I have never understood the hostility men have for feminism, though to be fair, there is a great deal about most people of both genders which I don’t understand, like… I don’t understand the female obsession with fictional dramas where every little thing that could possibly go wrong does, nor do I understand the male obsession with violent action films where guns seem to solve every problem imaginable.
I don’t understand why women would go to a club or a bar to be hit on by men who play ridiculous games, and I don’t understand men who think that being mean to women is somehow a trick that will make them to like you (when really they just haven’t refined their technique since 3rd grade, when they used to throw mud at the girl they had a crush on).
I’m not particularly manly or girly. I feel as comfortable using a lawn mower or a power drill as I do vacuuming or doing laundry. I just don’t see gender as particularly important beyond the biological ramifications of reproduction. And I don’t think this is a particularly rare stance.
I feel I am rather qualified to speak on the male reaction to feminism, since I feel like I have no bias on the matter (I don’t see either gender as superior, nor do I prefer to be in the presence of people who identify with one gender over another). Plus, I am biologically a man, so I have access to the views of men that they wouldn’t share with women.
Sexism is alive and well, that much is very clear. And I’m not talking about superficial and harmless sexism, like calling the office secretary “toots.” That may be irritating, but I assure you that she wouldn’t mind so much if she was being paid the same salary that a man in her position was being paid, or if she had the same opportunities for advancement and mentorship as her male co-workers.
Sexism today is sort of like racism today: a fair amount of people (all of whom are the ones unaffected) think it’s gone because they don’t see it or practice it themselves. These forms of prejudice have largely gone underground. This isn’t worse than before, by any means, since there are far more opportunities now for women and ethnic minorities, not to mention regulations on overt bigotry that prevent some of the larger offenses. However, this last bit of prejudice will probably be tougher to wipe out than the large-scale and systemic discrimination practices that have been eradicated so far.
It’s kind of like eradicating pests from a house. It’s easy to get everything you can see in the open, it’s another to get the last of them that are hiding in the walls.
I haven’t done a poll on this among men I know or men in general, but I suspect that the majority of men don’t like feminism (especially if asked in a room full of guys). While I’ve never heard this argument made expressly, I wonder if the fact that the name “feminism” is part of the problem. I myself find it slightly biased (why not “gender equality” or “egalitarianism?”). But I know that most men see it as a movement that only benefits women, and I imagine the name can’t be helping.
Now, I’ve thought about it for a long time, and I’ve listened to a lot of men talk about how they hate feminism. I’ve taken the time to read many opinions on the matter, and it comes down to this: I can find only two reasons for men not liking feminism.
The first one is that certain men, who tend to be traditionalist, conservative, religious, role-oriented, and/or just plain misogynistic, see feminism as a legitimate threat to their perception of male supremacy. I suspect this is a scant minority.
The second type of men who feel threatened by feminists are those who are, for lack of a better term, whiney pussies. [No offense, ladies, but that sentence was for their benefit, not yours, and you have to speak the language of your listener if you want to be heard.] These men tend to take great offense at what they perceive to be a shame campaign by feminists to make white, primarily middle- and upper-class males feel guilty for who they are.
Basically, a bunch of pouty, whinging, overgrown cry-babies can’t get over the fact that someone, somewhere, might not like them. Boo hoo, white males, here’s a straw so you can suck it up.
Get over yourselves, you self-pitying, wanna-be victims. Feminists don’t make me feel bad about being a white male. No, assclowns like you fuckheads do. You are exactly who they’re talking about, the ones who refuse to acknowledge any degree of privilege or undeserved advantage and still have the audacity to turn around and act oppressed by people seeking to level the playing field.
To be quite frank, feminism would disappear the day assholes who complain about feminism disappear. Feminism is not a spontaneous movement, it is reactionary, and if the thing causing them to react disappears, their rhetoric falls to pieces and they become irrelevant. Instead, I see these indignant embarrassments who call themselves men providing all the ammunition the feminist movement needs in order to confidently continue their claims.
At some point, if you’re a well-off white guy like me, you have to be able to look at yourself and say, “I had it easier than other people, and that’s okay, because I want to live in a world where opportunity is available to everyone, not just a privileged few. When someone talks about rich white men making the world a worse place, I don’t get defensive, because I know they aren’t talking about me.”
So, ultimately, I think the only reason to get upset at feminists is if you identify as part of the problem [see reason one, above].