Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, June 16, 2024

'100% all man-hate all the time'

The people and ideas I’ve encountered at Tufts have made me much more aware of nuances. I’ve become more cognizant of the problems that come with generalizing and lumping together groups of people who, between themselves, possess incredibly broad ranges of experiences and backgrounds -- of lumping together “all women,” for example, into one set of experiences, disregarding race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious background, country of origin and many other unique definers of identity that cannot be summed up into one column.

The importance of respecting intersectional identities and ideas has become so crucial to my thinking that I sometimes forget that some people, even educated Tufts students, still don’t support the most basic principles of feminism.

More and more, I hear people saying they don’t support feminism became it is “sexist towards men.” The idea that feminism is “man-hating” renders me speechless. If feminism is the same as man-hating, how do you explain me? I’m a feminist. There are plenty of men in my life who are very important to me. I have never met a feminist who hates all men. Hating men is very different from hating patriarchy.

And even if a woman does feel a strong anger towards men in general, it is important to understand where this anger comes from. I am grateful and privileged to have grown up with a highly imperfect yet loving father and a brother who I consider one of my closest friends. But not every woman has had positive experiences with men. Not every woman feels safe in the presence of men, feels safe in her community or in her home. For many women, anger is a rational response to irrational acts of physical, emotional and sexual violence sanctioned by patriarchy, a worldwide system of oppression.

So when I see a Tufts Confession that says, “I fucking hate the ‘feminists’ who call themselves feminists here. Female empowerment ≠ hate speech against men,” I am reminded of the sad fact that in addition to the many disagreements between feminists, there is still so much misplaced resentment, confusion and bigotry towards the very idea of feminism.

I thought about the phrase “hate speech against men” and decided to find out if such a thing could ever exist. After a few disheartening and frightening Google searches, I found an article from Thought Catalog called “20 Feminist Headlines That Would Count As Hate Speech If They Were Written About Jews.” The first thing I noticed was that the article was nearly incomprehensible. It was written in list-form, as per the usual style of Internet "journalism,” with each bullet point containing a headline from an online publication, usually The Guardian or Jezebel, with the words “men” and “women” replaced with “Jews” and “gentiles.” Then, as I began to click the links and see where these headlines actually came from, I discovered an important detail that the “author” left out: about half the time, the word “Jews” was not simply replacing the word “men” but “men’s rights activists.”

Isn’t that ironic? In order to criticize feminists for being man-hating, it is necessary to rely on claims made by actual hate groups such as “Men’s Rights” organizations who base their entire values on misogynistic lies!

When will people -- not just people, but educated Tufts students -- stop responding to feminist discussions by insisting that we consider men’s rights and men’s feelings? These statements sound like the gendered equivalent of responding to #blacklivesmatter with the patronizing reminder that #alllivesmatter.

When will men who criticize feminism stop feeling threatened and attacked by the acknowledgment that maybe, just maybe, they got where they are today at least partly because certain systems were working to their advantage?