“Lagging at school, the butt of cruel jokes: are males the new Second Sex?“, Elizabeth Day. the guardian/The Observer
There are those, however, who take exception to the notion that men are a downtrodden minority, unable to speak out for fear of ridicule or repression. “It’s an idea that’s made more comebacks than Madonna,” says Julie Bindel, the feminist writer and political activist. “It’s total and utter bullshit. There are areas where men are paying the price that male supremacy gives them – there’s absolutely no doubt about that. “My dad, a working-class man from the north-east, had an absolutely horrendous job in a steel mill and he came home bad-tempered, knackered and underpaid. What he could do was come home and dominate – not in a physical way – but he could be the boss over his wife and children, he could go and sink 10 pints in the pub. “The reality is that the public domain belongs entirely to men and the disadvantages they face are just the price they pay. It’s tough cheese. Masculinity is just learned behaviour in the same way that femininity is. Ultimately, if we dismantle the patriarchy, that would end up being better for men, too.”
As long as masculinity is merely “learned behavior” there can be no honoring of the uniqueness of the sexes; the tearing down of distinction is ultimately degrading. Both the hardness of masculinity and the sacrifices which bring out the nobility in hardness are not the problems in themselves. What disintegrates the masculine is not it’s distinctives but in buying into a narrative that it is meaningless.