Do Feminists Demonize Men?
By Uma Shekhawat
If I were to give a one sentence answer then it would probably be this: Feminists don’t demonize men, feminists demonize patriarchy. And that’s the truth, as feminists our fight is against injustice being perpetrated not just on women but also on men, trans-people, queer, homosexuals and coloured people. We don’t demonize men but rather the soldiers of patriarchy. Frankly, it is not demonizing. It’s just calling out your real truth in front of everyone.
I had an interesting conversation, recently on Instagram, with a man who was as anti-feminist as one could get. While I was quoting statistics regarding rapes and assaults and the rape culture he made two statements:
Do you know how many men get raped in prison?
There is no such thing as rape culture. It is a generalized term. I mean if this was a rape culture wouldn’t rapes like be happening everywhere?
And then he called feminists ‘annoying butch lesbians’. But the point here is feminism is about everyone, and you don’t have to tell me that men get raped in prison because guess what? Our movement is all inclusive unlike the patriarchy that keeps in forefront the progress of only men and the suppression of everyone else.
And as far as rape culture is concerned I would like to quote Roxane Gay from her book Bad Feminist:
“But men want what they want. We should all lighten up. It’s hard not to feel humourless, as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you’re not imagining things. It’s hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you’re going to float the fuck away. The problem is not that one of these things is happening; it’s that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly. These are just songs. They are just jokes. It’s just a hug. They’re just breasts. Smile, you’re beautiful. Can’t a man pay you a compliment? In truth, this is all a symptom of a much more virulent cultural sickness—one where women exist to satisfy the whims of men, one where a woman’s worth is consistently diminished or entirely ignored.”
And you know what it all starts with? A small sexist joke that then moves to revenge porn followed by covert condom removal and then finally rape, and also electing representatives that make draconian abortion laws. This is rape culture. Every morning, I read the newspaper and the occurrence of rapes and even gang-rapes have become so common that my mind is accustomed to seeing it and not even feeling anything about it. It is scary.
I don’t intend to yell, but sometimes I can’t wrap my head around it. For a man, I thought you would have more brains?
You don’t have to say #notallmen for me to know. Because I know, I know that not every man out there is a douche-bag, but I know enough girls who have experienced different forms of assault ranging from a lecherous eyeing by the bystanders to even gang-rapes. I was molested at the age of seven by my classmate’s older brother, and the funny thing is that I seem to have wiped that memory out of my mind. I don’t remember it; my mother told me the episode just last year. These episodes make you wary about men. Whenever I talk to a man at the back of my mind I ask myself: that what if he molests me?
Why it is that one woman is scared of standing in a room full of men but not the other way around?
Women, often on public platforms, make statements like such:
Men should learn a thing or two about consent.
All men are the same.
Men are filthy pigs
Beware of men, don’t be alone with one.
And instead of understanding where these comments are coming from, instead of diving deep into the problem and understanding why we are making these statements, some men respond with #notallmen.
I can tell you from experience that almost every woman on this planet has been molested or assaulted in one form or other, it is a trauma, and we start getting conscious around men and form an aversion towards them. They all become demons, and it is not helping when more and more cases of gender based crimes are coming up. The Aziz Ansari case makes you question if there is even a decent guy out there or not. And we all know the torchbearers of assaults this year, Larry Nassar and Harvey Weinstein.
If you don’t want to get demonized then stop attacking like one. We know who is good and who is bad, but maybe you, a beast, probably do not even know what a rape is and what a consented sex is.
So don’t be scared, just change yourself or those around you.