Misandry Musings

I must take issue with a post by local blogger and radio host Mariane McLeod. She published it a couple of days ago on her McLeod’s Musings blog below:
I am a bit disturbed by its content. I’m disturbed because I thought in 2014 we were beyond this type of gender baiting. Please indulge me for a second. Go back to Mariane’s blog and where she references men or males substitute one of the following words: Gays, Woman, Muslims, Blacks or Jews. Puts a bit of a different spin on it doesn’t it? Would a post like that still be acceptable? But the subject matter is about men and every time we read the news these days there is yet another story about men behaving badly. So I guess we are fair game, keep our heads down, our mouths shut and take our lumps. Well not on my watch ladies and gentleman!!!

You need to read Mariane’s blog to make sense of this post. I will assume you now have, so let’s take a closer look at Mariane’s encounter with “Bike riding dog walker man”. For convenience I will call him BRDWM.

Firstly, in the #yesallwomen hashtag climate that we live in these days. If I were out walking my dog and found myself on a quiet trail and a lone lady approached from the opposite direction with a dog. I would pull my dogs leash a little tighter and avoid contact, with the exception of a polite nod. Sad but otherwise you could end up on the receiving end of a social network rant. BRDWM changed his direction and started walking along the trail, lock step with Mariane. Don’t get me wrong I think this was completely inappropriate and wrong, but misogynous entitlement? The poor schmuck maybe (wrongly) thought he saw a connection between the two of them. She excused herself and went home, unfortunate that her walk was ruined, end of story. If it is exactly how Mariane described this, it merely seems like an unfortunate encounter with a person with bad social graces. It doesn’t sound like BRDWM propositioned Mariane, nor did he comment on her appearance, he did not ask for her phone number, he didn’t follow her to her house. He simply walked along side her on a trail uninvited. Bad manners certainly and it did not sound like Mariane was scared, just annoyed at the intrusion and BRDWM’s sense that he was “entitled” to walk with her along the trail. What disturbs me is how quickly the dinner conversation about this incident, got to a place they were using words like “assaulted, attacker and change your usual walking route”. Am I missing something here? Is this where we are at as a society? A women finds herself alone in the company of a man and he is to be immediately treated with distrust or as a potential abuser. Surely not?
A few men behave badly. In fact some men still think it appropriate to pass a comment on a woman’s appearance. Even if he does not know the woman or the woman is a work colleague. I do not do these things, so please stop lumping me in with Jian Ghomeshi, Ray Rice and Bill Cosby. Because I find it quite offensive. I also believe that because of the well-publicised accounts of these men and other infamous woman abusers, everyone seems to be getting a little hysterical about the subject. In my network of male friends and acquaintances, I can actually only think of one person that would be capable of the boorish type of behaviour (inappropriate comments, not rape) that Mariane seems to think is rampant amongst the male gender of our society. In fact who the hell are these guys she talks about that constantly say it’s a woman’s fault if she gets raped or attacked? Because I have never heard it from any of my male friends. It also sounds like the two fellas that were at Mariane’s dinner party, were so surprised by her aggressive attitude on the subject, they got themselves painted into a corner from which there was no return. Nothing they could say would be right or correct. We should all collectively take a deep breath and try to figure out what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour in men and women’s interactions with each other. Both genders.

As usual I would like to hear your (especially women) views on this post and Mariane’s blog. Am I off base? Am I living in a bubble? And yes the world is in fact a sexist hell hole for you ladies out there? Or is Mariane being overly sensitive on the subject? Also if we are fortunate enough that BRDWM reads this or Marian’s blog. Maybe he could take a little time away from trolling the local trails and footpaths for unsuspecting radio hosts, and tell us what the hell he was thinking that recent Thursday afternoon.


10 thoughts on “Misandry Musings

  1. Frankly, this is another ‘man’ bashing post by Marianne McLeod. Not sure what her issues are, but she should seek counselling immediately. I am a man. I do not fit into her experience of males. Sometimes, the pendulum swings so great it crosses a line. She just did it.
    Get help, Marianne… you need it. Just because there are many. many a-holes out there doesn’t mean all men are. You are gender labelling … shame on you!
    And by no means am I accepting violence to anyone, or any pet etc. This is just TWILIGHT ZONE.

  2. My boorish friend who is prone to inappropriate comments to women, just sent me an email wondering which friend I was talking about in this post. He also said that BRDWM sounds like one of the clubs that Jian Gomeshi belongs to. I must get that boy into harassment counseling.

  3. As a male, i fully admit that i could never fully understand it from a female perspective in that situation – however, as for the dinner guests in the blog, if someone i knew, male or female, had a creepy person that was following a friend around on isolated paths, i would have given the same advice to maybe stay away from the path. It’s not male entitlement, its just a potentially creepy person that might not be the best thing to encounter them again. It would be annoying to have someone follow you like that and force you to change instead of them respect your space. Although the roles could have easily been reversed in that situation, the reality is the roles are probably pretty reflective of the majority of the time.

    • Thanks for your input b. My point is that Mariane did not say he was creepy. He was invading her private time and space. By doing so he apparently showcased the male entitled chauvinistic world that she lives in.

  4. It seems there are two things being discussed here. The first is Marianne’s argument with her friends which doesn’t really interest me. For what its worth, I think they were just showing concern rather than blaming her for anything.
    The more interesting aspect is the behaviour of some men towards women (as illustrated by the original story of the walk along the trail).
    There is a tendancy for some men to impose themselves on women. My wife and many other women I know have remarked upon this many times. It could be on a trail, or in a coffee shop or some other place. Typically the man will be friendly and polite, making it difficult for the victim (if thats the right word) to be curt or ask him to stop. But the interraction will not stop until the women is quite blunt or – as in the trail example – walks away. Its probably worse in the big city than a small town like Collingwood, but clearly the problem can exist anywhere.

  5. I don’t like seeing this issue diluted. What we are talking about “in general” is how one human being treats another human being.

    I won’t pretend to know the many causes that lead one person to be violent with another, and I’m sure we all agree that it is wrong, BUT, there is also “violence” against men, by women, so why aren’t we dealing with this as a whole.

    When we hear about the sick crime of child pornography, we don’t hear it broken into genders.

    When we hear of sweat shops and child labour laws, we don’t hear it broken into genders.

    So why is violence against the opposite sex treated this way?

    Men are chastised for commenting on a female (ie). Scarlett Johansson, by the same women who have worn out their copy movie “Magic Mike”.

    There are a lot of societal issues that play a part in the issue being discussed here.

    Mental illness, sexual repression, duel standards, lack of communication, violent crime, minimal deterrents …

    Writing a blog, posting a supportive facebook pic et al, don’t do anything except make us feel like we’ve done our part.

    Until we as a culture are willing to peel back the onion and be honest about the “complete picture”, nothing is going to change.

    You can’t fix a problem until you know the cause.

    Sad, but true.

  6. I think you misread her blog, or missed her point…
    We can not expect men to see from the view point of a woman and vice versa, we all just need to be more understanding.

      • That’s not what I get from it either nobody, I read it once. My first thought honestly of BRDWM was his motion to continue the conversation was a sign that he is not on the same social scale and that could be a level of maturity he may never grow out of. As a women, I have been around other women who defiantly make me uncomfortable with how they speak about men. I happen to be a mother to one and a big fan of the other under my roof, both do not deserve being considered from another country when it comes to respecting the opposite sex.

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