Men are assumed as predators even without any bad behaviour by them. It happens across geographical boundaries. These prejudices exist and men are forced to tolerate this bias in silence. In a recent case, a man expressed his experience of treated like a predator to an article that listed different ways men are treated in biased way.
His comment goes like this –
“You have forgotten that many men are assumed “predators” automatically by default of being male. This really doesn’t happen to women as a group. I have that dilemma often living in the community with mothers with children. I am gay but more times than I can even address these women have assumed me a potential danger to them and/or their female children.
You have no idea how discriminatory that feels and worst it is seen as acceptable for many of them to behave this way! The most recent event– me watering common greens — and a woman telling me that she did not see this as appropriate but that her female neighbor was allowed to do the job. When I pushed for ‘why’, she blatantly stated “because you are a man and she is a woman”. That to me is very clear discrimination.
I have no history that suggests I am an abuser. All tenets here are screened for that as part of the tenet process. But everyday things such as this play out for me just because I am a man. I do not recall ever limiting a woman based upon sex, or anyone based upon race, as that is not acceptable, but women do this sort of thing as if acceptable every day. Most the time men back off with fear but I do not. The assumed “predator” label does not apply to me— so I am not going to allow anyone to saddle me with it. I would politely suggest that if you have anger/distrust towards a man because he has abused you, that you direct it specifically at the abuser, and not at ALL men. This is what therapy is for.
Accepting this sort of prejudicial and discriminatory behavior only belittles people who were not involved and is improper. It should not be commonplace or upheld as legitimate by any organization –when there is no proof that someone is an abuser. It is discrimination period.”
So, we see that even as a gay man he was assumed as a predator by the women around him. It happens all the time with men. The most serious matter I remember was during my divorce when I informed our common friends of my divorce. Everyone assumed me as guilty and potential abuser and immediately withdrew from close relationships. It was so painful.
While Bruce correctly pointed out in his comment that without any evidence of one being a criminal, no one should be assumed as one, we fight this kind of bias every day. The cases of Saravjit Singh/Jasleen Kaur, three aspirants of Indian Army/Rohtak sisters, Zomato delivery boy of Bangalore or Manav Singh – all were victims of this prejudice. Simply because a woman pointed finger at them, they were instantly branded as predators.
Bruce, however, went on to write further and said, –
“Another point, at college, I recall that I could take classes on feminism and women’s studies, but WHAT no classes on men’s issues? Yes, a sociology class on gender roles which was standard cookie cutter bias –the way roles have been historically assigned per transcription.
So, men are encouraged to learn about the opposite gender so that we can better understand/relate/deal, but women are not pushed similarly. So, the assumption is what…’that it is a man’s world’? That hasn’t been true since before the 70’s with the feminist revolution.
As an avid HR/CR person…I have been open to all peoples issues but yes men have been put in a bad place here. I fought for equality my whole life for ALL people as part of the HR and CR campaigns –so of course I thinks its a load of bunk that as a man I am treated as I am sometimes treated. I am not the enemy and never was.”
Bruce has correctly pointed out that in colleges there are subjects on feminism taught but not the subjects on men’s issues. So, his observation is men/women both are sensitized on women’s issues but no one actually bothers about the issues faced by a man.
It is also encouraging to see that as an HR/CR person, Bruce has always taken steps to promote equality in all campaigns the actions seem to be not enough. Also, very often the sense of equality itself is skewed. This blog is full with articles explaining how in the name of equality men’s rights are suppressed.
If you are one of those who suffer from such biases by others, please speak out. Please let us know through your comments or directly write to us expressing the situation you were in. We will publish your story and help you get justice. We need to work together to fight against such biases against men and ensure that this behaviour stops immediately.
On a related note,the funding for researchers in science and technology is highly skewed towards women, getting 30 to 60 lakh rupees.This huge amount of money would most likely be from the majority of the male taxpayers.Now pray what innovation or research will these women contribute?My point is there are no such opportunities for male researchers.
“… more times than I can even address these women have assumed me a potential danger to them and/or their female children.”
There remains a mentality out there, albeit perhaps subconsciously: Men can take care of themselves, and boys are basically little men. It is the mentality that might help explain why the book Childhood Disrupted was only able to include one man among its six interviewed adult subjects, there being such a small pool of ACE-traumatized men willing to formally tell his own story of childhood abuse. Could it be evidence of a continuing subtle societal take-it-like-a-man mindset? One in which so many men, even with anonymity, would prefer not to ‘complain’ to some stranger/author about his torturous childhood, as that is what ‘real men’ do? (I tried multiple times contacting the book’s author via internet websites in regards to this unaddressed elephant-in-the-room matter but received no reply.)
Furthermore, I’ve noticed over many years of Canadian news-media consumption that when the victims are girls their gender is readily reported as such; however, when they’re boys, they’re usually referred to gender-neutrally as children. It’s as though, as a news product made to sell the best, the child victims being female is somehow more shocking than if male. Also, I’ve heard and read news-media references to a 19-year-old female victim as a ‘girl’, while (in an unrelated case) a 17-year-old male perpetrator was described as a ‘man’.
I wonder: Does such lopsided gender referencing in hard-news coverage reveal the gender bias of the general news consumership (which includes me), since news-media tend to sell us what we want or are willing to consume?
P.S. I further wonder, could general male violence, philandering, sexism and controlling behavior toward girls/women be related to the same constraining societal idealization of the ‘real man’ (albeit perhaps more subtly than in the past)?: He is stiff-upper-lip physically and emotionally strong, financially successful, confidently fights and wins, assertively solves problems, and exemplifies sexual prowess.
Relevantly revelatory may be the Toronto Now article headlined “Keep Cats Out of Your Dating Profile, Ridiculous Study Suggests” and sub-headlined “Men were deemed less masculine and less attractive when they held up cats in their dating pics, according to researchers”. Wussies need not apply, one presumes.
I recall that, shortly after Donald Trump was sworn-in as president, a 2016 survey of American women conducted not long after his abundant misogyny was exposed to the world revealed that a majority of respondents nonetheless found him appealing, presumably due to his alpha-male great financial success and confidence.
The changing times can be rough. Until not many years ago women were chattel, freedoms that the husband, father, brother allowed only, finding acceptable norms has been turbulent over the last 60 years or so. I speak for the majority, not those born to supportive, or indulgent wealthy parents, or the rare few who managed to climb up from the morass of chauvanism, and sexism, and all the other isms. Some progress faster than others and vise versa. But The issues men face are serious, and need to be addressed as well. Men have that stigma of the past they are expected to live up to, like stoicism, “the strong silent type” “real men don’t cry” these have been difficult to deal with as well. The main thing is we ALL have to show some care and kindness to each other, and be willing to listen to each other.