The Hamilton Spectator
Education, not cancellation, will beat misogyny
As someone who has worked with underserved youth all over the world, it is clear to me that young boys are starting to exhibit extremely misogynistic behaviour. The question is why? At its core, misogyny is a result of one’s own insecurities.
However, there are several additional factors that contribute to this problem, and these ingredients create a toxic cocktail that fuels the socially accepted misogynistic movement that we are currently experiencing.
One major contributing factor is the lack of representation and understanding of men’s experiences and perspectives. This can lead to harmful stereotypes and misunderstandings about men and masculinity, which can have a negative impact on the self-esteem and self-worth of young boys. The rise of farright ideologies and movements, which often include feelings of contempt toward men as a key component, also plays a role in this problem.
Objectification is another prominent factor. Across different mediums, young men are encouraged to interact with content that portrays women as hypersexualized, submissive and inferior to men. The unfortunate reality is that this type of content sells and has become a customary way for the media to attract an audience and increase engagement.
There is also a shortage of women in leadership roles to guide and educate these young men who have more dominant personalities. If they continue to be taught and led by people with misogynistic views, we will be trapped in an endless cycle of gender inequality.
And lastly, socioeconomic disadvantage, as well as experiences of rejection in romantic or social interactions with women, can lead to feelings of insecurity, vulnerability and hopelessness. Due to generations of sexism and misogyny, asserting dominance and control over women has become an easy and acceptable way to cope with these feelings.
The solution to this problem is not to cancel people who exhibit misogynistic behaviour. If you cancel them without having a proper conversation, it can cause more tension and create more young men to feel like victims, which can generate even more issues.
Firstly, we need to provide all kids, young boys and girls, proper opportunities in life and make sure that they do not stay in a victimized mental state. Secondly, we need to have more conversations with men and women about what it means to live in a world of respect and equality and talk about the importance of treating all genders equally and respectfully.
We need to create an education culture instead of a cancel culture. This means that instead of cancelling someone for their behaviour, we educate them on the importance of treating all genders with respect and equality.
We need to provide young boys with positive role models that can help guide them toward a healthier understanding of masculinity. We also need to provide young boys with access to education and job opportunities so they can understand the importance of gender equality and women’s rights and not be influenced by social media influencers trying to charge $29 a month to take a course on how to be an alpha male.
Misogyny is not caused by a single component, but comes about from multiple issues that start with socioeconomic factors, fuelled by feelings of hatred of men and explodes when insecurities in young boys reach a peak, where they create fictitious environments as a coping mechanism to struggle so that they feel superior to others.