Split The Difference | Why are some men boorish and dangerous? – A paper by ‘Barker’
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Why are some men boorish and dangerous? – A paper by ‘Barker’

Why are some men boorish and dangerous? – A paper by ‘Barker’

With the recent murders and harassment of innocent women this might be a good time to cast a critical eye over society’s view of the male sex. The following observations are not meant to be an apology for male behaviour, but a serious contribution to solving the problem. It is with a certain amount of trepidation I make them. But surely one view of solving the problem is worth a hearing? And if it is too sensitive a time for this view to be suggested then please accept my apologies. But we do need a genuine solution to protect women rather than regular hype and hysteria.

Men, especially young men, are bad people. We are constantly being told how crass, sexist and misogynist male behaviour is, especially the ‘lad culture’.  But if this is true, what has made some men behave like this? I suggest to you that it is the anti-male cultural milieu that has been created since the 1980s, in all areas of society.

If what is routinely thrown at men were directed at any of our ‘protected characteristic’  groups – women, people of colour, ethnic minorities, LGBT+ community – British society would be condemned for its prejudice and bigotry, discrimination and even persecution.

We teach children to be kind to one another, to be thoughtful and caring to other people. And then when they reach a certain age, the Misandric Fairy comes along and sprinkles boys and all things male with poo dust. This poo dust is the patriarchal narrative, the ‘good women/bad men’ narrative, to which all areas of society now conform – our culture, schools, universities, the legal system, the media, and the political system.

For four decades there has been widespread misandry in Britain, a widespread contempt for men and maleness. Men are belittled and ridiculed in sit coms and advertisements; I love the Simpsons, but all the males are portrayed as dysfunctional. Female comediennes and celebrities have licence to constantly rubbish men.  It is now difficult to find normal daddies in modern children’s books. Male teachers are a small minority leading to a serious lack of adult-male role-models. This is especially unfortunate for children  in single-parent mother families.

Our sons are told that they are ‘male, pale and stale’, they are told – even if they are doing the most unhealthy and dangerous jobs in society and are at the bottom of the educational ladder, as white, working class boys are – that they enjoy ‘male privilege’; they are told that their behaviour is ‘toxic’ – this obviously elides into men and boys being labelled ‘poisonous’ simply for being ‘male’. We would never say any of these things about any  other group, and quite rightly so.

MPs sitting in the Houses of Parliament. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

“What is this bloke talking about?” I hear you say, “He must know that there are five times more male MPs than female”. This is true, or course, but male MPs do not think as a gender group, so do not bond as a gender group, so do not act as a gender group; there has not been one piece of specifically male-friendly legislation passed in Parliament in living memory. Yes, there is more ‘biological maleness’ in Parliament but this does not translate into male MPs representing men and boys; whereas female MPs do represent women and girls…and work across political party lines to do so. There is a Minister for Women, but no Minister for Men. There is no political representation for the male half of the population anywhere, at any level. And so we have a policy-making arena in which male problems and rights are ‘invisible’ and  hence have been historically  ignored.

The suicide rate is four times higher for men than it is for women; nine out of ten of those living rough in cardboard boxes and shop doorways are men; one in three of domestic violence victims are men; 140 or so divorced fathers, everyday, lose contact with their children (as do their own parents with their grandchildren); boys have been underachieving in all areas of education since the 1980s. None of these male-specific issues, neglected for forty years, have ever been seriously politically addressed.

Do a gender-switch on the above, if these discriminations were experienced by women (or by any other ‘protected’ group) would they be tolerated? No, they would not. An anti-male prejudice is entrenched in our individual and collective mind-set and has created a cultural and institutional bias against men and maleness. This is never questioned. Why?

At the same time young men are seeing ‘women’s issues’ promoted regularly in every area of the media and the education and political system; they are seeing their female contemporaries enjoying preferential treatment in the form of short-lists, tokenism, quotas, fast-tracking and policy-favouritism. Posturing politicians, fishing for female votes, are happy to publicise the exaggerated excesses of ‘lad culture’.

Male students are not represented on campus; they have no ‘voice’. Every university has a student’s Women’s Officer and a Women’s Group  yet  Men’s Officers and Men’s Groups are not permitted in any university – shocking, but true. It is not surprising then, that suicide among male students is two and a half times greater than among female students. Could this deliberate neglect of, and disrespect for, male students be a factor in ‘lad culture’?

Misandry, demonizing and dehumanising men has devalued men’s worth compared to that of women’s. Both men and women fail to see misandry as a problem. This is because sexism has been defined exclusively in terms of misogyny. Nobody has been looking for sexism against men and boys; we are so conditioned that we are blind to the daily examples of it in media reporting, in the newspapers, on radio and television, in news programmes, documentaries, dramas and in our schools and universities; and throughout policy-making. And if we do happen to notice it we are silenced by the fear of being labelled’ ‘sexist’, ‘misogynist’ and ‘rape apologists’. Or by being ‘cancelled’, losing promotion prospects,  job and career.

Psychologists tell us that if we treat people badly, with contempt and disdain then they will react in kind. If young men are told over and over again that they are society’s ‘bad people’, that they will grow up to be ‘wife batterers’, ‘sexual harassers’ and ‘rapists’ then they are likely to say, ‘OK, so be it’.

If boys and men continue to be disrespected, discriminated against, demonised and told, and shown, that they have little value and worth, disposable as husbands, as fathers and as people, then it might be understandable if they respond by treating society – including women, unfortunately – in the same manner. They who sow the wind reap the whirlwind.

In addition, ignoring male issues will inevitably lead to further resentment. So our male politicians Uriah Heaping and virtue-signalling for ‘approval’ from female groups, should consider the danger of a self-fulfilling prophecy; the more badly behaved men are the louder the Sisterhood bellows how awful maleness and masculinity is – an upward spiral of constant blaming and shaming…and of further crass or dangerous behaviour by some unsettled men.

Why are we so surprised then, that some young men are morphing into muscle-bound weaklings who seek solace in the hypermasculinity rituals of boorish and dangerous behaviour, with an ugly undercurrent of homophobia and misogyny? The creation of a widespread and deep-rooted misandry is rebounding against ordinary women. Ought we not to be educating young men and women to question this narrative, to rise up against this mutually destructive culture, and to encourage them to engage in genuine equality and respect between the sexes? As Doris Lessing said (The Guardian, 14 August 2001) : “Men seem so cowed they can’t fight back, and it’s time they did”. Men are fighting back, but unfortunately their misguided target is society and ordinary women – not the political and cultural movement that created this unacceptable view of men and maleness in the first place.

British males under forty have never experienced a culture in which men are respected. By appeasing those who promote misandry and the grinding and constant bias in promoting their narrative, our cultural and political zeitgeist has encouraged a stroppy male slouch towards Gomorrah. To be a wholesome and well-balanced Society, for women to feel safe and have peace of mind,  this must change. We need to remember that men and boys are people too.”