Friday, 27 March 2009

Male loyalty

I'm sometimes asked why I'm not more loyal to men, and why I so often defend the opposite sex when a man is under attack.

Well, I can only ask why I should defend a man simply because he's the same sex as me, even if he's behaving badly. I'll support a man if I think he's right, if I think he's being unfairly pilloried over something, but not otherwise. Why should I condone misconduct?

Nobody would expect me to defend people on the basis that they're also six foot, or in their sixties, or thin, or short-sighted, so why is being male any different? Why should we have anything in common apart from our reproductive organs?

So when I see a man being blatantly insulting to a woman, or getting some perk a woman isn't getting, I'm baffled when people expect me to root for the man and give the woman the brush-off. We blokes should stick together, I'm told. Mustn't let the side down. Says who?

It's exactly this kind of blind loyalty that perpetuates male mistreatment of women, that permits rape and domestic violence and stunted lives. Instead of speaking out, instead of demanding justice, men stay silent and let it all continue.

After all, women are always saying that there's not much loyalty between women, that unlike men they don't feel obliged to stick up for each other regardless. In fact women can bitch something rotten about other women on the flimsiest of grounds - a short skirt, too much cleavage, a grimy kitchen, a dented car. No feelings are spared. At least men are more forgiving about each other's petty failings.

But if I'm expected to forgive a drunken lout forcing himself on some unsuspecting women who invited him in for coffee, no way. Tarring and feathering would be more like it.

Thanks to Thriftcriminal (wherever he's got to) for the idea.


  1. totally agree - "OUT with LOUTS!"

    p.s. Thrifty has reinvented himself here

  2. Quicky - Particularly louts who think they can behave any which way with impunity. And there are far too many of them.

    I thought that was Thrifty's new persona but I wasn't entirely sure.

  3. Dammit, outed.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, I neither extend nor expect loyalty to gender. But I also think it is flawed to tar all males with the same brush in this regard. In my view bad people are bad people regardless of gender, and in my experience I've encountered many from both sexes. And, I might add, many remarkably nice people of both sexes.

  4. I would so disagree with you on the women thing, Nick. Stereotyping. I've never, ever had discussions like that with my female friends (and I'm blessed with many, many friends of both genders). And I wouldn't be party to it either.
    As to the patriarchy, the struggle is endless and at times disheartening but with men like you in the world I'm optimistic. There should be more enlightened ones. In fact, you should give classes. I'm serious.

  5. Grow Up - I certainly wouldn't tar all males with the same brush, there are many enlightened, civilised men out there. By the same token, I don't see all women as right-on feminists standing shoulder to shoulder with their sisters. If only.

    www - Not a stereotype, I hope. I've encountered a few all-out woman to woman spats in my time, both among people I know and in the media. As I say, not all right-on feminists. I'm glad the women you know are more generous and warm-hearted!

    Give classes? An intriguing idea, but would there be any demand?

  6. Actually Nick I'm with WWW . . women aren't stereotypically bitchy but they are bondy. The women I know are fiercely loyal and rarely bitchy. Few men have tight male friends. Women tend to have at least one really close bond and will defend to the death if required. Your observation on louts is correct tho . . loyalty does have its limits. We have particular problems with football players behaving loutishly . .

  7. Yayyy!! I would like to stand up and cheer for this post, Nick.

    I especially like that you won't condone rape and domestic violence and stunted lives.

    We badly need more men who are willing to forgo male privilege in the interest of justice and humanity. And that superhero's cape really becomes you.

  8. Heart - Goodness me, and I thought I was just a vaguely caring human being! Such shameless flattery! Well, it just sickens me that so many men think they have some sort of divine right to treat women like chattels.

    I saw on TV last night that there are now honour suicides in Turkey - women are forced to kill themselves for having "dishonoured" their family.

  9. Baino - Hey, I never said women were stereotypically bitchy. On the contrary, women are stereotypically warm-hearted, open-minded and intelligent. But on occasion they can be snarling cats in a sack. How come I've been privy to so much bitching and you haven't? Maybe women feel free to bitch around me?

    You're right that men seldom have really close friends. We find it hard to be that intimate and giving. Plus there's always an unconscious homoerotic phobia.

  10. There might not be much loyalty between individual women but I think we (women) are expected to stand up for our sex in much the same way as you speak of.

    In church we've been doing a series on jesus and women, a sort of positive discrimination thing for us I suppose, yet Jesus himself was not into any sort of discrimination on any grounds. It should all be about the individual and the circumstance, not a general 'two legs bad, four legs good' thing.

    Am I making sense? I'm rushing to make chocolate cake so possibly not as my mind is already on other things.

  11. Yes, I see what you're saying, Liz. I agree, the individual and the circumstance is what counts, not some knee-jerk impulse to defend your own sex regardless.

    Hope the chocolate cake was a mouth-watering success!