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Don’t get it wrong: Feminism is not about hating men!

Against all odds

The feminist wave is considered to be officially started in 1848 and the 21st century is a time of strong development, followed by countless supporters and opponents. In the protesting department, there are many opinions that feminism is “transformed”, “toxic”, “unnecessary”. So is that the truth?

Here, let’s take a look at the popular opinions that have led to the denial of the feminist movement, and consider how strong those arguments are.

Supporting feminism is against men

This is the most common and also the most misleading view about the feminist movement. Many people think that feminism is a zero-sum game (a zero-sum game means one side wins and one side loses).

On the contrary, the nature of feminism is gender equality, the aim is to blur the gap in opportunities and social perspectives on both sexes. This movement fights for all people and is not against any particular gender. It is only against gender stereotypes to liberate both men and women (from here on, to unify the terminology in the whole article, ask permission to be called gender equality Movement).

A 2018 report from the World Economic Forum ranked Iceland at # 1 in terms of world equality, so it’s clear this is women’s paradise, so the men are there. To what extent is this oppressed and painful? In fact, Icelandic men have the highest life expectancy in all of Europe. At the same time, Iceland is always ranked high in the list of the happiest countries in the world (ranking in 2019, Iceland ranked 4th).

Actually, it is not strange at all, since it is obvious that the more power a man is empowered, the heavier the responsibility they must bear. If something is oppressing men, it is toxic masculinity, society’s expectations of status, career, strength, … not the average gender equality movement.

And as a result 

In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) global data estimated that there were about 793,000 suicides worldwide, mostly men. For every 100,000 men, there are 15 suicides in nearly 40% of countries around the world, but the rate for women is only 1.5%.

In 2017, the average male suicide rate in the UK was 10.1 per 100,000. Meanwhile, this rate for women is only 1/3 of men – 4.9 cases per 100,000 during the past 10 years. It is the same in many other countries. Men are three times more likely to die from suicide than women in Australia, 3.5 times more in the US, and four times more likely to die in Russia and Argentina.

Other WHO statistics also show that the average life expectancy of men is also lower than that of women, even though they are considered “strong men”, people “physically and mentally strong”. The WHO report pointed out three causes for this sad situation, they are:

  • Working environment (men are more likely to be exposed to dangerous physical and chemical agents than women).
  • Men often accept to face dangers (prejudice “being a man must have the spirit of aggression and adventure”).
  • They are often uncomfortable with counseling and medical treatment (they often do not go to the doctor when they have health problems, tend to have little or no desire to reveal their symptoms).

Especially when having psychological health problems, men do not want to be treated, do not share or express feelings for fear of being perceived as weak. There is no other way, they just have to “self-medicate” with alcohol, beer and stimulants.

In short, women are not the only victims of gender inequality. When social roles are equally divided, not only women have the opportunity to prove and develop themselves, but men also lessen the burden. That is the single and cross-cutting goal that the movement wants to aim for — equality for both sexes, rather than the direction of the stick at men.

Being male and female, equality is impossible

First of all, it is necessary to clearly distinguish between “equality” and “balance”. Gender equality is not about denying differences in sex or trying to “feminize” men. Gender equality is a human rights movement aimed at liberating people, in order not to discriminate on the basis of gender, so that everyone in this world has equal access to resources to cultivate themself and dedicate themself to society.

The nature of man and woman is not as different as most people think. In fact, these differences are shaped by prejudice and expectations of society, the environment, and the way of education.

It also means it is impossible to say for sure which job is “men’s job” (joining business, politics, engineers, doctors, having a brilliant career, …) or “women’s work. ”(Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids,…). Each person should be free to choose the job he wants based on his or her own passions and abilities.

If you don’t forget, then many of the best chefs in the world are men. Or even in the field of programming that is often “framed” for men, there are still talented female faces.

In short, it is difficult to judge whether a man or a woman can do a job without giving them the full opportunities and conditions to do that job (or “empowerment”). It is one of the important tasks of the gender equality movement, regardless of generation.


Against All Odds: Essays On Women, Religion And Development From India And Pakistan By Kamla Bhasin, Ritu Menon, Nighat Said Khan

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