Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

What I mean when I say that I hate men

Before I get started, I’d like to put out a disclaimer that I don’t blame men for the misogynistic nature of America. I blame a lot of things, most specifically, gender stereotypes, but I don’t blame men as a whole. That being said, when I say “I hate men,” as I often do, I’m not saying that I hate every single man in the world, I’m saying that I hate the societal definition of a man. The ideas of masculinity and femininity are so toxic to society, for all genders, and to get rid of them would be to essentially free America from sexism.
I am a raging feminist, but my feminism doesn’t focus on specific gains for women. As much as I would love to destroy the pay gap and patriarchy, I’m far more interested in the social changes that can come for men and women by removing gender stereotypes.
I don’t remember the last time I saw my brother cry. This is a terrible thing to me because crying is a hugely therapeutic thing. Sometimes I’ll take a cry break every now and then just because it’s easier than yoga.
This summer I was frustrated while watching my brother suffer through unemployment. I could see him repress his anger and sadness, and it was painful for me. There was constant tension between us, and I really believe a lot of it could have been resolved if he had just had the strength to let loose a few tears. The idea of masculinity is filling men with the idea that it’s shameful to do that, and they’re losing their minds because of it.
Jane the Virgin star Justin Baldoni produced a TEDtalk in 2017 that discussed his decision to stop trying to be what society called “man enough.” Baldoni discussed his history with disliking his father’s sensitivity as it made him look weak and feminine. His fear was that his emotions would make him seem too much like a woman.
This idea of masculinity and femininity is disastrous. Not only does it teach men to not be like women, but it teaches women to be more like men, even if they don’t want to. It can destroy people’s desire to explore classically feminine tropes simply because of the stigma.
Recently, I realized that the divide between gender norms was killing my sister’s femininity. My sister is a tough woman who makes a lot of fart jokes and is more proud her ability to wrestle than her skills with nail polish. Throughout high school, my family used to make jokes about how she was “basically a dude” despite her biology. However, once she gained a little independence, I noticed her start to wear more and more dresses and express herself by learning new hairstyles. She still might not wear makeup, but she is a woman.
Our jokes and comments were making her feel physically strong and confident because we weren’t calling her feminine, but we were also suppressing the ways she wanted to express herself but now felt she couldn’t because of how we had labelled her.
Feminism isn’t the typical hate-men-empower-women dichotomy that most people see it as. Feminism is the all-encompassing idea that women and men are people regardless of the stereotypes they do or don’t fit in. Men are emotional and women are strong. Men are strong and women are emotional. Men and women have the freedom to be one, the other or both. The more society tries to define each gender, the more each sex loses.

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What I mean when I say that I hate men