Why do so many confuse Feminism with Misandry?

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  1. ChristinS profile image37
    ChristinSposted 7 years ago

    Why do so many confuse Feminism with Misandry?

    Misandry is the hatred of men, feeling that men are beneath women.  Feminism is not that.  Although some radical feminists may feel that way, the definition of a feminist is "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."  I see a lot of media demonizing feminism with hate terms like "Feminazi"

    Does the media help fuel this misunderstanding for sensationalism?  It saddens me to see women distance themselves from the word Feminist. It's what our great, great grandmothers risked their lives for and what we are still working toward today.

  2. Thomas Swan profile image97
    Thomas Swanposted 7 years ago

    I think it's a case of some feminists ruining it for everyone. You mentioned that "some radical feminists" hate men and, unfortunately, they get noticed for it.

    I think there's an interesting psychological mechanism in play here. Emotional events tend to focus people's attention and are more memorable. If those emotions are negative, the effect is even greater (negativity bias). So if a man finds that a feminist hates him just for being a man, that can generate a range of negative emotions (reciprocal hate, anger, anxiety, shame, guilt, contempt, disgust, etc), making that feminist more memorable than a feminist who doesn't generate an emotional reaction. I think most unfair stereotypes are probably formed in the same way.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I see your point, but in most instances people are called out. For example not all white men are considered racists even though the Klan happens to be comprised of white men. It's silly to me to demonize feminism due to the actions of a few.

    2. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. While most of the women I have worked for have been the best bosses, I had one or two others that tended to go over board on being tough. I think they were overcompensating, but that is just my opinion.

    3. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      They very well may have been Biz. I've encountered that too - as a woman myself.  Perhaps the mentality they have to be that way to get ahead or compete in a male dominated business was at play? doesn't make it right of course.

    4. profile image0
      TheBizWhizposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, I think they were trying to mimic how a man would act, but ended up going too far. I think women have natural leadership attributes that are completely different and better than men, so they should utilize those qualities instead.

    5. MonkeyShine75 profile image61
      MonkeyShine75posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      BizWhiz, I know several  people who complain that their MALE bosses are overly tough, and yet they aren't labeled women haters. Why is that an excuse to label women?

  3. dashingscorpio profile image84
    dashingscorpioposted 7 years ago

    Unfortunately with any "movement" it is the loudest or most vocal people who steal the limelight. The more angry and outspoken the person is the more they get to have their face plastered as the "leader".
    Not long ago I read where one woman said: "All men are rapist!"
    Clearly this woman {hated men} to make such a statement and she calls herself a feminist. Naturally women who disagree with her would not choose to be associated with her beliefs and therefore are likely to say; "If (she) is a feminist than maybe I'm not!"
    In 2013 a HuffPost/YouGov poll found that only 23 percent of women and 16 percent of men consider themselves to be feminists.
    "Poll: Few Identify As Feminists, But Most Believe In Equality Of Sexes" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/1 … 94917.html
    The thing about any "movement" is it looses it steam when there are things offered up to appease the group and lastly when future generations come along.
    Struggle is not a DNA code that is passed down generationally.
    For example lets say there is young black child who reaches age 12 in 2016. All he/she knows is for most of their life the U.S. president has been African American. They're not going to {relate} to Martin Luther King, Jim Crow laws, being denied to vote, and so on anymore than lessons about the Boston Tea Party would cause America's youth of today to well up with pride.
    This would hold true for a young girl in the event that Hilary Clinton became president. Right now the world these young ladies live in contains examples Mary T. Barra, CEO of General Motors Co. (GM), Ursula M. Burns, CEO of Xerox Corp. Safra A. Catz, CEO of Oracle Corp, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, Phebe N. Novakovic,  CEO of General Dynamics, Virginia M. Rometty CEO of IBM Corp. and Meg Whitman CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) Corp. are just a few women who have gone places that women never could have imagined back in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and surly not women in prior generations. A girl born in 2000 can't possibly relate to the past.
    It seems the more "progress" there is the less vital a movement becomes. In 50 years the word "feminist" may be a footnote in history.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      the woman who said all men are rapists should have been called on it when she claimed to be "feminist" as that is clearly not what she is.  Most people call out Westboro for example as not being real Christians.Women need to take feminism back.

    2. dashingscorpio profile image84
      dashingscorpioposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you. Some women who label themselves as feminists simply hate men. For them it's not just about equal rights. I've also known men who have an animosity towards women. Anyone who blames a whole gender for their misfortunes needs help!

    3. MizBejabbers profile image87
      MizBejabbersposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Your statements are true, both of you. I lived during the birthing of the modern movement when "Feminazi" was coined. I thought it might help to shed a little history on why.

  4. MizBejabbers profile image87
    MizBejabbersposted 7 years ago

    I believe it goes back to the 1960s and 70s when women were actually fighting for their rights. We were not taken seriously and some of the more prominent women leaders in this movement had to become “Feminazis” in order to be heard. It is similar to the sit ins and marches of the Civil Rights Movement, except the bra burnings and other attention getters of these women were not equated to the sit ins. The original sit ins were peaceful unless someone outside started trouble. Equivocally, the bra burnings never attacked or harmed anyone, yet women were put down whereas blacks were not. I think this may have been because few men involved themselves publicly in the women’s rights movement. This caused resentment and possibly some misandry among some of the women fighting for women’s rights.
    Women, out of necessity, were recruited for men’s jobs during WWII. They stepped up to the plate and proved they were equal to the jobs. Women kept the country running while their men were overseas fighting. The returning soldiers resented this intrusion upon “their” therritory and sent the women back into the home and put them into their “place,” but these women never forgot that they were equal to the men in most jobs. Enter Betty Friedan, mother of the modern feminist movement and author of The Feminine Mistique.
    To answer your second question, having been a journalist, I am saddened by the way my former profession fuels anything that can be turned into sensationalism. When I was young during the Vietnam Era, the media was more openly liberal and did play up the war protestors, but it didn’t know how to handle women like Betty Friedan and her followers. They were portrayed as anti-male because they dared to propose that women had minds and abilities that cried for something more than cooking husband’s dinner and changing dirty diapers. Women invaded men’s space again as they did out of necessity during WWII. They became bankers, engineers, scientists, and politicians (even journalists like me), God forbid.
    The conservative movement has always fought “Women’s Lib” tooth and toenail, which can result in misandry among those who feel the most desperate.  I hope I live to see the day when women really are treated as equals and not still looked upon as men’s possessions held over from the Abrahamic age.

    1. dashingscorpio profile image84
      dashingscorpioposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The Vietnam era protesters is another example where times have changed. Today there is no "draft" therefore wars don't generate the same amount of protest.
      Secondly a protest against any war is now seen as not supporting our troops!

    2. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Excellent answer and I can see how the morphing could occur. Sadly I fear the term "feminism" has been hijacked and that's sad.

  5. Ericdierker profile image49
    Ericdierkerposted 7 years ago

    Really a cool question. Why do we label members of a group according to their most outlandish and attention grabbing activists? Probably it boils down to our ignorance based insecurity and fear of that which we do not understand.
    One thing that is true and that we have to accept is that women who engage in misandry can still be good active feminists. Of course they do no great service to the latter cause by being vocal misandrites.
    My wonderful wife works in a field which is predominantly male. A segment of construction. She does not have a masculine hormone or pheromone even near her 4'11 82 lb body or mind. She is really good at what she does. She works partly on commission so to be honest there is not a man with her company that gets equal pay to hers. She is a hero feminist. Not because of her feelings or what she says but because of her great attitude. I look up to her. My mother, sisters and daughters all act in the same vein. They are awesome examples of feminism.
    My point being that if we judge or label feminism by words and advocacy and promotion rather than by attraction and example, then we of course will associate it with the talking heads and alarmists and sensationalists.
    If we get informed and form our opinions based on the outstanding and sterling achievement of real feminists, then we will know the difference between feminism and misandry. Hate never fed a family of four. But a whole lot of feminists do it every day.
    Of course if we get informed and form our opinions based on the media, then of course we should not be taken seriously anyway.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I disagree that women who hate men make good feminists, but I agree with your other points, that true feminists must lead by example.  I just wish women weren't compelled to distance themselves from the word feminist because of its unfair association

  6. Amanda108 profile image90
    Amanda108posted 7 years ago

    Others have already talked about extremists being the most vocal and memorable - so much so that many women, myself included, choose not to be associated with the label. So I'll try to explain how I got to that place and what it means.

    In my case it's not just that women with hatred of men are labeling themselves as feminists and then creating a bad image. It's more complicated. There are LOTS of levels and varieties of feminism, in terms of how passionately (or not) people feel and in what they consider equality.

    For example, I'm sure no one but the lowest scum on earth would argue that horrors like women getting punished for being raped or girls not allowed education don't need change. More commonly we focus on the things that we have the most likelihood of changing, like equal pay and respect in the workplace (a good thing, of course). And there wildly differing opinions (as is always true since no one is the same) come into play, in the less "extreme" issues. You get women who are genuinely feminist, not man-hating, yet who hold extreme opinions like that men inherently see women as the lesser sex because of "society" - just as one example.

    And then there is pettiness that is being labeled as feminism. For example, it's quite common on social media sites such as Tumblr that people will view a scene in a movie as literally as possible or without context and call it misogynistic. Or claim that a TV cast should be equally male and female members (unless of course it's all female; they have no problem with that) or else it's sexist. They turn things that are not a problem into a problem. And then *they* demonize anyone who disagrees.

    Now, I don't consider that true feminism. But lots of people do - these women themselves do. Regardless, the extremes and the petty creating of problems where there are none is so rampant that our minds jump there when the word feminism comes up. Language is ever  evolving right along with us, but at a faster rate (than us). Words that were once empowering can become something worthy of an eye roll, just like an old insult might nowadays be harmless or even complimentary.

    I guess for me it's about personal identity and how I want to be seen by others - for my actions, not by a word which requires complicated specification of semantics.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I can see your point on the whole mountains out of molehills thing and it does get carried away sometimes, but other issues are very important (equal pay and opportunities) and I feel feminism should be redirected towards that original intent.

  7. Dr Billy Kidd profile image92
    Dr Billy Kiddposted 7 years ago

    During the second feminist revolution in the 1960s, the media was male dominated. They did not want to share power with women. The media always cast feminists in negative terms (like bra burners). This tradition still exists to some extent today.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, it absolutely exists today and I think it is used on purpose to keep women from truly forming a sisterhood kind of bond together to really continue to push for progress like the women in the 60's did.

  8. M. T. Dremer profile image88
    M. T. Dremerposted 7 years ago

    I've often wondered this myself. I'm a fan of the Feminist Frequency videos on youtube and the intensity with which people argue against her is nothing short of astonishing. I'm not sure there is any subject (that is not directly personal) that could set me off in that way. But her detractors often point out how feminism poisons things, but their examples are often the extreme.

    But I suppose feminism, like anything else, only makes headlines when extremists do something extreme. Much like with religion or politics, the person shouting into the camera is not a good representation of the masses. So I think that might be where the confusion comes from. Which is really unfortunate because it buries the original intent of feminism, which was equality of the sexes, not superiority.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Agree, the fact it's now such a hot button word is very unfortunate as is the original intent being lost.  I tend to believe it's been by design to just keep women "a little" in their place - but perhaps I'm biased too.

  9. Venkatachari M profile image79
    Venkatachari Mposted 7 years ago

    It is the thinking attitude that makes difference. Particular cases and incidents get generalised and people brand the whole group because of a particular bad member or incident.
    But, I always support equality of women with men and thereby advocate feminism. I even try to get a step further and advocate "ladies first" kind of attitude among people.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      That's very nice smile I don't have to be first, most of us would be content with side by side or equal. I agree a few bad examples can ruin perceptions for everyone sadly.

  10. Old-Empresario profile image71
    Old-Empresarioposted 7 years ago

    There has been backlash to Feminism as long as there has been Feminism. It's considerably better today than it was back in the 90s and earlier. Speaking as a man, I don't think most people have a problem with feminism. What annoys people is when some feminists can't really articulate their goals and instead just go around looking for trouble to point out--like words they dislike in the English language. That's not identifying an objective or developing a plan to achieve it. That's an armchair blogger or journalist picking a random fight. I think the cause would be more successful if, instead of targeting things like commercial art or ads that seem to objectify women, feminists would focus on women themselves--educating them, coaching them and encouraging them.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I do agree that some issues do seem more petty. I would like to see women maintain focus on real issues like equal pay, the whole glass ceiling thing, and getting more deserving women into govt. etc. Objectification is a real issue though.

    2. Old-Empresario profile image71
      Old-Empresarioposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, but it's a freedom of speech issue too. Best to talk women out of doing it than outlawing it (I have 5 awesome daughters BTW). There have been interesting studies by the DOL on the pay gap. Yes, not enough in politics--female Pres in 2017 though

  11. soleman profile image54
    solemanposted 7 years ago

    This is a quite common mistake nowadays.First of all , Feminism is the ideology according to which, women are equal to men,which  in my eyes reflects a realistic and rational way of thinking.I really like your question, because it refers to a situation , where some people have no idea , what feminism actually means.Feminism as a belief, is governed by absolute equality.From what i have experienced, i dare say, that i absolutely agree with you.because i oftenly see people who tend to demonize Feminism in an idiotic way, Not only in the media ,but also in the every day life, one can hear, that. Feminism sees men as inferior to woman,that is really stupid.Perhaps, if they had the chance to get a proper education, things would be much different ,I personally believe,from what i can see and hear, that it is noteworthy to mention that, even  some women see Feminism as a new age of dominion , where men must be inferior to women and so on. this is certainly another case of an incomplete education.To sum up, Feminism is a great ideology and we ought to spread it across the globe rightly!.

  12. The Reminder profile image75
    The Reminderposted 7 years ago

    I'm not here to answer but I'm glad I clicked as I was not sure of the definition of misandry!

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      glad you learned something new smile It's unfortunately not a nice word, and I hope those who engage in it learn to move beyond it.

  13. LoisRyan13903 profile image62
    LoisRyan13903posted 7 years ago

    I think maybe it is ignorance-and I don't mean it in an insulting way.  I didn't even know what misandry was until I read your definition.  But I think another reason is because of stereotypes.  Somebody might see a few feminist who are also men haters.  They assume that all feminists are all that way.  It is kind of like saying all Christians are Bible-thumpers, people who like a certain type of music-pot heads, and the list goes on.

    1. ChristinS profile image37
      ChristinSposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Very true and good points. Sadly there is a trend towards dismissing/demonizing feminists and I wonder if the reason is fear of what would happen with a giant sisterhood of women working together instead of competing against one another smile

  14. Herb Dino profile image66
    Herb Dinoposted 7 years ago

    1. Feminism challenges the status quo and therefore people want to find ways to delegitimize it.

    2. The problem of vocal minorities, of some not-so-great feminists misrepresenting the movement.


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