Feminism, Misandry and Misogyny: A common confusion
Out of these three terms: feminism, misandry and misogyny only two are widely recognised. One is commonly mistaken as another and has been perpetuated into our societal norms in everyday situations without many realizing it. Let’s dive into the confusion of feminism and misandry vs. misogyny.
Feminism. More commonly known in the western world, it’s the movement that gave women their right to vote, work and own their person. This series of political campaigns ran through three waves, the first wave was based around the stations of upper and middle class women as well as gaining the rights to vote. The second wave brought up the issues of social and cultural inequalities such as domestic violence, marital rape, divorce and custody of the children. The third wave started in the early 1990s and some would argue that it’s ongoing even in the present day. The third wave brought about talks of abolishing gender stereotypes and gender norms. Unlike the second wave feminists, the new wave of feminism saw pornography not as a degrading job but one that could empower women in their sexuality should they consent to it. Through all three waves of feminism one belief held true, that women are of equal status as men.
Misogyny on the other hand is the opposite and is exactly what feminists try so hard to fight. Misogyny believes in men being the superior gender of the race and that as such they deserve better treatment in life. Over the years the lines between trying to fight misogyny with equality and the instinctual reflex to argue back “no we’re better” led to the birth of a third term: Misandry.
Misandry is commonly confused with feminism and many have come to believe that misandry is what feminism is about. Misandry comes from the hordes of angry women who’ve had time to accumulate hate towards misogyny and men as a whole. Misandry is when a girl argues they should be treated as an equal and yet expect men to pay for the meal. It’s a group of angry and confused women that enjoy the preferential treatment of gentlemen and yet get angry when they feel that they aren’t being treated the same. Misandry as a whole is an angry confused mess and yet it has become so common that many mistake it for feminism causing a backlash.
Present Day Feminism
Men argue that feminism doesn’t make any sense and that it isn’t true equality, well yeah that’s because what they perceive as feminism is simply misandry. Feminism is going on a date and expecting to split the bill equally. It’s expecting a man to hold the door, not because you’re a lady, but because it is common courtesy and you would have done the same for him as well. Many girls these days expect boyfriends/husbands to pay for them and buy things for them as though that’s a norm. It’s become a running joke that a man in a relationship is financially worse for wear than a bachelor. But if what you want is to be spoilt and pampered without giving anything back, then what you’re looking for is a sugar daddy/mommy not an actual relationship.
Feminism is about equality and that means both the good and bad parts of it. It’s holding your own bags when you’re out shopping because a boyfriend/husband isn’t a bellboy, no “a gentlemen would hold my bag for me because I’m a lady” excuses. To be treated as an equal one must act like an equal, and true equality is feminism but not all of us have gotten to that point yet. Feminism doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy feminine hobbies like getting your hair done or cooking, but it also means you could enjoy fixing a car and other “masculine” hobbies.
Feminism tries so hard to break down gender norms because true equality means both gender can take part in any hobby they like and hobbies aren’t restricted to a single gender. A hobby is an activity, why does society take something neutral like an activity and assign a gender to it? A man that cooks is a chef and yet a woman that cooks are just “learning to be a wife”, why is that?
A man that is sexually promiscuous gets a pat on the back and told they’re “a stud” or that they’re simply “sowing their wild oats”, all these hold only positive connotations. A woman that is sexually promiscuous on the other hand is “a slut” and “brings disgrace”, they’re frowned upon by society. Much of these preconceived notions were born of cultural and societal expectations which the second wave of feminism tried to fight. In the past men were the head of the household in many cultures be it Western or Asian whereas the women were to stay at home and look after the household and family. This is where the ideology that cooking and looking after the household is a feminine job. (Interestingly peranakans are one of the few cultures in which the matriarch is the head of the household rather than the patriarch). Feminism is the ability to have either a stay-home mom or a stay-home dad because both are equally in charge and responsible for the household.
If we want to see a society of equality than first we must change all these preconceived notions drilled into us since birth, of gender norms and societal expectations. Only then can we experience true equality.