The truth about misandry – shedding light for the doubters and dismissers

misandry manifesto FI

It’s a revelation, albeit a disheartening one, to observe how the pursuit of gender equality is sometimes misconstrued as misandry. This misunderstanding is a burden many women, myself included, wish not to bear. The label of misandry often misapplied to our cause, casts a shadow over our genuine advocacy. Declining things in life as simple might be an overstatement, especially when considering the complexity surrounding the concept of misandry, typically defined as disdain for men.

To set the record straight, I do not harbour hatred towards men. This sentiment echoes the hearts of countless individuals championing gender equality and women’s rights. Hatred is a profoundly harsh term, unwarranted when directed at any human being. We don’t fight for rights out of hatred towards men; instead, we actively reject societal norms and behaviours that some men uphold: striving to maintain gender dominance, degrading women, and having an insatiable appetite for superiority. This isn’t about hate; it’s about challenging and changing a system that benefits from inequality.

Both men and women are born into a patriarchal world, and it is naturally easier to accept the norm and live life as is, but it takes guts to stand against societal norms. So you must know that a woman taking a stand against gender inequality does not do it because she hates men, because she wants to, or because she enjoys it. She has no choice but to stand up for her human rights. 

So many men, and sometimes women, believe feminism is a fight to make the female gender superior. At its core, the reality is that human beings, regardless of gender, are not built to withstand oppression or degradation. I believe that a significant number of individuals, particularly men, struggle to relinquish patriarchal systems due to a fear of experiencing the same oppression and degradation that women have endured and continue to endure. This begs the crucial question: why would one choose to treat another in a manner they would find abhorrent? Why commit acts against another when you know, deep down, that such actions are unjust?

In a heart-to-heart conversation with my friend, we touched upon a unique aspect of female friendships: the collective struggle for women’s rights that extends beyond the personal sphere, advocating for the liberation and empowerment of all women. It’s a topic that frequently surfaces in our discussions.

She shared a thought-provoking insight, saying, “No one is inherently born a feminist or a misogynist. In Nigeria, societal norms, cultural dictates, and parental teachings raise us all, often relegating women to traditional roles, like confining them to the kitchen or deeming a girl’s education less critical. From a young age, an environment that elevates men as inherently superior to women surrounds us.”

This upbringing, she explained, has profound effects on us as women. It forces us to confront and question our self-worth and designated place in a world where our paths seem preordained with limitations. Such reflections reveal the profound impact of societal norms on individual identity and the importance of challenging and unlearning these ingrained beliefs for the sake of gender equality and personal empowerment.

So, we must unlearn. Question the unfairness when you see it. Question the doubts you have about things that do not seem balanced. That’s how you start. That’s how you create new ideologies about what you know is the truth. 

Wikipedia defines misandry as hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men.

This definition, however, overlooks the roots of such feelings. A critical aspect often missed in discussions around gender equality is the acknowledgement of women’s experiences with oppression. The implication is that women’s grievances and their reactions to systemic degradation across the globe do not warrant a basis for prejudice against men, as if these deeply felt experiences are irrelevant to the broader discourse on human rights. Yet, what are human rights, if not recognition and validation of individual perspectives and emotional responses to lived realities?

Wrapping up this misandry manifesto here would be fitting and timely. Yet, our conversations often circle misconceptions and challenges. In this narrative, I must also lay out solutions, guidance, and actionable steps towards embracing open-mindedness and upholding the truth.

  • Integrity is so important when contributing to a better world. ‘The right thing always.’ This mindset has so much power when it comes to the topic of patriarchy and feminism. What is the right thing? Is it a fair world for all kinds of humans, regardless of gender, or is it what religion or society says?
  • You are not a bad person for not knowing the truth beforehand. You become a bad person when you know the truth and choose to ignore it. 
  • No, women are not trying to put men below them. We simply seek the same level of regard and respect that men receive. They also do not desire to be objectified by men.
  • It is not a competition. When women rant or share stories about being oppressed by men, it is not the time to talk about men’s oppression, too. Nobody said men do not get oppressed. It’s like interrupting a person’s cry of distress to speak about your own cry of distress. It is cringe. 
  • Choose to have an empathetic heart. So much about feelings is intentional. You’ll be more open-minded when you intentionally decide to feel or understand from women’s perspectives. 
  • Feminism is so often misinterpreted, just like misandry. But the misinterpretation of feminism is worse. Sometimes, even feminists themselves misinterpret it. However, if you are genuinely willing, you will understand what feminism is: the actual truth. Be willing. 

So, what is the actual truth? It is that all humans – all – must be treated and regarded with the utmost respect, validation and worth. None less than the other. 

And that’s how you start. That’s how you create new ideologies about what you know is the truth.

Author

  • Victoria Ige

    Oyindenyefa Victoria Ige "OVI" is an educator, a YouTuber and a child welfare/women's rights advocate. Her advocacy work is executed through media contents and actual social development projects. You can access more of her works and find out more about her here: https://beacons.ai/oyindenyefaige

    View all posts
React to this post!
Love
0
Kisses
0
Haha
0
Star
0
Weary
0
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.