It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:
Lindy West of Jezebel has a problem. For some reason, men seem to think feminists minimizing their experiences is misandry. Men also seem to think that sometimes bad things happen to them because they are men. West disagrees:
Though it is a seductive scapegoat (I understand why it attracts you), none of these terrible, painful problems in your life were caused by the spectre of “misandry.” You can rest easy about that, I promise! In fact, the most powerful proponent of misandry in modern internet discourse is you — specifically, your dogged insistence that misandry is a genuine, systemic, oppressive force on par with misogyny.
It is never good to start off by telling someone that you know more about the causes of their bad experiences than they do. It is really not a good thing to do if you are not part of that group. It is a truly terrible thing to do if your group has a history of marginalizing the other group. It is downright offensive to accuse someone of being the cause of their own misery. But West is not worried about that. As she explains:
This is specious, it hurts women, and it is hurting you. Most feminists don’t hate men, as a group (we hate the system that disproportionately favors men at the expense of women), but — congratulations! — we are starting to hate you. You, the person. Your obsession with misandry has turned misandry into a self-fulfilling prophecy. (I mean, sort of. Hating individual men is not the same as hating all men. But more on that in a minute.) Are you happy now? Is this what you wanted? Feminism is, in essence, a social justice movement—it wants to take the side of the alienated and the marginalized, and that includes alienated and marginalized men. Please stop turning us against you.
Of course it is. Continue reading