First off, a small note: your link to the APA’s pdf is broken.
The APA frames masculinity as an ideology
When they use the phrase “masculinity ideology,” I don’t think they’re necessarily saying that all masculinity is ideological, or the result of cultural conditioning.
I obviously can’t speak for the APA, but my own view would be that certain traits of masculinity are biological, but many are cultural. When they say “masculinity ideology,” I imagine they are speaking solely about the parts of masculinity that are cultural, not biological.
Or another way of thinking about it is: masculinity has a biological component — by which I mean things like, males are generally more aggressive and competitive than are females — but those biological traits can manifest themselves in behavior that cultures can then either foster or discourage.
And some of them should be discouraged.
What is most alarming in this quotation, however, is that masculinity is associated with intrinsic negatives like misogyny and violence.
Because that’s what the evidence shows.
This may be a good moment to pause and make sure we’re on the same footing with our definition of the word “masculinity.”
I don’t know what definition you’re operating off of, but it’s not difficult for me to imagine someone with a perspective along the lines of, “Misogyny and violence against women is not something a real man would ever engage in.”
And for this person, the definition of masculinity, then, takes on a meaning that necessarily excludes misogyny and misogynistic violence.
When the APA uses the term “masculinity,” I suspect that they mean any and all qualities and attributes that are applicable to males in general.
And, as I mentioned, the evidence does show that males are more violent and more misogynistic than females.
A report from the U.S. Department of Justice (pdf) reviewed crimes from 1980–2008 and found that 89.5% of all homicides were perpetrated by men.
According to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (pdf), women are twice as likely to suffer domestic violence than are men.
Now, and I suspect this next point may be important:
When the APA says that misogyny and violence are masculine behaviors, they are not saying that these are behaviors exhibited by all men, or even most men.
Nor are they saying that these are behaviors exhibited by all masculine “manly men,” and that only the men who buck the male stereotypes are innocent of violent and misogynistic behavior.
By labeling violence and misogyny as masculine, all they are saying is that, when you do encounter a person who is being either violent or misogynistic, the odds are that this person is going to be a man. And the evidence backs that up.
Here, the APA defines the concept of illegitimate privilege, while needlessly including specific people-group categories as examples of “unearned power.”
You’re not very explicit about what your objection is here, but I suppose it’s that you think male privilege simply doesn’t exist?
I think that would be a very bold position to stake out.
Let me first be clear in stating that acknowledging the reality of male privilege in no way means you are required to agree to what degree it exists. I often find myself disagreeing with a lot of the examples that are purported to be male privilege.
For example, you’ll often see point to the wage gap between men and women as some kind of proof of male privilege. But they fail to take into account that men and women gravitate toward different careers, and the males may simply have more of a natural interest in careers that just happen to pay better. I would not call that male privilege.
On that same, note I also often see people point to the lack of women working in certain fields, especially fields related to engineering, computer science, coding, game development, etc. These are male dominated fields, that much is clear, but I would also not call that male privilege. There’s almost certainly no hiring discrimination going on there; what’s more likely is that women just aren’t as attracted to those fields of study.
But while I don’t think male privilege is as common as some people would have you believe, that doesn’t mean it’s non-existent.
I’ve never been afraid to walk to my car alone at night. That’s male privilege.
I can have casual sex and not be slut-shamed. That’s male privilege.
If I get a major promotion at work, people will assume I earned it, and not assume I slept my way to the top. That’s male privilege.
If gender is non-binary…
I actually agree on this point. I find it very tough buying into this idea of non-binary gender. Especially since I’ve talked with several people who identify as non-binary, and almost all of them say it’s because they don’t adhere to society’s traditional gender roles.
But that’s an argument against gender roles. That’s not an argument for more than two genders.
This was a disturbing document to read, knowing that so many young men will be subject to the consequences of the philosophy outlined here.
As I mentioned in my other comment, I don’t really see what’s so disturbing. After reading over your objections to the APA’s guidelines, I still don’t see what’s so disturbing.
Moreover, I’m not sure what you see that’s so disturbing.
Could you, I don’t know, give me a few hypothetical examples?