Thursday, April 05, 2012

Are Men Trained to Hate Women?

Here’s an essay on about “5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women”:


Now, this is a satirical website, so there’s obviously a bit of exaggeration involved—but also a considerable amount of unsettling frankness. Images and plotlines in popular media teach males that, like the heroes of adventure thrillers, they’re “entitled” to a hot woman and within their rights to be angry at all females if they don’t get this “prize” that they’re “owed.” Really? Men always seek power and status mainly to impress women? On an evolutionary, biology-driven level, okay. As a conscious, personal motivation? I’m skeptical. Some men must have other motives for pursuing success (to impress other men, for one thing).

By the time I finished reading this essay, I sympathized with the hypothetical woman mentioned in the text, who reacts, when the elements of this mindset are explained to her, as if she’s just realized all men are “secretly werewolves.”

Two other thoughts that crossed my mind:

The ideal fictional hero (created by a female author) with whom the typical romance heroine falls in love doesn’t display these attitudes. The blog gives an example from a scene by a male novelist in which it’s clear that the author imagines women think about themselves the same way men think about them. It’s probably almost as hard for a woman, no matter how long and happily married, to get inside a man’s head.

If the typical adventure story (e.g., a James Bond movie) portrays heterosexual relationships from the man’s viewpoint and shows the woman as a “prize” the hero will “get” at the end of his quest, a romance novel differs from the default of most other genres by portraying these relationships from the woman’s angle. And from the two sexes’ viewpoints the relationship dynamics apparently look quite different.

Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt


  1. Margaret, do you think the original article was inspired by the so-called "War On Women"?

    As I understand it, the "War On Women" is something to do with whether health insurance should cover ingested birth control.

    In my opinion, if a prescription is for truly elective purposes or to insure against the consequences of elective and recreational activities, then the prescription-taker ought to pay for it out of their own pocket or health savings accounts.

    Would we call it a war on men if health insurance did not cover hair implant surgery or hair-growth gels?

  2. Yes, as indicated by the hateful cartoon reproduced at the end of the original article, that blog was inspired by Rush Limbaugh's revolting comments on the issue of insurance companies covering birth control. To me, that's not even a question (except as regards church-owned organizations that have theological objections to contraception, the issue that started the whole argument). I was astonished at the implication that there ARE any full-spectrum health insurance polices that DON'T cover contraceptive drugs -- a basic element of health care. Even taking the cold-blooded fiscal approach, the insurers should want to provide this coverage, since it's a heck of a lot cheaper than covering a pregnancy and the subsequent care of the child.