Casual Sexism


Our modern society is a shameful place: discrimination is so prevalent everybody fails to notice it.

A case in point came in this morning’s broadcast of Triple M’s Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire.

The host, Eddie McGuire, recounted a tale of an internet-dating love triangle. A married woman, assuming a false identity on a dating website, arranged a rendezvous with a single man. Her husband accidentally stumbled upon her planned infidelity, and the resultant confrontation ultimately degenerated into a physical domestic dispute.

The whole team, McGuire, Luke Darcy, Mick Molloy, and even their support staff, laughed at this violent affront to human dignity.

It gets worse.

The victim in the domestic dispute was elderly, and possibly in a vulnerable mental state. Yet, the assault was still considered suitable fodder for light entertainment.

So why is it that you didn’t hear about this incident? One would generally expect such an on air gaffe to force an unconditional apology, as was the case with the King Kong fiasco. McGuire obviously has form with these types of issues.

No apology was forthcoming because the victim described above was not the unfaithful wife, as you may have expected. It was the would-be ‘other man’, and we, as a society, have been conditioned to indifference whenever the victim is a male.

In truth there were two victims of violence, an addendum which highlights the problem of societal double standards. In the breath between laughing at the assault of an innocent, lonely old man, the mood shifted, the tone became more solemn, and the following piece of information was prefaced with a disclaimer against domestic violence: the wife was also on the receiving end of her disgruntled husband’s fist.

Imagine the outrage were the genders reversed. Laughing at a woman being assaulted, while simultaneously demonstrating the presence of mind to condemn violence against men. Were an apology not to ensue, it’s unlikely the broadcast would have continued.

But that was not how it unfolded.

The husband’s actions may have been understandable given the betrayal but remain wrong none-the-less. Violence is unacceptable and he was duly punished. An innocent third party, the unwitting would-be ‘other man’, has had public humiliation added to his injuries. The sole female in the story, however, receives nothing but sympathy; her newly acquired ‘victim’ status absolving her of any responsibility in the situation she created.

Is this what passes for equality, fairness and responsibility? Clearly it is by the current paradigm dominated by feminist ‘thought’ (yes, the quotes are necessary).

I feel certain, even without the need for research, that not a single feminist would have contacted the station to complain despite repeated assertions that they are ‘fighting for men’s rights, too’ whenever their objectivity is questioned bias is exposed.

This anti-male bias; the discrimination, disrespect, neglect, and indeed the hatred of men can ironically be illustrated by the fact that the very word describing the behaviour, misandry, is not even recognised by my trusty spell-checker.

The discrimination against men is so severe it not only goes completely unnoticed but is actively supported by the victims, echoing the behaviour of Muslim women in extremist cults who have become so brainwashed by insidious oppression they actually believe being held captive, and forced to cover every inch of their skin, constitutes reasonable behaviour. In much the same way women of last century took to the street to oppose their own right to vote, in order to maintain what they considered to be a very reasonable status quo that had stealthily built up around them.

Consciousness needs to be raised and the public discourse altered before we can have any hope of equality. Endorsing and supporting hypocrisy and irrationality will only lead to resentment, division and conflict.

__________________________________________________________________

As for a solution to the hypocrisy there are two paths to take; either enforce the same strictness with respect to violence against men, or drop the disclaimer over violence against women.

I’d prefer the latter.

Some may say that this course would only serve to promote ‘a culture of violence against women’, a point I would agree with in principle were the qualifier ‘against women’ to be removed. The problem with this example, as with society at large, is violence. Contrary to what most would assume given the public discourse and endless media campaigns: most victims of violence are actually men. It is a shameful reflection on society that this reality is simply ignored.

Despite this ‘in principle’ agreement, the latter remains the best alternative as a matter of free speech. A concept especially important in the field of humour (The above tale was a comical situation when you fill in the details I have forgone in the interest of brevity).

Were society to adopt the former, humour would have to pass through the ‘feminist fun filter’ or its male equivalent: resulting in the death of comedy itself. Comedy cannot be afraid to offend people.

“A joke isn’t a joke unless it’s at somebody’s expense” – Christopher Hitchens

If the effect of such ‘social irresponsibility’ is to produce people who feel they can use ‘I heard it on the radio’ as a mitigating circumstance in the commission of a crime, the solution is very simple: the paltry excuse should be taken into account as it is with drink driving. Attempts to absolve criminal responsibility with such claims should only be rewarded by having the punishment increased.

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  1. #1 by Sherryn Groch on December 11, 2013 - 7:49 pm

    Hi there, great to see you on here and I’ll be reading you more regularly.
    While I agree with you that violence against men perpetrated by men (or by women) should be no more laughed at than violence against women by men, I don’t see how the Eddie McGuire case is an example of misandry considering there were no women (or feminists for that matter) involved.
    What you’re talking about is a separate issue and I do agree it exists in some degree in some circles but it is by no means a shared position of all feminists or women. The attitude also exists among men as this example seems to illustrate. Our society overall seems to look down on the man who can’t “handle” a little violence and I agree that this is wrong.

    However, violence against women perpetrated by men is itself a separate issue just as it is seperate from violence against women perpetrated by women. It is not so much a case directly of physical strength as men have been known to overwhelm another man just as easily but of a cultural norm. Women have historically been the victim of more abuse than any minority in the world. Often, violence against women is less about violence as it is a tool to keep women in their perceived “place.” Rape, violence even murder have long been used as punishment for unruly daughters and wives. I don’t think I need to sit here and tell you the history of patriarchies.

    Yes, misandry is itself a problem but compared in scale to the misogyny still alive today in our relatively equal gender society it is a small one. If you’re talking about violence in general, you may be right about men being the most frequent victims but violence motivated by misandry is still relatively low. Meanwhille, most the violence against women is still not adequately talked about. Disclaimers do not downplay violence against men – at least not intentionally – but they do bring a very serious and still unresolved societal issue to the forefront of discussion from time to time to clear up boundaries and resolve confusion. Why would that be a bad thing? If bad comedy is the only price we will pay for society finally throwing away its rape culture, I am very glad to pay it.

    Interesting post. (Sorry for the essay haha)

    Like

    • #2 by Steven Williamson on December 11, 2013 - 9:38 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Sherryn. You’re my first! And essays are good. 🙂

      I think we are largely in agreement on this one. There may be a minor quibble over language. I was using the word misandry in the same way the extremists throw around misogyny every time they feel the slightest offence or don’t immediately and unquestioningly get their way. It wasn’t supposed to be overt or even gender based, hence the title “casual sexism”.

      Although, I do differ on your last statement. Maybe I’m a lil bit evil, but I can see the humour in most any situation and I don’t approve of censorship. I don’t see what’s so hard about live and let live, if one person doesn’t like something, it shouldn’t mean others aren’t allowed either.

      I was researching some stats a while ago and victims of violence were over 3 to 1 in favour of men. It’s a serious problem and most just ignore it for the reason you said. They should be “man enough” to take it. Or more disturbingly, they say “that’s because men are violent”. Effectively blaming the victim (even if it was unprovoked or they were trying to break up a fight) based on their gender or some other part of their behavior, in much the same way as blaming girls for wearing a short skirt.

      There are clearly problems on both sides, but it appears to me only one side is addressed in public discourse, hence this post.

      Thanks again. First. Woot! 🙂

      Like

      • #3 by Sherryn Groch on December 12, 2013 - 5:25 pm

        haha No worries. Your blog’s a really interesting read. I’m glad you’ve joined me on here.
        And yeah, I agree with you that censorship is never a good idea but there’s a world of difference between silencing someone’s opinion and not tolerating rape jokes and racism on a national broadcast. I think once things enter the public arena we have a right to call them out as unacceptable just as much as people have a right to say them. I’m always wary of “jokes” that disguise attitudes like misandry, misogyny and racism behind a thin attempt at humour. Not all of it is intentionally bad by any means, but some of it could scarcely be called comedy.
        Keeping up disclaimers and public discussions about violence against women (and men as well) doesn’t have to mean shoving all comedy through the politically correct rinse cycle once or twice. I definitely agree with you there. But sometimes it’s just about expecting those of us in a public position to use a little common sense when it comes to leading discussions of those kind of topics.

        Like

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