Why is male-bashing going out of favor?

Male-bashing seems to be the last bastion of acceptable biased speech. Pokerhed has a post suggesting it may be time to end it. Men, after all, are people too. The stereotype of men as “dumb brutes,” so often used as the punchline in standup acts and the inspiration for countless country songs, can be unfair and even harmful. [I’m going to assume Pokerhed is being serious in his post — certainly the article he quotes is serious.]

The excuse for allowing male-bashing all these years has been simple: men have all the power and money; surely they can take a little joke. The question is, why are men suddenly starting to become uncomfortable with these jokes? Is it because men are becoming more tolerant and therefore see the problem with “humor” directed at a category of people rather than an individual or “all of us”? Or is it because men see some of that power and money beginning to slip from their grasp?

According to the article cited in the post, men are outnumbered on college campuses 4 to 3, and comprise only 43 percent of college graduates. It’s long been known that men have a shorter life expectancy than women. Could we actually be headed toward a society where female is the dominant gender? Imagine a bizarro-world where the only reason men attend college is to meet a suitable mate, where men preen and vie for the attention of the women who are most likely to succeed. It could happen. Santa Clara University is only the most recent institution to draw attention due to its preferential admissions status for an underrepresented minority on campus: men. If men are now in need of affirmative action just to land a spot in college, what will their economic status be twenty years from now?

So all you men who are concerned about the rise of male-bashing, be careful what you wish for. If you do manage to attain the status underprivileged minority, it will indeed become politically incorrect to tell jokes at your expense. The cost? You will also lose your real status and power.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why is male-bashing going out of favor?

  1. Anne says:

    We’re generations away from money worries–I find it hard to imagine a real trend of women out earning men anytime soon. However, at an institution where I used to teach, some faculty refered to a pre-business honors program as “affirmative action for men”: male students just aren’t drawn to the liberal arts in sufficient numbers.

  2. Dave says:

    I think the main reason men continue to earn more than women is that women tend to enter lower-income fields: public sector rather than business, service rather than engineering, advertising rather than sales, social rather than hard sciences.

    I don’t think it would take much for that dynamic to change. I think it mainly has to do with attitudes of teachers: the way they have historically tended to believe boys will do better in math and science, creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. 12 years ago in education graduate school, we were being actively taught to counter these stereotypes. A whole generation of teachers is being trained to foster girl scientists, girl doctors, girl lawyers. Though in many ways it seems the women’s movement hasn’t advanced much since the 1920s, I think the background social changes are much more substantial. Maybe in 20 years, we’ll need to revisit this issue and see who was right. How’s that sound?

Comments are closed.