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When people, women especially, begin a sentence with ‘I am not a feminist but…..’ I am amused. Dear people, there can never be a ‘but’ following the words ‘I am not a feminist’. You are either one or not. Just simply make up your mind which one it is. And if the answer is that you are not one, whoa! please go and live in a cave or under a rock.

Perhaps when you do the ‘I am not a feminist but’ you were going to continue the sentence with something like: ‘I believe girls should get educated along with boys.’ Or it could be: ‘…men should start sharing housework.’ It could also have been: ‘…equal pay for equal work’. I don’t know if you noticed something here. While saying all of the above, YOU ARE BEING A FEMINIST! The only thing lacking is your acceptance of the fact.

Just when you are left thinking this butting of ‘but’ is the main hurdle among women, along comes someone who uses the term ‘stereotypical man-hating feminist’ and you are zapped. Really and truly zapped. What the heck is happening here, you wonder. You check the calendar. We are no longer in the ignorant era when feminism was WRONGLY equated to man-hating. It is now Twenty Twenty-three. Still there you have it.

Excuse me, there is NO ‘stereotypical man-hating feminist.’ Man-hating has an entire word to itself in the English language (just as women-hating does). It has no reason to ride piggyback on feminism. To understand that man-hating does not equate to feminism, one only has to know how to use a dictionary. It is that easy.

The spectre of the man-hating feminist, and the bra-burning one which incidentally has no iota of truth to it, were created to discredit the women fighting for their rights, to create a a dichotomy of good women and bad women (bad ones being the feminists, duh!) by vested interests. It is still bleated by the ‘I am not a feminist but…’ kind of women to feel good about themselves. We are not like THEM. We are the GOOD women. In fact they often begin a sentence with ‘I don’t hate men but..’ too.

On the other hand, if any woman has been or is passing off her hatred of men as feminism, then yeah, that can definitely happen of course. You have self-servers everywhere. But that does not mean the individual(s) is representative of feminists. That certainly is not what feminism about.

Women want equal rights, equal opportunities. That’s it. And they will (and ought) to fight the men who oppose the idea (and also the women who side with such men). That’s a fair fight and one being fought for the ones trying to discredit their sisters as well.

Shail Mohan 2023

Note 1: I think I have written about this topic already, more than once indeed. But one more time cannot hurt, especially when I am forced to hear ‘I am not a feminist but…’ and ‘I don’t hate men but…’ and their kind.

Note 2: The children are home and I want to spend every second with them. So I am taking a break and will be back on 17th. Thank you for understanding 🙂