Stop the War on Men: A Case for Harmony Between the Sexes | Maria Gordon

Unchallenged voices on social media, in academia and in journalism portray men as the root of all evil. The cause of nearly all problems. The source of all wars. Men are habitually vilified by these individuals on a daily basis and it’s not doing us any good.

It’s an indisputable fact that all humans, including men, are capable of vile attacks, unimaginable atrocities and unspeakable cruelties, but many take this narrative way too far.

Former U.S. president Barack Obama recently claimed that women are much better leaders than men. Meanwhile, cosmopolitan media have launched a non-stop flurry of articles portraying men as sadistic abusers that are only capable of generating harm in this world.

Boys are falling behind more than ever, and despite there being no precedent for this are performing comparatively far worse than young girls. Is there a social and cultural element causing this? It would seem so. In only 2018, ex-UCAS chief Mary Curnock-Cook announced that boys are left to fail at school because suggestions and attempts to curtail the problem, and help them, are met with ‘wrath’ from feminists. Yet, why is anyone surprised by the continued falling behind of our young males? If society increasingly moves towards an inclination of seeing you as evil and expecting you to do your worst, why would you do your best and try to rise above the narrative? It’s no wonder many simply surrender and accept these ‘fateful’ labels.

Here are counterarguments for the five most common points of attack:

1) Female monarchs were substantially more likely to start wars than men

Mary, Queen of Scots. Photo by Ann Longmore-Etheridge on Flickr.

Contra to any notions of ‘toxic masculinity’ in male leadership- researchers found that in more than 193 reigns, states ruled by queens were 39% more likely to wage war than those ruled by kings. Indeed, it really turns out that queens were surprisingly more likely to spark conflict and war than kings. In fact, married queens were found to be particularly war-oriented and prone to starting conflicts. While their husbands managed the state, they concentrated their efforts on foreign and war policy.

In short, blaming men for the cause of all wars is not only evil- it is factually inaccurate. Nonetheless, it is right that existing and future leaders should always be judged by their competence, not their gender.

2) Men do harder jobs and die more

In the year of 2018-19, 95% of UK fatalities on-the-job occurred to men, including fatal accidents in the workplace. Of workplace deaths, 139 men died- a similar number to previous years.

On average, women choose safer, indoor jobs while men occupy jobs outdoors, often operating dangerous equipment. A naturally-ocurring division of labour takes place.

3) Male victims of domestic abuse aren’t believed

Johnny Depp’s prominent case has proven that male victims of domestic abuse experience some form of hell, regardless of how famous or accomplished they are. The court battle between Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard is being revisited, however, a recently leaked audio file made in secret by the actor recorded Ms Heard confessing to hitting him, showing that Depp is likely a domestic abuse victim rather than perpetrator.

Yet, somehow the overwhelming majority were still reluctant to believe him until this staggering evidence surfaced. And extraordinarily, Amber Heard still got to keep her position as a domestic abuse ambassador.

Dr Alyson Huntley of Bristol University told Reuters:

“Along with fearing they wouldn’t be believed or would be seen as weak, men often stayed in abusive relationships because they felt committed to or concerned about their partners. In other cases, they were too depressed, despondent or traumatized to gather the strength to leave. Furthermore, victims were often unaware that services for them existed. And when they did know about interventions, they didn’t believe the interventions were likely to be helpful.”

If an international A-list celebrity can’t be believed, one can only imagine how much harder it must be for regular people without the fortunes to afford the best defense team.

4) False sexual allegations destroy lives

In the post-#MeToo era, many women are (thankfully) finding the strength to speak up about their horrific experiences to see their abusers face justice. Unfortunately, this has emboldened those with bad intentions. Cases of women deciding to abuse this by filing false sexual misconduct claims for revenge, financial gain or defamation are becoming well documented.

Reports claim that false allegations make up approximately 2% to 10% of all cases. That may not seem like much but if a man becomes a victim of false allegations, his life as he knew it is essentially immediately over. The (arguably minor) direct effect is often focussed upon while the enormous greater psychological effect of this phenomenon is overlooked. Moreover, in these situations he can kiss his career goodbye and expect to resign or be sacked without inquiry. It becomes statement against statement, and in a climate of #BelieveAllWomen, a man’s chances of survival are increasingly grim.

5) Children who grow up without their fathers become highly troubled

Fatherless. By Jennifer Bishop on Flickr.

Divorce is ugly, but weaponizing children as tools of revenge is even uglier. After lost custody battles, men find themselves completely cut off from their family. This is not only a painful thing to go through for fathers but even more destructive for their kids.

Fatherless children make up:

  • 63% of suicides

  • 90% of runaways

  • 85% of those with behavioural disorders

  • 71% of high school dropouts

  • 70% of juvenile detention rates

  • 75% of substance abusers

  • 75% of aggressors

Sadly, fatherlessness is the greatest risk factor of a child growing up to live a troubled life. Knowing this, it’s only more concerning that many fathers are kept far away from their children due to baseless vindictiveness, hatred and resent from divorce. The well-being of children ought always to be prioritized. Personal vendettas only cause further harm.

If it is truly our wish to build a better society, we must learn how to show compassion to those we usually wouldn’t show it to. We must be universal. We cannot judge people by the groups they were assigned to at birth. The only judgements we make should be based on character, actions and competence. Most of us on this planet enjoy a basic sense of humanity, are led by mostly pure intentions and contain lots of potential kindness in their souls. We shouldn’t let singular, morally corrupt individuals speak for the vast majority.

A harmonious, cooperative society is one in which men and women act like teammates – not mortal enemies.

 


Photo by Szilvia Edl on Flickr.

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