Last week, we looked at the importance of understanding that same does not mean equal and that the main issue that feminists are supposed to be voicing out is about equal rights and equal access to opportunities for both women and men. All feminists do not hate men, despite people being told and thinking that they do. But still, the question remains, why do so many people think feminism equals man-hating? Well, to be entirely frank, yes, some individual feminists do hate men. I don’t think it’s helpful in avoiding it, so let’s address it head on.
All you have to do is look around the internet or the media. You don’t have to look very hard to find examples of “feminists” who hate men. However, there is a huge difference between ‘Feminists’ and ‘Misandrists’. The term misandrist is a real term, and is like misogynist but for hating men instead of women. According to Wikipedia, Misandry is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men. But feminist doesn’t mean “person who hates men.” Feminist means “person who believes people should have equitable places in society regardless of their gender.”
Yet, a lot of feminist arguments do cross the line from attacks on sexism into attacks on men, with what seems to be a strong focus on their personal behaviour, i.e. the way they talk, the way they approach relationships, etc. But note this, when similar attacks on personal behaviour are done on women, is it not just considered grossly misogynistic?
All this does nothing to advance the unfinished business of inequality. In my personal opinion, I think that if anything, the fixation on men behaving badly is a distraction from more fundamental issues, such as creating changes in the workplace to promote work-life balance. On top of that, promoting misandry only makes men, and quite a few women, have a sour attitude towards feminism.
Let’s reflect on this quote, “A portion does not equal the whole, even if that portion is really loud.” Yes there might be some misandrists or individual feminists that hate men, however, they’re not even that loud. But, they can seem so because anti-feminists like to ignore the much greater number of feminist writings, people, and organisations that disagree and say otherwise. A lot of people might argue based on what they find on the internet that most feminists hate men. However, I think that’s irrelevant. At the centre of it all, what matters is that feminism, broken down to its absolute core, is about gender equity. The goal of feminism is to create a society in which individuals’ genders don’t restrict them from a fair shot at success and happiness.
In general, most feminists actively disagree with the belief that women are better than men and think that feminists who promote misandry, and are anti-men are going against the fundamental principles of feminism, which says that everyone is deserving and worthy.
In conclusion, man-hating isn’t a part of the goal. It is an unfortunate effect brought by some people (misandrists) who also identify with the feminist movement. Think about it like this, a lot of people misbehave in college, but overall, college is more than that, right? It’s an environment where the majority of participants thrive and progress in. That’s feminism for you.