The “harmless habit” of male bashing

The “harmless habit” of male bashing

Dr. Helen posts that even women’s magazines are getting the clue that the “harmless habit” is doing plenty of harm. What is this “harmless habit” of women? Male bashing.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that a cover story in Cosmo was very much pro-male. The tagline reads “Verbally bashing the male species is now a reflex for a lot of chicks. Problem is, the real thing getting trashed could be your relationship.” Okay, so they phrase the problem with male bashing as one that is detrimental to females, but hey, at least there is a realization that it is wrong. The article has several good sections in it entitled, “How We Beat Up on Boys,” “Why it Weakens Love,” “Break your Bashing Habit,” and “Start Male Boasting.”

The advice is good and direct, such as telling women to stop telling their dates they are not like the jerks they usually date.

[...] To break the habit, the author suggests when your girlfriends start guy trashing, you change the subject. Or, “if a girlfriend says that guys never commit, get her to see how silly it is to make such broad statements by making one about women, like, ‘I know, and women start shopping for a wedding dress after the third date.’” Cosmo gives suggestions (but should you really need this advice after the age of 12?) that women should ditch lines like “Men are dogs” or “Unless its football, it’s too complicated for his brain.”

Why has male bashing become so popular and pervasive, even to the point that many women don’t even realize they’re doing it? Why has it become so acceptable that I even find it being done—albeit to a lesser degree sometimes—by good Catholic women either married to good Catholic men or who are single and looking for a good Catholic husband. (I will emphatically and happily add that my wife is not among that crowd.) Perhaps while they’re complaining about not finding a husband, they should stop to consider whether their attitude toward men has anything to do with it.

An acceptable prejudice

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  • Studies show the importance of men in children’s lifes. Those kids who do not have a father or one that does not live at home are at a disadvantage economically, in education and in having a male role model.

  • And so my sons receive this bit of t-shirt wisdom,” girls rule, boys drool”. Or the playground chant “Girls go to college to get more knowledge. Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.” It’s supposed to be clever, grl power stuff but it’s really just nasty and hateful.

  • I was talking to my wife about this the other day.  A great example is the new Sprint commercial where the two guys hide their female coworker’s Blackberry while they are on a business trip, and the guys end up in the emergency room.

    I asked my wife, could you imagine a commercial where a good looking man beat two unattractive women because they got him angry?

  • This is a HUGE problem.  Sometimes it comes from negative experiences that have made women defensive (kind of like unions coming from employers’ exploitation).  After hearing enough of this stuff from a friend (in the presence of both of our teen sons), I started watching my own language, and corrected my oldest daughter (not in her brother’s presence).  It’s truly pervasive.  And, once you’re aware of it, depressing.

  • I think our culture teaches girls to mistrust and resent men.  At work, someone referred to the department I work in as “pale, male, and stale.”  Even in this past year my mom has been saying things like “You don’t have to be married to adopt…” because she really wants grandchildren.  But I don’t want to raise children without a father, and God has other plans for me anyhow.  Over the past few years I have discovered Mulieris Dignitatem and the Theology of the Body, and I realize that I have been affected by the message popular culture sends to women. 

    At the same time, I think men need to watch their language when they talk about women.  I have overheard too many conversations among my male co-workers denigrating or belittling women in one way or another.  It’s going to take a lot of effort from both men and women if we are going to change hearts.

  • I used to love “Everybody Loves Raymond” but after my brother pointed out to me what boobs they portray all men to be I stopped watching it. If men would step up to the plate now adays instead of all trying to be PC we could change the world. The feminist movement has breed a generation of wimps and jelly bellies.

  • This was a MAJOR pet peeve of mine when my children were younger.  Look at a lot of kids books (the kind that are intended to be read to young kids) and you’ll find the “father-figure-as-idiot” theme very pervasive.

  • It is true that many women don’t even realize, anymore, when they’re bashing males. I’ve heard too many women do this in front of their sons!
    I’m getting tired of watching the pendulum swing. How much brainpower should it take to understand that men and women are NOT enemies, but complementary, by design?