Behold The Man-Hater: A Modern Myth

The-Suffragette-front-pageThis morning, my rage kettle boiled over. On an eons old post, we received a well-written and seemingly thoughtful comment, that intimated I didn’t deserve to question men, because they are the ones who lay down their lives for this country and who gave me the right to blog in the first place. Shockingly, this is not the first time I’ve heard this argument. It essentially consists of “Feminists are evil man-haters, who don’t understand all that menfolk have done for them!”

I just—

I can’t even…

What? 

There is so much wrong with this argument that I’m actively worried about the state of education in the West. Ignoring the obvious—which I’ve compiled a list of at the bottom of this post, because fuck all the fuckery—there is a major problem with this whole line of thinking: feminism isn’t about hating men or soldiers or any group of people, except perhaps misogynists. Feminism means believing in equality of the genders. That’s it.

Blog over! 

Y’all, that’s Kindergarten level simple. Why do we still let people—many of them young women, who are directly victimized by patriarchal structures every day—go around saying that feminists hate men? There’s not a single feminist I know who wishes to banish all men from Earth. That’s not really our thing, darling. Such a goal would be not only irrational, but severely limiting of our social lives. After all, it’s not like Dillon-who-bags-my-groceries is the reason I get paid 11,000 dollars less than my male colleagues. It’s society at fault, not men specifically. We’re all culpable.

Throughout history, people have bought into the notion that women and men are not only unequal, but not even deserving of the same the treatment. It’s reinforced in every aspect of daily life, not just our relatively recent right to vote. When you play for a girls basketball team called the “Lady Warriors,” you’re being victimized by the system. That’s your school saying that you’re not the real team—representing them with honor and talent—you’re just the girls. When the church you attend has a weight loss bible study for women, but not one for men, that’s society at work again reinforcing the notion that women are meant to please to the male gaze. Sexism is everywhere and it’s unending. It’s like that pink slime from Ghostbusters II, popping up in all social settings, seething below our streets like a glowing mass of unseen douchery.

Just the act of calling us “man-haters,” instead of feminists is patriarchy at work. Every time that is said, the cause of gender equality is devalued one more time. Rare is the teenage girl, riddled with insecurities and fear of social doom, that is willing to label herself a man-hater. If she’s less likely to call herself a feminist, because that cute Liam Patel might judge her, then she’s also less likely to speak up when she experiences gender inequality. The concept that “we shouldn’t be so sensitive, because that’s just the way things are,” is internalized in one more young woman. This hurts everyone. Young men are just as at risk from this thinking, as seen by each “locker room culture” scandal. The more we say women are one thing and men another, the more none of us are allowed to fulfill our true potential.

Feminism isn’t about hating men, it’s about hating systematic discrimination. This should be everyone’s fight, but we’ve corrupted the very language of our society with pervasive phrases like “man-haters”, “bra burners,” and “angry lesbians.” Our pool of advocates is winnowed down with each usage, obscuring the real intent of feminism. I wear a bra every day, damn it! The girls can still be high and perky, while discrimination shrivels.

Equality should be the cause of all people. We’re not here to take away rights, we’re here to ensure everyone finally gets them.

– Grace

Obvious Issues With This Argument: A List

  1. Women have, in fact, laid down their lives for this country countless times. The only difference is that we were not explicitly allowed on the front lines by the United States until this year. It wasn’t because we were lazy dilettantes who didn’t want to fight, it’s because we were again and again denied the opportunity. That’s the patriarchy, darling.
  2. Women were not just one day given the right to blog or do anything. Those nice men in Washington didn’t wake up one morning and decide women were finally ready to vote. We fought. Forever. We fought to not be property, we fought to own property, we fought to vote, we fought to work. We’re still fighting for equal pay and an end to the objectification of our bodies and all those other systematic little inequalities that are so prevalent in our society that we consider them normal.
  3. See: Lysistrata
  4. See: Women’s Air Force Service Pilots
  5. See: Harriet Tubman & co.
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22 thoughts on “Behold The Man-Hater: A Modern Myth

  1. I’m speechless, each time I hear of yet ANOTHER set of comments like this. in the 21st century. You’ve got more restraint than I, on this issue. Bravo on a great post!

  2. Very well spoken! I applaud you! Just for the note…. I for one always look forward to your blogs! Sadly, even now society and our belovef guys in Washington are still working against women and trying to make it so we don’t matter anymore….. yet again. As you pointed ouy thanks to the multitude of “sheeple” as I like to call them that refuse to join in and take a stand it gets worse day by day!

  3. Excellent post. Feminism is like a bad word isn’t it. When I hear the word I tend to subconsciously attribute negative feelings to it, so it’s really good to be reminded of what it actually means here. Thank you.

  4. This is a great post. However, I just don’t take the whole “feminists hate men” bullcrap seriously. Just because I like to dedicate a portion of my time on women’s rights issues doesn’t mean I am actively trying to undermine men’s rights issues (anymore than I’m trying to undermine other civil rights issues like labor rights, child protection, gay rights, etc. etc.) People who say that just want to argue for the sake of arguing. Not to mention that women have also contributed to society in many ways, even if not in combat. Suggesting that we are only in a position to be ‘grateful’ for what men have done for us in the past is…um, sexist.

  5. Feminism has been so incredibly dramatized, it’s ridiculous. I can’t even type the word without 5 people emailing me about how much of a cunty feminazi shitbag I am that doesn’t deserve love and should just kill myself. I mean, who are the real haters?

  6. I feel so thankful that we have the equality we do in this nation. I can vote and hold property, and I go out every day and work hard at my career. I had some hesitations considering myself a feminist, but I think I must be considering my position on many things and the realization my bra could remain unburned. 🙂 I love my hubby to death, so I’m glad man-hating isn’t a pre req.

  7. I have some Facebook friends who seem to revere soldiers to the point of deification. That and Doctor Who, but I’m assuming that they’re unrelated. Sometimes they post anecdotes whose whole point is “Soldiers are awesome!!” – and I’m not arguing against that – but some of the stories require some serious cognitive contortions to get there. Much like the comment you received. Somehow, someone’s logic led them to “Feminism = Hates Soldiers.”

    Regarding your point #2, it’s why I make damn sure I vote in every election. Yes, even for the primaries and that one unopposed guy for the school board.

  8. I hate that people act like equality is a limited resource & giving more to one group will mean there’s less for the others. When will people realize that allowing women the freedom to act like themselves will give men the same freedom? I get just as angry when I hear people talk bad about stay-at-home dads or male nurses (why should I even have to distinguish for that last one?).

  9. Thank you. I wish you could go forth and teach the world! I think the day we can walk home in a mini skirt at 2 am not only without being attacked, but also without being BLAMED for being attacked, then we might not need feminism as much anymore. Until then…

  10. Great post!! While I don’t connect with people who identify themselves as feminist, the struggle for women to be seen as equal to men, wanting to have the same respect as men in society is something that I root for. Also, I love the ghostbusters reference.

  11. I think it’s about time we reclaimed the word “Feminism”, much like the gay movement reclaimed the word “gay”. Why on earth does it have such a negative ring to it when someone wants equality for everyone? Aren’t there any men out there who identify themselves as feminists? Wait, I guess that’s just it! The word should probably be “Equalism” for the haters and belittlers to stop their stupid arguments. Great post, Grace, as always. I am such a fan!

  12. Reblogged this on A Faatoia Fotography and commented:
    Although I’m all the way down – under in New Zealand we are all going through the same issues. We cannot win them all – great thing is – us women have a great track record to get this far with all the odds against us.

  13. Argh, blog commenters…as in, the jerk who commented so ignorantly, not all of the positive folk on this post. Around the time that you posted this, a friend of mine wrote an op-ed for our school newspaper questioning the vitriolic and discriminatory language used in the stands at football games. Instead of making reasonable comments like, “nah, I disagree, it’s football, let it be,” trolls let loose with the misogyny and it was horrifying. HORRIFYING. Among the many sickening suggestions for her punishment for simply asking people to think about what they say before they open their mouths, she was also accused of being a feminist. Or a lesbian. Because, you know, both are really awful things to be.
    Thanks for this post. Why is this so difficult??

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