Thought Catalog
August 22, 2014

5 Ways Society Discriminates Against Men

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In my last article I showed you five legal rights that women have and men don’t, and now I would like to discuss some things that are not technically legal rights, but might as well be, because they benefit women at the expense of men. Here are 5 ways that society is sexist against men, in favor of women.

1. Men get longer prison sentences than women for the same crime

Nowhere it is written in law that men are to receive harsher sentences than women but the fact is they do.  And not just a little bit longer. When Prof. Sonja Starr looked at federal criminal sentencing, she found that men received, on average, 63% longer sentences than women for the same crimes, and women were twice as likely to not even be jailed when convicted.  That’s something to consider when you see things like “men commit the most crime”. It appears that men are sentenced for the most crime. Going to jail apparently has only a tenuous relationship with committing a crime, as long as you are a woman. Men are punished far more harshly than women, and women are likely to escape being punished at all.

2. Boys are more likely to be on psychotropic medications than girls

By the time he reaches high school, a little boy growing up in America has a 1 in 5 chance of being prescribed powerful Schedule II psychotropic medications to calm his behavior so he will sit quietly and obediently in female-dominated classrooms. Boys are diagnosed with ADHD at twice the rate of girls, and while there is no law written anywhere that says boys are to be drugged into submission, that is in fact what is happening. Girls are largely exempt from pharmaceutical behavioural controls and boys are not.

3. Far more men than women die on the job

Again, there is no employment law anywhere that says women are to work in cushy, air-conditioned offices and men are to work in dangerous mines, factories and roadways but the reality is that very few women work in any occupation that will lead to death, while lots of men do. When you hear media feminists calling for quotas in boardrooms or in tech giants like Google or Amazon, ask yourself why these same women are not calling for quotas on heavy equipment or oil rigs? Why is it that women seem to want equality for the sweet jobs, yet have no problem watching the bodies of men crushed, trampled, burned or pulverized pile up on the really dangerous, crappy jobs? Women are largely protected from workplace fatalities and men are not.

4. Most of the homeless are men

There is no law anywhere that states women are to be protected from homelessness and given social resources to prevent that from occurring, and yet, that is exactly what happens. Most of the homeless in the US are men, but most of the homeless women have children with them, and are thus able to avail themselves of social services not available to homeless men. The end result is that women are protected from the full effects of homelessness and are afforded special protections to ensure it does not happen, and men are not. There are some deep structural reasons for that, but if you are going to be homeless, it’s best to be a woman. You’ll get some help. Men won’t.

5. Over 40% of victims of severe physical domestic violence are men but 99.3% of shelter spaces are for women only

This one is a little bit tricky, because while the domestic violence law is written in gender neutral terms that do not exclude men, the act itself is called VAWA – the Violence Against WOMEN Act. Technically, men are legally protected from intimate partner violence, but in practice, men are likely to be the person arrested, even when they are the seriously injured party.  Here is a summary of surveys that show time and time again that women are more likely to initiate violence, and yet men are arrested 85% of the time. This is not codified in law, but seems to be the law of the land. We know that 40% of senior staff at Jezebel openly admit to violently abusing their male partners, and none indicated any repercussions for that behavior, so it stands to reason that most women can freely abuse men and assume no consequences. That is not the case for men.

See here, here, and here for the evidence.

My goal in drawing attention to the ways in which men are, in fact, at a distinct disadvantage is to highlight the importance of what feminists like to call “intersectionality”, or the study of the ways in which different forms of oppression and discrimination interact with one another. It is a truism of feminism that the simple act of being male confers a privilege that is not available to women, but neither legal nor social examination of male privilege bears this out. Women have more legal rights than men and men are discriminated against in some very important ways that are not codified in law but might as well be. Gender really does not tell you anything meaningful at all about what forms of oppression or discrimination any given individual is likely to face. A homeless male war vet up on a felony charge of assault is both legally and socially at a huge disadvantage over someone like me. To simply point to his gender as if that confers an advantage is not only deeply inadequate, it’s worryingly reminiscent of fascism. When facts and realities cannot penetrate deeply held prejudice, it’s time to start dismantling the source of that prejudice.

It’s time to dismantle feminism and realize that we are all humans. TC mark

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