Feminism Is Bad For Men. Feminism Is Good For Men. Which is it?
We often hear that “they” want to rule the world, but is fear of change the real threat that anti-feminists feel?
Feminism is a human issue
Feminism is controversial, but the reasons why deserve in-depth investigation.
There are millions of people outwardly hostile to feminism who would die of embarrassment if they were called racist. Why is racism so shameful that even racist people won’t admit to it, but they will gladly tell you all the things wrong with the notion of sexism?
Ever heard that “they” want to control the world? Are they men, or are they feminists? When we hear that “they” want to control the world, we have to instead, think in terms of alliance, as “We.” We, feminists, are women and men.
That said, most men still do not identify as feminists. This is slow to change. It lingers from a time when men saw women’s equality as a “woman’s issue.”
I think it is not feminism that people fear. What they fear is change. They don’t know precisely what feminism means: (freedom, choice, and equality) but they do know all the terrible threats it is purported to cause. Among these are death of the family, murder of “babies”, and end to stability, and structure.
When you hear, as you often will, that feminism is good because it aspires to achieve equality for the sexes, it’s easy to comprehend how a more fair and equitable society would help everyone. But you will also hear just as often, that men benefit from challenging feminism because they benefit from the status quo. Men, you will hear, want to keep their superior status. They want to control the laws and political powers in the boardroom, the church, and the “sanctity “ of the home. Even more, debated are the unspoken rules for dating, sexuality, reproduction, and intimacy.
These men don’t want feminists to smash the patriarchy, because they might get crushed. In this version of the universe, men have no incentive to give up their privileges. But who are “they?” This is an incomplete picture.
Even the woke ones fear change
When I speak to individual men, they say otherwise. “Let someone else take on all this mess for a while,” is a frequent lament of many a woke guy I know.
But, as is often the case, when asked: “Are you a feminist?” I get blank stares from many, many men, and even a few women. There is a fear of the term.
As often as you hear that feminism, defined as advocacy for women’s rights for equality, you will hear conservative voices that insist women are happier in their “correct roles.” Or, you may hear that feminism is destructive, as it involves anger, man-hating, a relentless, victimhood mentality, or just plain whining about discontent.
When added together with the aforementioned fears of change, these false attributes of feminism do make it seem unattractive. But feminism, is like a box of chocolates, you do not know which interpretation of it that a person is going to “get.”
My psychological take on this paradox is that both statements are true. The present system does benefit men more than women, but there is a huge price to that “benefit.” The price is both individual and societal. It is even global.
When we say sexism favors men, we often forget how very much it also costs men. It’s easy for example, to see how rape culture hurts women, but since men seldom suffer a consequence when they get away with either harassment or assault, the cost to men seems less worth contemplating.
I think this is why it often gets forgotten. But we should look at it. Tell your boys and girls to look at it, too.
We confuse everybody when we cannot agree upon the definition of words. Just yesterday I came across an article in the Epoch Times which stated that feminism has “hurt women” because it devalues the power of the family. Of course, feminism wants to RE-value any personal choice, including those who work at home-making, too!
I felt this is a good example, of our daily exposure to misinformation about the kind of change that is beneficial and the kind of change that challenges us.
Feminism is bad for our present status quo, but there is another second half of that thought that is seldom stated. As destructive as feminism is for the status quo, it offers untold, and unrealized, benefits to men and women, especially in their personal lives. Change is scary. Change is necessary.
Only when the patriarchy is smashed like a glass ceiling of sparkly bits that look sharp and dangerous, will we then realize all the work we need to do. Then the work may begin from within a more equitable foundation.
No one, by the way, has ever said that change is easy. It’s just inevitable.