Being A ‘Feminist’ Is Not An Excuse For Being Hateful

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Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.

Feminism is quite broad a term, and one that can be taken in many different directions. For some, it gives the feeling of empowerment; for others it’s a chance to be an ally and fight for others. However – and there’s been an increasing rise since coming to university – there are some people who use feminism as an excuse to hate a whole host of their peers.

Feminism, to me at least, is about equality. I want to live in a world where all people are treated equally, as clichéd as it sounds. However, it appears as though there’s a strain of modern-day feminists who would disagree with my thoughts here, and seem only interested in getting restitution for all women of ages past. It is not feminist to hate all men just because society was aggressively patriarchal for centuries. A lot of men, and I must admit they are mostly younger, are trying desperately hard to fulfil and equalise the genders, but keep getting shot down and told off by people who feel entitled to be hateful.

All men don’t suck. Some men do. Some women suck too – that’s just the way it goes. Not everyone will be the kind of people we want them to be, but that doesn’t mean that one gender deserves a big slap in the face because of who they were born as. Isn’t the whole point of feminism to not discriminate, especially not on the grounds of gender?

Requesting that we keep ensuring our male friends ‘try harder’ to push for equality is really difficult, especially since most of them don’t live with the mindset that gender really makes a difference. Of course there are plenty of people who are misogynistic because, weirdly enough, not everybody is a decent human being. But there are plenty of women who hate men for some reason or another, and it’s not fair for some to pin that hatred on being a feminist, because the two just don’t go together.

It’s the same sort of ideas that I keep seeing all around me. As a woman, I appear to have quite a breadth of opportunity, especially when it comes to student magazines which I can write for and can positively influence my journalistic career. However, my male friend is having a hard time finding the same readily available opportunities – doesn’t that seem a bit peculiar? There are at least four magazines which look for female-only contributors constantly swimming around on my socials. There is no denying that these are all impressive publications and are doing an absolutely fabulous job of working for their causes, but I haven’t seen anything that is ‘male-only’. I have a strong feeling that if such publications were to surface, people would call them sexist. If the answer to my query is that most national publications have been male-only for many years, then I would ask if that’s still the case, and if those rules are written in big, bold letters in the companies’ manifestos.

I’m not against feminism. I’m not against my fellow women. I love knowing that people are going up in the world and are working tirelessly to ensure that their voices matter. I’m just a bit confused. To me, the perfect world would be one where everybody gets along, there’s opportunities aplenty to those who work for them, and there’s no discrimination based on gender. We don’t seem to be too far off from something like this, where people who base their policies on hate will be gone and those who agree with them are in the minority. But I think it’s important that while we work towards that goal, we don’t accidentally shift it all in the wrong direction. We don’t need payback, what we need is equality, so stop using feminism as an excuse to be hateful, because you are wrong.

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A philosophy student with a penchant for uncertain puns. Pause Editor 20/21, i.e. funny sausage

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