I’ve noticed lately that a lot of Social Justice Advocates have been saying that misandry doesn’t exist. Some SJAs seem to think that if misandry isn’t systemic and institutionalized like misogyny, then it must not exist. People seem to believe that misandry is a concept that Men’s Rights Advocates recently invented, and it’s supposed to be the polar opposite of misogyny. To be fair, Men’s Rights Advocates have been trying to imply that misandry is the polar opposite of misogyny, and nothing could be further from the truth.
Merriam-Webster defines misandry as “a hatred of men” and states that the original first use of the word was documented circa 1909. There are no secondary definitions. It’s pretty straightforward; there’s no mention of institutionalization or systemic qualities in order for misandry to exist. Dictionary.com defines it as “hatred of males”, and again, there is no secondary definition, no mention of institutionalization or systemic qualities—-by definition it’s the simple hatred of the male half of humanity.
There is a medical definition of misandrist, which is simply a person who hates men. There’s also a medical definition of misogynist, which is simply a person who hates women. Both of them, misandry and misogyny, fit under the general umbrella of misanthropy, which is a fear and/or hatred of all humans. Sometimes it’s pathologically classified as a phobia and a personality disorder, although you won’t find it in the DSM-V. However, it should be pretty clear by now that it’s not a word coined by Men’s Rights Activists, and whether or not you personally agree with its existence, the medical community certainly believes that it does.
One of the things that I reiterate, again and again, is that Social Justice Advocates shouldn’t make sweeping statements. It’s just too easy to be inaccurate when one does that, and since Social Justice is already controversial, critics will jump on any inaccuracy like a hyena on a crippled antelope. The more inaccurate a Social Justice Advocate is, the less that their valid arguments and complaints are heard. I can’t tell you how many times critics have sidestepped addressing the real issue in favor of being pedantic about the use of a single word. It’s so easy for them to dismiss us because “Heh, you don’t even know the meaning of the word you just used, obviously you have no idea what you’re talking about”. They can then saunter away smugly, convinced that they’ve won the argument and are free to continue their happy lives as bigots. Why give them any more reasons to dismiss us? They have everything to lose and nothing to gain by listening, in their estimation. The only reason that they’re listening in the first place is so that they can tear an argument apart in order to protect their privileged lifestyle. Don’t give them any more ammunition by making inaccurate or ridiculous claims.
Misandry exists. It’s not institutionalized or systemic in Western culture the same way that misogyny is, but by definition, that’s not required. It’s certainly not the point of feminism or as widespread as Men’s Rights Activists would like people to believe. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The antonym of misandry is not misogyny, but rather philandry, the love of men. The opposite of misogyny is philogyny, the love of women. Neither word, misandry or misogyny, are polar opposites of each other. The opposition is not in the gender in question, but in the feeling in question.
There are a very small number of women who are truly misandrists. There are not as many women who are misandrists as Men’s Rights Advocates would have us believe, but they do exist. Misandrists will tell us that they’re misandrists. Usually they have very good reasons for feeling that way: they’ve been mistreated, abused, raped, abandoned, and taken advantage of by men for their whole lives, and have never been helped or comforted by a man. It does happen; every feminist should be able to agree that it’s possible to go through life without ever having a positive experience with men. If there are so many misogynists in the world, why is it so hard to believe that there might be a misandrist here and there? Maybe the overwhelming amount of misogyny all around us creates them.
When debating with all different kinds of bigots, Social Justice Advocates will say, “Don’t dismiss my experiences. Don’t silence me. Don’t discount complaints that you, as a privileged person, can never experience or understand.” If that is true, then why would we discount or dismiss the experiences of a woman who’s a misandrist? Our experiences are not hers, our complaints are not hers, and we have no right to silence her either. When we say, “Misandry does not exist” we’re denying her feelings, her right to speak, her very right to be. As oppressed as we are, we’re also very privileged to have had positive experiences with men that have kept us from becoming misandrists. It is BIGOTRY to deny that misandry exists, and it is BIGOTRY against one of our own.
Don’t dismiss women whose experiences are different than yours. Don’t make sweeping claims and try to speak for all women. Stop claiming that misandry doesn’t exist even when another woman tells you that she’s a misandrist. Don’t minimize her life experience and dismiss her feelings like misogynists do to women. If you don’t like it when someone does it to you, why in the world would you do it to someone else? As much as I wish that they wouldn’t feel that way, misandrists have a right to their feelings too. Rather than being dismissive of their feelings, I try to be supportive and hope that someday they’ll be able to overcome their hatred. Hating people is painful and it’s hard work. Rather than dismissing misandrists, we should be supporting them and trying to help them.
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- bethyhealer answered: How so? Elaborate. I dare you.
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- capitalisttom answered: “Maybe the overwhelming amount of misogyny all around us creates them.” So it’s still men’s fault. VICTIME BLAMER
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