Feminism vs. Facts

  • A call for men's rights movement in Pakistan

I will start you off with why I, a man, felt this aching need to write about feminism at the dawn of the New Year, despite being a strong advocate of equal rights and opportunities for women.

I strongly believe that feminism has become extremely hateful and hypocritical and is hurting women way more than aiding them while bashing men and the social fabric along the way.

Men being systematically alienated in the discussion of “gender-equality” is a phenomenon which is both ironic and fundamentally unfair. Even worse is the transition of feminism, from a movement that addresses inequality, to one that promotes it and feels entitled to do so.

The ideas and events behind “Feminism” being the Word of the year 2017, as cited by Merriam Webster, makes one contemplate the essence and implications of this movement. Some see this popularity as a progression of women’s rights and effectiveness of the feminist movement; but in my opinion, the radical feminists have lost the  sense and purpose of gender equality and have turned this movement into a superficial and market-aligned activism against men; which serves to make women feel good, righteous and entitled to “unearned privileges”, rather than leading them to the political action that feminism was originally meant to spur.

I, therefore, feel both scared and duty-bound, to share some logical and scientific answers to the ill-conceived feminists’ arguments and the rampant hypocrisies that serve to further this misconstrued agenda.

Here are the key hypocritical arguments and their rebuttals, which serve to prove that radical feminism is unnatural, unsubstantiated and counterproductive for both the genders. If you have had the experience of conversing with a feminist, you must have heard one or more of these statements.

Feminism is about gender equality. If you don’t believe in feminism, you don’t want gender equality.

Well, I think feminists have evolved into the notion of gender “supremacy” rather than “equality’, which is why they blame men for everything, place no responsibility whatsoever on their own gender or even genetics, and simply would not entertain the idea of men’s rights.

In 2014, a group of scientists gave both traditional ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ toys to a group of monkeys to see what they’d choose. This experiment was commissioned to further substantiate the findings of a study conducted on human babies at the age of 3 months, which revealed gender specific preferences for toys. The boy monkeys, they found, were inclined toward cars and balls, while the girls preferred pots and dolls. And that wasn’t a fluke — the experiment’s been reproduced twice since, with the same result every time. There are no societal pressures on monkeys as is the case for human beings. It proves that genders are predisposed to different ideals even at birth, as was initially clarified in the cars vs. dolls experiment done on human babies.

Reinforcing the idea that toy preferences are caused by hormones, last year, a group of British researchers found that girls with a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, who experienced abnormally high levels of the male sex hormone androgen while in the womb, prefer to play with male-typical toys upon birth.

Several studies have proven that genetics play the most important role in whether, a person or a gender, is dominant or submissive. Evidence has also shown that women prefer more dominant men when they themselves are at the most fertile point of their menstrual cycle which reinforces the fact that these traits are innate to a large extent. (Gangestad, S. W., Simpson, J. A., Cousins, A. J., Garver-Apgar, C. E., & Christensen, P. N. (2004). Women’s preferences for male behavioral displays change across the menstrual cycle. Psychological Science)

In an effort to highlight the unearned privileges, let me remind you of the popular speech Jennifer Lawrence made in favor of equal pay, as it will serve to bust the myth of gender-based pay gaps. If we look at the math, Lawrence earned about $65 thousand per day working on a film (she worked for 9 days), whereas Christian Bale and Cooper both earned about $55 thousand per day (they worked for 45 and 46 days, respectively). She was actually the one who was paid higher when you consider the amount of days she had worked, despite the fact that Christian Bale is a much more experienced and established actor.

The cornerstone of the gender-based pay gap myth is a study that did not factor in the difference in years of experience, level of competence, nature of job and the work hours spent of the participants in the survey. When adjusted for these variables, the “women make 77 cents for every dollar men earn” fallacy effectively disappears.

Such misconceptions serve as fuel for the loud and radical minority who are essentially carrying the feminist movement forward and have made it a mainstream agenda.  How easy must it then become, to declare men as deliberate “oppressors” and essentially “evil” architects of this patriarchal system?

Since they don’t even want to acknowledge the implications of any evolutionary or psychological differences in genders; despite the fact that both have scientifically been proven, using crooked data should not be that surprising.

The narrative has shifted from wanting to have equality in “opportunities” to equality in “outcomes”; an unreasonable and impossible demand. Men can’t ensure equality of outcomes, even if they had all the “alleged” power; actually, no one can.

Feminists are also selective about the fields where they want equality of outcomes immediately and others that they don’t actively pursue. For example, have you ever seen an outcry over why there are hardly any women enlisting in the military and fighting our wars? I believe not!

One point on which the feminists and I do agree upon is that “chivalry” is definitely an unequal concept, but in this case, the other not-so-radicalized majority of women might disagree.

To sum it all up: I don’t believe in Feminism, precisely because it is not about equality anymore.

Men are privileged and have it easy in this life.

This is the statement that hurts the most, not only because it is absolutely false and ignorant, but also because it is resentful on so many levels.

Here goes the list of reasons why I doubt that men are having a ball in this world.

Men are a huge majority in the most dangerous jobs of the world and constitute 93% of occupational deaths with a death rate 11 times higher than women.

Men on average live 7-8 years less than women throughout the world.

Men are committing suicide in much higher numbers than women. The number was 1.9 times higher than women in 1981 and 3.5 times higher in 2016, an ever-increasing trend.

Men are also less likely to seek health services than women due to the social ideal. Why would men construct a situation which clearly isn’t in their favor? Following this line of reasoning, is it safe for men to blame women for the things in the society that go against them? Will it be accurate to call it a deliberate and elaborate scam targeted at men?

Prof. Starr’s recent paper, “Estimating Gender Disparities in US Federal Criminal Cases, discovered that men receive 63% longer sentences on average than women for the same crime and women are twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted.” This gender gap is about six times as large as the racial disparity that Prof. Starr found in another recent paper.

Campaign Group Parity UK reported that in 2009, almost 45% of victims in domestic violence cases were men l  so it makes little sense how domestic violence has become synonymous with violence against women.

Overall, men are somewhat more likely to experience any form of harassing behavior online: 44% of men and 37% of women have experienced at least one of the six behaviors the researchers used to define online harassment. These results are from a survey conducted by the American Trends in 2017.

In the reproductive process, our only two rights as men are to provide the sperms and money (no pun intended); all the remaining rights of reproduction are for women. Whether it is about keeping the baby or aborting it, whether it is maternity leave, whether it is the custody issue or child support. Anyone who knows a man who has been involved with the Family Law system is aware of this bias against men. It is not caused by anything the man may have done, but it is systemic and is applied to all males. How will women ever be equal outside the home if men are not equal within in, I ask?

In Pakistan,  the overall education system is facilitating 56% male students as compared to 44% female students, a fact much publicized for inequality. The overall education system in Pakistan also houses 59% female teachers and 41% male teachers, another case of inequality in the favor of women, but one that receives no appreciation or criticism.

Growing gender disparity in the medical profession would have been evident but unfortunately, around three quarters of the female students of medicine abandon work right after graduating or after marriage, so they don’t show up in the work force.

For an even more desi take on feminism, let’s examine what happens when a man wants to go to a family festival or even a shopping mall on the weekend. If you are from Pakistan, you know that men have to take a female member along to be qualified as “family”.

Another incident from Pakistan, lest you think this is a foreign problem, is when Atif Aslam was lauded nationally and internationally for stopping a boy from harassing a girl. As it turns out, the girl was not being harassed but rather stopped from entering into the arena which required a more expensive ticket. The boy was merely doing his job as he was part of the organizing committee, but associating men with harassment has become so instinctual that even Atif Aslam, a man, assumed the girl must be the one in need of help.

So, you see, even a momentary peek into the problems faced by men can elucidate that the notion of male privilege doesn’t have substance.

We should have the freedom to wear whatever we want, wherever we want and not be judged.

This has to be the most notorious item of contention that feminists like to hail. This particular demand or “right”, as they call it, could not have been any further from logic and science. The hypocrisy of it resides in two basic facts. Firstly, women consciously and subconsciously use clothes, make-up and other accessories to illicit particular responses and then get offended when rogue men respond beyond their expectations. Secondly, men don’t have the freedom to wear whatever they want and wherever they want and not be judged for it, either.

Feminists claim that clothes and make-up are done for self-gratification and not to appease or entice others. I am here to prove, through evolutionary and behavioral psychology, how this is an absolutely hollow claim.

Renowned Psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, explains that what you wear is an expression of who you are and how you want to be perceived. Clothes are a reflection of self, which is a social construction, established, maintained, and altered through interpersonal communication with “others”.

A research study conducted using Lens Model Analysis, named “Personality Judgments Based on Physical Appearance” concluded that people are pretty accurate when it comes to snap judgments based on clothes. It also reiterates that you dress to be like the person you want to be, and observers use this information to form accurate judgments for a variety of traits.

The hypocrisy of wearing revealing or seductive clothes is crudely but well defined by Dave Chappelle, an American stand-up comedian. The humor might help consume the logic more easily.

Here it goes:

Now as far as make-up is concerned, each popular item is tailor-made to enhance an evolutionary perception of beauty, health and reproductive virility, which is, as concluded in the study published by Scientific American, 2012, “deeply rooted in women’s mating psychology.” Experiments done on lipsticks, foundation, eye wear and blush-on have confirmed that these tools serve to appeal to the opposite sex’s perception of beauty. Women who say that they do it because it makes them feel good should know that they feel this way because their brain knows this will generate the “required” social response.

Making you understand the second part of this double standard is relatively easier. All I have to do is create a fictional provocative clothing line for men. Imagine pants with stylish cuts around the testicles, or with an artistically crafted hole at the tip of the penis or pants which are designed to bare half of the ass cleavage. Let me guess: you have already disregarded this new clothing brand as cheap, vulgar, rude or even funny; if you are a free spirit. Men wearing this brand in public will not only be judged and disrespected, but many will also be outraged and traumatized by the backlash.

Need I say more on the absurdity of this demand?

Any act of rebellion against men is justified and should be respected because it is a statement against patriarchy.

Since it is wrongfully established that men consciously and deliberately want to control, dominate and hurt women, displays of abusive defiance against norms are considered as heroic acts, especially when directed against men. This has taken misandry to unprecedented levels, and the support of the same is considered an integral part of radical feminism.

Terms like Manspreading, Manterrupting and Mansplaining making rounds on social media are evidence enough of the frivolity and ill-intent of the feminist movement. Another dangerous aspect of this situation is that Misandry and Misogyny are growing at an alarming pace with an ever improving acceptability of Misandry in the mainstream and pop-culture.

Some of the unbelievable trends promoted by the feminists which will put the direction of this movement in perspective are:

Beat up a boyfriend!

(This trend was started by Jezbel, a feminist platform, after a study of relationships that engage in nonreciprocal violence, found that a whopping 70% are perpetrated by women. So basically the trend was proposing that women should try beating their boyfriends because they will most likely not fight back.)

Free the nipple! (Ignoring any biological differences in the breasts, women want to have the “right” to expose their nipple without any judgment).

Free bleeding! (Don’t hide or cover the menstrual blood because it is a natural thing)

Shout your abortion! (Share your experience of executing the right to abort a child)

Such trends not only have the power of novelty to rally women who don’t spend enough energy to think it through, but they also undermine and distract from the real issues both men and women are facing throughout the world.

A basic misinterpretation of this ideology is being perpetrated by Ideals like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Emily Ratajkwoski and even Malala Yousafzai at the international level while characters like Muniba Mazari, Qandeel Baloch, Faryal Makhdoom are symbols of feminism in Pakistan. None of these women have accomplishments to back their notoriety, but rather only possess a narrative and willingness to share a manipulated version of their mind or body.

I would like to suggest feminist ideals like the remarkable Abida Parveen or Ayesha Farooq, the first female pilot or Samina Baig, the phenomenal mountaineer instead. Those who set examples not by showing more skin or all of it, but by doing deeds that prove that women have the ability to accomplish a lot if institutionalized discrimination against them is not at play.

Being abusive, hateful and dismissive of men is very profitable for certain elite representatives of feminism, but it is creating a disastrous attitude in young women who look to blame and insult men rather than focusing on what they can achieve themselves.

Why should you listen to my “rant” on feminism?

Because if you don’t, the frivolity of heated debates on such insignificant issues will keep creating differences among the genders and even men who believe in equality of opportunities will be alienated and even instigated. Women against feminism will also keep getting marginalized and termed as “willfully ignorant”.

We need to understand how biology is at play and how we are different and can seek an equitable solution and will never be equal in the literal sense, which doesn’t imply the superiority of one gender over the other.

I have prepared myself for the bashing, abusive language, label of misogyny and backwardness before I started writing this article. If I expected anything less, I would not have felt this strong urge to write it in the first place.

I had to write this article for men who can sense the injustice and still can’t voice their concerns because they fear the backlash. I also had to write for the overwhelming majority of women who face harassment for not calling themselves feminists, and in turn receive titles as insulting as “male attention-craving whores”.

This article also wants to provide food for thought to the young feminists, who don’t really understand what this movement really stands for and want to reconsider their support of it. To explain to them that modern and mainstream feminism is more about benefits and privileges, disguised in the cloak of affirmative action against patriarchy. Just because the name of this movement has remained unchanged, doesn’t mean the ideology has as well.

Finally, and most importantly, it is for feminists who choose to neglect the theory, history and evolution of feminism, and rather find it easy to develop their sense of value by demeaning the value of men while acknowledging no role of women themselves in the process.

The shallow discussions on these topics give a false sense of deliberation on men’s end and furthers the hatred and disparity. The hypocrisy here is that of being motivated by inherent desires and using clothes, make-up and the monster of patriarchy to meet certain goals, while bashing men for responding like they are instinctively prone to within this system.

Lastly, I have created a platform on Facebook called Men’s Rights Group – Pakistan, which aims to highlight the issues men face in this country. It is not a woman-haters club, but merely a forum where men can voice their problems and pave the way for true equality in opportunities.

To get involved with the Men’s Rights Movement in Pakistan, join the following group: https://www.facebook.com/mensrightsgrouppakistan/

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Fahad Nasir

Fahad Nasir

Fahad Nasir is an advertising professional and a men's rights activist.