Monday 28th September 2020
by Crystal Hicks
The Daily Telegraph ran an article this week entitled “Book called ‘I Hate Men’ sells out after move to ban it.” How does that make you feel? It made me laugh, why wouldn’t it sell out, they only printed 450 copies and I am pretty sure there are more than 450 women who hate men and would enjoy having that view validated by such a book. The author, a 25 year old feminist said that ‘women have good reason to detest men’ - despite being married to one herself. So do we?
The article references some of the ‘good reasons’ we have to hate men; domestic violence, men have ill-grounded opinions about women that lead to coercive control and that boys are encouraged to follow their dreams whereas girls are to dream only of waiting for Prince Charming. In her recent work ‘Invisible Women’ Caroline Criago Perez presents a strong arguement the world has been designed by men and for men. There is little case to make against these arguments. The world is still gender bias in favour of men and women suffer mentally, physically, economically and emotion every day due to the decisions and actions of men. But does that warrant a call to ‘hate’ men as a consequence?
If a book was entitled ‘I hate Nazis’ it wouldn’t be banned and I guess it would not get much press coverage. We all would probably not be offended by it, there’s a general consensus that Nazis aren’t a force for good. So why the uproar? I think it’s because we all know that the problem isn’t ‘men’ as a gender, like we know ‘Nazi’ as group really are a problem, and therefore a hatred of men isn’t logical.
Harmange argues that ‘a hatred of men opens the doors of love from women, and for ourselves’ but I’m not convinced it does. Hatred never breads love, only more hatred. If you look at the success stories around the world where battles of race equality and segregation have been won it is because someone, who had the right to be angry as a victim, said I’m not going to hate you, instead I chose love and forgiveness. We’ve been here before, we’ve learned that hatred leads to division and violence and that’s not the battle field equality is won on.
Hating men also misses the point. Yes men have dominated positions of power forever and have willingly or unwillingly made life miserable for women, but so have many women. And there are many men today doing their bit to make sure their wives, daughters, sisters, mums and colleagues live in a more equal world whilst many women are completely disengaged with the agenda. I wait with anticipation for Richard Herring’s book ‘The Problem with Men’ due for release in November which will tackle the impact of toxic masculinity on men and women and in doing so will put the argument where it should be; on the need for a unified stance from both men and women on tackling inequality.
Because what we need is to make equality everyone’s business, everyone’s problem to fix and that will only happen when we stop talking of us and them, pointing the finger, encouraging more division and hatred but instead come together in forgiveness and love. By all means be angry, men and women, things need to change, but is anger not better expressed in positive, unifying action and not more hatred? I’m sure Harmange loves her husband like I love mine so let’s stop pretending we hate men anyway!