Misandry, noun. Definition: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men. Feminism, noun. Definition: the advocacy for women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Notice the use of the word “prejudice” in relation to misandry, while feminism includes the word “advocacy.” These are two different things. If you interact with a man who is involved with the men’s rights movement, commonly referred to as Men’s Rights Activism, or MRA. you will be told that misandry and feminism are exactly the same. These men trumpet how much all women hate men, while at the same time, declaring their unmitigated hatred for all women. Because, to these men, all women are feminists, and therefore, misandrists.
Crashing into MRAs online is always a special treat. They share truly awe-inspiring memes, including one that sticks a Swastika into the circle portion of the gender symbol for female. Men who are part of the MRA movement are proven misogynists, and have been called out for this on numerous websites, by numerous people, both male and female. One of the best definitions of the MRA movement comes from Cracked.com:
Men’s what now? Is this a thing?
Yes. Men’s Rights Activism began as the natural response of American males to the growing threat of feminism, in much the same way that burning your house down is the natural response to the threat of ghosts. In both cases, a better solution would be to walk away and let a less emotionally fragile man deal with the situation.
Feminists, at least the vast majority of them, do not hate men. Of course, there are going to be ignorant and hateful people in any large group, and feminism is no different. We have our misandrists, and our TERFs (trans exclusionary radical feminists-truly horrible women), and we even have SCUM.
SCUM is a term coined by Valerie Solanas, a woman most famous for shooting Andy Warhol. She wrote “The SCUM Manifesto” in 1967, and some believe the term “SCUM” stands for Society for Cutting Up Men, but that acronym has been disputed. The book argues that men have ruined the world, women should overthrow society, and eliminate the male sex. To be honest, I’d never heard of SCUM until a supporter of MRA used it to generalize against all women.
No woman I personally know wants to get rid of men. We don’t want to overthrow the government; from what we’re seeing at the Bundy ranch, that’s primarily white, slightly pudgy, heavily armed men. And the people supporting Bundy are also primarily white men. Men haven’t ruined the world, people have. Some men wage wars, some men are aggressive, and some men love violence and bloodshed, but not all men. In fact, not even most. It’s just the ones who do get on television a lot more often than peaceful, loving, gentle men.
Feminists are not all misandrists, and I would point out that any woman who engages in misandry does not represent me or my beliefs. I honestly think most of my female friends would agree. TERFs do not represent me, or my friends, and I find their hateful attacks against transgender women obscene. And MRA supporters do not represent most men, as evidenced by my own husband’s utter disdain for their misogyny.
The one thing men in the MRA movement love to argue about is rape. They make up statistics, pretend a woman isn’t raped unless it’s at gunpoint, by a stranger, in an alley, and they claim that feminists completely ignore male rape victims. It’s all utter malarkey, but don’t ever try to challenge an MRA supporter, unless you have ibuprofen and a pillow into which you can scream.
Misandry is not feminism. The MRA movement is not pro-men, it’s virulently anti-woman. If it were pro-men, MRAs would work with groups like RAINN, an organization that helps both male and female survivors of sexual assault and incest. They would volunteer for The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which helps men and women who are in abusive relationships. Perhaps they could attend law school, and help men who may have experienced discrimination during a custody hearing.
Those are all real things that happen to men in America, and all over the world, every day. But because the message of the MRA movement is one of hate, ignorance, rape apology, violence, and misogyny, the actual problems men might be facing get lost. If the MRA movement truly wants to help men, the first thing they need to do is stop hating women.