"Men are Idiots"

As a feminist, I believe in the equality of the sexes (and all people). I think it is important that we take the time to question our own actions, including what we say and believe on a daily basis. In an age of many voices, we need to take the time to be honest with ourselves and ask, what do I believe?

It was a Thursday afternoon; my Bing notebook was packed with a reused folder from last semester carrying my readings. I was off to my Intro to Feminism lecture, excited to embark on an “official” education into the feminist movement. Although I knew I was a feminist, someone who believes in the equality of the sexes (but more specifically, of all people), I wanted to know names, theory, and dates. You know, all the "important" stuff.

So there I was, sitting in my side seat in the lecture hall, made up of 99% women, and 1% male. These percentages seem to be the norm in feminism courses and “women’s studies,” but hopefully it will change over time as people begin to see the importance of learning about marginalized groups of people, even if they are not part of that group. In addition, we have  three female and two male professors leading the course.

Over the course, we will learn about the past—including men that have written and invested their energy in oppressing women financially, socially, and systematically. With content such as this, it can be infuriating. In the wake of such aggravating information, it is normal to feel overwhelmed--but that doesn't excuse our actions nor responses.

“Men are idiots.”

These are the words I heard from a classmate sitting next to me. I turned my head with amazement. Did she really just say that? Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard this type of language used towards men.

I have seen Snapchat stories bashing men with words such as “All men suck” or “Men are pigs.”

To those who own these words—how do you plan on fighting discrimination with discrimination? More importantly, how are you aware of a struggle and impose the same tactics onto another population? This hypocrisy is more frustrating than any reading I have been assigned. It is this ignorance that persists, and in my opinion, holds back the feminist movement. There are women who are afraid to declare themselves as a feminist because of the sentiment against men.

The danger in normalizing these words is that we take many steps backward from a better world. Feminism should strive for the equality of the sexes and the opportunity to flourish. We cannot get attached to, and be angry at, the people of the past. When we get caught up in the past, we neglect the allies we could gain, including men, in the conversation.

Men are allies, not idiots.


[Feature Image by Pexels]