An all-too-common misconception is that feminists hate men. Even if this were true, which it isn’t, you’re free to love, respect, and enjoy the men in your life, regardless of their relationship to you. You don’t need my permission, or your friends’, or the green light from any movement claiming to champion women’s rights. It’s your right to decide for yourself how you feel about any particular man, but I urge you to limit your decision to one man at a time, rather than condemn them all.
Men are not by definition the enemy, not in the abstract or in the flesh. No matter how ardent we are in wanting women’s equality, it’s not fair to hate men without qualification. While it’s generally conceded that men control over 90% of global wealth, other studies show that as low as 1% of the populace control more than 50% of the wealth in the world. It’s patriarchy, and as women we have no reason to be happy about it. In fact, it’s in everyone’s best interest for us to advance in order to gain control over a more equitable portion of the currency pie.
But according to the Oxford dictionary “Women who hate men are misandrists, as men who hate women are misogynists.” The act of hating an entire group is bigotry, whether it’s hating all women or hating all men. Further, to assume all men or all women are alike is ignorant. It’s stereotyping, and while most of us recognize this way of expressing prejudice in it’s most flagrant form, many tend to voice bias, a more subtle and insidious practice, toward those of the opposite sex, almost without conscious awareness—almost but not quite. Shame on us.
The liberating news is that as women we don’t need to hate anyone. As an emotion, it’s an unnecessary burden, Neanderthal, ineffective, and further it makes us look stupid. At our best, we’re too enlightened for hatred. It’s just a matter of realizing we’re free to love men without fear of judgment or reprisal. We can acknowledge that men are wonderful, and not just when they’re doing things our way. We can love them with all their flaws and failings, because they’re human as we are.
Yes, they’re different from us in some ways, but isn’t that part of the beauty of it all? Wouldn’t it be a dull world if men thought and acted like us? I say Vive la différence. Life is so much more fun that way. Besides, in a world where we frankly need all the help we can get, it won’t be until we acknowledge that men are our real life heroes and beloved superstars that they will be more inclined to accept roles as mentors, supporters, and teachers, not to mention lovers and partners. I can understand why men might be reluctant to share their power and wealth with venomous women who think they’re no good. We create their justified resentment when we flaunt hostility toward them.
It’s OK to adore men and delight in their presence and it’s OK to let them know it. The fact that the numbers show they have control of world’s wealth doesn’t in itself make them worthy of hate. It’s really nothing personal. It only becomes personal when a man talks or acts in a way that demeans you, or expects something of you that compromises your values and makes you feel uncomfortable. Then you have a choice, a choice and a right to say “no.” It doesn’t require anger or hatred.
Women are at liberty to love men without being subservient, submissive, passive, or meek because without exception we’re their equals. And beneath their manly exteriors they love and need us as we do them.