Feminism And Man-Hating Are Not The Same
The official definition of feminism, according to Dictionary.com, is “The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” Advocacy is the operative word there. It doesn’t say anything about taking anyone down, about attacking anyone, or about minimalizing the rights of other groups. I’m aware that this is a very sensitive subject and one for which I might be chastised for even discussing but, being a feminist does not mean hating men. They are not one and the same, but it seems that many women believe they are. I realize that in a lot of ways, men earned their rights by explicitly oppressing women so, to some women, it may seem only fair that we oppress men. But I’ve also noticed that when those same women talk about how all men are this way or that way, they don’t tend to look the men in the eyes who are standing around them as they make these accusations. And, I’m sure they don’t think those things about their romantic partners, close male friends, or even male family members. Because the truth is, hate is only something we manage to do when we dehumanize people, and that’s not what feminism is about—quite the opposite actually. Feminism and man-hating are two different things, here’s how.
Wanting to be heard
Feminism means wanting a seat at the table—it means wanting a voice and representation in important subjects. It even means wanting those things in topics that don’t necessarily have political or national significance. It just means wanting people to value the opinions and insight of women equally as they do those of men.
Telling men to shut up
Man-hating involves telling men that their opinion doesn’t matter at all, and that they do not have any voice or any seat at the table. So it’s actually ironic to call oneself a feminist and take this stance since, feminism is about wanting equal rights so…if we want men to shut up then, by law of feminism, we’d….ask…women to…also? That doesn’t seem correct.
Being an equal opportunity employer
If you’re a feminist employer, then that means you make sure that the opportunities you create are just as available to women as they are to men. You make a point to bring in an equal number of male and female professionals to interview for a position. You encourage both genders to apply for new positions of power that open up. You ensure women have tools and access to succeed.
Refusing to hire men
One cannot call herself an equal opportunity employer because she makes a point to hire women but then also has a policy in which she will not hire men. That is the total opposite of what equality means…that’s discrimination.
Wanting the choice to ignore gender norms
True feminists just want women to feel free to be whoever they want to be, and not to feel pressured to conform to gender norms or societal expectations. Essentially, feminists just want any expectations or norms eliminated.
Bashing men who conform to gender norms
Man-haters bash men who happen to conform to gender norms—even if that’s what those men genuinely like to do. But that same person cannot call herself a feminist because bashing someone for what they like to do/wear/eat/talk about is not in line with wanting everyone to feel free to be themselves.
Promoting female works
Feminists make sure to highlight and promote female works, like books written by women, or works of art created by women. They strive to show the world what women are capable of.
Protesting male works
Protesting a work of art just because a man created it is not feminism—that is, again, discrimination. If we want to be treated as equals then, how can we protest something just because of the gender of the creator? Isn’t that what we’re trying to stop from happening to women?
Fighting female stereotypes
True feminists want people to stop saying, “All women are like this” or “All women do this bad thing.” They want to put an end to female stereotypes.
Spreading male stereotypes
You can’t call yourself a feminist if you actively spread male stereotypes. Any time you say, “ALL MEN…fill in generalization here” you’re automatically not a feminist because you spread gender stereotypes. It doesn’t matter that you’re spreading male ones—if you maintain that one gender has stereotypes then you must maintain that both do.
Asking women to support each other
Feminists ask one another to support each other—to be there for each other, and to form a community of women who look out for one another.
Asking men to hate each other
Man-haters actively hate men who have male friends, hire males, or associate with males. They even hate women who associate with males. But by doing so, they’re creating an exclusive club that one can only get into if they only support women. That sounds a lot like the type of exclusion feminists are trying to fight.
Loving women who lift up other women
Feminists love women who lift other women up. They love ladies who spread the word about other awesome ladies, or who help women find jobs, or who make useful introductions between women.
Hating women who work with men
Man-haters hate companies who hire men, galleries that show male-created works, or women who help other men in any way…even if those women also help women.
Hate has no place in feminism
Ultimately, feminism doesn’t have anything to do with hate. Feminism is about lifting up, supporting, promoting, and embracing women, but it’s not supposed to be about chastising, oppressing, and rejecting men.