Why I'll Never Be a Man Hater
A short rambling from a feminist, egalitarian, species lover...
After exposing myself to the World Wide Web with stories and memoirs of previous traumatic experiences, I began to feel overwhelmed as I was swamped with messages from strangers and friends alike. Some had comments of their shock and disgust of what had happened to me, some wanted to lend me a listening ear and show compassion, some reached out to express their connection to my trauma with stories of their own. And a lot of them probed a certain question – “how have these experiences affected your relationship with or towards men?” or something along the lines of “Wow, you must hate men now?”
Great questions, ones which are expected considering the nature of my experiences and as a majority of women experiencing similar situations have ended up scarred and deeply affected by the male species – I still found this question quite baffling. My answer would usually beg another question in return – If, in your lifetime you had only ever been offended, hurt or abused by a person with brown hair and brown eyes, would you then hate all people with brown hair and brown eyes? I hope this gets your mind onto the track which mine already runs off….
I’m proud to admit that I am a feminist. A term which often gets mistaken for someone who “hates men” or sees women as “superior to men”. Wrong. A feminist is actually someone who believes that men and women should be seen as equals. The explanation of the term feminism in the dictionary is “the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. Yes, we do see females as superior, however, this does not mean we see males as inferior. We simply believe in being seen as equals.
I am also egalitarian. A term used to describe someone who believes the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. So regardless of whether you are black, white, Asian, gay, straight, asexual, male, female, non-binary, tall, short, slim, obese etc….. I see you as and believe you to be an individual.
I have another question - In a world where we are striving to be seen as individuals, and respected for who we are and our choices, why do we continue to tar a whole population with the same brush? Now, I’m fully aware that men aren’t subjected to constant catcalling or sexual violence as much as women and the majority of the percentage of sexual violence toward women and children are caused by men. I am also aware that men and women are wired completely different. But to put my view in the simplest of terms – not every man is wired the same, nor are even the majority of men capable of committing such offences. So why would I actively choose to ‘hate’ them all and see them as the same?
The most inspirational, beautiful, encouraging and positive people in my life are… guess what... MALE. My Dad (AKA my mentor) is one of the most beautiful beings to walk this earth. He has a kind, caring and thoughtful demeanour and is 50% of my DNA. When my head is messy – I call on him for advice. My best friend, Jamie, is one of the most inspirational, genuine and purest humans I have ever met. He continually encourages me to love myself and strive for more; he gives me honesty, positivity and loyalty. I struggle to imagine how I ever got through my first 27 years of life without him. Another close friend, who has been there for me, a solid support and has held me up recently, over two of the worst months of my entire life (mentally), is male. My ex-boyfriends whom I still speak to are both incredible men and I’m forever grateful for the relationships which we have shared. They have helped me grow and understand myself. My brothers, uncles, cousins – all of them are GOOD men. My psychologist is male, my 3 housemates are male, most of my closest friends are male… heck, even my favourite superhero is male!! The foundation of belief which I hold has allowed me to have these wonderful people in my life. And due to this, they have allowed me to see the good in most men who walk into my life.
Do I believe that patriarchy should be drowned along with racism, sexism and speciesism??...Absolutely! But I believe this just as much as I believe we should stop scrutinising men because of the fabricated norms that patriarchy has put in place. Let’s start using our emotional intelligence to understand and stand up for equality between all sexes! I’m not asking for this to be kept in the minds of just women, but in the minds of men also.
I am proud to be a part of the generation who pushes for change and stands up for diversity and equality. I am determined to help people see these matters from a different perspective. The tunnel vision that “all men are d***s” will only cause harm and misery in your life. It could prevent you from inviting beautiful beings into your life that may advance, improve and expand your self-worth. We need to feel connected to men as we do other women. We need to also empower men as we do women.
Your judgement is in your hands. Try not to base your judgement on the experiences of others. Judge those on their actions and their own words rather than the actions and words of others. And remember, your actions and words can sometimes be a reflection of the experiences you have with people.
Look at the males in your life that bring positive connection and remember THEY are or one day will be men too.