Have you ever called a feminist a man-hater?

Feminism continues to receives negative comments from many who are not fully aware of what a feminist is or simply don’t want to accept the real meaning of it. General assumptions such as “feminist are man-haters, they are a bunch of lesbians, they are ignorant and conceited.” I’ve heard them all! Not having a clear understanding of what feminism is definitely noticeable. I admit that few years ago I used to tell myself, “Feminism? Nope, I believe in the equal rights for men and women. Not just women. That is unfair.” I became more familiar with the concept of feminism after becoming a student at CSULA and taking classes that talked about race, gender, sexuality and feminist movements. Thankfully, I now recognize that Feminism, though it can be a difficult concept to understand, is in fact something that challenges sexism for women and men! Unfortunately, the meaning of Feminism is not clear to everybody.

A few months ago, I was at a bus stop and saw a black man approach a young lady and attempted to start a conversation with her. He immediately asked how old she was and began calling her “sexy lady.” The young lady asked him to leave her alone and he replied with, “This is why I fu****g hate feminists.” I was appalled by his ignorance. I did not know if I should get involved and tell him something. At the end, I decided to stay quiet. I hope that incidents like this stop because it is so offensive and disappointing to witness. The fact that he automatically thought that she is a feminist because she asked a man to leave her alone is sad. The meaning of what it is to be a feminist is slowly being destroyed.

The word “hate” shows up a lot when describing a feminist. The term is constantly classified with “man- hater.” In Bell Hooks’ “Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism” she describes what feminism means. She states,

“is to want for all people, female and male, liberation from sexist role patterns, domination, and oppression” (pg. 195)

It is important for everyone to fully recognize and accept this explanation as it doesn’t mention anything about a “man-hater.” bell hooks’ definition made me understand even more the concept of feminism. It is clear to me that Feminists are not out there making men lives harder, instead they do not want to continue living in a society where men and women are constantly being oppressed. I know that the concept of feminism can be difficult to comprehend, but we can all educate and help one another!

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