After reading through several tweets posted on twitter under the hash tag “IDon’tNeedFeminism”, I was struck by one particular post written on February 20th which can be seen above.
I would like to point out the contextual usage of the word “man-hater” to describe a feminist. To state that feminism is made up of merely misandrists is a gross overstatement. There is no denying that there are some feminists that truly hate men (which is the definition of a misandrists). On a website called “rageagainstthemanchine.com” the writer passionately details the oppression of male supremacy and men treating women as nothing more than but sex objects in a vilifying manner. She is justified in saying “why shouldn’t I hate men? Men, being the default humans, get to decide how they want to act and how to define humanity and masculinity with fewer constrictions than women face.” I want to emphasize this point here. Not all feminists hate men, rather the absolute core of feminism is gender equality. Feminists in actuality celebrate the freedom to explore life beyond the rigid boundaries of traditional masculinity (everydayfeminism.com, 2012). The traditional system of gender roles has been pervasive in our society for hundreds of years. Men are affected by these stringent gender roles and practices as well. As Suzanne Kelly emphasizes in her book, “Women’s Images and Realities,” Feminism does not call for men’s subordination but for the fair and equal treatment of women.
Let us look in detail concerning the core values and goals of feminism as it pertains to women’s studies. Shaw and Lee list several objectives that primarily reveal a thorough understanding of feminism within the social constructs of society. They seek to understand the social construction of gender and the intersectionality between race, class, and sexuality. Feminism also evaluates the individual’s experiences involving patterns of privilege, disadvantage, and discrimination. Feminists celebrate the freedom to vocally express their identity of self and obtain new insights into simply being you as a strong, confident, and independent woman.
Before gaining a more informed understanding of feminism, I also ignorantly used words like “man-hater” to describe feminists. Although I appreciate your honest opinion, I hope this letter can assist you in expanding your definition and understanding of the values a feminist stands for. I look forward to your response.
Kelly, Suzanne M., Gowri Parameswaran, and Nancy Schniedewind. Women: Images and Realities: A Multicultural Anthology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2012.
Shaw, Susan M., and Janet Lee. Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012.
“Why I Hate Men Part 1: I Admit It.” Rage Against the Man-Chine. 5 July 2009. Web. <https://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2009/07/05/why-i-hate-men-part-1-and-then-it-hit-me/>.
“Why Men Need Feminism (Really, You Do!) — Everyday Feminism.” LGF RSS. Web. 28 May 2016.
“5 Reasons Why So Many People Believe Feminism Hates Men and Why They’re Not True | It’s Pronounced Metrosexual.” Its Pronounced Metrosexual. Web. 28 May 2016.