For anyone who is truly interested in removing sexist language from their vernacular, it’s a good idea to take every social group into account. This is especially true when it comes to sexist language.
The Cambridge dictionary defines the word “sexist” as: “Suggesting that the members of one sex are less able, intelligent, etc. than the members of the other sex, or referring to that sex’s bodies, behavior, or feelings in a negative way”.
For anyone who wants to truly become less “sexist” it’s important to identify and remove any sexist language you may be using today that is negatively biased against either gender – men and women.
Why Focus on Sexist Language Toward Men?
The reality is that most articles on the internet that cover sexist language (allegedly by sites that portray themselves as interested in gender equality) tend to only focus on sexist language against women. In fact, Merriam-Webster, a dictionary that has become exceedingly misandrist over the past few years, includes “especially : discrimination against women” in their definition even though this isn’t at all true, especially in recent years.
In fact, Merriam-Webster itself is guilty of adding extremely sexist terms like “manspreading” and “mansplaining” to their dictionary. Proving that even a dictionary is capable of fostering sexism in society.
For this reason, it’s important to offer the rest of the story around sexist language – specific terms and phrases that are extremely sexist toward men. Phrases that you should seek to remove from your vocabulary if you truly claim to be a supporter of equal rights and gender equality.
One of the worst recent manifestations of social media has been the use of the tag #KillAllMen. Many people who use this tag claim that it’s tongue-in-cheek. It’s a way to point out situations where they’re frustrated with men in general.
However, it’s the “men in general” part that makes this phrase so exceedingly sexist. Men are not all the same. Nor are the actions of one man representative of all men.
Regardless, imagine the ramifications of someone using the tag #KillAllWomen on social media, making sweeping generalizations about all women. Such posts would be removed immediately, and the person’s account would be suspended permanently. Rightly so.
Unfortunately, this tag is not policed in a fair or unbiased manner on most media platforms. However, this author has found that Twitter in particular is very good about deleting such posts when they’re reported. This is because they outright violate Twitter’s community standards rule about promoting violence against a particular group based on race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. So when you see such Tweets, report them!
Men Are Pigs
The term “men are pigs” implies that only men are unfaithful or cheat on their significant other. People also think that violent partners are all male. All it takes is visiting one or two groups on Facebook for fathers or husbands to quickly learn that there are many, many women out there who cheat on their husbands. And there are also horrible, violent women who attack their partners and unfortunately go unpunished.
However, for some reason, society is more forgiving toward women who cheat or who are violent. People make excuses for them, attempting to find a way to blame the husband for the fact that the wife slept with another man or attacked her partner.
The truth is that women are just as likely to cheat or act out violently, and that behavior is equally as disgusting as when men do it. As a society, we need to stop making excuses for women who cheat. We also need to stop ignoring just how many women like this are out there. It’s time to recognize that women are just as capable of being “pigs” as men, and should be condemned for that behavior as well in movies, TV shows, and in the news, just as men already are.
Mansplaining and Manspreading
Two of the most sexist and disgusting terms to come out of recent years are “mansplaining” and “manspreading”.
These are terms that stereotype specific behaviors among all men, attempting to portray women as superior in that they allegedly don’t take part in such behaviors. In fact, women are just as guilty of taking up too much public space as well.
Ask family and friends if they’re ever witnessed women taking up excessive seat space on the subway, or explaining something to someone who clearly already knows the topic at hand, and you won’t struggle to hear such stories. Just ask stay-at-home dads how often they’ve been talked down to when it comes to childcare or infant care.
The truth is that both genders have subject matter and topics that they’ve traditionally been assumed to be more knowledgeable about. Assuming that someone doesn’t know something just because of their gender is not a male-only trait. Women do it all the time too.
And when it comes to “manspreading”, we’ve already covered why that term ignores male biology. In fact, the fact that men can’t sit comfortably in public transportation only proves that such seating was not created for men at all.
In the beginning, there were some who referred to “toxic masculinity” as a way to identify some traditional male behaviors that aren’t healthy for neither men nor women. Some examples might include self-sacrificing ones own physical or mental health to provide for others, or avoiding seeking help for physical ailments to avoid appearing weak.
Even the American Psychological Association has jumped on the bandwagon and adopted this sexist term, proving that the psychological community is failing men worse today than they ever have before.
We recently debunked this claim by the APA that men don’t seek help. The reality is that when men do seek help, the psychology community fails them.
Unfortunately, the term has taken on a life of its own. These days, men can’t even decide to grow a beard without being accused of expressing toxic masculinity. It’s as though men must dress feminine, must force themselves to cry, and must run to the doctor’s office for every little symptom in order to appear “progressive” in today’s society.
The truth is, if we were really concerned about equity and fairness, we would allow men to express themselves however they see fit, whether that’s traditionally masculine or not.
There is nothing wrong with being strong, expressing healthy aggression, or standing up for oneself. In fact, many modern movies promote all of these behaviors in women using “strong, female roles”. So…if these are behaviors we want to promote in women, why would we stop continuing to promote them in men as well?
You’re a Dick
This one is pretty simple. People are quick to get offended if you call a woman a “cunt” as an insult. Yet the opposite, calling a man a “dick” is apparently acceptable.
Here’s an idea, how about we stop using the genitalia of the opposite sex as a manner to insult them? If this is unacceptable to do to women, then in a truly equitable world it should be equally unacceptable to do to men.
So, stop doing it. It’s repulsive behavior and only exposes ones hypocrisy when they get upset about people doing the same exact thing to women that they do to men.
An interesting thing to note about modern feminism is that they condemn the use of “man” in positive words like fireman, policeman, and even fairly neutral words like “manhole cover”.
There is good reason for this. We should be encouraging girls to embark in traditionally male careers like fire fighting, police work, and even city infrastructure work. But where the hypocrisy creeps in is where apparently the word “man” is encouraged.
We’ve covered the hypocrisy of feminism introducing words like mansplaining and manspreading. Apparently it’s okay to integrate the word “man” into negative words. But what’s also interesting is to watch how the use of “mankind” is embraced when the conversation describes the negative actions of humanity.
Keep an eye out when reading feminist texts when it comes to describing anything negative – the use of “man” in those words or phrases is plentiful. Yet, when the topic are positive things – the word “man” get scrubbed from the vernacular.
Feminists like to claim that feminism isn’t “anti-male”, but actions certainly speak louder than words.
Happy Wife, Happy Life
A traditional phrase for a long and happy marriage is “happy wife, happy life”. This phrase is one of the more disgusting pieces of advice that has been handed down from one generation to the next.
The reality is that a marriage where the happiness of the wife is all that matters, is doomed to failure. This is because the advise to squelch ones own needs and happiness all the time will lead to resentment and animosity toward the other spouse.
A more appropriate phrase would be “happy spouse, happy spouse”, because the happiness of both genders matters in any relationship. A relationship where one person is always taking and one is always giving is doomed to failure.
A Woman Scorned
In modern society, abusive husbands are portrayed in movies and TV shows as monsters. Countless movies are created showing vigilante female leads doling out “justice” to these abusers. No one ever dares suggest that the husband may have been “scorned” – either cheated on, lied to, or otherwise. And even if he were, most people would agree that it doesn’t give that man the right to physically abuse or attack his partner. And certainly, you would be hard pressed to find a single movie or TV show glorifying such man seeking out such revenge against his cheating wife.
Unfortunately, the same attitude isn’t taken by society when the shoe is on the other foot. People seek out excuses when a wife physically abuses or attacks her husband. The traditionally used term “a woman scorned” is still used today to excuse violent female partners – essentially saying that husband who cheated or otherwise lied to a woman somehow deserves to be physically attacked by that woman.
If there is any single thing we can do to create a more fair and egalitarian society is would be recognizing just how sexist and disgusting the term “a woman scorned” is, and removing it from our language entirely.
Consider all of the ways women do things to overcompensate for the ways society measures them as women. They tear down other women to friends in order to make themselves look better. They overspend on dying their hair or expensive hairstyles. They wear overly revealing clothes that accentuate the parts of their body they are proud of, to deflect attention from body parts they may believe are underdeveloped or lacking.
Men rarely do such things. Given, the reasons women do such things and men don’t are well-documented and constantly cited throughout feminist literature. It’s common knowledge in today’s culture that women are under tremendous pressure via magazines, TV ads, and even other people in society, to meet a certain standard of beauty. That their very “value” as a human seems based on their looks rather than their skills or achievements.
But for some reason, the very same people who appear to understand that it’s wrong to base a person’s “value” on their body characteristics, are also the same people who will say out loud that a man driving a large truck must be “overcompensating”. Overcompensating for what? Well, a small penis of course.
In other words, they’re saying that it’s okay to base a man’s value or worth on the size of his penis. But anyone accusing a woman of acting or behaving a certain way because she’s “overcompensating” for having small breasts would quickly be labeled a misogynist. Society in general seems to be hyper-aware of misogyny when it rears its ugly head, but remains ignorant and oblivious to the scourge of misandry in all of its disgusting forms.
Little Man Syndrome
Everyone knows that women who are taller than the “norm” struggle in many ways. The social norm when dating is that women often seek out men who are taller than them, and men seek out women who are shorter. Radical feminists would say this is an element of “control” on the part of men – that being taller allows them to be the “dominant” partner in the relationship.
The reality is less insidious. Society has always required men to be the “protectors” of the health and safety of women. Men were (and generally still are) required to sacrifice their very lives and health to ensure that their female partner remains safe from harm. Most people would agree that it takes much less effort to keep a smaller woman safe from harm if you’re larger than her.
Back to taller women; because of this social norm, taller women often struggle to date. This is especially true if they buy into the idea that they must date taller men (tall, dark, and handsome). While that struggle may lead to anger and resentment, no one would ever accuse a tall woman who is in a bad mood on a particular day of having “tall woman syndrome”.
However, for some reason, people are often quick to accuse any man who may be shorter than the social norm, of having “little man syndrome” if he’s in a bad mood or angry. While it would be labeled as a clear case of misogyny against tall women, no one ever recognizes this sexist phrase as being an obvious form of misandry in society today.
Girls Rule, Boys Drool
Imagine a world where:
- More boys graduated from college
- Boys achieve better grades in school
- Girls committed suicide more often
- Traditionally female behavior like passivity was diagnosed as an “illness” in an academic setting and girls were given drugs to “fix” it
- Boys wore t-shirts with the phrase “Boys Rule, Girls Drool” to celebrate their achievements
In such a world, many people would be storming the White House to demand a more fair and equitable society for girls. They would be demanding that apparel companies cease manufacturing such sexist clothing.
Yet, flip the genders in that scenario and that is the society that boys are born into. And no one cares. No one has empathy for boys, or bothers to ask the question – why aren’t we helping children who are being treated unfairly just because of their gender?
If you ever seeing anyone wearing an article of clothing that puts down boys, take a stand.
Call it out for the disgusting sexism that it is. If you truly believe in a more egalitarian society where everyone is treated equally, then don’t stop short when the gender of that person being treated unfairly is male.
In the Doghouse
If you spend any time at all in Facebook men’s groups – particularly those for husbands – you will sometimes see someone post the phrase “well, guys I’m in the doghouse”.
This is a phrase that means a wife is angry with her husband. Sometimes that means being forced to sleep on the couch or in another bedroom following an argument.
If you’re wondering whether such a phrase is truly sexist, just use a simple psychological test on yourself. Swap the genders.
Imagine a woman came to you and told you that she’s “in the doghouse” and not allowed by her husband to sleep in her own bed. What would you say? You’d probably quickly jump to the conclusion that she may have an abusive and controlling husband.
The next time you hear a guy use this phrase, have some empathy and ask him what else his wife does that’s controlling and abusive toward him. You may be surprised at what you uncover. And hey, maybe you can help a friend get out of an abusive and controlling relationship.
A much more recent term used toward men (typically teenage or 20-something males) is the term “incel”. It’s a new term, but not a new behavior. People have often bullied and shamed young men who can’t get dates, let alone spend any time in bed with the opposite sex.
Again, take the test. Swap the genders. Imagine people came up with a term to bully girls who are not “beautiful” enough to enjoy dating boys. What would you say to those people? You’d probably call them a misogynist, or sexist. Yet, for some reason society not only allows boys and young men in this situation to be bullied, but in many social circles (particularly on social media) it’s encouraged.
Even worse, many in the news media have taken to villify these boys and men as “potentially dangerous”. Why? Because these boys and young men happen to express anger online about how they are bullied. It’s a sexist cycle that stems from the fact that society in general has less empathy toward boys. The media would be scornful toward people labeling girls who view themselves as not “beautiful” enough to get dates – yet they encourage attacking boys in a similar boat.
See Sexism? Put a Stop To It
The next time you see these or other sexist terms against boys or men being used, take a stand. Post a comment under sexist news articles. Write a letter to your sexist representative in Congress. Call out your friend at work who calls himself or herself a “feminist” and uses any of these sexist phrases against men.
Together, we can not only continue to achieve an equitable and fair world for girls and women, but an equally equitable and fair world for boys and men.
Because, even though Merriam-Webster claims in its definition of “sexism” that it’s usually toward women – those of us who are truly “woke” to sexism are able to recognize it in all of its insidious forms. Lets do something about it.