After reading “Misandry in feminism is real and needs to be addressed,” I felt that it was necessary for me to provide an alternative guy’s perspective since there often aren’t many men who speak about this issue. I would like to address the misperceptions about men’s place in feminism that the article touched on.
The article references feminists like Suzanna Danuta Walters and New York Attorney General Letitia James, claiming that they show a clear hatred towards men. Walters specifically argues how men in power have been pervasive and corrosive to women throughout history.
The rising concern surrounding feminists’ disdain for men reflects the misunderstandings of what it means to be a feminist and what the movement is fighting for. Feminists believe that activists can combat sexism and racism by embracing the movement’s diverse backgrounds. Promoting hatred towards men is antithetical to the movement’s core values.
The uncertainty surrounding toxic masculinity reflects itself in the article when the feminist concept was criticized for denouncing men’s masculinity. The article says feminists are fighting toxic masculinity by apparently “feminizing” men and suppressing masculine attributes. Meanwhile, those qualities of masculinity are not toxic. It is important to illuminate what gets overlooked — feminists are not arguing that masculinity as a whole is toxic; instead, they explore the traditional norms that pressure men to conform to alienating expectations. This includes men having to always “act hard” or having to express their emotions through aggression as a means of masking their vulnerabilities.
This kind of behavior, which is reinforced by mostly men, emotionally harms young boys and men who, like young girls and women, are taught to fit oppressive molds.
Men think they are losing their social status to women. Young women are surging in today’s job market and that is something men should be praising, instead of vilifying the feminists who advocate for equal opportunity. Women only hold 25% of executive and senior-level positions and only 6% are CEOs.
In the last few years since the conversation around empowering women has gotten more attraction, it seems to worry some men that more women are attending and finishing college, starting careers and moving up the social ladder. A good example of this is what happened in 2018, where a record number of women were elected to public office.
The feminist movement has led to reactionary movements like meninism that are against feminism. There are men’s rights activists, who claim men are victims of oppression because of feminism. Then there are men like Ben Shapiro, who calls the modern feminist movement “radical.” Threatened by feminist activists, these groups aim to reinforce patriarchy by silencing the people who dare challenge men in power. There has been a rise of people like Shapiro who have become part of the world of reactionary politics.
When talking about sexual assault, the author argues that he has heard feminists say “all men are potential predators to women”; he goes on to say that this kind of rhetoric is vilifying men. The author seems to be attempting to sway away from the idea that there is a problem with men.
Another problem is that when women decide to come out about their stories of sexual assault, people will often not believe them. Questions are raised as to why they waited so long to come out. This often causes women to fear telling their stories and losing their job status, which has happened to many of them.
Yes, sexual assault also happens to men. Although it happens in much smaller numbers than women, most of their perpetrators are also men.
There is an ongoing crisis with men today regarding masculinity. They have become the perpetrators of most sexual assault cases and create a culture of fear for women when they try to speak out about their stories of being sexually assaulted or harassed.
I believe it is time for men to get off the sidelines and start speaking out about this issue. They need to start believing and listening to women rather than dismissing their stories. By embracing this movement, men can help create a world where they work alongside women to encourage having equal opportunities in all aspects of society.
Correction: Oct. 6, 2019
A previous version of this story misstated a quote from the article “Misandry in feminism is real and needs to be addressed” as “‘all men are sexual predators to women.’” It should have said “‘all men are potential predators to women.’”