Combating Patriarchal Knuckleheads

knuckleheadsBy Timothy Vo

Standing eighteen years young, yet old enough to pretty much understand the essence of life on Earth, I’ve come to the solid conclusion that we live in a pretty damn androcentric society.

Androcentric: Seeing through a male perspective. Valuing men and masculinity over women and femininity.

The words “since the dawn of man” (which excludes women) fit all too well.

Am I right?

Take male trolls on the Internet, for instance.

Male trolls attacking women

Reflecting on his experience as an advocate for women’s rights, Ben Atherton-Zeman points out that whenever he writes proudly to support feminism, or against men’s violence against women, he gets a lot of praise and support.

But when a woman sits behind the keyboard and does the same thing she gets death threats and rape threats for such “atrocious acts.”

The aim is quite simple: the more disgusting the “response” the less these writers will keep writing. And it discourages future feminist writers in the first place.

Insecure men trying to limit and disempower women by silencing them. Because a confident empowered woman is just too threatening.

Women don’t necessarily need to be advocating for equal treatment to be attacked. My friend Kevin had a frat brother at San Diego State who anonymously harassed sorority girls on the Internet. He would alter their pictures with cuts and bruises or in other horrifying ways. I hate to think how the women reacted since Kevin, himself, was traumatized and quit the frat.

That sort of behavior is, sadly, too often encouraged by “hardcore” patriarchal men in acts of discreet persecution toward women.

Pretty messed up, right?

Combating Patriarchal Knuckleheads

Amidst this disaster Zeman proposes solutions. All men — especially pro-women’s rights men like myself — should consider tips like these:

1. Listen to women’s experience of online abuse and threats by men.

2. Reach out to the target of the abuse. Ask her what she’d like you to do, if anything.

3. Write, “I think you’re right” on articles by feminist women.

4. Incorporate humor to “counter-argue” threats and demeaning comments towards feminist writers.

5. Send supportive messages to feminist women. Make them feel appreciated, heard, and cared for.

I don’t give a damn about all the proving “manhood” and “masculinity” nonsense that we males are fed. I am a proud advocate for women’s rights and have taken a new identity as “Manbassador” — a term I learned from the University of Southern California’s  feminist “USC Own It.” (Manbassador: a man who believes in equality, actively fights for women’s leadership, is an ally, and has common sense.)

So guys, take up arms and stand alongside the advocates for women’s rights and advance toward the heart of patriarchal injustice.

For the boys out there who are still fixated on masculinity and manhood, if you really want to prove yourself— how about having the courage to take up the challenge of supporting women on the Internet next time?

Not manly enough? Then how about in person in front of your bros?

Yeah… that’s what I thought…

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on January 18, 2017, in feminism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Kirby Patterson

    I feel that all men should be pro-women’s rights due to the fact that they have mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, daughters, etc. who are affected by the patriarchal society we live in. It’s so unfortunate the way women are treated when trying to have the same rights and opportunities as men. When it comes to the internet I do agree with Timothy that these men have deep insecurities when they see a woman standing up for herself and others. The tips that Timothy included in the article are also something I really enjoyed reading, my favorite being to send supportive messages to feminist women. I think that this is very important to do because when someone doesn’t feel supported on a cause they may lose the motivation to continue on, but with feeling like someone is on your side you seem better suited to make a difference. With men receiving less backlash via internet for voicing their feminist opinions it would help for more men to speak up to help open the minds of other men. But the internet can only do so much to create change, while it is a good tool to help promote change actions need to be taken to employers, local governments, non-profit organizations, etc.

  2. I get what you mean. Patriarchy is putting men and women an unequal position. And it is our responsibility to reverse this. Giving the support to the writers on the internet seems to be one of the great way to advocate feminism. Just a little bit courage may make the whole thing different. However, in my point of view, it has a way more to do in order to actually reverse this situation. Life is more than just the internet, and fighting in real life is harder than just knocking some courage words online, since indeed we live in a patriarchal society and there are many androcentric men. When you are around many of those people, it needs more to step out for your feminist perspective (at least for me). However, I think that giving the help to the writer online is always a good start of everything.

  3. Hello all! I would like to personally thank each and every single one of you (especially Ms. Platts!) for taking the time to read my first work published on such a wonderful blog site! Please spread the word and help out by bringing to the surface the infectious issue of “patriarchal knuckleheads” decaying the lives of many women in our society. (A special note to my male-audience: I encourage you ALL, to take on the role/identity as a Manbassador!)

  4. Internet trolls or one’s like described in this post are such cowards and scumbags. The thing is, they don’t just attack women though. They are bullies who apparently have not much conscious, and attacks various people and faults. Not only are such guys sexist, but I’ve noticed quite homophobic, maybe that’s due to how society values men like you’ve said. But also usually racist too. Like you’ll see this a common trend whether youtube comments or wherever. They also will pick on a woman who is “fat” or maybe even guy’s too, a person’s looks.

    I’ve seen comments and memes that would joke about a woman regarded as ugliest woman in america or something. She has a rare medical condition causing the facial deformity and has handled things well and been an inspiration. Yet trolls posted a meme about how impairment, you know just horrible stuff. Basically big bullies who attack others that they can pick on or attack if say women are trying to stand for their rights. Or lgbt community standing for gay rights or other races. You name it. It’s bullying and unfortunately cyber bullying is just as serious as in person bullying. There have been teenagers who have killed themselves because of relentless cyber bullying.

    • You pointed out that these guys like to feel superior to a lot of people: women, people of color, people with some sort of disability, Etc. Whenever are you see one person put another person down they are basically advertising their low self-esteem. They constantly have to put others down in hopes of making themselves feel better. But it doesn’t seem to work otherwise they wouldn’t have to keep doing it over and over again. Just a temporary hit that briefly makes them feel better. And of course there’s a “dominance” instead of “partnership” mentality in back of this. But it doesn’t seem to make them happy.

  5. I read the headline and thought this was going to be a post about Trump’s cabinet nominees.

  6. wow…this is so deep and complex, you made it a puzzle!!

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