Gender equality: Male-bashing isn’t funny

September 27, 2018 — by Kaitlyn Tsai

Feminism should fight for equal rights between genders, not hate men.

“Teach a man to fish, and he’ll turn around and try to teach you to fish like he invented it, and you’re an idiot,” Twitter user @pants_leg said.

As fourth wave feminism — primarily associated with the use of social media — sweeps across the globe, posts like the aforementioned have become increasingly common. Across multitudes of platforms, a broad range of perspectives on feminism has developed.

Many radical feminists and social justice warriors, people who are overly aggressive in their support of socially progressive views, have twisted the image of feminism into a male-bashing culture.

One of the greatest issues with radical feminism is the use of ironic misandry, which treats man-hating as a joke.

While few feminists actually hate men, the irony is too easily lost. Phrases like “drink male tears” or “#banmen” imply cruelty and violence, and joking about such hatred can easily be misinterpreted.

This tactic of ironic misandry also leads some to misinterpret feminists’ message as one that claims women are superior to men, creating a discrepancy between what feminists preach and what they stand for.

Feminism is about gender equality, and belittling men is not the proper way to achieve that. Even if ironic misandry is meant to be a joke, it is counterproductive.

“What feminists really hate is the patriarchy — the web of institutions that systematically oppress women,” wrote Sarah Begley, a Time Magazine columnist. “To tear it down, we need as many allies as we can get. Telling half the population that we hate them, even in jest, is not the way to do that.”

Clearly, aggressive and petty approaches to combating anti-feminism only detract from the feminist movement. Thinking before speaking is so simple that it is almost too easy of a solution.

Granted, the efficacy of this tactic relies on how many people do it; however, if even half of the radical feminists would consider the consequences of their words and actions, it could have a paramount effect on the widespread image of feminism.

This doesn’t mean that feminists should avoid speaking their minds in order to appeal to others. But slamming men and expecting them to endure the attacks will not win any support.

By thinking about the messages they deliver, feminists should differentiate between what is favorable and what is detrimental to their cause. Rather than lashing out on social media and inadvertently supporting the misconception of “crazy feminists,” advocates for gender equality should be more straightforward to gain support.

The feminist movement began in 1848. Victory is long overdue, and it is up to us to achieve  progress by adhering to manners, refraining from inappropriate jokes and remembering that feminism stands for equality.