Opinion: Feminism 2.0: The emergence of misandry as a social movement

Edy Zoo

While most people think of the feminist movement as being focused on the fight for women's rights, a growing segment of the movement centered around hating men.

KEY Takeaways:

  • The feminist movement has always been about equality, regardless of gender.
  • However, there has been a growing trend within Feminist 2.0 circles of what can only be described as misandry—the hatred or dislike of men.
  • This trend is concerning because it threatens to undermine the progress that the feminist movement has made.

When most people think of the feminist movement, they think of the fight for women's rights. However, there is a growing segment of the feminist movement that is focused on hating men. This new branch of feminism is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Misandrists believe society is inherently tilted against women and that men are responsible for all of the world's problems. Therefore, they advocate for a reversal of traditional gender roles and demand that men be shut down at every opportunity.

While misandry may seem like a fringe movement, it is gaining traction among young women who are tired of being relegated to second-class status. If feminism 2.0 is going to achieve its goals, then we need to take misandry seriously and address its underlying causes.

What is misandry, and how is it different from misogyny

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about misogyny or the hatred of women. However, another form of gender-based hatred is rarely discussed: misandry or the hatred of men.

Like misogyny, misandry is rooted in sexist attitudes and beliefs. However, while misogyny stems from a belief that women are inferior to men, misandry arises from a belief that men are inferior to women. Feminist scholar Kate Manne has defined misandry as

the systematic devaluation of men's worth and contributions to society."

Misandry can manifest in several ways, from personal insults to institutional discrimination. For example, a man who is told he is "acting like a girl" is experiencing misandry. So is a man who is denied a promotion because his female boss believes that he is not as capable as a woman would be.

The Feminist Movement: A History

The feminist movement has been around for centuries. However, it has taken on different forms and fought various battles at different times. In its earliest incarnation, the feminist movement was about securing fundamental rights and protections for women.

Today, the feminist movement is still about securing rights and protections for women. Still, it has expanded to include issues like reproductive freedom, paid family leave, and equal pay for equal work. Here's a look at the history of the feminist movement and how it has evolved.

18th and 19th Centuries: The First Wave of Feminism

The first wave of feminism began in the late 18th century and lasted through the 19th century. During this time, women in the Western world began to agitate for basic rights and protections, like the right to own property, the right to vote, and the right to divorce their husbands.

However, while some progress was made during this time—for example, many Western countries eventually gave women the right to vote—women were largely unsuccessful in achieving full equality with men.

20th Century: The Second Wave of Feminism

The second wave of feminism began in the early 20th century and lasted through the 1960s and 1970s. This wave of feminism was characterized by a more radical approach than the first wave.

Second-wave feminists believed that equality could only be achieved if social norms and institutions were changed to reflect the female experience and give women more power. To that end, second-wave feminists engaged in activities like protesting sexism in advertising, fighting for reproductive rights, and working to pass laws against workplace discrimination.

21st Century: The Third Wave of Feminism

The third wave of feminism began in the 1990s and continues today. This wave is characterized by a more intersectional approach than previous waves of feminism. That is, third-wave feminists are concerned with not just gender inequality but also inequalities based on race, sexuality, class, and other factors.

Additionally, third-wave feminists have worked to expand the definition of what it means to be a woman beyond cisgender women (that is, women who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth). Today, third-wave feminists continue to fight for equality on multiple fronts—from pushing for paid family leave to advocating for an end to sexual violence.

The rise of misandry in Feminist 2.0

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in misandry—the hatred or dislike of men—in so-called "Feminist 2.0" circles. This trend is concerning for several reasons, not the least of which is that it threatens to undermine the progress that the feminist movement has made. But what is Feminist 2.0?

Feminist 2.0 is a term used to describe a form of feminism that began in the early 2000s and is characterized by its focus on social media and online organizing. One of the critical goals of Feminist 2.0 is to bring about gender equality through the use of digital technologies.

However, there has been a growing trend within Feminist 2.0 circles of what can only be described as misandry—the hatred or dislike of men. This trend manifests itself in several ways, including but not limited to the following:

  • Blaming men for society's ills, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
  • Making sweeping generalizations about men as a whole.
  • Engaging in character assassination against individual men.
  • Creating an echo chamber where only one perspective is allowed.

Why is this happening?

There are many possible explanations for why this trend is on the rise within Feminist 2.0 circles. Some believe it is simply a case of history repeating itself; after all, there was a similar increase in misandry during the second wave of feminism in the 1970s. Others believe it is a natural consequence of living in an increasingly polarized political climate where people are quick to demonize those who hold different opinions.

It's also worth noting that while Feminist 2.0 purports to be about gender equality, it often devolves into something that looks more like gender warfare. This could be because many people who identify as feminists have experienced firsthand the adverse effects of sexism and misogyny. As a result, they are now lashing out against men to protect themselves from further harm.

How misandry harms both men and women

Feminist theory holds that all humans are equal, regardless of sex or gender, and that misogyny and misandry are harmful forms of discrimination. However, it harms both sexes when women are taught to hate and mistrust men. As a result, men are denied the opportunity to form healthy, trusting relationships with women, and women are taught to view themselves as victims.

Misandry also reinforces the harmful stereotype that men are violent and abusive. In reality, violence is not inherent to masculinity. Instead, it results from poor mental health, toxic masculinity, and a lack of understanding or awareness about consent. By working to end misandry, we can create a more equal and just society for everyone.

Ways to combat the trend of misandry in Feminist 2.0

So, what can be done to combat this trend? Below are three suggestions:

Educate yourself and others about the history of feminism. If you're not familiar with the history of feminism, now is the time to educate yourself. First, it's essential to understand that the feminist movement has always been about equality for all, regardless of gender. The current form of feminism—often referred to as "Feminist 2.0"—is no different. Therefore, the only way to combat misandry is to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the goals of the feminist movement.

Call out misandry when you see it. Don't be afraid to speak up when you see misandry online or in real life; whether it's calling out a sexist joke or someone using their platform to spread negativity towards men, your voice matters. Showing no place for misandry in Feminist 2.0 will go a long way in combating this trend.

Support organizations and individuals who are fighting for equality.

Many organizations and individuals are working tirelessly to promote equality for all. By supporting these organizations and individuals, you are sending a strong message that misandry will not be tolerated.

The future of feminism and its potential to be more inclusive for all genders

As the Feminist movement has progressed, it has become increasingly clear that gender equality is about more than equal rights for women. It is also about addressing how men and masculinity are marginalized, both by society at large and by the Feminist movement itself. This is why some scholars have argued that the future of feminism lies in its ability to be more inclusive of all genders.

One way to make feminism more inclusive is to address the issue of misandry within the Feminist movement. While it is true that misogyny (bigotry or hatred towards women) is a much bigger problem than misandry, it is still important to acknowledge that it exists and can be harmful to both men and women. By recognizing the existence of misandry and working to address it, feminism can become more inclusive of all genders.

Another way to make feminism more inclusive is to create space for discussing issues specific to men. For too long, feminism has focused on issues affecting women exclusively. However, men also face unique challenges in our society, such as toxic masculinity, violence, and fatherhood. By creating space to discuss these issues, feminism can become more inclusive of all genders and better equipped to address the needs of everyone.

The future of feminism lies in its ability to be more inclusive of all genders. By addressing the issue of misandry and creating space for discussing issues specific to men, feminism can become a movement for equality that truly benefits everyone.

My final thoughts: this new branch of feminism is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Some have even gone so far as to call it the "man-hating" movement. While this may be an exaggeration, it's clear that this group is vocal and growing in numbers.

If you're not sure what to make of it, or if you're concerned about the impact it could have on society, please comment below and let me know what you think. I want to hear your thoughts!

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Edy Zoo is an author who writes about social subjects. He contributes to the ever-growing library of social critics. He approaches local social subjects and local news covering Auburn-Opelika and surrounding cities from an objective point of view. He also holds liberal views.

Auburn, AL

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