Why bringing men down isn’t bringing women up

Ask the Scientists

Danielle Dix, News Editor

The idea of “radical feminism” has been gaining traction throughout the internet. The safety blanket of being behind a screen allows these self-proclaimed feminists to express their hatred towards men.

A simple google search of feminism and a little bit of digging will present you with the women that argue that men are the lesser sex and that women should be the ones that run the world. Even more playful and innocent expressions of this idea, such as the “kill all men” meme that was popular on the social media app Tik Tok, is detrimental to the feminist movement.

When looking at feminism in its simplest form, it’s the idea that both men and women should be equal in all aspects of society. It is about giving both sexes equal opportunity. Claiming that men should be put at a disadvantage in society is the complete opposite goal of the feminist movement.

As a preface, there are certainly men that “cry wolf” and claim that all feminists are misandrists and hate men. Fighting for women’s equality is not an attack on men at all.

Advocating for a society where a woman can feel safe at night, make her own choices about her body and be treated with respect is not malicious in nature. However, the radicals that target men are only bringing men down and not pushing women up.

This type of radical feminism actually affects women in a negative way. Although it is necessary to be cautious, (according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 62% of sexual violence victims were women and 38% were men) having the expectation that all men are rapists not only alienates men and women even more but may push men into more dangerous behavior.

When radicals bash men online it could push men into internet subcultures that perpetuate anti-feminism and garner hate towards women. 

This idea that all men are violent also makes it more difficult for survivors of sexual violence to feel safe again and move on from their trauma. 

This idea that men are born a certain way and can’t change excludes trans individuals from the movement. Trans exclusive radical feminists (called TERFs) exclude trans women from the feminist movement claiming that since they were born male, they can’t be a real woman that can be part of the movement. 

Finally, radicals push open minded men away from the movement. These “middle men” that may not yet know much about the movement are so important for the future of feminism.

The truth is that men with problematic behavior are more likely going to react if one of their male peers call them out. People that call out problematic behavior are important because they stop acts of violence before they even occur.

According to the Bystander Research Snapshot Report, “Many respondents think sexism, gender discrimination, and gender equality are concerning and want advice about how they can help.”

But the issue is that many men don’t recognize problematic behavior or acts of “everyday sexism.” That is why it is essential that feminists do not push middlemen away before they can even learn to be better.

Although there are men that have done terrible things to women and even more that engage in everyday sexism, it is essential to the feminist movement to accept the men who are willing to learn and grow.