Misandry, meaning the ‘hatred of men’, has evolved into an anti-feminist sentiment used to derail discussions about women and feminism. The use of the word is the epitome of the modern backlash against the feminist movement by Men’s Rights Activists; those threatened by the concept of losing the privilege they vehemently deny having.
Under the not so convincing guise of ‘gender equality’, MRAs desperately spread misconceptions about feminism in order to undermine the movement, whilst banding around the term ‘misandry’. For example, asserting that the legal system and society in general is misandrist. Which, to be blunt, is complete bullshit. It would be funny, if these people weren’t potentially doing a lot of harm.
Of course, men are affected by gender roles. They are pressured into being ‘masculine’ which encompasses being unfeeling, strong and logical. Men are stigmatised if they show ‘feminine’ traits which include being emotional and irrational. But this is a product of patriarchy; not feminism, not a ‘misandrist’ society and not women. A man is expected to be strong because to be weak is womanly and therefore bad. This is rooted in misogyny not misandry. Another popular example of misandry amongst the MRA communities is custody of children. The mother of a child is more likely to get custody than the father because women are still expected to be the primary caregivers to children and elderly people. Again, this is misogyny, not misandry.
One of the most ludicrous examples of something an MRA has claimed to be misandrist and reflective of our culture is the number of men who died in World War One and World War Two, whilst women were ‘safe’ at home. I shouldn’t have to deconstruct this but, alas, I shall. More men died in the various wars throughout history than women because women were *not allowed* into the army. They are still not allowed to serve on the front line alongside men. This rule was created by men because women were and still are seen as not physically strong enough or emotionally capable of legally murdering people (sorry, my anti-war sentiments are coming out). We’re told it is not a woman’s place; a woman’s place is at home. Man= protector, woman= caregiver. Archaic, yes, but these views are still very much culturally held. This example of ‘misandry’ is quite obviously misogyny. Men were not forced into the army because society hates them and wants them to die; they were forced into the army because of patriarchal gender roles.
We do not live in a society that hates men; men are the privileged gender group. Women are still horribly oppressed in pretty much every aspect. A few examples: representation in the media which perpetuates the patriarchal ideal of beauty which simultaneously slut-shames and prude-shames, fewer women holding high positions within the government and very few women holding CEO positions, the gender pay gap which sadly still exists, the rise of lad/bro culture which strives on openly ridiculing and silencing women, street harassment which we’re told to take as a compliment, rape culture which normalises rape and victim blames women to the point where we’re told not to do anything in case someone rapes us instead of teaching people not to rape. The list seems endless.
To sum up, misandry the word may exist. But the form of oppression certainly doesn’t. To oppress men as a gender group, women must be the ones in power and with privilege. Individual prejudices against men may well exist amongst some women, but this is not misandry and this is not oppression. The more level-headed MRAs, and by level-headed I mean not *as* extreme, give the example of some ‘radfems’ and separatist lesbians as being misandrist. They may express anti-male sentiments, but they are a very small minority group who are constantly bashed in society and have no power or gender privilege. So, really, there is absolutely no need to be threatened; they are not oppressing men because they do not have the power to do so. This is not a good enough example to assert that all men suffer at the hands of all women.