IN today’s world, feminism is a common term that is used by many. The term has been abused to the extent that even those that know nothing about feminism or what it entails call themselves feminists and their vague understanding of what feminism means has made them to misuse the word and give wrong impressions about feminists. Often, most people that describe themselves as feminists do not advocate for what feminism stands for but rather use it to propagate their extreme values to cause dissention.
Now, once people hear the word feminism or I am a “feminist,” they automatically take it that such an individual hates men. The whole idea of feminism which borders on equality, parity and the chance to make choices has been misconstrued to mean hating men because of activities of extremists couched as feminists who use their personal experience to judge every matter.
There is now a general belief that feminism represents the idea of switching the power structure and balance to tilt men or their authority to the bottom and put women on top. This is a wrong belief; if you hate men, you are a misandrist and you are not so different from a misogynist.
Misandry simply means contempt or ingrained prejudice against men or boys in general and it manifests in different ways sexual discrimination, hostility, gynocentrism, social exclusion, matriarchy, belittling of men, sexual objectification or violence against men. Often, many that call themselves feminists are just poorly disguised misandrists.
Misandrists believe in a matriarchal structure that focuses basically on switching the power structure in the favour of women against men while feminism is basically a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal aimed at establishing political, economic, personal and social equality of sexes. It is based mainly on parity and equal opportunities irrespective of gender and seeks to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.
Feminists are not interested in switching the power structure but are working to change the orientation that birthed patriarchy to allow women attain their potential like their male counterparts. Many people believe patriarchy only affects women as is always beneficial to men. This is a wrong notion. Patriarchy can have negative effects on both men and women. Though it undermines women by making them dependent on men and bury their potential, it also affects the emotional and psychological health of men with training ideologies that force them to bury their emotions because a man cannot show emotion, cry, be sexually assaulted or abused or take care of children because they are the responsibilities and characteristics of women.
Basically, misandry believes that the patriarchal structure be reversed while feminism believes it should be overturned to favour everyone.
Those extremists that hate men and find a way of blaming them for the woes of the world are not feminists, those that believe a woman must enter seen and unseen war with men over every little issue and think everything about life is a competition are not feminists. What they practise is misandry and they are the ones that erode the concept of feminism and what it stands for.
Feminism has an image problem due to activities of misandrists, and even those that believe in gender equality refuse to identify with the movement because of extremists who claim to be feminists.
If feminism is going to survive, be effective and create a world where no one is disadvantaged because of gender, there is a huge need to learn the difference between the two terms which people usually mix up. Misandry is not feminism.