Do feminists hate men?

The simple answer here is that the majority of feminists don’t hate men. Feminism isn’t a fight against individuals; it’s one against actions which harm women and men alike. Anyone who wants to give it a chance will look past actual or proposed misandry and see what the movement is truly about.

When people want to insult feminism, they throw around the “men-hater” slur. This ideology has been around since the Suffrage, and Pat Robinson’s famous quote is echoed today. In the 90s he said:

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”  

A couple of decades down the line and the same line of argument is made in different words. Let’s not confuse the words feminists and misandrists.

I’m not denying that some radical feminists may hate men. A quick Google search of the term will reveal some alarming quotes and viewpoints, but, newsflash alert, radical feminism is termed so for a reason.

Feminism isn’t misandry

Feminism is the belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, not in female supremacy or alienation between genders. Men who call us misandrists are the same ones who have been told so for their entire lives, as have people for hundreds of years before so. They also believe feminism insults them, and so this is their desperate attempt to undermine its power to protect their own reputation.

Simply, inequality affects men too. It’s very common for men to be insulted using female characteristics. How many times have you seen or heard a man told to stop “being a girl” when they show emotion? When we want to be strong we are told to “grow some balls” and a slur to call someone weak is akin to female genitalia. Yet here we are worrying about hurting men’s feelings.

Jessica Valenti, in an article for The Guardian, asked the question; should we care if they do? Straight white males still hold the majority of social, economic and political power which is why feminism is about destroying harmful patriarchy, not about dominating males.

This argument stems from a lack of understanding and does more to create sensationalism than address the real gender related issues. Why are we grasping at straws which can poke holes in the legitimacy of feminism when women across the world are suffering due to inequality?

Fear of change

The fact is that men-hating arguments gives feminism a bad reputation. Feminsim causes change and its scary that its foundations are being threatened. Because of people fighting for equal rights I now have the right to vote. Today people are working to give us the opportunities that men are automatically granted. Just this September, a campaign for 50/50 parliament was supported by Jeremy Corbyn, who wanted more women in his cabinet. 

I have all too often seen people, male and female alike, undermine the authority of feminism and personally harass women by sneering at their ‘silly like men-hating ideals’. Defenders of this are often shot down, and arguments are used as further evidence of their desire for ‘female-supremacy’.

Interestingly, y
ounger feminists are adopting “ironic misandry”. That is, they are playing up to this men-hating culture, as a hit back to show people how ridiculous it is. Just look to the popularity of such “boys tears” products. 

Boys Tears 3D iPhone 5/5s case by Valfre

I want to finish on the reminder that most feminists don’t hate men. We hate the harmful ideals and behaviour of bad men. We hate sexual harassment, violence and human trafficking of women. We don’t use our energy to attack men. 

If you would like to submit a question for our Ask a Feminist feature, or get involved by answering one, please email women@kettlemag.co.uk.