This drives me crazy. There is this perception that feminists are haters of men. This just isn’t true. Sure, some feminists hate men but so do people who don’t identify as feminists. There is no real correlation here.
But what makes it worse is when people who identify as feminists say they’re feminists, but don’t hate men. Celebrities, average people, and even feminist bloggers are guilty of this. When you say “I’m a feminist, but I don’t hate men” you help to feed the assumption that most feminists do hate men. The same could be true if you say “I’m a feminist, but I’m not a lesbian” or “I’m a feminist, but I shave my legs” or “I’m a feminist, but I still like to wear dresses.” Although, the bigger problem with all of those is the idea that the opposite is undesirable and somehow bad. These are all the things that the oppressive majority uses to keep feminism, and women in general, down. Nothing shuts down an argument quicker than completely dismissing someone because they are an ugly, fat, hairy lesbian. Because apparently if you are those things then you do not deserve to have an opinion.
But what they’re really saying is that you have these opinions because no man would want you anyway and here is where we get to the root of the problem with sexism. If you want a mate you have to appeal to men (lesbians and queer women are supposed to appeal to men as well) and apparently if you appeal to men then you have no desire to be a feminist. Because all your dreams are fulfilled in getting married and having your man’s babies? I’m not really sure how all of that works. This is quite possibly the case because I’ve always been a strong feminist woman who does not back down. The mates I have had were interested in me because of these qualities, not despite them. And believe it or not, I’ve had way more male mates than female.
And this brings us full circle. Feminists don’t hate men, they hate the culture of male dominance. This is a big distinction that the mainstream doesn’t seem to understand.
So please, for the love of all things equal, stop saying “I’m a feminist, but …”