The short answer (and the long one) is no. All feminists are not man-haters, just like all Muslims are not terrorists. What I cannot fathom is how people still believe that all feminists are man-haters when there is so much conclusive proof of the fact that this is not the case. Granted, as with every group/organisation/movement, there are radicals, those that take the beliefs to an absolute extreme. Yes, there are women who are feminists who hate men, or have a deep dislike for them. But it is not all of us.
There is a difference between hating all men specifically, and hating those who blatantly, obviously, purposefully discriminate against women. You will find that the men that most feminists dislike are the latter, and with good reason. There is a difference between condemning all men, and condemning those who make women feel inadequate, uncomfortable, vulnerable. However, although I admit there are faults with the movement of feminism which allows such untruths as “all feminists are man-haters,” to be perpetuated, there are also faults with those who are afraid to identify as a feminist simply because they are afraid of the word.
If you strongly advocate the things that feminism stands for, then why should you be afraid to wear the title of a feminist proudly? Perhaps it is because of the negative connotations of the word and of the movement that are never properly addressed; but you cannot pick and choose when it is beneficial for you to stand alongside us.
It has often been brought to my attention, that many boys are made to feel uncomfortable by the forcefulness of which we who identify as feminists express their opinions. They are made to feel as if they are guilty for being male. This is not what feminism is, or should be, trying to achieve. Some say they have even been made to feel as if they are guilty of sexual misconduct towards girls, even if they have done nothing of the sort. I do not want to attack them simply for being males. I do not want to attack them if they have done nothing oppressive towards me, nor my friends, nor any girls that I know. I do not want to attack them, nor for them to be attacked by others, if we are debating an issue regarding feminism and they say something controversial. I do not want to force my beliefs and opinions down their throat, and make them repulsed by the idea of feminism, or feminists. I do not want them to turn away from equality because they are not being treated as able to just as equally advocate women’s rights as the women themselves. I want them to recognize that feminism is not a movement of hatred, but a movement of freedom and liberation. I want them to want equality for us.
We are not trying to become superior to males, nor are we trying to undermine them for being males in the way that has been done to females for centuries. We do not fight discrimination by perpetuating more hatred. As the age old saying says, we do not fight fire with fire. We are trying to advocate equality, peace, mutual respect, equal opportunities for careers, for happiness, for satisfaction; we are fighting for basic human rights. We are trying to make the world a place where the girl is not punished for being raped by the boy. We are trying to make the world a place when young girls are encourage to excel in sports, mathematics, science, engineering and all those traditionally male-dominated areas.
So in conclusion, feminism is not just for the female. It is for anyone who wants it, for anyone who needs it. It is for all women, all men, all women who have been men and all men who have been women, and everyone else regardless of gender, sexuality, race or religious beliefs. It is not an exclusive club held in some posh kid’s treehouse, or a secret back-alley organization in a prestigious university filled with Etonites. It is an open field, and you are invited to walk upon it.