Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Misandry, Misogyny, and The Third Way

I am a feminist and... I love men.

WHAAAAAT?!?! I can hear some misandrist somewhere shaking her fist and shouting obscenities.



Except it isn't. I think it's safe to say that most women love men. They love their fathers. They love their brothers. They love their sons, partners, husbands, and friends. There are quite a lot of men in our lives that we love.

I think it's pretty safe to say that most women also want respect, because we're people and people want respect. We want the ability to control our lives and have our choices, feelings, and values honored.

These things should not be controversial, news, or rocket science. They are common sense.

That all said, I understand why there are women out there who hate men. I get that. I get the personal experience that is so incredibly hurtful it shades your perspective on every person to the point of essentialism. I can understand why an abused woman would hate her abuser, or anyone with qualities reminding her of that person. I understand why someone would hate her attacker, and anyone with similar qualities. It makes sense to me, but it also is something that I believe everyone needs to move past.

I am not someone saying "just get over your hurt." That is not what I mean at all. I mean to say we need to be different. We cannot act like oppressors pointing to a whole group of people and claim they are all exactly alike. That is preposterous. I would be angry if someone said all women were X or Y (hee hee) so how can I do the same thing to another group?

I also recognize there are still a lot of insecure men out there who continue to perpetuate sexual inequality and that situation isn't something we as women can just "get over." That said, we cannot make choices based out of fear, anger, or hatred. This is the way down a spiral of pain and despair.

Instead, let us honor ourselves and our fellow humans by acting out of compassion, wisdom, and justice. Whatever feminist actions we take, let them be informed by these three values, for if we do not, then we are no better than misogynists.

It is time for us to reclaim feminism from hatred and reassert it's original purpose - equality for all. This is neo-feminism - one that transcends misandry and allows for men supportive of the women in their lives to rejoin the movement. As a woman married to a man, who bore a son, I'd like feminism to welcome them with open arms, so they can work beside the women they love for a brighter tomorrow.

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