What To Do When The Man-Bashing Starts
As extremist feminists become more boldly and openly anti-male
in their attitudes, more and more men are encountering blatant
man-bashing at work and in their social lives.
It's a recurring question among men: what do you do when the
man-bashing starts? Some men say you should just ignore it -- take it
like a man. But that might just be the worst thing you can do -- and
it might just let the anti-male attitudes become so strong and
entrenched that you will have to face it sooner or later. If it's
"later," it might be too late.
Sociologists have studied group dynamics to see what happens
when one person begins denigrating another person who is absent. It
often happens that the denigration will escalate and others will join
in if no one objects to it.
But if just one person speaks up -- even with a mild
disagreement or a question -- then the denigration is often
sidetracked. The first denigrating comment is sort of a test to see
how others will react. If no one objects, then others feel free to
join in the attack. If it goes on long enough, the denigrating
comments become the accepted norm.
Let's say a group of coworkers start discussing Joe, who is
not there. One person blames Joe for messing up a project. Everyone
either nods or remains silent. The speaker then goes on to criticize
Joe's handling of other assignments, getting in a few digs about his
personality. It's now established that attacking Joe is not going to
be met with much resistance. So someone else joins in. The attack gets
reinforced, and it's obvious from the group dynamics that attacking
Joe is acceptable. If this goes on long enough, attacking Joe will
become the norm. In fact, people might actually feel obligated to
attack Joe if they want to feel like they belong to the group.
Now let's back up to the point where the person first blamed
Joe for messing up the project. Sociologists note that if just one
person says something like "Maybe Joe wasn't given enough time to
finish that job," the criticism might be largely defused. Often the
attack will go no further -- unless someone really has a vendetta
Many feminists are coming from environments where the
criticism of men was rampant, acceptable, and expected. Feminists
originally had many legitimate grievances. But they were aired in an
atmosphere without any restraints on the extent that men could be
bashed, blamed, denigrated, stereotyped, and hated. Bashing men became
the norm. Men are like the "Joe" character. If people in the
feminists' movement had regularly spoken up with statement like "I
don't think we should blame men for everything, including our own
choices," the man-bashing might have been muted. But instead, most
feminists took the easy way out. They sat silently as the extremists
bashed men, so man-bashing became the norm. If they spoke out against
man-bashing, it was usually because they though man-bashing was
hurting feminism's image.
Once man-bashing became the norm, we saw the next phase: many
feminists felt obligated to join in the bashing just to feel like they
belonged to the group. It's at this stage that we see, for example,
women who invent false rape accusations so that they can feel part of
the "Take Back The Night" movement.
All in all, feminist "consciousness-raising" often consists of
reducing men to stereotypes. Such feminists look on men with open
hostility, and still think they are being "moral" for doing so. We
can't do much about the professional haters like the National
Organization for Women. But what should you do when feminists start
bashing men in the work place? It's a tough question, but every man
has to be prepared with a plan. Otherwise you are at the mercy of a
movement not noted for its mercifulness. So here are Six Rules we urge
you to keep in mind.
The first two are:
I. Don't overreact.
II. Don't get angry.
Remember, women today are often consider a "protected
minority" in many work places. A woman might be able to get away with
calling you a "prick" or a "dickhead," but you might well be fired for
replying with a similar anatomical reference. That happened in a
recent case at the Miller Brewing Co., where one woman worker used
gutter language to describe the male anatomy. However, when a male
coworker made an oblique reference to the word "clitoris," she
complained about him and he was fired. (The good news is that the man
sued the company and the woman, and won. Still, losing your job is a
tough way to prove a point, and most men don't have the liberty of
The next rule:
III. Judge how serious (and how feminist) the anti-male
If the comments involve a woman's minor irritations or
good-humored grievances against men, don't let it bother you. Women
will always complain about men leaving the lid up, and men will always
complain about women taking so long to get ready. That's part of the
The comments you have to be concerned about are the ones with
a political agenda behind them -- an agenda of discriminating against
men. Comments like "all men are potential rapists," or "men hold too
much power," or "men have screwed up the world," etc., signal to you
that a feminist thinks she is morally and intellectually superior to
you, or that she thinks she is "oppressed" and deserving special perks
and programs at your expense.
When you see that the comments have a seriously anti-male
agenda behind them, you have to be aware of the "Joe process."
Remember, the first comment is sort of a test to see if the speaker
can get away with bashing men. If she gets away with it, it tells her
that anti-male attitudes are acceptable. Once it is established that
anti-male attitudes are acceptable, they will only get bolder, uglier,
and more filled with hate. We've seen how that happens in modern
feminism's slide from a supposedly egalitarian movement down into
stereotype-slinging, discrimination-advocating demagoguery. Anti-male
attitudes are like rust. You can't hope that it's just going to get
better if you ignore it.
So how do you respond? That's Rule Four:
IV. Make a calm response pointing out that anti-male attitudes are not good for the work place.
When the feminist says "Why do men think they can just go on
raping the whole planet?" say to her "Stereotypes really don't help
any of us get along," or "most anti-male attitudes tend to be
counter-productive." Make your reply a general statement rather than a
personal attack. Stress the good of the work place.
She might reply, "That's not an anti-male attitude."
(Feminists do not readily admit to holding any stereotypes or
anti-male attitudes.) If so, don't argue with her. Just say "Okay, I
just felt that bashing any group at all doesn't help us here."
If she's spreading feminist propaganda, you don't have to
debate her. Your goal is not to win an argument. Your goal it to send
the message that anti-male attitudes are not going to be condoned or
be met with passive acceptance. Don't be hostile, just let her know
it's disruptive. You could say: "I don't think that's true. Anyway,
men and women should work together, and statements like that won't
help achieve that."
So Rule Five is:
V. Do not argue or debate with them.
The work place is not a debating society, and you are not
going to change their cherished opinions in what little time you have.
If you argue with them, you might get a reputation as being
argumentative. Moreover, they might just be probing you for any
statement or opinion they can take out of context or use as a weapon
Do not try to appeal to the conscience of a feminist who is
engaging in bigoted or demeaning behavior. If she had a conscience,
she would already know these things are wrong.
You might encounter a male who is willing to condone or
support anti-male attitudes. This is common in men who are
women-pleasers and those who are ashamed of being male. You're not
going to talk them out of their self-loathing, so don't try. But when
they defend the man-bashing by saying "I wasn't offended by that
remark," tell them "Let's be aware that others might be." Tell him
that whether people are right or wrong about feeling offended, it's
not beneficial to job performance when people feel like they're being
Keep the goal in mind: you're not going to settle all the
controversies over feminism or vanquish their arguments. You're just
making sure her anti-male hatreds do not find a "safe and nurturing
Remember to object to the statement rather than attack the
speaker -- especially if the work place considers her a "protected
minority." You can talk about anti-male attitudes, just don't call her
a man-hater (even if she is.)
If you do these things well, you might even gain a reputation
for good managerial skills -- someone able to defuse a difficult
situation. Most people don't really like the man-hating attitudes of
modern feminism. A lot of people are glad when someone sidetracks the
disruptive anti-male bigot before they work up a real head of steam.
You will find many people who are glad you spoke up, and they might
start speaking up themselves. The situation could turn completely
around from the anti-male attitude the feminist wished to create.
There will be times when nothing you say or do will be able to
stem the tide of anti-male hatred in the work place. Many
bureaucracies will side with a feminist no matter how abusive or
disruptive she becomes -- they will protect her no matter what she
does. You have to pick your battles. If you think you can set a tone
in which anti-male attitudes are discouraged, then go for it. But if
the feminists are already free to practice anti-male hatred with
impunity, then the situation has probably already gone too far.
If that's the case, document everything. Get a notebook or set
up a floppy disk you know you can keep confidential. Then whenever you
experience man-bashing, write it down. Make sure that you describe the
statement or action and record the speaker, the time, the date the
place and anything you think is relevant. Do this religiously, whether
the man-bashing occurs every day or once every six months. This is
very important. In court cases, judges and juries are very respectful
of documentation. When you have the anti-male actions written down,
with dates and names all noted, it builds your credibility immensely.
And it shows that the situation was serious enough that you felt that
you had to document what was going on.
It is all the more important to do this because the news media
is today so biased in favor of feminists. They run with microphones at
the ready when feminists cry sexism in the work place, but they tend
not to be so interested when it's feminists practicing the sexism. The
news media will do the documenting for the feminists. You need to
protect yourself by doing your own documentation.
And finally, never, ever, underestimate an extremist
feminist's capacity and desire for revenge. There are feminists who
believe that you have committed an offense simply by disagreeing with
them. They are right, and if you disagree with them, you are an
oppressor determined to keep women down. It does not matter if you are
merely saying that you do not want to be discriminated against. In
their minds, this translates to "He wants to keep women down and
preserve all the male privileges of the patriarchy." (Anyone who has
objected to anti-male discrimination during a Usenet discussion is
familiar with this reaction.) Well, feminists who react like that are
not merely on the Usenet. They are out there in the real world. They
are coworkers and supervisors, they are politicians and bureaucrats
and reporters. When they've decided that you are the oppressor-scum,
any low blow they can aim at you will seem justified in their minds.
So when you are objecting to man-bashing, you have to watch
your back. Be aware of who you are talking to. Keep your ears open for
the grapevine. Many extremist feminists will practice character
assassination as a way of punishing you for the sin of disagreeing
So you already know that Rule Six is:
VI. Document everything.
Document, document, document. It will help protect you if any
feminist decides to launch a smear campaign because you objected to
man-bashing. Your documentation will help catch them in any
inconsistencies they might have, and it will expose their anti-male
attitudes and also point out their motive for attacking you. But more
than that, by documenting anti-male biases, you are doing more than
protecting yourself. You are writing the history that politically
correct academia will not yet write. Someday -- perhaps not today, but
someday -- the wider audience is going to finally be told the full
story of extremist, hate-mongering feminists and the McCarthyesque
tactics they use.
Most of all, make sure that your story is documented for the
day when society is finally ready to take an honest look at the
bigotry that has been hiding beneath the mask of gender equality.
So remember what to do when the man-bashing starts:
- Don't overreact.
- Don't get angry.
- Judge how serious (and how feminist) the anti-male attitude is.
- Make a calm response pointing out that anti-male attitudes are not good for the work place.
- Do not argue or debate with them
- And most important, document everything.