I Hate Men (Yes, Really).

In my early years as an aspiring feminist, I spent a huge chunk of my emotional and political energy, reassuring the people around me that I wasn’t one of those feminists, one of the feminists who hates men, or is brutally radical, or willing to a burn a bra at a stake at any given moment. But now, as an older and more confident version of myself, I am comfortable with my anti-male stance.  My name is Kiana, and I am a man-hating feminist (and proud).

Now before you click away, let me explain myself. One, I see no problem in radical stances,as radical beliefs stir change. After all, no one has ever started a political party or a religion, or ended mass injustice with tame or agreeable views. Secondly, I am not ashamed being labeled as “man-hating,” because some days, that language is exactly what I need to describe my inner-most feelings. And honestly, I feel entitled to these feelings of frustration, and disappointment, and heartache. Just this year, I have watched a dear friend experience the traumatic and devastating effects of sexual assault, while I have, personally, experienced the heartache of rejection, and lies, and gas lighting at the hands of men who felt little to no remorse, after causing me such anguish.

More importantly than my own traumas and emotional distress associated with men, are the everyday stories of women treated unfairly by the men in my own city, sometimes even by own ex-lovers. Being surrounded by a group of women, college women specifically, tales of “oh, he stopped texting me back after we slept together,” were no rarity. In fact, statements like “I haven’t heard from in days” or “he made a negative comment about my body” are becoming commonplace.

You see, men disrespect people in ways that women would never dream of. It’s almost as if we’ve given masculine bodies the right to cause as much emotional pain in other’s lives as they’d like, with little to no consequences. We don’t teach cis men to prioritize empathy. Masculinity is not dependent upon values like kindness and nurturing, like femininity is. Which makes it easy to say that I hate men. I hate their sense of entitlement. I hate how men violently assault and harass women every day. This anger and resentment naturally leads me to a very important question, do I hate men or do I hate the systems that have implemented a toxic form of masculinity. The quick answer is both.

Why might you ask? Because to my great dismay, conversations surrounding toxic masculinity always treat cis hetero men as victims in a system that wrongfully oppresses them, as if they are not autonomous creatures completely capable of rejecting the forces that endanger and violate women every day. Every man has the choice to reject the standards of violence imposed by hegemonic masculinity. Every masculine body can use their societal power to correct the frightening inequalities in the workplace or the destructive expectations of male sexuality, which usually harm women more than they ever harm men.

So yes, I’m angry at the male population, and no, this frustration and sadness is not the result of a failed romantic encounter, which sent me into a tailspin of unadulterated feminist rage. This, is anger on the behalf of all the women that have been failed by men (whether they’re women in my life or in others’ lives). This is for all the women that have been sexually assaulted. This is for all the women who have been led on by men who had no intention of fulfilling their promises. This is anger for all the women have been sexually harassed at work, by a man whose behavior they could not correct.

Whether or not I deserve to be punished for my highly emotional responses or rash generalizations is a question, I’ll let you answer. But what I will tell you is that correcting my anti-men mentality has never been, nor will ever be a top priority. I’m comfortable in my stance (at least for now). For the most part,I feel entitled to my anger. After all, men objectify women. They take little or no accountability for their actions. They want to be rewarded for basic human decency, and only value and respect women they can treat as sexual objects. So, with this mind, I also feel entitled to working through these frustrations and disappointments at my own pace. The rare few, the anomalies are, sadly, not enough to reassure me that men are inherently good. In all actuality, I believe the majority’s intentions are selfish at their very core. Someday this may change. Someday I may heal from my anger and resentment. But for now, I will not sugarcoat my feminism to accommodate to the men who have wronged me. 

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