“Men are stupid, women are crazy and the reason women are crazy is because men are stupid”.Most of us are familiar with the term ‘misogyny’ which refers to the hatred of women.However ,very few know about the existence of the word ‘misandry’, which the Oxford English dictionary defines as “dislike of, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against the male sex”. Under the guise of staunch feminism, many women today hold misandric beliefs and attempt to gain dominance over men, which is as harmful to society as patriarchy itself.
It is very easy to cross the thin line between feminism and female chauvinism. In India, even though the society is still predominantly anti-woman, our media as well as a large part of the educated masses seem to be anti-man.The victim always has to be a woman. A man accused of rape is automatically assumed to be a criminal even before he is proved guilty. Granted that cases of men getting raped are not as common as women getting raped, but such cases do exist .And very little is being done to bring issues of violence against men to light .When a woman commits suicide, more often than not, the episode gains national media attention .However incidents of men committing suicide, (which are more common than women committing suicide) are given little or no importance. Does it mean that a woman’s life is more precious than that of a man? When Hilary Clinton said that women and children are the prime victims during war, her statement seemed to imply that men, who sacrifice their lives for their country, do not suffer as much as the women.
“The more famous and powerful I get, the more power I have to hurt men”(Sharon Stone).This quote best represents the mentality of a typical misandrist.According to such women, a man should always be respectful to a woman, regardless of whether deserves this respect. A girl might slap a guy in public for no reason and people would assume that he must have provoked her in some way. However if a guy does so he will most likely get beaten up by the people. How is that fair?
In the last decade, many women centric laws dealing with divorce, child custody, domestic violence and abortion have been passed by the government which not only provide unnecessary benefits to women but are also prejudiced towards men, making them suffer for no fault of theirs.
However, neither media nor the government can be solely blamed for promoting misandry in the society. Those who call themselves ‘feminists’ while holding views like “men are dogs” or “women civilize men” are equally responsible It is important to be aware of the difference between true feminism and ‘femi-nazism’.A female chauvinist,unlike a true feminist ,will often hold views like *”All men are potential rapists”. She will use words like ‘herstory’ instead of history,’girlcott’, instead of boycott,’womyn’ instead of women or even ‘ovester’ instead of semester.Their hypocrisy is revealed when,inspite of calling themselves “feminists” ,they expect men to pay for them,hold doors or give up seats for them.Labeling a guy as gay because he doesn’t act like a “real man” is another sign .Such women will raise an outcry if a woman is abused in any way but still firmly believe that false rape allegations should not be penalized.After all,what does it matter if a man’s reputation is ruined!Some other signs of female chauvinism are:self-victimization,blaming men for everything that goes wrong in their life ,dismissing men’s issues with “they deserve it” or believing that women getting raped is worse than men getting raped.
A female chauvinist might easily turn into a misandrist.It is important to understand that feminism is about equality and it should stay that way.Radical feminism is not based on the belief that men are the root of our problem.Our war is against patriarchy and female oppression.It is a war which in both men and women should fight as allies.Considering men as inferior beings will not help anybody.It will only reduce the issue of female emancipation to a battle of the sexes.
It cannot be denied that feminism has provided women with a platform to raise their voice against oppression. However, many decades have passed since the first wave of the feminist movement.Today,only a limited section of the female population suffers from male domination. Even if fifty percent of Indian men are male chauvinists, it does not give us the right to demean the other fifty percent.Even though women in India still have it worse than men,yet the problem of misandry does exist and it must not be allowed to grow.Having men on our side will not only make a difference to the feminist movement but also promote a healthy relationship between men and women, free from any kind of prejudice or hatred. ’Feminists’ like Valerie Solanas who think “To call a man an animal is to flatter him .He is a machine, a walking dildo” are highly disillusioned. Women are neither superior to men not inferior, they are equal. And this is the belief that a true feminist should hold.As Jane Galvin Lewis puts it “You don’t have to be anti –man to be pro-woman”.