Male Bashing or Feminism? Are We Not Crossing The Lines Now?


In a world of unequal opportunities and impermeable glass ceilings, it may be perverse for a lifelong feminist like me to write in defense of men, but twice this week I’ve overheard conversations between women that have frankly disturbed me.

For me, true feminism is a belief in equality even where there’s very little evidence of it.

It shouldn’t be an excuse for man-bashing.

If I may put it modishly, you can cuss your man because he is actually a loser, but don’t dismiss him just because he is the member of male species!

Every other day, I overhear my colleague bemoaning the fact that her husband is “absolutely worse than bloody useless” when he has to look after the children, or spend time with the family, or doing house-hold chores. I happen to know this guy and rather like him. He adores his children, but has the sort of job that demands long hours and a great deal of travel, so he doesn’t spend much time with them. And, no, he’s not much of a cook, but he’s responsible and loving, and frankly doesn’t deserve to be branded useless. If he doesn’t thrive in a domestic setting, it’s because he’s never been there. That’s a function of the aggressive, yes, largely male anti-family work culture that still prevails in our society, but it’s not his fault.

We do hear, read and witness slogans shouting out that men are bas***ds of first grade and they do not know how to treat women other than a sex object!

Well, All of them??

Isn’t this a mindless generalization?

Whatever questions this raises about society’s failure to address the complexities of post-feminist society, it should surely alert us, as women, to the fact that if we demand respect from men, we must also give respect to them. Life ain’t perfect for any of us, but it’s probably not entirely men’s fault. Both men and women are control freaks when in their individual domains!

“You must make women count as much as men; you must have an equal standard of morals; and the only way to enforce that is through giving women political power so that you can get that equal moral standard registered in the laws of the country” – Emmeline Pankhurst said that in 1913.

Eighty years later…

“You grow up with your father holding you down and covering your mouth so another man can make a horrible searing pain between your legs” – Catharine MacKinnon, a horrible dictat in 1993.

What’s gone wrong with feminism? 

Feminism used to be about equality, not female superiority and blind male bashing!

Many modern-day feminists engage in man-bashing rather than making dignified demands for equality, as the feminists of the early twentieth century did. So, Robin Morgan unashamedly admits, “I feel that man-hating is an honourable and viable political act”.

The view that many modern feminists seek to spread is that all men are rapists and that’s all they are!!

Well, really??

A Feminist Dictionary goes so far as to define ‘male’ as “a degeneration and deformity of the female”. This is an effort to make men seem inferior, not to elevate the position of women. It starkly contrasts with the goal of feminists of old, which was to make women be viewed as equal, not superior, to men.

The line crossed too grossly!

Feminism Used To Be About Freedom, Not Censorship

Recently, feminists have supported moralistic wars on porn and misogynistic Twitter messages. They are essentially advocating more government intervention into our private lives and our freedom of speech. Yet 43 years ago, Germaine Greer wrote in the The Female Eunuch that “Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it”.

Whereas feminism was once concerned with increasing the freedoms of women, and by extension all inhabitants of society, now it tends towards demanding the reduction of freedoms for opposite species.

Feminism Used To View Women As Self-Sufficient Rather Seeking Protection From One And All 

If recent debates are anything to go by, feminism now seems to be about protecting the delicate, sensitive, victimised female of the human species. For example, we apparently need to be protected from pictures of topless women in Vogue or other fashion magazines, lest these images destroy our self-esteem.

Feminism perpetuates the view that women are fragile. In contrast, the feminists of the early twentieth century were keen to show that they needed little help and could fend for themselves, just like any man. Indeed, as early as 1847, Charlotte Brontë wrote: “Women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer.” 

Feminism Used To Be About Structural Change, Not Cultural Change 

The goal of feminists today is to change certain men’s view of women as sexual objects. And that seems all of it. This speaks about a fundamental shift in the focus of feminism, away from demanding structural change – that is, having women in the workplace and represented in government – towards more of a  cultural change by re-engineering certain men’s values and views.

Probably this is a result of the fact that women now have jobs and are represented in government, so inevitably the scope of feminism has become narrower. The economic and political security, we now enjoy has given women the ability to bring feminism to the forefront, but it has also made feminism less appealing. Feminism should not be about getting a job for one woman, or protecting them while walking on the roads, It must be about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie. And sharing it with everyone, including men.

Feminism Used To Be About Making Real Changes, Not Momentary Gestures 

The recent celebrations when our female sports stars such as Saina Nehwal brought us victory are much appreciated. But this is a superficial ‘victory’; it doesn’t indicate any substantial change in the place of women in society. During the Independence Movements in the 1930s the publication of a woman leader’s picture was rarely seen as an achievement, let alone a huge success. Then, women wanted significant change in society – in that instance, female empowerment, not male degradation. Then, women were wanting to stand with men in the fight for freedom, not project themselves as superiors.

Then, women knew the meaning of FEMINISM and the difference with MALE-BASHING!

Feminism, once upon a time wasn’t always as narrow and petty as it is today. It was once about equality for all, true freedom, more choice and radical change, not censorship, man-bashing and the social re-engineering of bad male attitudes.

Gloria Steinem puts it well: “A feminist is anyone who recognises the equality and full humanity of women and men.”

Let’s be true feminists if at all we believe in it!

Being a Female Chaunist is much easier, and equally useless as being a Male Chauvinist!

Don't Miss! random posts ..