, 25 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
I recently got into a little discussion with Kate Manne (@kate_manne) on her concept of “HIMpathy,” namely the over-sympathy for men and their suffering. I disputed this concept and I promised to show her the facts that would make me question its validity.

Large thread: 1/n
She bases this on two studies which purport to show that women's pain is taken less seriously. However, there is a problem of interpretation. Many plausible explanations other than over-sympathy for men could explain these results. 2/n

Initially I was quite bewildered that this concept was serious. I mean, it completely goes against common sense:

We sacrifice men in war, not women. Right? Women are saved in preference to men in emergency situations. Titanic, anyone? 3/n

However, let's forget "common sense" for a moment and actually look at the evidence and data. As it happens, there is a lot of evidence that not only is the concept of HIMpathy false, but the completely opposite is true. "HERpathy" if you will. 4/n
The evidence to the contrary starts with this study by Tania Reynolds (@TaniaArline ) et al

(Listen to this podcast to hear about the study: heterodoxacademy.org/podcast-hhh-40…)

This study included many experiments. Consistently across these experiments they found results opposite of HIMpathy. They found that female harm or disadvantage evoked more sympathy and outrage and was perceived as more unfair than equivalent male harm or disadvantage. 6/n
They also found evidence of differences in policy support. Participants were more willing to support policies that advantaged women, but not those that advantaged men. They also saw suffering of women as a more serious problem facing society compared to male suffering. 7/n
Further, people were more likely to blame men for their own disadvantage. Females showed a stronger in-group bias, they found women's harm more problematic and more strongly endorsed policies that favored women. 8/n
“Researching different disparaties in society, even in cases where men were more afflicted, the agencies would still describe the pattern in percentages of women who were afflicted... they needed to frame it in terms of female victims to activate feelings of care or concern.” 9/n
In fact, the results of the former study shouldn't be surprising.

Rudman et al (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15491274) have shown that women are much more likely to show an automatic preference for their own gender than men are.

I will label this 'automatic female bias' 10/n
How about this study by Alice Eagly & Mladinic? They find that attitudes towards women are much better than attitudes toward men. 11/n

We can also look at attitudes and support of violence depending on victim's gender. In a large survey of young people, it was consistently found that violence was more accepted in all scenarios if the victim is male.

Again, opposite of HIMpathy. 12/n

Then there is this study from 233 countries with millions of individuals. The study was about a moral dilemma. They found, among other things, that people were more likely to spare women in the experiment.

Again, opposite of HIMpathy. 13/n
Many of these studies are about hypothetical situations. One potential criticism could be that what people claim to do, they may do the opposite in practice. So even if people in surveys show bias in favor of women, they may show bias in favor of men in reality 14/n
However, this turns out not to be the case. These former studies are perfectly compatible with what occurs in the real world.
(Also, I doubt this criticism would have been raised if the results of the studies had been different.) 15/n
If we had more sympathy for men, surely health spending would be male-favored. Yet, the complete opposite is true. One example is donations to breast cancer research compared to prostate. But that's just one example, it's a general phenomenon. 16/n

That is despite females already living longer. Females also get more attention and care. Another good resource is:
If we would have more sympathy for men, we would surely judge them less harshly in criminal courts. Yet, the opposite is true. 18/n


Not only are men punished more harshly, people are also punished even more harshly if the victim is female. Presumably, because we show more outrage and sympathy for female victims. 19/n

There are an endless number of other real world issues that demonstrate that our sympathies toward suffering lie more with women than men, opposite of what Manne claims. 20/n
Homeless women receive more support. Men notoriously receive disproportionately little help as domestic violence victims. It is legal to circumcise boys, not girls. Female-specific scholarships. I could go on and on. However I feel this is sufficient for now. 21/n
This thread is not done out of some activism for men. It is rather out of intellectual curiosity, specifically for the question: how could a concept such as "HIMpathy" get any foothold, when not only is it not true, it is indisputably clear that the opposite is true? 22/n
I suspect that Kate, like most of us, has an automatic female-bias, a HERpathy if you will. She notices only female suffering, thereby getting a biased impression of the world.

Ironically, because of Kate's HERpathy, she invented the false concept of HIMpathy. 23/n
There is much more one could say on this issue, but I will stop here. Thanks for reading. THREAD OVER n/n (where n = 24).

People who may be interested: @RealYeyoZa @phl43 @AndrewCutler13 @
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