Are men discriminated against? [Felieton]
I ask myself: Why do I only write columns with the thought in mind Women? Can removing men from view be a symptom of their discrimination?
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discrimination against men
In the column “Babskie granie” I expressed my admiration for the activities of women’s organizations. I didn’t wonder if there were similar men’s associations. In “Why Didn’t Women Invent the Lightbulb?” I said, “It is good that men and women are not equal. It’s about giving women the same rights and opportunities as men.” Are women’s opportunities really less? Maybe it’s just the ability to use them?
Are there areas of life in which the situation of Polish men is worse than that of women? Yes – health and education. On average, men live eight years less than women and are less educated. Michał Gulczyński said in one of his interviews that among university graduates in the 25-34 age group there are 156 women for every 100 men. Are women disadvantaged? Yes, they earn less.
What’s wrong with men?
I titled one of the posts in the 60+ Wirtualna Kultura blog: Discrimination against men. It wasn’t a joke because I really thought about it. In the post, I gave five examples of discrimination against men found on the internet: Retirement age – men have to work five years longer than women, in divorce cases the courts rarely award the child to the father, male victims of domestic violence are more likely to go unnoticed, being abused by men expects more than women (this is an expression of cultural patriarchalism), some cinemas have days with cheaper tickets for women.
In a comment below the post, one of the readers wrote, “I read somewhere that the future of matriarchy might be about educating men to work together and it will also help them feel better about themselves.” One reader described an amusing situation: “Yesterday I used the term “male discrimination” in a conversation between two women who were complaining that their husbands did not want to cook. After they talked, I showed them my spice cabinet. When I listed some of my dishes, they called me a pervert.”
There was also a harder opinion of the woman in the comments: “If poor girls feel discriminated against, let them move to us for at least a month, and they have work from morning to night at work and at home, less pay and more difficult promotion.” . You have an African style in your genes – the woman works and he lets himself be served” and the reserved man: “There has to be a balance in nature. We have shown how it ends when we interfere with it with ingenious ideas. It will be the same in this case. Such dominance does not lead to anything good.” The final comment concerned fatherhood: “There are traits associated with each gender and invented or even invented, e.g. fatherhood, which will never (!) replace motherhood.”
These opinions prompted me to look further for answers to the question of whether and for what reasons one of the sexes is more disadvantaged or privileged.
In January, I came across information about Michał Gulczyński’s report: “Silence on Inequality. About men’s problems in Poland. The author is a PhD student at Bocconi University in Milan. An interview conducted by Grzegorz Szymanik was published on the online platform of Gazeta Wyborcza, in which M. Gulczyński stated: “I am irritated by the ubiquitous narrative that men are to blame for everything. And they have to give way to women.” Fewer women than men hold high positions, but there are more homeless people and more suicides among men. Among other things, he looked for reasons for the worse situation of men.
These opinions outraged some researchers – sociologists. They generally agreed with the sociological phenomena described, but questioned the novelty of some and the reasoning. Grzegorz Szymanik’s conversation with Dr. have. Katarzyna Wojnicka, sociologist of masculinity at the University of Gothenburg, and an open letter from Marta Gospodarczyk, a doctoral student at the University of Warsaw. Both ladies quarreled with Gulczyński. You opened my eyes to many men’s problems. The first discussed violence among men and the reasons for their risky behavior – one of the reasons for drinking alcohol can be a desire to hug and cry, which goes beyond the rigid framework. The second described their situation in the country.
Just reading the opinions expressed by both sexes gives a complete picture of the situation of Polish men, since the same phenomenon can be interpreted in different ways. Sometimes it seems to men that some of their rights are being taken away from them, when instead they should consider why they have had exclusive rights until now. They complain that they have to work until 65, and the fact is that employers don’t want to hire women 50+ because they have less use for them due to early retirement. I think it’s a privilege to be able to work, not to retire. Men complain that the courts limit their custody of children in divorce. But are they prepared for this care, since only their wives have taken care of the household up to now? Does that mean that men are not discriminated against? NO. Sometimes they are, but not necessarily when they think they are.
Of particular interest to me are fragments of the cited materials that relate to the poor upbringing of men. M. Gospodarczyk wrote: “The traditional model of masculinity values physical strength and physical work while devaluing intellectual work”, and M. Gulczyński: “In primary schools, boys are much worse at mastering the Polish language and reading […]. I would use coaches and physical education teachers to promote reading, i.e. male authority.
For me, the fact that men 60+ are considered more attractive than women 60+ is an example of injustice. An alcoholic and an alcoholic, a cheater and a cheater are also rated differently. Men are more forgiving in this regard.
From an early age, boys are assigned different roles than girls—boys don’t cry, girls don’t hit. Old patterns require men to resist weakness. This is supposedly the reason why they don’t go to the doctor and die young. They also compete with each other (for power?), live under greater pressure, and struggle to meet women’s expectations. These are likely symptoms of psychological violence that are likely to be harder to take than physical ones.
All these examples show that both women and men can feel discriminated against, but there is no point in asking who is more. It is better to take care of peaceful coexistence together.
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“Krysia Mącicielka” or Virtual Culture 60+. How I became a retired blogger.