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Why Are Men Afraid of Feminism?

Why are men afraid of feminism? It all comes down to fear and resistance.

By Jules FortmanPublished 5 years ago 6 min read
Top Story - November 2018

Why are men afraid of feminism? It's a loaded question. Not all men feel this way. Not all men disrespect, oppress, or control women. Not all men hold women in disdain. Some men, however, cannot even hear the word “feminism” without frothing at the mouth. Why are they like that?

They think real men can't be feminists.

Asking, “Why are men afraid of feminism?” opens up a huge can of worms. It's worth repeating that everyone—everyone—knows that not all men are like this. Unfortunately, the men who do believe that “real men” can't be feminists are loud. Their numbers are small, but they're quick to call men “beta males” or “cucks” just because they dare to believe in equality. The men—the actual real men—who step up for the feminist cause are sneered at and derided for white-knighting. Guys who don't think that men can or should be feminists feel like they're giving up power, or “losing,” if they align themselves with women.

Equality feels like oppression.

Men are afraid of feminism because, to those in power, equality feels like oppression. These men feel like they'll lose the advantage when the playing field is even. They don't want to give up the power they hold over women. It's possible that they're afraid of being treated the same way they treat women and minorities, as well.

Change is never easy.

People fear change. That's natural. It's the human condition. Change happens, however. Cultural norms shift. Society evolves. Instead of going with the flow and putting things in perspective, men who fear the feminist movement fight against it every step of the way. It isn't enough to quietly continue living their lives the way they like, either. They shout their discontent from the rooftops and smear their opinions all over the internet, never understanding that the branch that doesn't bend in the wind will ultimately break. So why are men afraid of feminism? They're stubborn, angry, and resistant to change.

Indoctrination is strong.

If you want to know the truth, you have to do more than just ask, “Why are men afraid of feminism?” Talk to some of them. Access their media. Read their message boards. Listen to their podcasts. You'll hear the same refrains, again and again, repeated almost verbatim. The wage gap is fake news. Rape culture is fake news. Look at feminism around the world or go to the Middle East, they say, before whining about what's happening in the United States, which is nothing. They learn how to gaslight early and well. Just as feminist men are raised to respect women, the men who fear the movement are taught to hate.

Men don't realize that feminism benefits them.

Some guys honestly don't get it because they refuse to consider why the feminism movement is seen as a joke. They don't understand that feminism is good for them, as well. Feminism fights patriarchal ideals, which say that men who have emotions, express sadness, show affection, and allow themselves to be at all vulnerable are weak, effeminate, and less than. Those are ridiculous notions. Men who feel things and express those emotions are brave and strong. They're better friends, lovers, relatives, and employees. Men and women benefit from feminism together. Specific issues may seem targeted toward women, but you have to step back to see the bigger picture. When men stop oppressing women, they'll be happier as well.

Men think feminism means hating men.

Image via Gratisography/Pexels

Cries of misandry are common among men who fear or hate feminism. Turning it around, they insist that the desire for gender equality means that all feminists just hate men. These fellows believe that calling attention to rape culture means that “men can't even compliment women without being accused of sexual assault.” That's not a direct quote from any particular source, but it is something that these men have said before.

Power shifts are terrifying.

Ask a man who hates feminists, “Why do men fear feminism?” and he'll spout off the party line, but he probably won't admit that the idea of a shift in power is the scariest thing for them to accept. Men, especially white men, have been in power for a long time. Technically, they still are, but they see the change on the horizon. The future belongs to minorities and women who haven't even been given a chance to compete fairly until now.

The idea of privilege infuriates men.

Talk about white privilege or male privilege, and some guys lose it. They go on and on about how they never got a handout; no one ever gave them anything for free; of course, they don't have privilege, show proof right now! It's a child's temper tantrum. Privilege doesn't mean you have some secret stash of cash. It means that you don't face the same hardships as others. You get a 30-second head start at the beginning of every race. People listen to men more than women, for example, and they are more likely to believe men over women. We live in a world where violence against women is still somehow a debate. We live in a country where a woman's bodily autonomy is still up for debate.

Hit dogs always holler.

Why are men afraid of feminism? Call out the question to a crowd of men. You won't hear logical, thought-out arguments about the fear of changing dynamics or the dissolution of families and relationships. You'll hear a bunch of hateful rhetoric. Some guy will say that if women want to be equal, they better learn to take a punch like a man. Somehow, violence against women is always the go-to during discussions of equality. You won't hear any sound points, is the point. The men who yell the loudest and say the nastiest things are the ones who fear feminism the most.

Men fear female supremacy.

Male supremacy is the gold standard. It's so deeply ingrained that it's just the status quo. When you're talking about why are men afraid of feminism, you have to understand that they're terrified of women being in charge. They can't stand the idea of a women-led majority because, again, they worry about facing the subjugation they've forced on anyone seen as “lesser.”

Men think sexism is over.

Peek at social media. One of the most common arguments against the need for feminism is the firm, albeit misguided, belief that sexism is over. It doesn't exist anymore, so we can all go home. That's ludicrous, but since male supremacy is the status quo, some men can't see that. Since women can vote, hold jobs, and do what they want—with some limitations—they're already equal. Hang it up, folks. This is, in reality, all the more a reason you need feminism today now more than ever.

Why are men afraid of feminism? It's because they're scared of women. It may come out as hatred, disrespect, or condescension, but underneath of that, it's all fear.


About the Creator

Jules Fortman

Modern feminist making moves one pink hat at a time.

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