California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    ‘Man-Hating’ Disvalues the Feminist Movement

    As a woman in today’s day and age, it has come to my attention that now more than ever people are choosing not to associate themselves with feminism. Often when a woman is asked if she is a feminist, she will immediately say no. It’s usually because of the stigma around the word “feminist,” that it represents a man-hating idea.

    I myself have avoided identifying as a feminist for fear of being labeled an aggressive man-hater. Since the second annual Women’s Marches recently took place in areas local to us such as Los Angeles, San Diego and Ventura, I want to examine what feminism really is so that I can say proudly that I am a feminist.

    The Google definition of feminism is, “the advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes.” This is the true feminism movement that we should be associating with.
    Danise Kluss, senior communication major at California Lutheran University who is the current vice president and former president of Her Campus at Cal Lutheran said, “That definition really aligns with what I believe in; a lot of people associate it with women having more power than men which isn’t accurate.”

    After my own personal researching, I firmly believe that all the women who say they should be above men need to look at the history of their movement, reevaluate their methods and ask themselves what it means to be a feminist.

    “Being a feminist to me means supporting other women and helping them accomplish their goals,” said Kluss. “Everyone should have equal opportunities, and men should know that they have every right to feel and show emotion as much as women do.”

    The media often portrays feminists as man-hating women who believe that all men are evil.

    “I think that [the] feminism where you believe that women are superior to men is not feminism,” Kluss said. “If you do, you are misinformed and saying things like that is sexist and hate speech.”
    I agree with Danise in that this type of thinking is what leads to misogyny and misandry. Most of the world is familiar with misogyny: prejudice against women. However, not many people have heard of the term misandry. This is a major part of why so many people are deterred from associating as feminists

    According to an article in Psychology Today titled ‘Misandry: The Invisible Hatred of Men’ by Joe Kort, who specializes in marital affairs, men face several challenges when it comes to women.

    “By noticing microaggressions directed against men, we can uncover a lot of ‘hidden’ misandry,” said Kort. “Examples such as, ‘Be a man’, or ‘A man wouldn’t understand’,” are things that women say claiming to be feminists but are following misandry.

    The problem is that the few women who spread hatred of men and say such vile things have the loudest voices. These women are not feminists, but they align themselves with a movement filled with thousands of other women whose purpose is to empower women as well as advocate for equal rights among both sexes. The key word is both. Not just women, but both men and women.
    I have had several conversations with my male friends asking if they consider themselves feminists, and almost all of them say no. Why is this? Well, a majority of this problem is because they are misinformed on what feminism actually is.

    “I think that if you’re being told that someone hates you or that a whole group hates you, you won’t like them or support them,” Kluss said. “Being misinformed does that too, thinking that those few share the beliefs of the entire group.”

    Men should know that being a feminist simply means that you think women are equal to men. It is the label that scares them because the media has portrayed feminism in such a negative way that even women don’t want to be connected with it. Do not associate feminism with misandry just because there are a select few who do not accurately represent the values of the movement but aligned themselves with it anyway.

    “Being a feminist is about empowering women, letting them know that they can really be anything they want to be,” said Kluss. “We’re allowed and encouraged to do things; it’s all about having the power to do whatever makes us happy.”

    After looking into the true values and cornerstones of the feminist movement, I am proud to identify as a feminist and hope that the feminists-in-hiding out there will too. Those few misandrist women need to reevaluate their values and really think about if they should be aligning themselves with the feminist movement.

    Ashley Fisher