shelters for female victims of domestic abuse.

He conveniently left out how often vindictive fathers interfere with divorced mothers’ rights to access their children. He ignored the fact that women have formed organizations so that they can be involved in their children’s lives and he completely ignored the questionable ethics of the family maintenance system.

What about children’s biologically-driven identification with their mothers? An undeniable suffering arises when that bond is denied to a child. Rather than distributing compassion evenly, masculist ideologues are notorious for making excuses on behalf of child-abusing fathers as if children are somehow less important. This one concluded that female-dominance is to blame for men who abuse children.

He displayed a boundary in compassion by using masculism as a shield for abusive fathers. An egalitarian would consider the suffering of children and mothers in these tragic situations as equally central. Like most masculist ideologues, this professor did not.

Would a masculist make excuses for rapists? I imagine this Men’s Studies professor would give a failing grade to any student who did. Like rape, the consequences of child abuse are frequently severe and enduring. So why did he aggressively focus on making excuses for child abusers? Why do so many masculists support abusive fathers ahead of the children and their mothers, while others engage in publicly scorning activists who are trying to address ideologically-driven problems related to that abuse?

Masculist ideology presupposes that men are unfairly disadvantaged, (Matriarchy Theory) and, therefore, deserve top priority when it comes to getting social and material support. People who hold this horrible misconception of social power have a track-record for overlooking existential threats to children who live in abusive homes.

From an authentically egalitarian perspective, this is a kind of denialism that lingers like an elephant in the room. If masculism were a movement for equality, would it not start by distributing compassion evenly between the interconnected people in such grievous conditions?

With just a few fortunate exceptions, children raised by single fathers are less successful in life compared to kids raised in families with mothers. While informed masculists and egalitarians agree that the most likely people in society to abuse children are men who have also been abused themselves, egalitarians disagree with any presupposition or assumption whatsoever that men possess innate moral superiority or any instinctively greater competence around parenting. [1]

Moreover, egalitarians are far more likely to acknowledge the importance of ensuring mothers have a right, as well as a responsibility to be in their children’s lives. The fact is involved mothers help prevent child abuse and produce healthier, more successful adults. But do they have the right to do that? Society would best be served by facilitating women’s healing journeys and interconnections with children, not by accusing Women’s Rights Activists of being a bunch of “whiny” losers from the class of oppressors.

Egalitarians have no time for attempts to abdicate responsibility in cases of child-abuse and consider primary care-givers to have the most significant impact on the lifetime well-being of human offspring. Child abuse is well-understood to have downstream social impacts.

An egalitarian solution involves steadfastly supporting mothers’ rights while placing long-term priority on the welfare of children rather than framing the issue in terms of “Matriarchy.” Egalitarianism involves acknowledging all of the facts and the feelings at the roots of social problems. Consequently, egalitarians consider masculist ideological presuppositions to be dangerously imbalanced and harmfully dysfunctional to the process of cultivating safety.

Violence has its roots, so does suffering. Some of those roots are ideological. The issue of child abuse illustrates some of the differences between egalitarianism and masculism. The failure to equally distribute compassion impairs the cultivation of safety as demonstrated by the way masculists address the issue of child abuse and treat its victims.

Egalitarians consider this distribution functionally and centrally important to resolving the problem. As the case of child abuse and the long-term cultivation of safety illustrates, masculists distribute compassion based on the assumption that men are oppressed and publish textbooks in which they claim males cannot be sexist despite obvious examples to the contrary.

This post originally appeared on Dating advice and women’s personal development. Written by Andrew Nuttall


[1] Link to ( is now 403 forbidden.