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12/19/2013 11:11 am ET Updated Feb 18, 2014

What Are Some Common Forms of Sexism That Men Face?

This question originally appeared on Quora.
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Answer by Arsène Hodali, Jazz Juner

  • Boys are commonly shown less compassion than girls from an early age (amongst other things, boys are picked up after and slower than girls when they cry).
  • Although a majority of women make less than men on the job; men are expected to relocate more often, work longer hours, and to keep a smaller cut of their paycheques for themselves than women, due to socially decided portions of obligations such as mortgages, romantic outings, and such.
  • Men are expected to occupy the most dangerous and/or lowest paying jobs and positions (waste collection, roofing and construction, truck driving, mining, logging, firefighting, most things related to war).
  • The pressure on women to 'hold down a man' is synonymous with the pressure on men to 'hold down a job.'
  • Women are expected to date up, men are expected to date down. A man is expected to be taller, smarter, more athletic, and earn more than his female companion. There's also a gender-specific ageism at play (preference for older men, and younger women).
  • Men are conditioned to reject anything feminine within themselves such as emotions, frailty, and so on (homophobia could be argued as a physical and violent manifestation of this conditioned rejection).
  • Children bestow more love upon their stay-at-home moms than their sole-providing dads (this comes with the territory of his being away from the family for the longest period of time, multiple times). Husbands report, the few that do, that they feel as if they're providing for a family that no longer loves them quite the way they used to.
  • Throughout history women were/are treated as property, but men were/are expected to die for their property [and home and nation, which constitute as property] (some people, like Warren Farrell, conclude that they're thus viewed as being worth less than their property).
  • Male-on-male violence is treated as a sport, as an ideal, and as entertainment than for what it actually is. And men who choose not to participate in such violence are looked down upon by both men and women.
  • The stats are iffy on this, but the combination of casually shunned female-on-male rape and male-on-male rape in places such as prison paints men as both leading victims of sexual violence and as the most silent majority (hence why the stats are iffy).
  • There's no male equivalent of anything that a man can lie about a woman that can ruin her life, reputation, and career as dramatically as a woman's false cry of abuse or rape.
  • The combination of marriage and divorce is heavily sided against men in countries like the USA; men are expected to provide financial support for their wives and women to provide emotional support for their husbands, and after divorce ex-husbands are expected to continue their financial support in some way while ex-wives continuing their emotional support after divorce is unheard of.
  • Most media of entertainment without readily viewable violence or action of some kind favour women as they are the main consumers of such media (for example, the majority of books and daytime adult television is aimed towards women). And in a capitalist economy, those who consume set the standard (and media sets the cultural standard).
  • Light forms of male subservience are labelled as chivalrous and gentlemanly and widely expected (imagine seeing women open doors and pull out chairs for men).
  • Forced polygyny is viewed as being something that harms women more than it does men, but it harms both sexes equally in the long run (in the short run it, of course, harms women far more). Forced polygyny in a sense is the act of a [rich] man depriving another [poor] man of the potential for marriage and offspring.
  • When a man and a woman commit the same crime, the man will most times receive a harsher sentence and be assumed the initiator if the man and woman were partners in crime (this is largely sexist towards women in that it believes men to be more in control of their own actions, but it's a double-edged sword).

In all cases of sexism, against males and females alike, both parties are always at fault (to what degree is dependent on the specific issue at hand); as in society at large is to blame most of all for perpetuating things under the guises (or as Michael Kaufman puts it best the collective hallucinations) of 'manhood, womanhood, and roles.'

I'm a feminist who strongly believes that feminism, as an equality movement, should discuss these issues as fervently as it does more female-centered inequalities, however unpopular they are with females. Things are only going to get better when we stop viewing all of these gender issues as 'us vs them' instead of the actual 'we' (this system is flawed, we're all hurting); more people should read the works of people like Kenneth Clatterbaugh). Dialogues trump monologues.

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