In 2020 a book called I Hate Men came out in France and became a bestseller overnight. That same year a book calling for hatred of men and their complete exclusion was published, also becoming a bestseller, similarly to a book by a PhD from 2020 appearing in the UK called The Better Half where men are described as inferior human beings. The writers of such publications are representative of the millions of women and girls who have either shared or endorsed in the past three years hashtags such as “kill all men” and “if all men disappeared for a day” on Twitter, Facebook, Ticktock, Instagram and other social media platforms. This has been going on for three years now, since 2018 when “toxic” was chosen by Oxford dictionary as the word of the year, the term becoming popular because of the flood of women’s statements referring to men and manhood as toxic, as one would describe poison, the pick showing how institutionalized this attitude toward men became.
Dear woman, dear girl, since feminism is generally not directing its aggression toward women but toward men, you might not be aware that men and boys in feminist societies live under constant, daily hate with the permanent message that they are poison, toxic, a genetic disease. Women are used to viewing men and boys as feminists described them – powerful, deaf beings to whom the feminist aggression is no more than what the mosquito’s whining would be for the elephant. Dear woman, dear girl, I know that you are an incredible person, so I know you will not remain indifferent when I tell you that the boys and men around you are not elephants, they are human beings and are living under constant violent abuse coming from almost every environment – school, university, work, media, social media, news, culture. I know there are feminists who would ridicule that last sentence, but I know that because you are an incredible person you would see the inhumanity in their ridicule, and the deafness in excuses they would respond with to such a letter. Because I know you are capable of imagining how you would feel if you were living surrounded by what a boy and a man hear daily, for years, from every direction – your maleness is a genetic disease, you are the cause of every human suffering and of every tragedy occurring on earth, you don’t commit suicide enough, you should die or be completely excluded and your toxic personality traits erased.
A typical day of a man like myself in the past three years could start with seeing a post by a female friend saying that all men are potential murderers or rapists, or that testosterone is a poison, continue to reading a feminist columnist advising other women in a newspaper on how to make a man who refuses penetration by a sex toy to be penetrated regardless, that is, rape instructions given publicly by the same feminists who prohibited men of so much as looking at women as that would be sexual harassment, then to reading a headline about an official law proposal for a curfew for all men after 6 pm. Other days would bring with them seeing editors of popular outlets declaring “kill all men” a new-year’s resolution or running into op-eds encouraging hatred to all men, or into a well-groomed teenage girl yelling at you and cursing you while you are waiting in line with your 5 year-old at a convenience store for no apparent reason, other than you being a man and her hearing constantly that men are trash (a popular hashtag) and that treating men as such is a right that she has. Or having women at work coming to your room and cursing you with shouts over your desk because of a post where you dared to express an opinion they don’t like, while there’s no point in responding or advising your manager – a woman close to sixty who puts her hands on your thighs, forearms and shoulders every time she speaks with you. And, Seeing the few who dare criticize any of this being banned and ostracized with, “who did you rape”, because no public reactions to any of this are permitted, as if all this is normal, as if you as a man need to accept that there are no universal codes that apply to you too – anything which would be regarded as wrong, is not wrong if done to you, you do not have human dignity nor human protections, because you are a man.
Dear woman, dear girl, I am writing to you to ask you, to try your best to put yourself in that position. Imagine a movement of millions of men who publicly and proudly express hate to all women even in the most highbrow and mainstream of venues, imagine being demanded to accept that these millions represent all men – as feminists demand of men to accept them as representing all women. Faced with the decree to regard them as speaking for all men, if all other men remain silent, what could make you believe that not all men hate women?
Because of the elephant-mosquito perception, I can see why women would seldomly ask, “what if I would have woken up every day of my life to millions of men in social media, newspapers, TV shows, films, university classes, books, the street, the train, saying that I am a toxic poison and a genetic disease that needs to be exterminated, and being endorsed for the things they say and promoted to show me, that I need to accept this and that if I don’t – if as a human being and a woman I am deeply hurt or if I dare object – then I am the problem and will be attacked and ostracized, I need to embrace calls to kill all women and demands to annihilate my womanhood, else I am the one at fault“. But I know that you are one of those who after reading this letter would ask themselves this.
Please understand, that this letter is not part of an argument, or an attempt to gain some benefit, but a sincere depiction of something that exists around you but might be transparent to you. All men are aching and ruminating on this continuously, every day, sometimes every hour. They will not tell you about it, and maybe not even to themselves, but I promise you that this is what they are going through, by the millions.
Please don’t blame us for the hate that some women have developed against us. The things they have been saying about us collectively as a group, are not things we are actually guilty of, but an excuse for their deep drive to hate us. We do not deserve such hate. Yes, some men, very few, commit crimes against women. But some women also commit crimes against men, and in similar numbers from what I could gather. Would that justify hating all women? The individuals of both sexes that hurt the other sex, are a small minority in their sex. What causes the hate is not anything that men, treated as some “group”, have done, but the fact that after October 2017 incitement took over the extremely important spontaneous me-too wave. Through social media, and later in outlets and newspapers – who were first drawn into a radicalization-competition with social media for fear of losing readers, then threatened by a group that uses social media for incitement and intimidation with bans, and finally run over internally by members of that group – the incitement had reached the proportions of hate movements. In some countries male students and boys are forced to stand in classes in front of the girls and apologize for “the crimes of their gender”. Can you imagine a movement entering classrooms to hold ceremonies where Muslim children are forced to stand and apologize to their Christian peers for “the crimes of Islam”? Or Jewish children required to do so? Children, as innocent as children are, are required to apologize for being born male, all because of an outburst of a hate movement.
Dear woman, dear girl, I know you would not stay silent once you see the degree of institutionalization that the hate spread in your name had reached, and in which the boys and men around you are living, right next to you. I know that you are an incredible, thoughtful, humane person. You didn’t know what is done in your name because it is not directed at you, this is why I am writing you this letter. We are men and boys and we know how to endure hardship, this is one of our strengths, we usually prefer to suffer than to complain, and not because we don’t want to share feelings but because we don’t want to burden you, and because we need the sense of self-reliance, that sense, that we have what it takes to struggle and survive, also because we want you to know that you can rely on us. But all that we endure, we endure for you. If we are hated by the ones we suffer for, we cannot endure. We can’t take it anymore.
This is why I am writing you this letter.
I am writing you to ask you to tear off the tar-thick mantle of hatred feminism rolls men and boys in; to say publicly that you are not part of this. So that men and boys would hear all the other women and be able to trust women and girls again. People are only as good as they believe they can be – telling them every moment of their life that they are inherently evil is not a path for a better world, but for a much worse one. The battering is not creating what some might have thought it should cause – some “insight” or “understanding” – distilled hatred and calls for annihilation are not leading to understanding but to pain. The different attitudes you see around you in men toward feminism, from stating, “I am a feminist” to objecting feminism, are not attitudes toward women nor toward equality, but different coping strategies for surviving psychologically under the constant injury. Except for a few elderly who acquired perspectives in a different era half a century ago, when some men do tell you that they are feminists, they can’t do this without acting out of terror. Would you want to be treated with synthetic, hypocritical sympathy out of terror? As for the others, holding on to some sense of being human is all they mean when they tell you, with deep, hurting pain, “I am not a feminist”. They are not against your equal human value; they only need to feel human in all this heart-breaking, personality-disintegrating hate.
If you were to live under such circumstances, surrounded all your life in outspoken, overt, legitimized hate, would you regard as a friend a man who identifies with the title it had taken, if he would remain silent? You would probably think that he is unaware of how life is like for you under that title. Would it suffice if he were to say to you personally (only when wanting or needing something?) “I am part of it but I don’t identify with the hate“? If you are having a personal conversation with any man in the West today, the meaning of saying, “I am a feminist” is unfortunately not shaped by what you want it to mean deep in your heart, but by years of hatred given under that same title. If you are inclined to say that this is a wrong understanding of feminism, please remember that men and boys live under the feminist message, “we hate you, we represent all women”. What other choice do they have when other women don’t object, but believing it?
I’m sorry that it seems as if nor you nor anyone else have the power to change this in feminism. Millions are supporting the hatred and are endorsed by establishments and institutions, in universities, research, newspapers, magazines, TV and film productions, education systems, cultural establishments, literature publishers, social media admins and moderators, even state and legal authorities. To give you some idea, when the United Nations received a request to declare as international men’s day a certain date marked by a few groups and countries, the United Nations declined and announced their date Toilet Day. It is firmly institutionalized, and I don’t think you will be able to rewrite it yourself. What you could do, is show men that you are not part of the hating, by simply saying that you support equality because you support all human beings and not just one “human category”, in universal humanism. Such a statement is not any kind of rejection of equality, far from it, this will gain you more supporters for equal human value, not less. I’m sorry that just saying to one man, “this is not feminism” or “you don’t understand feminism” would not change feminism to make the title mean what you wished it to be. Imagine a man who identifies with the title of millions who wrap you in hatred, telling you that you don’t understand it. It would sound absurd to you.
I know you are afraid of speaking up against what happens in feminism, not only because the powerful hatred could be directed at you, but because as part of spreading this hate feminism has convinced women and girls that there’s a danger lurking to all women from all men, and that the only thing protecting them is the feminist aggression. I want to tell you that this is not true. Yes, a small number of men are dangerous, but almost all others, even boys, have always protected women rather than attempting to hurt them – the very reason almost none object vocally to the hate, is hearing from feminists that every woman is at immediate risk and being afraid of exposing women to risk if reacting. We have an imprinted instinct for protecting women, there are no hundreds of millions of attackers lurking under the foot of feminist aggression. Men were also and still are, aspiring with women for equal rights of women – nearly all rights were liberated by both men and women acting together, throughout the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th under the framework of universal humanism. The road to equal human value is long, but hate does not lead there.
This is not only about us but about you. Neither men nor women could find love in a world that teaches only hate, and no loveless life are worth living. Please think about this. Because the injury is not a wound. It is a stump. This is the terminal severing of women and men from one another. What men are going through is not an itch on the thick skin of an elephant, but the feeling of drowning in earth, buried alive by those they wish to love under an elephant trumpeting calls for death, and I want to ask you to decide whether you will look aside, or look at us. Not only us men – us, men and women together.
Continue reading in Lovism: A Humanist Alternative to Feminism, available on amazon.