I often chat away about the anti-male sentiment in the US. Some people ignore this blather, some people furiously disagree, some people shake their heads and wonder what I’m talking about. Oh, and there are also a half-dozen or so people who do at least get the gist of what I’m talking about.
I think I should be clear in mentioning that when I say there is an anti-male sentiment in the US, that doesn’t mean I’m saying there is not an anti-female sentiment. There is OBVIOUSLY an anti-female sentiment in the US. Just as it is OBVIOUS that there is an anti-male sentiment.
The problem I see is that the wrong thinking of the anti-female sentiment is expressed on a daily basis, and, in contrast, there are very few people who express what’s wrong about the anti-male sentiment. This leads to a culture of blame where men are seen as the source of the problem…which is simply not the case.
I’ve said this before but it’s worth saying and bears repeating. The issue should not be Men vs. Women, but instead should be Men AND Women vs. Injustice. When we’re at that point…THEN we’ll have something to brag about.
Anyway, as I was saying before, there is an anti-male sentiment and the truth is that this sentiment runs so deep and is so pervasive that even I (who am on the lookout for these things) sometimes overlook it when it rears its ugly head.
For example, I was at a lovely little dinner party the other day and as part of the entertainment, our host was asking us some questions that she’d picked up at a baby shower. Now, let me be clear that there was nothing malicious in her questions, and the anti-male sentiment that reared its ugly head actually came from ME and how I’ve been conditioned to think (which is a shocking thing to realize).
Anyway, one of the questions was, “how long does it take man to change a diaper, and how long does it take a woman to change a diaper.”
I answered that the woman can do it in around a minute and a man needs two minutes. I felt that women probably change more diapers than men so they are more efficient at it, and I was trying to be honest in my response.
Well, we were surprised to learn that it takes men something like 1.5 minutes, and women 2.5 minutes. We were all puzzled by this (because we were all associating a faster change with “being” a better diaper changer), but our hostess had an instant explanation, “they’ve suggested that men aren’t as careful as women are, that’s why they do it faster.”
Ohhh…we all said in agreement nodding to ourselves once again about how incompetent and evil men are. That belief is so deeply rooted, that even in the case where there is QUANTIFIABLE EVIDENCE that men do something child care related WELL, we have to spin it so that it indicates inferiority.
It was only when I got home I kind of perked up as if stung and said, “Wait a minute…why can’t a faster average diaper changing time just mean that men are BETTER at changing diapers?”
You see, if you have any background in science, you start to learn the difference between what is fact and what is opinion. Data is a weird thing to interpret because half the time people collect data and then just completely ignore it on the way to what they wanted to think anyway.
The only thing that’s a cold, hard, non-biased fact is that men change diapers faster than women. That’s all we know. When you start coming up for reasons as to WHY that is, you’re entering the realm of opinion (and bias can sneak in again).
Is it reasonable to think that men are faster because they’re careless? Yes.
Is it reasonable to think that men are faster because they’re better at it? Yes.
Both of these suggestions are hypotheses…but to determine which is correct would require MORE TESTING!
Still…based on MY SCIENTIFIC OBSERVATION (using myself as a study), I can see that most people are willing to just default to the “men are incompetent bastards” explanation without BOTHERING to ask any more questions.
Thus…an anti-male sentiment.
It’s really out there folks…but don’t just take my word for it. Devise some SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS and see what you can come up with!