“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honourable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class hatred against the class that is oppressing.”
This is just one of the many views of Robin Morgan, who proudly identifies herself as a key radical leader in laying the foundation of the contemporary feminist movement in the US. She is neither the first nor the last of such ‘feminists’ to voice her vehement beliefs against men. An engulfing hatred for men was deeply rooted in the minds of many such ‘feminists’ while battling against gender stereotypes and striving to achieve equality. Man is their nemesis, the sole cause for their agony, and the ones who deserved to be bashed in every possible way for the same. And bash they did, while wearing smug smiles and receiving hearty praises, all under the glorified banner of ‘feminism’. This paves the way to the question at hand - is this feminism or just misandry hidden in plain sight?
If we were to go back in time, we would be able to understand that the feminist movement embarked its journey with the sole purpose of earning women their deserved autonomy and equality in all spheres of life. Feminism was to serve as a platform to accelerate the aspiration of women to achieve equal status as men, as a social, political, and economic being. It campaigned on a wide range of issues like the women’s right to vote, to hold public office, to earn fair wages, to receive education, to have equal rights within marriage and threw light on matters like sexual harassment and domestic violence. Feminism is the belief that imparted courage to women around the world to stand up and voice a change in an unfair system and to make their own marks on the path of this world.
With the progression of time, it is apparent that feminism has lost its integrity and attributes upon which it was established. This is why we have different waves of feminism with different ideologies being propagated so often. Feminism today is perceived merely as a platform for media attention and for slandering men. Rather than aiming for the equality of the sexes, feminism has now been turned into a movement to claim superiority over men. Women activists use social media to publicize the most outrageous and obnoxious of activities, depreciating the gravity of the matter at hand. With such publicity stunts, feminism has ended up being scoffed at and looked down upon with utter disgust, rather than finding its way where it is required most.
It is this attitude that makes people think that feminism is a matter of little substance today, but it is quite the contrary. There are many parts of this world where girls are still denied education, women don’t have working opportunities, child marriages and female infanticides are socially acceptable and domestic and public abuse is prevalent. These aren’t issues of the past. In addition, we live in the age of where binary, as well as non-binary genders, exist and feminism is a flagship for their harmonious co-existence too. It is in these aspects where feminism needs to be highlighted and emphasized today.
This is why it is essential for people to identify the true attributes of feminism and to be able to distinguish between feminism and its defective replica. Feminism is a revolutionary movement that has inspired change all over the world. It was due to the endless endeavours of many individuals that led to the evolution of society and its liberties that it holds today. Let those suffragists and eminent personalities be our beacon to follow as we carry on their journey with the same passion and determination.
Feminism is not to be used as a tool to aid misandry because after all, a movement trying to end sexism shouldn’t create sexism.