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Mon 23rd October 2006

Dissing Men

Filed under: General — Intrepid @ 12:00 am

From: Australia
Author: Jim Macnamara at Online Opinion
Commentary: Intrepid
Via: Honor Network

Stats to Back Up What We Already Know From Experience
(Use these for Reference with those in Denial)

Here is a piece by a Aussie columnist showing that men’s activism has more behind it than just passion for the cause, by relating the stats that back up what many rant about of the forums. Unfortunately, like many, this columnist is unwilling to direct angry at anything but vague large terms (like the media) that aren’t directed at anything that will upset his readers. In this way solutions seem beyond his grasp, for they would involve stepping on the toes of all his effeminate readers feelings.

‘Dissing’ Men: The New Gender War

A 1995-96 study reported in a 2002 book, Media, Gender and Identity by media researcher David Gauntlett, found 43 per cent of major characters in TV shows were women – up from 18 per cent in 1992-93. The study reported that, on a character-by-character basis, females and males were equal in all criteria studied. Analysis of newspapers and magazines also has found portrayals of women improving – albeit there is still a way to go in some areas according to feminist scholars.

However, this view has come under challenge over the past few years. John Beynon, a Welsh cultural studies academic, examined how masculinity was portrayed in the British quality press including The Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Times over a three-year period from 1999-2001 and in books such as Susan Faludi’s 2000 best-seller Stiffed: The Betrayal of Modern Man. Beynon concluded in his 2002 book, Masculinities and Culture, that men and masculinity were overwhelmingly presented negatively and as “something dangerous to be contained, attacked, denigrated or ridiculed, little else”.
Canadian authors, Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young in a controversial 2001 book, Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture reported widespread examples of “laughing at men, looking down on men, blaming men, de-humanising men, and demonising men” in modern mass media. They concluded: “… the worldview of our society has become increasingly both gynocentric (focused on the needs and problems of women) and misandric (focused on the evils and inadequacies of men)”.
The role of mass media in creating and or reflecting identity has long been debated and the findings of some studies have been questioned. Nathanson and Young admitted in their foreword that their findings were based on a small sample. Also, most analysis of media content has focused on movies, TV drama and advertising: mass media genre which are fiction and, therefore, not representative of reality and ostensibly “taken with a grain of salt” by audiences.
However, an extensive content analysis of mass media portrayals of men and male identity undertaken for a PhD completed in 2005 through the University of Western Sydney focusing on news, features, current affairs, talk shows and lifestyle media found that men are widely demonised, marginalised, trivialised and objectified in non-fiction media content that allegedly presents facts, reality and “truth”.
The study involved collection of all editorial content referring to or portraying men from 650 newspaper editions (450 broadsheets and 200 tabloids), 130 magazines, 125 TV news bulletins, 147 TV current affairs programs, 125 talk show episodes, and 108 TV lifestyle program episodes from 20 of the highest circulation and rating newspapers, magazines and TV programs over a six-month period. Media articles were examined using in-depth quantitative and qualitative content analysis methodology.
The research found that, by volume, 69 per cent of mass media reporting and commentary on men was unfavourable compared with just 12 per cent favourable and 19 per cent neutral or balanced. Men were predominately reported or portrayed in mass media as villains, aggressors, perverts and philanderers, with more than 75 per cent of all mass media representations of men and male identities showing men in one of these four ways. More than 80 per cent of media mentions of men, in total, were negative, compared with 18.4 per cent of mentions which showed men in a positive role.
The overwhelmingly negative reporting and portrayals of men in mass media news, current affairs, talk shows and lifestyle media was mainly in relation to violence and aggression. Violent crime, including murder, assault, armed robberies and attacks such as bashings, accounted for almost 40 per cent of all media reporting of male violence and aggression, followed by sexual abuse (20.5 per cent), general crime (18.6 per cent) and domestic violence (7.3 per cent).
Other major topics of media coverage of men were fatherhood and family, male sexuality, work and career, and men’s social behaviour. In all of these categories, men were predominantly reported and portrayed mostly negatively.
Fatherhood was also a prominent subject in relation to men, discussed in 361 media articles and features during the period of the study. Some media coverage positively discussed men as fathers, pointing to increasing recognition of the importance of fathers in children’s lives. However, along with recognition of the importance of fathers and the depth of many men’s emotional connection with their children, discussion contained an almost equal number of criticisms of men as “deadbeat dads”, “commitment phobic” and as perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual abuse within families.
Despite evidence of violence and abuse committed by women, such as a National Family Violence Survey in the US which found women just as likely to commit violence against men as men are against women, and a US National Incidence of Child Abuse and Neglect report in 2000 that found “where maltreatment of children led to death, 78 per cent of the perpetrators were female”, men are almost exclusively portrayed as the perpetrators of domestic violence and child abuse.
As identified by Mary Hood in a 2001 book chapter, “Developing new kinds of relationships between men and children”, a “feminist construction of men as responsible for child abuse has had consequences for the relationship of non-abusive men [the vast majority] with children. A side-effect has been to cast a shadow over the interaction of all men with all children”.
One third of all media discussion of male sexuality examined in the study was in relation to pedophilia which demonstrates the distortion inherent in debate on men, given that a very small proportion of men are pedophiles.

The new idealised image of men presented in the media during the past three years has been the “metrosexual”, a term reportedly coined by British author Mark Simpson and made popular by New York trend-spotter Marian Salzman, referring to men who are fashion-conscious and well-groomed – often to the point of becoming effeminate such as wearing make-up and waxing to remove body hair.
Recent research has shown “metrosexuals” to be mostly a fabrication of mass media – and not just advertising and TV drama. International current affairs show, 60 Minutes, devoted a major segment to “Metro Man” (August 24, 2003) and Australia’s other top-rating current affairs program, A Current Affair, devoted two programs to metrosexuals (September 19, 2003 and December 2, 2003). Men’s magazine Ralph (October 2003) published a quiz headed “Are you a metrosexual” in a tongue-in-cheek tone. But the underlying message was that, if a man is not a metrosexual, he is a sexist, football-loving, beer-drinking slob.
The research found that men are also objectified in women’s magazines and popular media in the same ways that women were in male-orientated media for several generations, but which is now regarded as blatantly sexist and “politically incorrect”. For instance, Cosmopolitan magazine’s “Guy without a shirt” section features male pin-ups such as David Beckham – for example, “Want to see Becks take a free kick – naked” (October 2003). The top-rating TV program, Sex and the City has extensively portrayed men as little more than sex objects and “handbags” for women’s amusement and pleasure.
In relation to work and career, men are mostly reported as power-obsessed “Atlas Syndrome” workaholics, neglecting their families and forming discriminatory “boy’s clubs” to prevent women progressing beyond the “glass ceiling”, despite many men claiming that this image is far from reality. Recent research such as Barbara Pocock’s 2003 book, The Work/Life Collision, reveals that, far from enjoying power and privilege at work, many men are suffering alienation from their families and even shortening of their lives through the stress of post-industrial work culture.
With the exception of a small minority of positive media portrayals of male heroes such as war veterans, fire fighters and rescuers, and an equally small percentage of portrayals of men as good fathers, husbands and citizens, the only males presented positively are men and boys who have been “feminised” and who exhibit their “feminine side”. The latter term highlights the gender bias against men in popular discourse.
Descriptions of male sensitivity, emotion and other positive attributes as men’s and boy’s “feminine side” lays claim to any good in men and boys as female. The implication and the message extensively communicated in popular culture is that maleness is innately and culturally evil and the characteristics of masculinity are undesirable and anachronistic.
Some try to dismiss concerns over negative representations of men arguing that they are simply reporting the facts; men are abusers, pedophiles, deadbeat dads and so on. Some men, yes. But, proportionately, only a relatively small number of men personify these negative stereotypes. Data from the Australian Bureau of Crime Statistics and international studies on violence and child abuse show these are substantially misrepresentations of men and male identity.
The Australian Advertising Standards Bureau reported in 2005 that TV commercials drew a record number of complaints from men during 2004 and that the number of complaints by men is increasing while those from women are decreasing. The Australian Federal Government’s advertising campaign against domestic violence which targeted only men as perpetrators of domestic violence was labelled “propaganda against men” with many men criticising its “stereotypical portrayals” (The Age, January 3, 2005).
As they seek their identity and role in society, men and boys today are being plunged into a vortex of social, political and economic change; feminist philosophy that dominates thinking about gender, and mass media images and discussions that condemn traditional male attributes and masculinities and promote confusing new identities such as “metrosexuals”.

Like many waking up to the situation with men treated so badly, one of the first stages is go on at pegging the problem indefinitely (or from every conceivable angle) so as to somewhat convince oneself that these facts are true and that therefore is OK to try and change them with a kid of consensus of the population at large (but to not under any circumstances get mad or angry at anyone while doing so).
This presupposes that the majority will side with us if they simple know the truth. I’m not so blindly optimistic, for this should have happened a long time ago, if this were the case. Over almost 12 years ago I went to a parliamentary committee touring my country and saw the effeminates at play with the fox-like political leadership as they played with the lives of men & fathers. I also saw how these types imagined themselves as being smarter than other older wiser men of the past (it is so easy when you’re so into the new- new -new).
I, unlike the good writer above, know they won’t step aside and admit they are something less than a real straight shooting man. For to do so would cause too much soul searching, which fox effeminate-like men are not willing to do in such a free floating world where the women’s ways are king (Queen).
No fallen kingdom or state of the past ever had any of it leaderships admit on mass they had become corrupted by the effeminate in each of their time, the “save yourself at any cost.” It is always those uncultured barbarians that are to blame. Well the uncultured barbarians are really within the state in MRM eyes, not outside of it, and we are headed for a fall unless we unite under a manly code where men who, “Say what they mean and mean what they say” are more than tolerated until crisis arise.
We do not need a majority, we just need the serious men with thicker skins, which entails not being brought up in their momma’s world.

As a man with 3 older 60s sisters I can’t but not feel we have left the sickness behind when our solutions is to win the approval of women & effminate men (who make up more that half the population in an voting booth), while needing all the men, including the men who have embraced meterosexual ideas from 2000s, the Yuppies 90s, the preppies of the 80s and the dreaded disco ravoltas of the 70s is still a tall order).

Surely someone else can see a problem in winning this vote with so many men being in prison, dying in war, fires and police work. Maybe this is why in the past wiser men saw too many problems with female leadership and brought on their unfair treatment of women in the first place!
Yet men are different in that they think over feel much more than effeminates, so if male justice and wise leadership can be reasserted I wouldn’t count out men just yet. I would only count out those men who refuse to shake off the effeminate ways that have lead to the fall of countless once great societies laid waste from outside hordes that were merely the final stage of internal effeminate leadership of fox or weasel kind.
If we are to succeed we need reaffirm that anger unjustified is bad and anger misdirected is also bad, but anger both justified and directed at the right person, sex and organizations responsible is good, good and more good.

One Response to “Dissing Men”

  1. julie says:

    Dear Intrepid,

    That was a fine post, well written and informative.

    We are uniting I promise you this. We are (the people) starting to take over. You, the generals have been at this for ages but as with most new things there were lessons to be learned through mistakes. And as many of the new soldiers who will continue to make the changes come forward from pain and love and not greed or spineless, these one’s have their own codes of loyalty and the like.

    They will have their own politics to deal with but they are true blue leaders. They will test each other, but you know all these behaviours and you know how important they are to unity.

    We are living in exciting times my friend.

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