In this episode of Feminism F.A.Q.s, I look at the myth that feminism involves hating men. For episodes 1 and 2 (“Why Do We Still Need Feminism” and “What is Feminism?”) click here. Got suggestions for a future episode? Comments on a previous one? Post your feedback below!
This video was re-recorded on June 3 to fix the audio.
H/T to The F Word UK for drawing my attention to the University of Houston study I referenced. For your information, the study is called “Are Feminists Man Haters? Feminists’ and Non Feminists’ Attitudes Toward Men” and is authored by Anderson, Kanner & Elsayegh. Published in June 2009 in the Psychology of Women Quarterly.
Read the full transcript of the video after the jump:
I’m Jarrah Hodge, writer and editor at Gender Focus, a Canadian feminist blog. Welcome to Feminism FAQs, where I try to answer some questions and clear up some myths about feminism.
Today: Do feminists hate men?
This is something feminists get accused of a lot, but it doesn’t have much grounding in reality. What feminists “hate” is not men, but inequality and sexism.
Most feminists realize that it’s not individual men, but a system of gender inequality that’s the problem. In fact, a 2009 study out of the University of Houston showed that feminists registered less hostility towards men than non-feminists.
Feminism is about challenging the unequal society we live in. It means we have to examine the ways people of all genders are limited by the roles society has laid out for us. It means looking at double standards, like the way that we focus on a woman politician’s clothing rather than what she’s saying, or the way that we fail to pay attention to women athletes unless they put out a sexy public image.
Most feminists know that not all men are consciously perpetuating sexism. We also know that women are capable of perpetuating it too.
What we do ask of men who want to help our movement toward equality is to examine the privilege they experience – in the home, workplace, school, politics, sports – just for being born men.
Not all men will experience privilege in the same way, but it’s important to take an honest look.