Public Service Announcement: feminists do not hate men

18 Jun

I identify as a straight cis-gendered white woman. I’m married to a white man and we have two sons who are also white and, presumably, also straight and cis-gendered. We won’t actually know how they fully identify until they’re old enough to clearly tell us. And they could also change their minds. We will love them regardless.

I am a feminist. I’ve identified this way since I was 19 years old and learned what the word meant.

Feminism is the desire for political, social, and economical equality of the sexes.

Feminists do not hate men.

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(the graphic was taken from an article entitled ‘Five Reasons to Teach Feminism in High School‘)

I have a husband and two sons. I do not hate them and I have never hated men. I believe in feminism because I want a better world for my sons.

I’m not a scholar, nor am I very good at debating. I can’t pull facts and article references from my mind to back up my beliefs. However, my friend recently posted this link on her Facebook wall and it offers some very simple and straightforward words to counter the myth that all feminists hate men.

If you think feminists hate men, then please read this article in it’s entirety.

Also know, I am fully aware that some feminists hate men. That is called misandry and it doesn’t represent the thoughts of all feminists. Feminism is not a monolith. Likewise, some men hate women. That is called misogyny and it doesn’t represent the thoughts of all men. The article addresses this point.

Another thought: if you are a man and think feminists hate you, then check your privilege. It’s not always about you.

I’m a white woman and I know I’m not responsible for slavery or for the racism and atrocities against my First Nations brothers and sisters. These are terrible realities and whiteness is responsible. Did I say all white people everywhere are individually responsible? No, I said Whiteness. There is a difference.

I don’t feel upset or defensive about this because I acknowledge my white privilege. I just try to do my part by treating everybody with respect, combatting stereotypes, and opening my eyes and mind to new learning opportunities.

So, harkening back to feminism, an individual man will understand that he alone is not responsible for inequality, but rather, it is the patriarchal culture. There’s really no need to feel defensive or upset because the patriarchy hurts us all.

Rather than say, “feminists hate men”, why not say, Feminism desires equality. What can I do to help?

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Excerpt from the above linked article:

Am I Trying To Bring the White Man Down?

No. I am a white man. That wouldn’t serve me well at all.

What I’m trying to do, and what feminism is trying to do, is bring the woman up.

While an understandable response to this idea for men is a defensive one, considering so many of the bad things in history have been caused by men (by so many, I mean, like, all of them). That’s also a positive response, because it means you’re accessing empathy.

You don’t want to be seen as the “bad guy” (what a misandristic term!). You don’t hate women. You’ve never oppressed women. Of course you haven’t. Oppression doesn’t happen on the individual level.

But it happens. And as a man, particularly one who is white (like me!), you are granted a lot of privileges that stem from hundreds of years of oppression. You get that privilege whether you choose to have them or not.

The only choice you get is what you do with your privilege.

Do you use it to make for a more equitable society for mothers, sisters, and daughters you love?

Or do you keep whining about how feminists hate men and distracting yourself and others from serious issues of inequality?

Your call.

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