Legalizing Misandry: How It’s Becoming Institutionalized
Dr. Katherine Young and Dr. Paul Nathanson have published a series of books on misandry, the hatred of men, and unless the way society changes how it treats men they may be writing about misandry for a long time.
“If you take a close look at the writings on both misogyny and misandry, it looks very much like warfare out there,” Young said. “It doesn’t look like either misandry or misogyny is disappearing at all.”
Along with being co-authors, Nathanson and Young are on the faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University in Canada and were featured speakers at the Second Annual Conference on Male Studies.
Before giving their presentation, Nathanson and Young visited with MensRights.com to discuss how the legalization of misandry makes men the “losers” and why the hatred of men is treated differently from the hatred of women
Men’s Rights: Do you think most men even recognize misandry or know what it is?
Paul Nathanson: I think most men are aware there is a problem. Whether they articulate it in the self-conscious way that we do is another matter, but I think in the general sense they know something is wrong.
Katherine Young: When we started the study in the mid-1980s, we thought we created the word “misandry.” We later found out that Webster’s Dictionary in 1913 had a definition but almost no other dictionaries did.
Today, if you go online to different dictionaries there all have something on misandry. There are numerous blogs and websites discussing this problem. So even if most men don’t recognize the problem, certainly a lot more do now than they used to.
Men’s Rights: It seems that misandry is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Do you think it is becoming institutionalized?
Paul Nathanson: Yes, in fact the first volume of our series was on popular culture but our second volume on legalizing misandry is precisely on the ways misandry gets institutionalized in legislation.
Men’s Rights: You mentioned your second volume of work, “Legalizing Misandry,” which is of great interest to our readers and the divorce lawyers for men at the Cordell & Cordell Law Firm that fights for men’s rights. What are some of the current trends in law dealing with this subject?
Katherine Young: Well certainly the discussions on custody and family law are ongoing. One of the big developments now is parenting and who is recognized as a parent. This has come in the wake of major legal changes in the definition of marriage. For example, some jurisdictions have legally recognized same-sex marriage.
A lot of the subjects discussed in “Legalizing Misandry” are continuing. For example, who gets affirmative action? Who gets special protections under the law even though the language is gender neutral? There are also issues concerning harassment and sexuality. All those things are ongoing.
Paul Nathanson: Now the link between misandry and this is that nobody ever says, “I hate men” or “I hate women.” People find indirect ways of expressing it.
In the case of legislation, they find ways of basically making men the “losers” in a wide range of legal proceedings. Or sometimes in the case of harassment suits, changing the rules of evidence so that women get more convictions.
There’s the whole issue of political correctness. There are a whole lot of these problems. It’s not that people are saying, “I hate men.” They are just finding ways of activating their beliefs that women should have advantages.
Men’s Rights: You’ve written that misogyny has sort of fallen by the wayside in our culture. Do you see the same thing happening with misandry? How can we make this form of sexism disappear?
Paul Nathanson: I’m not sure that misogyny has fallen by the wayside. What’s happening is it’s very, very closely monitored by government agencies and private agencies, and there are massive protests wherever evidence of misogyny appears.
Misandry is another matter. There are no government agencies monitoring it. There have been some small protests or lawsuits, but those certainly don’t get the same attention.
Katherine Young: I would say if you take a close look at the writings on both misogyny and misandry, it looks very much like warfare out there. It doesn’t look like either misandry or misogyny is disappearing at all.
Men’s Rights: We’ve talked a little bit about your previous volumes of work, and I understand you have a new book coming out. So could you give a preview of your upcoming publication and what topics will be covered?
Paul Nathanson: It’s called “Transcending Misandry.” It’s basically about how we get beyond this point of social polarization between men and women.
The first thing we do is having unlearned a lot of things we thought we knew from feminist scholarship over the past 30-40 years, we turn to our own reconstruction of the history of men and we find that the history of men can be told as a series of four technological and cultural revolutions that have left men with an increasing problem, which is how men can form an identity.
Identity is defined as being able to make at least one contribution to society that is necessary, distinctive and publicly valued. And anyone who can’t do that can’t have a healthy identity. So the problem then is how did this situation come about since men are having a lot of difficulties finding necessary, distinctive and publicly valued contributions.