I’m getting very disillusioned with mainstream feminism for several reasons. The denigration of masculinity was never meant to be part of the agenda; rather, I understood women’s rights to be bringing men and women into harmonious equality. The dismissal and attacks on gender differences were never meant to be part of the agenda either; rather, I understood women’s rights to be attacking discrimination based on those differences, and the celebration of womanhood. Now what it means to be a woman has been banished, even though many studies show that women themselves still, after the last 40 years, have pretty traditional views on relationships and family. Attention and outrage that should have been directed towards the heinous abuses of women’s rights in the developing world have been redirected towards fictional and petty things like “man-spreading” and the alleged scourge of gendered toys. We’re told that unrealistic, Mary Sue women characters engaging in acts of gratuitous violence onscreen are “empowering”, rather than sadly copying the kind of male violence these same feminists claim to despise. And whilst men have been accused of silently sponsoring misogyny with their apparently inconvenient masculinity, pre-existing cultural norms within male behaviour that favoured women, such as the desire to be a good provider and chivalry, have been banished, leading men to resentment and more competition, rather than harmony and compatibility. As a result, men have less of an incentive to provide for their families, or to show courtesy towards women. It is a regrettable situation, and certainly not the intended fruit of a movement that began with noble intentions. Rather than masculinity needing to evolve, so say the modern feminists, it is they who need to evolve. They always note with such astonishment that despite the vast majority of men and women supporting women’s rights, very few identify as feminists. They claim this is because of misogyny, incapable of seeing how their own philosophy and behaviour have increased resentment and distancing from the movement. For me, distancing myself from at least the mainstream version of feminism has been like a painful divorce; I’ve been a feminist for years, but my growing discomfort with what I see touted as being in aid of women’s rights has been disheartening to say the very least. I still cling to the movement in support of women in the Middle East, Africa and Asia who still need basic rights. Ironically, those women are forgotten by the mainstream feminists of Western societies, most of which have achieved more than the desired equality for women, although we are repeatedly told that “we still have so far to go”. As time goes by, I hope that more women will recognise the value and beauty of male-female relations, the joy and empowerment in being a woman, and how unnecessary it is to “do it like a man”.