Let’s not generalize gender
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
“Men are trash” and “Kill all men” are statements that are said by a lot of people these days. Hell, they’re even printed on t-shirts now. I believe this rhetoric was originally used to call out the problematic behaviour exhibited by men, such as catcalling and different forms of abuse. However, I don’t think people give a lot of thought into what these things really mean.
Are men really trash? Some men have done some awful and problematic things, but so have many women. Women can catcall, be abusive, and exhibit toxic behaviour. I don’t think it’s so much a gender problem as it is a systematic problem that teaches both men and women that these things are okay. Men may be the offenders in most cases of domestic abuse and sexual assault but that doesn’t mean they are inherently bad people. Again, it’s just the system that teaches men that these things are okay. It’s not men that are trash, it’s the system.
As a feminist, it’s upsetting to see any gender generalized or insulted. The core of feminism is that all genders are equal. So, by stating “men are trash,” you are trivializing the entire movement.
It’s wrong for men to be regarded this way because not all men are like this. That’s right, I said not all men, because it’s true! This type of hatred against men is called misandry, the opposite of misogyny. Many people see it as a non-issue because they believe men deserve this hate, since they hold the most power in culture and society. While men do hold a lot of power politically and socially, I don’t think stating “men are trash” and drinking juice out of a “male tears” mug is going to do anything to change this shift in power, nor will it do anything to change the system that teaches people that it’s okay to abuse or oppress anyone of any gender.
What’s frustrating is that most people who say this have boyfriends, brothers, fathers, male friends, or all the above. Thus, it seems hypocritical to me that they hold these beliefs.
I understand the sentiment of it all. I have said “all men are trash” more times than I care to remember. It seemed justified to me at the time because I thought the only way to combat my oppression was to spin it back to the supposed oppressors, but that doesn’t really make things even, does it? Also, if it were men who were saying, “women are trash,” could you imagine the backlash?
Generalizing an entire gender is not a good way to go about dismantling a patriarchal system. Sure, have conversations about problematic and toxic behaviours in our society and what we can do to fix them, but don’t assume all men are trash—and definitely don’t advocate for all men to be killed.