Incivility is the order of the day. And this incivility finds its roots in moralistic self-righteousness, which leads to a sense of urgency where any means are justified. Such people don’t even realize they’ve abandoned their values. That’s why President Donald Trump’s supporters are willing to excuse anything he does.
I participated in the women’s march in Phoenix, Arizona to make a public statement against Trump’s dehumanizing comments about women and other groups even though I had certain disagreements with some of the groups present. But as I look at feminist dehumanization of men I must wonder if I shouldn’t have attended the march.
Misandry has long been a part of feminism. Decades ago second wave feminist and sometime Ms. magazine editor Robin Morgan said, “I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”
Feminists today take to Twitter with hashtags like #menaretrash, #maletears, and #masculinitysofragile. They say they’re being ironic, but as I noted earlier this is a passive-aggressive excuse for dehumanizing half the human race.
Yes, there are feminists who believe in gender equality in the true sense of the word – gender doesn’t mean women only. Just as there are conservatives who are true to their beliefs. Double standards, however, are more often the case.
Progressives were outraged when Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted, “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” But the truth is that he was repeating a feminist meme that said men instead of refugees (and M&Ms instead of skittles). Where was the progressive outrage then?
Worse, Lena Dunham recently called for the extinction of straight white men – a comment that rightly would be labeled fascist had it targeted any other group.
But bigots rarely admit they’re bigots. Most have moralistic excuses for their beliefs. People who hate Muslims point to 9/11 and say it’s not really hate – they just care about people’s safety.
Misandry among some feminists is no different. And while not all conservatives are Islamophobes, and not all feminists are man-haters, the problem is widespread enough to mar both movements.
Ms. Morgan’s sense of entitlement is noteworthy. Hatred is not excusable because someone is oppressed. Hatred is self-betrayal of what you say you stand for. The claim that sweeping and derogatory generalizations about a group of people is not hate if you lack power is a paper thin rationalization. Women have much more power than feminists admit to. So feminist hate can have far reaching consequences.
What is feminism?
Feminism is about increasing women’s power. Often this means promoting equality, but sometimes it means being anti-equality. For example, the National Organization for Women opposes shared parenting after divorce (NOW deleted the link).
Feminists often don’t see this as a double standard because many of them believe that men arranged society to privilege men at women’s expense. But like most conspiracy theories this doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Throughout most of history men have not been privileged. Ancient kingdoms and empires were tyrannies run by small groups of men. The common man – the overwhelming majority of the male population – was a beast of burden and cannon fodder. The common man did gain rights before women, but the gap between universal male suffrage and universal female suffrage is less than a century.
But for feminists, something is only a gender issue if it negatively affects women. Though men face a wide variety of problems, none of these are considered gender issues.
There has never been a movement that focuses on gender issues in the true sense of the word. And there won’t be anytime soon. For now I accept that feminism is what it is, and I choose to distance myself from any ideology that can’t control its own hate.