Do Feminists Hate Men?

Feminists are often accused of hating men. We are accused of blaming everything that is wrong in our lives on men. The word feminist is almost synonymous to misandry yet I have never felt the temptation to hate men. Do feminists really hate men or could this women’s movement really be about…women?

Written by Aarushi Ahluwalia

I don’t hate men.

I hate being accosted in the streets and being felt up by strangers because they saw something they wanted to touch and just went for it. I hate being the subject of the masturbatory fantasies that are screamed at me everywhere I go.

I don’t hate men.

I hate being raped and then told it was my fault because I was out at night. I was drunk. I was in a bad neighborhood. I was wearing a tiny skirt. I was alone. I dared to challenge a publicly acceptable notion of womanhood.

I don’t hate men.

I hate being told what I mean. I hate being told what I feel. I hate being told to live by the rules of people who don’t know anything about me. I hate having the newspaper explained to me like I haven’t actually written parts of it before.

I don’t hate men.

I hate that I can’t have a smoke in my own yard without twenty people stopping to gawk or admonish. I hate that I can’t do my stretches at the park because some idiot believes that his desire to tell me he would stretch me out real good exceeds my right to space and safety, and my desire for peace and quiet.

I don’t hate men.

I hate that I have to be Madonna or whore. Why can’t I be Spongebob or President? I hate that if I fail to uphold every bastion of “womanhood” I drop from one to the other. Why can’t I just be a person? Make mistakes? Laugh? Smile? Cry? Fuck? Dance a little?

I don’t hate men.

I hate that I can’t leave the house without actively worrying about leers and attacks. I hate that I think about the possibility of being raped every single time I leave the house.

I don’t hate men.

I hate that I am scared. I hate that I constantly feel like if I were out and in trouble, I’d stand alone. I hate that the people I would fight for are often the ones creating a hostile environment for me, and turning a blind eye to situations that compel their humanity.

I don’t hate men.

I hate being paid less than a man for doing the exact same job. I hate that my employers worry that I will be useless if I get married or have children. I hate that I have to battle with notions of being too “emotional” and prone to erratic behavior when I’m just trying to do my job. I hate that people worry about having to work with women. Even women.

I don’t hate men.

I hate that I feel like we’ve completely detached from the concept of problem-solving and are only focused on a war against each other. A war that I would fight in, even while believing that it won’t fix anything. I hate this environment of hatred where discourse is dead and where truth has no meaning. Nor does humanity, or common sense.

I don’t hate men.

I hate that my body is everyone’s business. I hate that I can’t say abortion without someone cocking up an eyebrow or worse, calling me a murderer. I hate that pepper-spray is an essential handbag item. I hate that period blood is blue on television, it’s blood, it’s not blue no matter how strong your claim to royalty. I hate that girls in schools are encouraged not to take carpentry or coding class. I hate that rapists get off on technicalities and biases. I hate that there is an environment where going to the police after you are raped is not a natural decision. I hate that I can’t just hang out on the streets. I hate that someone could beat me and then tell me they love me, and I should compromise with them for the health of the marriage. I hate that I have to design my outfits so as not to offend the people by my skin.

I don’t hate men.

I’m a feminist.

I resist the patriarchy and its impact.

No, that doesn’t fucking mean I hate men. It doesn’t mean men don’t get raped or aren’t harrassed. It doesn’t mean women can’t be part of the problem when it comes to keeping women down. It doesn’t mean i think women are superior. It doesn’t mean the issues of men or chickens or pedestrians don’t matter. It doesn’t mean I want to eradicate men. It doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian. It doesn’t mean I hate pink. I am a feminist and all that means is that I need the madness of inequality to stop. It means I am part of a movement for women. It means I am not here for the systemic oppression of women. If you’re part of it, I see you as the problem and that has nothing to do with your gender.

I still don’t hate you.

But just because I won’t hate you, doesn’t mean I won’t fight you for justice or equality if you’re the one standing in the way.

And it’s not because you’re a man.

It’s because I am a feminist.

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