A Thought Adventure

Thursday, October 1, 2015

6. Reverse Sexism

Though expressed in subtler ways than misogyny (and often masked as wifely or motherly concern), misandry, or reverse sexism, permeates the power women wield in society. Women’s influence may be mostly hidden but, like that of the proverbial grey eminence, it is as dominant behind the scene as men’s is on it. Which, I contend, makes acts of reverse sexism every bit as damaging to the male psyche as sexist acts are to the female. And since it’s in the maternal role that women exercise most power, the males hardest hit by reverse sexism are their sons.

The home
To understand how women establish their power we need to take a good look at their predicament in patriarchy. To make up for their lack of influence within the official, male-ruled social order, women build an unofficial, female-ruled social order in the home, the only field of activity accorded them. And since becoming a mother is a woman’s one shot at power (except for the outside chance of getting married to a powerful man), women put mother at the head of their shadow realm and enlarge her role out of all proportion to its original purpose.

I don’t think we have a clue to what makes society tick until we face two underlying and hugely consequential facts. One, that women’s aim when constructing the maternal role was to give themselves a big enough dose of ego-fulfillment to make up for the many indignities their sex was subject to; two, that repressed animosity to masculinity is part of every mother’s unconscious legacy to her son.

Motherhood grants woman liberty to mold her children’s hearts and minds pretty much as she pleases. Not only is mother given a near-monopoly on her kids' care and upbringing (particularly at their earliest and most crucial stage of growth), but her performance--unlike that of any other executive in a democracy--is virtually exempt from lawful checks and balances. Unlimited power is dangerous also for the power-holders themselves, because of the risk they run of losing their boundaries. For patriarchy’s women (whose lot is to foster new broods of sexists), the risk of the inflated mother role is license to vent their repressed anger at men on their hapless sons.

But wait a little. How can I say that women use motherhood to retaliate against men? Don’t most mothers dote on their sons and even consider it a mother’s duty to favor boys, members as they still are of the first sex? Well, that's just it. Unable to express their righteous anger openly, women have to use indirect ways like hiding their feelings under acts of exaggerated concern. One of the most popular--as well as most devious--of these is to spoil their male children rotten. What could be a better way of sabotaging manhood than for the saboteur to dress in sheep’s clothing?

Differently put, come on, sisters, who do we think we’re kidding when playing the game of victims sacrificed on the altar of male power?

For more on the corrupting practice of favoritism, one of the most vicious and best hidden examples of reverse sexism--and a major wellspring of the monumental male inferiority complex, see next post.


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