It seems to me like some people still don’t grasp the meaning of a feminist. Allow me to start by explaining once again that a feminist is a person who believes in bringing about the equality of the sexes (of women and men) in all aspects of public and private life. That person could be a man or a woman.
Some people ask, ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem should acknowledge that.
Some men feel threatened by the idea of feminism. This comes, I think, from the insecurity triggered by how boys are brought up, how their sense of self-worth is diminished if they are not ‘naturally’ in charge as men.
That having been said, feminists do not hate men.
Misandry is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men or boys in general. It may be manifested in various ways including social exclusion, sex discrimination, history, belittling of men, violence against men and sexual objectification. Why does it feel like I practice misandry sometimes? I’m certain I’m not the only female or male who holds certain prejudices against men,or am I?
Sure, there are some people who hate and devalue men. Some of those are women and some are other men. But here’s the thing: Maybe some women feel that way, but they don’t hold power in society, so they can’t really enforce their thoughts. That’s a lot different from misogyny, which underlies centuries-long forms of openly discrimination of women.
Apparently, the term ‘I am a feminist’ has become synonymous to the statement ‘I hate men’. The mere idea of feminism is being misconstrued as the idea of hating men. It has become a widely spread belief that feminism represents the idea of switching the power structure so that men are on the bottom and women are on the top ; however, this is a common misconception!
So why do many people think feminism is equals to man-hating? Here are a few explanations:
- Because people have been told that feminism hate men for over 200years. People are irrational. The way you describe someone can completely alter the way you perceive their behavior. How do you think people have been describing feminism since 1800?..
- Because most men aren’t bad but think feminists says they are. This means being a feminist doesn’t mean you think all men are evil or that you blame every individual man you know for hundreds of years of oppressive behavior.
- Because some individual feminists hate men. Yeah, some feminists hate men and that brings out the difference between feminism and misandry. Though that little portion do not represent the entire feminists’ population.
- Because some feminists aren’t willing to address men’s issues. I believe that there are a lot of gender-based men’s issues to be addressed. For example why men in general have always been more likely to be caught up in the criminal justice system or be homeless or why men are less likely to graduate from college. These are real issues that the society should work to correct. But do feminists ignore these issues because they hate men? No. The fact that we’re in a male dominant society brings the mixed feelings about addressing men issues as if they’re default.
Feminists love men!:)
Here are a few reasons I believe feminists love men:
- By insisting that fathers play an equal role in raising children, feminists show great faith in men’s capacity as nurturers and caregivers.
- Why bother campaigning to end men’s violence against women if you thought that men were naturally violent—born to hit, rape, and kill? Work to end men’s violence is based on an assumption about the goodness of men, that men can do better and most men do do better than that (in spite of the evidence that some men portray the contrary).
- Most feminists live with men and love men—their husbands and sons, brothers and fathers. Being independent doesn’t mean not loving men! And as mothers, they want nothing less for their sons than they do for their daughters: to be safe, happy, and fulfilled.
- Most feminists are heterosexual, they’re actually sexually attracted to men.
- Feminists know it’s impossible for women to liberate themselves from the narrow demands of patriarchy unless men liberate themselves too. In spite of centuries of grief, they invite men to join them in healing the world. They know it’s going to take both women and men to create a world of equality and gender justice.
- Because they know men are not so different: Men also need to feel love, to be held, to be heard, to be free.
- Because they know men are so much better than how they’ve often learned how to act.
- They continue to let men control the TV remote.
In her little book ‘We should all be feminists, Chimanda Ngozi Adichie concludes with this beautiful story: “My great-grandmother, from stories I’ve heard, was a feminist. She ran away from the house of the man she did not want to marry and married the man of her choice. She refused, protested, spoke up whenever she felt she was being deprived of land and access because she was female. She did not know that word feminist. But it doesn’t mean she wasn’t one. More of us should reclaim that word. The best feminist I know is my brother Kene, who is also a kind, good-looking and very masculine young man. My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.’
All of us, women and men, must do better.” And better we shall do. Won’t we?
To my brothers reading this piece what would it take you to be a feminist? I don’t mean that you completely embrace your feminine side and all that but can you at least allow for equal rights,even in your relationship?(That’s a rhetorical question,huh?)
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