Teenage Wasteland

Misandry Is Not Feminism

Very often, men are mislead by the idea of feminism. This could be due to the fact that they’re uneducated on the issue or just uninterested in women’s rights, but there are other reasons why some guys think the idea of feminism is fanatical and are intimidated by it, and I think I have figured out why.

Whilst searching through the “feminism” tag on Tumblr, I came across this post: “I’m moving today, and as I was putting things in my car, some 20-something construction workers in a pick up truck drove by and the driver stuck his head out the window and waved to me and said hi. It sounds dumb, but I was really bothered by it. I have never seen this guy in my life, and I could tell exactly why he was doing it. It was really dumb of [me] but I flipped him off. This hasn’t ever happened to me before so I was just really upset. I felt so violated.”

Is a man telling a women hello and waving ACTUALLY VIOLATING? Is this feminism, or plain ignorance? To me, it seems as if some women are looking for a reason to get offended. Through the eyes of a teenage girl who attends an all-girls high school, it’s my opinion that feminism is starting to be blown out of proportion to the point where it is not about equality, but instead trying to put down men and automatically make them bad people, which I don’t believe in.

I am surrounded by tons of great women and, and as I am trying to become one myself, my view on feminism is becoming skewed due to the male-bashing I see on the Internet, especially Tumblr. Many women have the idea that a man being kind and friendly automatically means he has bad intentions of sexual harassment and rape, and that is hard for me to understand. How is a man with good intentions supposed to act? Harshly? Are women looking for reasons to commit misandry? I thought that feminism was about all women having equal rights, not to complain about men cat calling women on the side of the street. As a young feminist myself, I don’t believe that generalizing all men to be disgusting pigs is “feminism”. I think that feminism is donating towards girls in other countries who need an education, and I think that feminism is voting for a girl to be President! I don’t think that it is the idea of putting down guys, because if we start thinking that we’re better than them, then aren’t we going against everything we’re fighting for?

Feminism is important to me because I think all girls deserve an education. Feminism is important to me because there are girls who have been raped and are not allowed to get an abortion. Feminism is important to me because I am often called a “lesbian” purely based on my attending an all girls school. Feminism should be important to the world because some people have the mindset that men are above women; and to stop this, feminists shouldn’t be thinking the opposite. It’s all about thinking of everyone as equals.

Featured image via ShutterStock

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510443063 Jaime Hammer

    Well put! I’m 21 and have only recently come to understand the things that you’re already so sure of. I completely agree with you. It drives me crazy when women think that feminism is about rising above men. It originated as a need for complete equality, men and women as the same, and that is the way it should always be. People who believe that men are all terrible and out to get us scare people away! The word “feminism” puts a bad taste in people’s mouths, so people don’t want to label themselves as such. But all it really is is the desire for equal pay, equal education, equal health care, equal safety….equal respect. We’re all just people, and we deserve the same things.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1039501942 Kay Ratcliff

    no. Feminism has been blown out of proportion and made to seem like women hating on men since the suffragette movement. This is not new at all. Also, while the post you mentioned is a borderline example of feminism (That’s sort of a tumblr thing, to look for things to be offended by. And who expects the tags on tumblr to consist entirely of relevant posts?), there are many significant contributions to third-wave feminism on tumblr (not that anyone should use tumblr for a primary source, but it’s actually a good place to start to learn about intersectionality and all that). Having a problem with men catcalling is not the same as calling all men pigs. in fact, it’s because we expect men to not be pigs that we have a problem with it. The reason some women associate men being “nice” to sexual harassment is because some have experienced men being “nice” and expecting sex in return (“Nice Guy Syndrome”). As if they need a reward for being a decent human being. Any rational person knows not all men are like this, and feminists believe that men are not like this from the start, but that they have been told by society that this is what men do. Most feminists do not have a problem with men. The problem is the society that has told men that they matter, and that women are playthings. That needs to change, and it cannot change only by working with women. Young men need to be told to respect their female peers instead of leer at them, and that is not misandry, it is decency. I encourage you to read up on the history of feminism and the ideas in third-wave feminism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=641669224 Lydia White

    There is a difference between a man whistling at you as if you are an animal and waving hello as he passes a pretty girl. I’m all for less objectification of women, and I can’t stand it when I get hollered at by college dudes on a porch. However, where is the line? Is a man misogynistic for approaching someone he thinks is attractive? Am I committing misandry when I decide to say hello to an attractive man, even if my intentions are to get in his pants? This thinking means that no one is allowed to have a healthy attitude about being open with their sexuality for fear of being offensive. This extremist attitude is only perpetuating a double standard and further moving the sexes apart, which is the exact opposite of what the feminist movement is about. Women in business, education, and life in general want to be taken seriously as being of equal ability as men. I understand that struggle wholeheartedly, living as a 22 year-old trying to navigate an entrepreneurial future with prejudice against me. I completely agree with the you, Mikaela; feminism is about so much more than getting pissed off when a guy thinks you’re hot. Tact is being able to approach a member of the opposite sex you find attractive without coming across as a pig. Having a realistic worldview is realizing that some men are not nice, and some women aren’t nice either. Being able to differentiate between mean people and tactless people is something whiny girls on Tumblr can’t seem to do. Also, bitching about “pigs” seems to get a lot of notes so… there’s that. At any rate, I really do believe the world is getting better, and is only going to continue to do so. After all, there are now more women graduating from college than men!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004010030703 Rick Lopez Jr.

    Thank you so much for this refreshing, honest look at the debate. Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002614733612 Samantha Broes

    I had a similar confrontation about the difference between Feminism and Misandry, recently with my Father.
    http://isisam1987.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/the-distance-between-father-and-daughter/

    • Weibs

      Confronting your father by saying that the feminist movement is not misandry is missing the point of this article. Mikaela graciously acknowledges that some women are overly defensive when it comes to men and that some of the reactions are not warranted towards ALL men, such as flipping that guy off. You reply about how you are confronting a man you should be respecting and rather than confronting him you should be trying to work towards understanding him and helping him to understand your point of view in that context. The reality is that while feminism is absolutely not misandry there are a lot of feminists who are angry at men and some even advocate killing them. With all the angry feminist voices out there its not surprising men think that feminism has become linked to misandry. If you want to change our minds, rather than confronting us you should work towards greater empathy and understanding of mens views. (Of course I am sitting here thinking “great I just told a feminist she needs to have more empathy for men, bring on the attacks about how women are so much more empathetic than men”- my response would be its not a competition, its just about doing the right thing male or female and if you want to change peoples minds confronting them is not the best way to do that. You should identify with them and engage in a discussion if you want to win their hearts and minds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006294039938 Kate Galang

    actually, i can understand why the girl who flipped off the dudes did just that. im not saying its right, but living in a society where men catcall all the fucking time makes girls paranoid of males and can make them lash out like that. it is far from right but we live in a society that causes this paranoia, this fear of men. like lets be honest theres girls who wont go take a certain route or go out at a certain time of day because theres going to be hordes of men. that could be the reason why she did that, not mto say it was right.

  • John Smith

    What you describe is humanism, not feminism. Feminism is misandry. It is specifically pro woman and anti male.

  • Weibs

    If you doubt that feminism is misandry look at the comments your getting from females on here. Justifying flipping the guy off or at least saying they get it. I am sorry but modern feminism has a strong whiff of female superiority and double standards. As an attractive man who does not sleep around and believes in waiting till marriage you would not believe how mean girls were to me when I would not sleep with them. It was like I had insulted them because all guys are expected to hop into bed with women, all they could see was my rejection, not understand my moral values and reasons for doing so. I had a girl start rumors about me that made things very difficult for me in high school. Because I would not sleep with her she told everyone that I had forcefully pushed her up against a door and kissed her. Everyone at school started treating me like a sex starved scumbag. Like my values and character were just an act for the male rapist oppressor underneath the kind exterior. Sorry I like women and I feel a lot of empathy for oppressed women, probably more than men. So I am sexist towards men and guilty of misandry. Sorry I just like girls better its not right but it is honest. Even so I do not recognize that the modern feminist movement is a healthy movement. Try this, go to a feminist meeting and try telling any women who are making blanket statements about men that they are wrong. See who gets more support, them or you. Or just try going there and speaking positively about men and see what reaction you get. Your theory that feminism is not misandry is a fine one but does it hold up in practice Mikaela? I certainly don’t see your point of view getting a lot of positive responses from feminists in this comment section. And I am sorry for that there should be a feminist movement for women that is more supportive of moderate and reasonable women such as yourself. I want to believe that it’s true it’s just that my personal experience has taught me otherwise. Good luck and thank you for the article, its well written and articulated and I hope you prove me wrong with your own experience, In fact I hope that I am wrong. Girl Power + Boy power together for a better world <3

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