Do you know the meaning of “misandry” The simple dictionary definition is “a hatred of men.” We hear often about “misogyny,” the hatred of women,” but little about misandry. In a recent panel discussion entitled “Mad men, modern family: examining the role of men in social development.” the question was asked, “Is the cultural conversation about men, accessible to men?” The reply from Dr. Paul Nathanson, author of several books on attitudes towards men said “No.” Do you the cultural trend being largely negative towards men? Men are having to “check their privilege.” The implication for men seems to be; “your opinions on matters of sexual and social importance are less important, your experience is less valid, and any offense you may have felt is less offensive than the offense you have dealt.”
As observers of culture have warned, the pendulum between the excesses of misogyny and misandry will continue to swing, one extreme to the next. It could be that in our present confused culture, the dominant media seems to be portraying the rise of women, which then necessities the fall of men. As one observer put it, “Believing almost everything we read and hear, disparaging or demeaning remarks about men are culturally permissible, largely acceptable, and most often left wholly unaddressed.”
There is a new phenomenon among online videos. It involves women, men and the former being incessantly harassed by the latter. The best known was made by Shoshanna Roberts,who was filmed walking the streets of New York amid catcalls and sexual comments. It has attracted a staggering 36 million views, and has been hailed as a much-needed exposure of the plight of a woman in 21st century society. The presence of decent men have now become strikingly absent online. It seems that men are guilty until proven innocent. This only reinforces gender stereotyping. One commentator has noted that, “The more the online anti-men trend gains traction, the more women will be deprived of decent male allies in the battle against abuse.”
Southern Baptist ethicist, Russell Moore, speaking at the Vatican Colloquium on Marriage and Family remarked, “The Sexual Revolution is not liberation at all, but simply the imposition of a different sort of patriarchy. The Sexual Revolution empowers men to pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha-male, rooted in the values of power, prestige and personal pleasure….We see the wreckage of sexuality as self-expression all around us, and we will see more yet.” The best evidence for this is the “objectifying” of women in the porn industry, which is booming even among evangelical men. This only adds fuel to the “feminist fire” regarding men. So the question is “How should a man behave?”
First, when with other women admit freely how men have wronged women for too long in our culture. I have often publicly confessed the sins of men in the present of women’s groups where I have shared on masculine spirituality. We are guilty of gross misogyny. I also confess my own history of misogyny. Men, if any of you have the vestiges of misogyny in your heart because of the issues you have had with mother or other women in your life, it is vital that you deal with the seeds of bitterness that are in your heart. Secondly, love you wife; cherish her as God’s greatest gift to you. Other women will be watching how you treat your wife. Your greatest witness to other women is your relationship to your wife. Thirdly, celebrate the complementarity of male and female. We need each other.