Anti-male rhetoric is too common in feminist communities
By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
This article is a War of the Words with Not for men published on October 13, 2016.
I was right, but for all the wrong reasons.
Men can be feminists. If men want to be part of a community that advocates for women’s rights and call themselves feminists, they should feel free to do so; it’s a free country! However, in my opinion I don’t think they should.
I’m not knocking feminism, and I’m definitely not saying all feminists are like this. However, based on my experiences as a former “self-entitled feminist killjoy,” as I described myself in 2016, I believe there is a concerning level of anti-man rhetoric that is normalized in the current mainstream feminist wave—a problem we should be addressing.
My past article speaks for itself as to how alienating the community is to men. As someone who was once a proud feminist, I have a unique experience with the community. I’ve taken numerous classes related to women and gender studies, read dozens of feminist texts, and had only friends who considered themselves feminist. Even when I was in the community, I couldn’t ignore how prevalent man-hating rhetoric was. Phrases like “men are trash,” “kill all men,” and “all men are rapists” were used way too casually. I should know—I also took part in it.
Feminism claims to be for the equality of the sexes, but I don’t think it is regularly practiced on this basis. Would a community that claims to be advocating for equality constantly make the claim that “all men are trash,” or have a huge discourse on the way that masculinity is toxic, but hardly any discussion on toxic feminity? Would a community that claims to also be for men be so open about how much its members hate them? I don’t think so.
Why is man-hating so prevalent in the community? I’ve heard the argument that it balances out the sexism that women experience, but I think it’s important to remember men also experience sexism in different ways than women, so can it really be considered “balanced?” You don’t fight fire with fire, so why is it okay to fight sexism with different sexism?
Even though the feminist community professes to stand for equality, I believe that it is more concerned with women’s injustices than men’s. With most of the discussions geared toward toxic masculinity and how awful men are, there is no room for men to improve, to have any dialogue or opinions that aren’t in line with everyone in the community. Even making the point that not all men are awful defaults them to being the “bad guys.”
Men can be feminists if they want to. They should be able to speak on their experiences with sexism and have other opinions on the feminist movement if they want to. However, with all the anti-man rhetoric circulating the community, I don’t think it’s a wise choice on an individual level.