Masculism is an ideology which emphasizes the "complementarity" (Warren Farrell) of the sexes and freedom of sex role expression. In contrast, feminism advocates equality across the board and eschews any sex role differentiation. This resulted in the sexual equality laws of the early Sixties. Masculists maintain that sex differences are too great and varied to be legislated by government and that the constitutionality of those laws are questionable. Sexual equality laws support feminism and are built on the construct of Civl Rights Laws. Masculists claim that these laws ended up serving mostly women while men were left with only their basic constitutional rights.
Masculists claim that a power imbalance between men and women has been created by feminism. Feminist assumptions of an all powerful patriarchy are considered untrue and "mythical" (Warren Farrell), as well as their claims to powerlessness and victimhood. Many masculists maintain in their writings and analysis of history that feminism has fulfilled it's own myth of patriarchy by producing an exclusive and powerful matriarchy as witnessed in their control of political parties, media and academia.
Masculists emphasize what they believe are certain frequently neglected issues pertaining to the concept of equality. Examples include child custody, abortion, compulsory military service, unsegregated professional sports, law enforcement relating to domestic violence, funding for men's and women's groups, Men's Studies vs Women's Studies, ministries of Men's Affairs to complement ministries of Women's Affairs, and health research funding.
The greatest area of difference amongst masculists has to do with religious proscriptions for sex roles. This has to do with degrees more than with substance, with most masculists acknowledging men's general leadership role and the greater contributions to society.
The term "Masculism" (aka "Masculinism" or "Virism") may be used interchangeably with "Men's Rights", but conservatives in the Men's Rights scene often reserve the term "Masculism" for the liberal branch of the Men's Rights movement (as epitomised by ex-feminist author (Warren Farrell). Liberal Masculists (such as Farrell or Rod van Mechelen) take the position that Feminist aspirations to gender equality should be taken at face value, and men made equal to women in those areas where women are over-privileged. Conservatives (such as Richard Doyle), and religious individuals and organisations such as the (Promise Keepers) would prefer to return to a traditional division of labour between the sexes.
The leading masculist theoriticians envision a greater role for men in both the family and society at large. Most think that paternal custody has lesser status than maternal custody, and they argue that it should be reversed. They believe that this is achievable because the socialization of men in recent years has altered to the point where fathers now have the same nurturing skills as women do; they also charge that most family breakups are initiated by women, and that paternal custody will counteract this. They believe that feminism is the ruling paradigm in society; one of their goals is to overturn this paradigm by establishing a masculinist rule, which they consider more altruistically motivated. Under this scenario, government programs and policies are guided by masculist men and women. Most masculists support opportunity for women, but some want adjustments made in the workplace and in taxes.
Criticism and Response
Masculism has been characterized as the pinnacle of political correctness: heterosexual white guys are oppressed, too. The masculism movement is seen by many critics as combining misogyny with victimhood. Feminists argue that masculism or "Men's Rights" groups seek to perpetuate the repression of women in society.
Masculists do not define their movement as the "opposite" of feminism: That would be "typical" feminist stereotyping based on the assumption of little or no sex differences, they argue. As the underlying assumption of masculism are significant gender differences, masculists claim that their ideological approach is also significantly different from that of feminists. As for accusations of "misogyny and victimhood", in the area of group sex hate, misandry wins hands down. Even if men tried, and in the unlikely event that they would recieve sympathy, one has to admit that women are natural victims. Feminism itself proves that.