Feminist misandry plays out in a number of ways. One of the more insidious forms is an attack on a marginalized group of males. While there are a number of reasons why it occurs, for the most part the feminist attack on marginalized males happens because those males are easy targets. Few will object to such attacks, and few will come to those males’ defense. Such attacks take the form of “objective analysis.” These critiques do not usually include evidence supporting any of the conclusions, and the conclusions are always the same: the group of males are misogynists.
Case in point, feminist blogger Restructure attacked male geeks and geek culture. No substantive evidence was presented demonstrating that geek culture revolves around excluding feminists or women, nor did she present evidence that all, most, or a substantial minority of geeks are misogynists. There are a lot of assertions and anecdotes, but nothing that comes close to supporting the claims about male geeks:
Most male geeks believe that they are subverting traditional masculinity by reclaiming and self-identifying with the term “geek”. For most male geeks, geek identity is defined partly as a rejection of the “jock” identity. According to the traditional high school male social hierarchy, jocks are high-status males and male geeks are low-status males; jocks are alpha males and male geeks are beta males; jocks are masculine and male geeks are “effeminate”. Thus, when a man proudly self-identifies as a “geek” in response, what he is doing is redefining what it is to be a man, redefining geek identity as masculine.
Typical male geeks argue that to be a geek is to be masculine by interpreting the scientific, mathematical, and technological achievements of overwhelmingly male persons as definitive proof that science, math, and technology are inherently male and define maleness. Such male geeks typically argue that there are innate differences between male and female brains that make success in science, math, and technology exclusive to men. Thus, arguments and studies that suggest otherwise are perceived as a direct attack on the masculinity and male identity of male geeks. According this male geek worldview, if women are equally capable in science, math, and technology, then male geeks lose their claim on masculinity and become low-status, beta, and “effeminate” males once again, because there would be nothing left to separate male geeks from women. Thus, male geeks—much more than non-geek men—tend to be emotionally and socially invested in maintaining the idea women’s brains are hardwired against understanding science, math, and technology to the same extent as men.
Again, not a strip of evidence was offered to support any of the above claims. Restructure did not link to any male geeks stating, implying, or even inferring anything she wrote in her post. Her core issue appears to be this:
[M]ale geek bias prevents an objective discussion about women in science, math, and technology from occurring. We need to recognize the existence of and motivations behind this male geek bias to truly address the hostility in geek communities against the idea of female geeks.
Perhaps Restructure should first recognize the existence of and motivations behind the feminist bias that prevents objective discussions about males from occurring, if only to truly address the hostility in feminist communities against the idea of non-sexist males.
Of course, that would require not painting with a broad brush, which would in turn undermine the intent of these kinds of feminist critiques. Likewise, there is no reason to “recognize the motivations behind male geek bias” since these kinds of critiques revolve around a host of preconceived notions about those motivations. Feminists like Restructure already believe they know what motivates “male geek bias.” The intent is not to bring that to light, but to convince male geeks that what these feminists say about them is true and that male geeks should just own up to it. That some of what gets viewed as “bias” might stem from mistreatment against male geeks by females not only does not seem to occur to these feminists, but also apparently does not count. Thewhatifgirl stated:
The male geeks that I hung out with in high school seemed just fine with my company – and the company of a lot of the other girls I knew. But maybe they could recognize better than you that even though we were “girls”, we weren’t the girls who teased, harassed, picked on, or otherwise abused them.
In other words, like Restructure! said, we’re not monolithic.
But apparently male geeks are. Male geeks can be summed up as “typical male geeks” and “most male geeks.” Likewise, feminists can be summed up in the same way, as long as it is something positive or neutral, as Restructure explains:
I think it depends on the context, if the description of a “typical feminist” rings true to me. If someone said, “the typical feminist is white,” or “the typical feminist is racist,” I would not find it offensive. However, I would find “the typical feminist wears birkenstocks,” offensive, because I would think this is a stereotype and false.
The latter objection is ironic since she dealt in stereotypes about male geeks. The irony worsens when she later explained that she was really referring to a specific set of geeks, namely IT geeks. So despite the term “geek” encompassing a broad group of people, the blogger made no clarification as to which group she was speaking about. More so, she did not hesitate to later deal in direct stereotyping of male geeks when she stated:
Yep, in high school, heterosexual male geeks typically don’t even see female geeks as dateable, and go for the high-status, alpha, feminine girls.
That comment came in response to thewhatifgirl dismissing the argument that female geeks have the social power to pick on male geeks by taking advantage of the notion that guys are supposed to be chasing girls. She asserted that male geeks ignore the female geeks that are interested in them in order to pine over unattainable girls, and therein monolith themselves. There was no acknowledgment that female geeks might do the same or that female geeks might not make their interest known, probably under the assumption that the boys are supposed to approach them.
Unfortunately, the “male=bad, female=good” double standard appeared throughout the comments, although some people like Danny and Cessen did challenge those hypocrisies. What makes their challenges so ironic, and the responses to them so hypocritical, is that if the same challenges were made in the reverse none of the feminists there would object.
This is the blindspot that misandry, or any bias based on preconceived notions, causes. If one already presumes to know the problem and the solution to the problem, there can be no discussion. A discussion implies that one will talk through problems, but if one refuses to see the other side’s perspective or treats that perspective with open hostility how can one work through those problems?
The above assumes that a person actually wants to have a discussion. That does not seem to be Restructure’s intent. Her intent seems to be to shame and deride male geeks and geek culture. It is a very dismissive and antagonistic way to treat any group of people, particularly if you want to join that group’s community. The attitudes expressed on that blog post and in the comments might provide a some explanation for why some male geeks react negatively when women, particularly feminist women, try to join their communities.