There is a persisting misconception about feminism: that feminism is opposed to men’s rights. I wish I could clear that misunderstanding because it’s something I have to explain time and again when people accuse me (and feminists in general) of hating men. I keep repeating it like a broken record: feminism is not about being against men, or about hating men. Feminists pursue equality for men and women. That does not imply wanting to elevate women above men. The word equality itself should state it plainly enough that it’s about equality, not about trampling on men.
But it seems there are always people who don’t understand how you can support the rights of women without being against men, so feminists get blamed for the most horrible things. Recently I was accused of supporting a movement that supports the genital mutilation of little boys. I don’t know where this attitude comes from. Feminists may be focused on women’s issues but that does not mean we support mutilation, abuse or hatred of boys and men. Just because I’m saying, “Look, women face problems in our society!” does not mean I’m negating men’s problems!
To reverse the situation: I have no problem with people who are working to help men and boys. I think it’s fantastic that there are people who are campaigning against the genital mutilation of boys. I support them wholeheartedly, and I would never go to them to accuse them of supporting the genital mutilation of girls just because they are trying to help boys! And when people are trying to raise awareness of the domestic and sexual violence encountered by men and boys, I don’t accuse them of supporting violence against women because they are speaking out for men.
I understand that wanting to help boys does not imply the wish to make things worse for girls, so I don’t see why I should get blamed for being against men because I’m speaking out for women. I’m not against men and I don’t think I have ever given reason to assume that I am. But because feminism is so often misunderstood as being anti-men, perhaps I should start including disclaimers to my posts, to state it explicitly that even though I’m talking about women, I’m not doing it to harm men.
- Do feminists approve of violence against men? (inmyinternest.wordpress.com)