Here is a note: if your movement has existed in its current form for over 60 years, and since its inception people assumed you hated a group, and people still assume your movement hates that group, perhaps it is time to admit your movement hates that group.
Feminists frequently complain about people, particularly men, assuming feminism is about hating men. Wherever would people get this idea? It is not as if feminists write articles about how all men are potential rapists until proven otherwise. It is not as if feminists use hashtags mocking male feelings or threatening to kill men. It is not as if they target socially awkward males and accuse them of feeling entitled to sex with women. It is not as if feminists claim that all men belong to a global hegemony intent on oppressing women for some unspecified reason.
That never happens.
No, according to Holly Mallett people assume feminism is about hating men because they just hate feminists. So she felt the need to share that “I’m Sick of Having to Reassure Men That Feminism Isn’t About Hating Them”.
If people think negatively about feminism and feminists, one ought to look at their arguments first. They may have a point. Or one can complain about how hard it is having to prove you are not a bigot… as you present incredibly bigoted arguments. For example, Mallett wants men to think feminists do not hate them. To prove this, she opens her article with a disclaimer:
I’ll start this with a disclaimer. You always have to start this kind of article with a disclaimer, right?
You do not, however, it seems you are inclined to do so.
Any time you publicly comment on the mistreatment or underrepresentation of a certain group at the hands of another, you have to spend a good portion of your word count reassuring the ones in charge that it isn’t an attack.
Did you ever wonder why that happens? Might it not stem from saying things like “reassuring the ones in charge”? Is that not an inflammatory thing to say to someone you know nothing about? How do you know they are in charge? How do you know they are not under-represented? How will taking an adversarial position make someone more willing to listen to you?
You’re about to read an article by a woman (me) challenging the beliefs of certain men. That woman is a feminist, but she doesn’t hate men. You’re reading a piece which, if you choose to read it with bias against feminism, might result in you coming to the conclusion that I do hate men, but I implore you to try and believe me. I don’t.
We are only 123 words into your article and you already contradicted your own advice. You began your article expressing a clear bias against anyone critical of your opinions. Why should anyone give to you what you would not give to them?
I have on many occasions fallen prey to the wicked temptation to enter into debates with men online who absolutely despise feminists. These men see “feminazis” as vicious man-haters, fighting for dominance and dictatorship thinly veiled as a quest for an equality they supposedly already have.
I am sure you have, just as I have entered debates with feminists who absolutely despise men (#notallfeminists). Unless you have evidence that all the men you encounter foam at the mouth at the mere utterance of “feminist”, you have no point. You are merely being hyperbolic.
Actually, I often don’t know the opposing opinion-haver’s gender when the conversation begins, but it doesn’t take more than a couple of disparaging comments and eye-roll emojis to figure it out. But it isn’t always men. There are, of course, some women who proudly spread the ludicrous hashtag #IDontNeedFeminismBecause, apparently blissfully unaware that without it, they probably wouldn’t be allowed to have their own Twitter account.
This may come as a surprise: feminism is not the only ideology that argues for equality among the sexes. It is probable that women would have been allowed on Twitter without feminism’s existence in the same way it is probable that you would know how to read without Christian monks opening schools in medieval Europe.
Anyway, the belief of the men with whom I get into debates seems to revolve around the fact that, in the past, some feminists wrote pretty hardcore literature about the extermination of masculinity and male gender roles, and thus the assumption is that all women who are feminists today hate men too.
If by “in the past” you mean within the last five years, I would completely agree. It is not difficult to find feminists saying horrible things about men. It is not difficult to find those views supported by scores of feminists. Let us take one example: Schrodinger’s Rapist. If feminists as a group do not hate men, one would expect a Google search for this article to pull up dozens of feminist takedowns of this ridiculous argument. Yet the opposite is true. The majority of feminist commentary on the article supports it, even as feminists acknowledge that the concept that all men are potential rapists until proven otherwise is a bigoted position.
The same goes for the frequent anti-male hashtags, articles bashing male geeks, articles accusing frat boys of being rapists, claims that boys and men need to be taught not to rape, etc. All of these things are part of modern feminism, and each of them alone would give them impression that feminism is about hating men. When taken together, there is no impression; it becomes fact.
It’s true that this literature exists, but taking it as feminist gospel is a pretty simplistic view. By that reasoning, everyone who’s ever voted Republican loves Donald Trump. But whenever I’ve dared to challenge this reasoning, I’ve been told I’m somehow proving their point. It’s a classic tactic in arguments.
Yes, it is. It is called “pointing out contradictions, misinformation, and falsehoods”. That is not a logical fallacy; that is how logic works. You present a ridiculous argument that is easily disproved by the evidence. No one needs to try to find feminists saying bad things about men or try to find other feminists supporting those comments. “Ironic misandry” is the norm among modern feminists.
You can object to someone trying to “belittle the opponent to lessen their voice” or “mock a woman for calling you out” or “seek to turn them into the very thing they seek to distance themselves from”, but you cannot claim they try to “stop the debate before it’s even begun”. They are opening the debate. You are trying to shut it down because what they present does not make you look good.
Of course, to do this you engage in the very types of logical fallacies you accuse men of using. For example, your non sequitur:
Never mind the long list of famous men who have beaten, raped, and abused women yet continue to have thriving careers, or the man who murdered his sister because she dared to be unashamed of her body. Forget Brock Turner, who just got a puny sentence for raping an unconscious woman because a longer sentence would have a “severe impact on him” or the fact that you’re less likely to be promoted if you’re a woman, even if you have the same skills as a man. Forget the obvious discrepancy between the way men and women are treated by the media, employers, and society as a whole. No, it’s clearly the women who hate the men.
What does any of that have to do with whether feminism is about hating men? We are not talking about men’s bad actions, and we are not talking about women hating men. We are talking about a specific ideology that appears to use men as a scapegoat and justifies bigotry against men by claiming men cannot experience sexism.
But if you want rattle off a list of horrible actions, I am not sure this is a game you want to play. Here is a list of horrible things women did and got away with in 2016 alone:
– A judge admits that a woman is a sexual predator yet releases her without any punishment
– A woman received no jail time after recording herself raping her 12-month-old son and sharing it for money
– A child rapist admits she will rape again and court lets her go free
– A woman openly discussed her sexual interest of children on social media to which she faced no penalty
– Two deaf sisters prey on a boy for 14 years and walk away with no jail time because of their disability
But would you blame us if we did? Considering it took a woman literally jumping in front of a horse for the sake of suffrage in the UK, it makes plenty of sense that some women might be driven to misandry.
No. Wrong. Emily Davidson was killed when she attempted to pin something onto the horse. It is literally the third item under the Google search “woman killed by horse suffragette”. Google found it in 0.51 seconds, but apparently you missed it.
The thing is, though, the feminists I know — myself included — don’t hate men.
I know. Feminists never know any feminists who hate men. They never know any feminists who demean men. They never know any who yell at men, make fun of men, dislike men, avoid men, think men should die, or think men are rapists or potential rapists. This is similar to how feminists never know any feminists or women who physically, sexually, or emotionally abuse males. They have never met a feminist who so much as scoffed in a man’s general direction.
Feminists are sugar-coated, snowflake-shaped cupcakes made of Care Bears queefs. Pure perfection.
I’m not trying to pretend that all people who call themselves feminists are wonderful, liberal individuals with the nature of saints and the smell of rose petals wafting out of our arse, but I don’t see how it is either fair or relevant to suggest that, based on the past behaviour of a few feminists, all feminists must therefore, as a whole, hate men.
I will just leave this here:
Never mind the long list of famous men who have beaten, raped, and abused women yet continue to have thriving careers, or the man who murdered his sister because she dared to be unashamed of her body. Forget Brock Turner, who just got a puny sentence for raping an unconscious woman because a longer sentence would have a “severe impact on him” or the fact that you’re less likely to be promoted if you’re a woman, even if you have the same skills as a man. Forget the obvious discrepancy between the way men and women are treated by the media, employers, and society as a whole.
I would never say that every man is a rapist just because some of them are, so why do I get called a man-hater for pointing out that guys get a really good deal? See that pie? I just want a slice, thanks.
Which guys get a really good deal? When asked this question, feminists sputter something similar to baby talk. They are unable to explain which men have it so good. When presented with examples of men who do not have it good, feminists are quick to claim these men are either exceptions to the rule, victims of something else not tied to their sex, or they are fake.
This is why people reject feminist claims about the “facts about male abuse of power against women”. They do so because “not all men” possess that power. Feminists refuse to acknowledge this even as the evidence sits in their faces.
How can you level with that kind of hypocrisy?
There is no hypocrisy. That requires a person to say something they do not believe. Critics of feminists genuinely think that feminists have a problem with men, and they support this opinion with evidence. For them to be hypocrites, they would need to claim feminists hate men when they do not actually think feminists hate men.
I understand that alienating men from the discussion does more harm than good, and I don’t think it’s fair to blame a whole gender for the actions of a few. But[…]
There is no “but”. Either you think alienating men undermines your efforts or you do not. What you and other feminists want is to have it both ways. You want men’s support and want to claim you like men, yet you also want to scapegoat men and attack them in the ways you think they will attack you. Few people will put up with that kind of treatment, particularly when they get absolutely nothing out of it.
[…] I’m fed up of having to remind people that even though we’ve taken great strides over recent years, we still have a long way to go. I’m tired of having to fight tooth and claw for some men to believe the true stories and experiences of women all over the world who are subject to systematic sexism every single day. And I’m sick of having to pander to the egos of straight, white males just to be heard.
And they are sick of having to pander to the egos of special snowflakes who throw tantrums every time someone disagrees with them. Feminists are not the only ones who have bad things happen to them. A person’s sexuality, race, and sex does not protect them from cruelty, violence, or abuse. All people can experience these things. Some people may experience them more than others, yet that is no excuse to argue that every time a woman shares a story everyone should take her at her word.
The reality is that most women do not experience “systematic sexism every single day”. Most women go through their day without anyone targeting them because they are female. The reason is because it is not acceptable to treat women in a sexist fashion in modern Western society. If you want to see what a genuine oppressive society is like, look at a Middle Eastern or African country. That is what systematic oppression of women (and men) looks like. Western women do not come anywhere near that.
To make it local to my country, if you want an example of oppression, look at how police can shoot and kill black men and be reasonably sure that they either will face no charges or will be acquitted. That is oppression.
Only once was I able to engage in civilized discussion with an anti-feminist, and we came to the conclusion that actually we believed in mostly the same things […]
I have a feeling you are about to reveal why:
[…] it turned out it was the name he didn’t like. I explained that feminism actually means equality, but I guess he felt left out. If you’re used to everything being about you, then having to use a female-centered word must be pretty hard to take.
It felt like a success that night, but it was a hollow one because I had to pacify the ignorance of a privileged man just to engage. I had to pander to his insecurities before he would consider giving a shit about me.
If that is how you engage in a “civilized discussion” it is no wonder you fail to reach your critics. You are smug even when they agree with you.
And that’s how it usually goes. Feminists have to constantly reassure men that feminism not only has a place for them, it needs them as allies. It fights for their interests, too.
Where? Everything in your rant has been about how horrible men are to think negatively about feminism, how feminists are essentially justified in hating men even though they “don’t hate men”, and how unfair it is that feminists should have to explain their apparent bias toward men. There is nothing in the above quote that remotely suggests feminism has a place for men other than as the villain, let alone that it fights for their interests.
I love men, but sometimes they make me really fucking angry. And then I take a moment and get angry at myself, because I don’t like when someone complains about “all” men being bastards, and I don’t think that demonizing a gender works — but I also understand that there was a time when some people felt it was the only thing that gave us a voice.
So when you stated, “The thing is, though, the feminists I know — myself included — don’t hate men”, that was incorrect?
The only way your above statement can be true is if the latter is a flat-out lie. This is another reason why people do not believe feminists who claim they do not hate men. If you let feminists talk long enough, they will reveal that they actually harbor a bias against men, even if they acknowledge that bias is irrational.
And here’s the rub: I just used my voice on an article about being sick of explaining to men that feminists don’t hate them — by explaining why most feminists don’t hate them. I still made it about them.
I thought your rant was about men. Let us check the title — I’m Sick of Having to Reassure Men That Feminism Isn’t About Hating Them. It is about men, so what are you complaining about? If you wanted to talk about women, you could have done so. If you wanted to talk about the great things feminism does for men, you could have done so. You chose at rant about men. You cannot complain about your own choice.
We need men to accept the fact that some of them are chauvinists and rapists; that society enables an unfair discrepancy of standards between men and women; that silence not only perpetuates the problem, but helps it to grow.
This feminism thing — it’s for you, too.
So that is how feminism is “for” men. To remind them that some men are bad and if they say nothing about those bad men, they are complicit in those men’s bad behavior.
Tell me again how feminists do not hate men.