Some feminists, like Ilyka, believe we shouldn’t have to explain ourselves, and we don't, really. Yet it might be useful in the grand scheme of things. Feel free to add on as you see fit or argue with a section or more. I’m not speaking for all feminists (see question #1), just one. It’s a start. And, sure, this could also be called “Human Beings 101” except that I’m most interested in the actions that affect women and have been affecting women for a really, really long time.
I’ve compiled the following 8 questions from a variety of ideas I’ve gathered around these parts from a few simply curious or seriously confused people:
...2. Why do so many feminists hate men?
a. Because some of them are scary and mean now or historically.
Many women have suffered at the hands of men. Many have been sexually abused or assaulted, battered, or verbally shoved into a corner. That’s scary. You probably would never think of treating a woman like that, but we can’t know that for sure. As a rape survivor, every guy I meet is a potential threat, guilty until proven innocent. My intellect tells me that most men are kind and won’t think of harming me. My gut says be ready to run. I try to override my instincts with reason, but if I have a few drinks with you, and you sit a bit too close or look at my boobs for half a second too long, I might calmly make an excuse about needing to get home, when it’s possible I’m actually scared out of my tree.
It’s my own baggage. I know, rationally, it has nothing to do with you. And sometimes it helps when the man I love reminds me, “I’m not the one who hurt you, and I would never think of doing anything like that,” but he’s still suspect. His muscles are bigger than mine, and he’s got a dick, so it’s possible he could cause me pain. That's just my reality.
So if a woman appears fearful of you, don’t be annoyed or discouraged. It probably has nothing really to do with you. Back away and reassure her and give her space. Go out of your way to let her know she really is safe. And maybe she won’t hate you so much.
b. Because some of you don’t recognize the privileges you’ve come to expect.
Here’s just one example of this: It’s a very common, normal thing to want to hang out with people who are like you. So when someone’s in a position to hire another person, he’ll likely, naturally, choose someone similar to himself. Because of blatant oppression and discrimination over the centuries, white men have ended up as the bosses, and, on average, they keep choosing other white men to follow in their footsteps. And that sucks for the rest of us.
Recognize you do have a step-up in many arenas. Sure it’s not always the case. Women have an easier time getting custody of the kids, for instance. But it’s often the case. Often enough for some bitterness to creep in there once in a while.
This point also serves as a reminder why it may take a while to be accepted (if ever) by some men and women of colour. Guilty until proven innocent is a good survival mechanism for people who have trusted and burned before.
The key is to stay on track and prove your allegiance over and over basically by being a good person. Of course it’s not your own personal fault that people weren’t treated well in the past, but it’s your own fault if you refuse to acknowledge that reality and expect everything to be on a level playing field for you with everyone you meet. The abusers and invaders looked an awful lot like you (and me), and that’s something that just has to be accepted...
I’m writing this today, on the 98th observation of International Woman’s Day, because I love women, and because I love men. We can only move forward if we can somehow be understood by one another. I hope this helps.