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Manhating: It’s Not a Feminist Game

Let’s talk about the F word. No, not the four letter one. Let’s talk about feminism. Better yet, let’s get to the bottom of the connection between feminism and man-hating. Before I delve into the nitty gritty of this topic, let’s share a story.

My friend was sitting at dinner with a group of people and the topic of relationships came up. The conversation kept flowing and my friend, who had just gone through a rough breakup, made a comment to the girl sitting beside her about her guy issues. The section of guys at the table overheard this and one in particular looked her straight in the eye and said “You’re a feminist, aren’t you?”.  Her reply was “yes”. But as she tried to explain that these were two separate issues, she was overrun with comments like “man-hater”. 

Unfortunately this stigma of ‘feminism being a man-haters game’ has spread and over-influenced the general public. The reality is that, like most stereotypes, this stigma applies to only few of the actual feminist population.  

My friends’ distrust of men is in strictly in correlation with her romantic relationships with them and how they ended poorly. In no way does she hate or wish the male population to suffer as a whole just because of her bad relationships. Her belief in equal rights for all genders goes beyond just equal wages, but equal respect in all careers, lifestyle choices, and sexuality. 

Being dubbed a “penis-hater” myself by someone who related hating men to feminism was probably one of the worst insults I have personally received. This is because I believe in a world where what’s in your pants, whether it’s natural or surgeon made, should have absolutely no effect on how much you make, how much you pay on car insurance or how society views your sexuality. 

The eloquent words Emma Watson used to convey the real concept of feminism in her U.N. speech was a huge step for equal rights worldwide. The fight for equal rights among all genders is a battle in motion for over a century. Though we’ve come far, thanks to the suffragettes and the movement they brought to life, we still have a long way to go. One of the steps we all need to take is realizing that feminists are not man haters. Wanting to be equal to men does not mean hating them. On the contrary, people should be seen as people. Not by what’s below their belt.

Haleigh West is an Honor's Student majoring in Fashion Design with a double minor in Environmental Studies and Studio Art. Her articles are centered around sexual awareness and relationship advice, with the occasional piece focusing on social justice from a feminist perspective. Outside of HerCampus, she runs Lasell's chapter of Active Minds, an organization dedicated to ending the stigma of mental illness on campus, and is an avid hiker who never stops exploring.As a self proclaimed "equalist" she is determined to live in a world where all are created equal. Free of sexism, free of racism, free of all stigma. A truly free world. 
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