Male bashing

At first glance it looks like men don’t care that woman are being raped, beaten, bruised, pushed around, punched, slapped, kicked, bitten, thrown, tied up, locked in, followed, interrogated, humiliated, mutilated, tortured, terrorized, shot, kicked, choked, and bludgeoned to death by their husbands, boyfriends and ex’s. At first it does seem as though we just don’t care. But with a closer look, it appears that the general silence or apathy most men show toward the issue of men’s violence against women is only a disguise. It’s a mask that comes undone at the first hint of female resistance. Usually, at the slightest suggestions that men shouldn’t attack or terrorize women, the veil of silent disregard which protects men’s privilege to abuse women drops.

In its place rises an arsenal of male resistance that is often startling in its scope, not only by the sheer number of tactics deployed but also by the sophistication with which they are executed. What first appeared to be male disinterest, now reveals itself to be quite the opposite. Women’s passionate or angry cries for relief are met with resistance. Men really do care about violence against women. But they care in a way they would rather not talk about. Men care that the violence is happening and they care that it continues. And quite frankly, they are sick of having to hear about it. Men become angry, if not immediately, then eventually, when it is brought up because ultimately it is a moral challenge that demands that we give up the privileges we have from being in power. It means that sexism has to stop and few men will support that. Sexism is, after all, a good deal for men.

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Citation: Derry, Charles. (1996). Male Bashing. In Oppression and Social Justice – Critical Frameworks, Ed. Julie Andrzjewski. Needham Heights, Massachusetts: Simon and Schuster, 5th edition.