Men Are Our Friends
I am a feminist. Most of the Teen Skepchicks are, and all are for equal rights. But I’m seeing a growing trend of misandry (the hatred of men; opposite of misogyny), especially in social networking, and it’s not okay. As women continue to battle for fully equal rights, we have to be careful not to stray into the realm of man-hating. Seriously, this won’t do any woman any favours.
I wouldn’t dream of arguing that women stereotyping and insulting men gives the opposite sex an excuse to continue to oppress us; far from it. However, in a society where so many women are struggling so hard for equality, we shouldn’t set it back by making all men out to be monsters. There are plenty of men who believe in equal rights; we have several writing here at Skepchick. Don’t make a hypocrite of yourself by battling against inequality, and then thinking nothing of saying “All men are the same,” or “All men care about is sex.” It isn’t true, and it isn’t helpful. In reality, it’s not very different from saying “All women are sluts,” or “All feminists are butch.”
Of course the position of men in society is different to that of women. We’re still working towards fully equal status, and we’re struggling our way out of hundreds of years of oppression. But instead of alienating men with negative attitudes and slander, we should be welcoming their support. Women often get frustrated with the portrayal of their gender as fickle sex-objects; well, many men are frustrated with their portrayal as shallow and image-obsessed, with an abnormally high sex-drive. It isn’t always true.
Film and TV media are the one of the guiltiest for this idea of man vs woman; as if it’s a war. Take the recent movie The Ugly Truth– click that link to look at their main advertising poster. A woman holding a heart up, and a man holding a heart over his crotch. ARGH HOLLYWOOD, Y U SO STEREOTYPE? Believe it or not, sometimes men want love and women want sex: sometimes they want both. It runs both ways, not one. Then there’s the “nice guy” portrayal of men- take Michael Cera in… almost anything Michael Cera is in. He’s generally typecast as a sweet, almost asexual guy. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? He’s a nice guy… saving the girl from hoardes of a-holes. It’s almost like our protagonist is the amazing exception; the one man in the world who isn’t a complete idiot. But then again, at least in many of these movies the idiot guys change their ways- and positive male leads do exist.
Lastly, the worst offender of all: social networking sites. This may not be the same for all people; for example if you’re older and your Facebook friends aren’t largely teenage girls. But I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen the picture on the right floating through my newsfeed. It’s not the only one, either. There are hundreds of pictures devaluing men; ones with quotes like “men r all da same ): ):”. No they’re not. Men, like women, are all individuals. Some share the same ideas. Others do not.
Feminists (actually, women in general), shouldn’t tar all men with the same brush. Being dismissive is what many males did to females for centuries, and it didn’t achieve anything. Only now are we beginning to break free from the culture of misogyny, and even then we still have a long way to go. Don’t ruin it by employing misandry instead. It’s not an improvement. Men, as an entire gender, don’t have to be punished for their past wrongdoing. Only by working together- not as man vs. woman, but as humanity as a whole- can we make real progress towards equality.