01 September 2014

Feminism and misandry

I've wanted to bring up this subject for a while but have held off as almost every female I speak to proclaims herself as a 'feminist', I'm starting to wonder if there are actually any females out there at all that see the massive flaw, coupled with the healthy dosing of hypocrisy, in the feminist ideology. 

Here I present a list of reasons I would never identify as a feminist in the Western world.

1. Equality Feminists believe that women do not have political, cultural, economic or social equality with men and that they must fight in order to attain this. In the Western world this goal has already been attained. To argue that women in the West don't have all the opportunities that men have and most of the time have things a lot easier, is laughable. In addition the very idea that the feminist moral compass only permits them to fight for female equality as opposed to human equality in general makes them lose even more credibility. 

2. Pay gap Feminists will often complain about the so-called 'gender pay gap'. In reality, women are more likely to choose to work fewer hours throughout their working lives, lowering the average (mean) wage of women. Women take maternity leave, and shock-horror, many choose to raise their own children. Men are twice as likely to work more than 40 hours per week as women, that is a fact. When you apply for a job the wage is fixed and advertised before interviewing, it does not change when a women gets that job. 

3. Objectification There is a belief amongst feminist that men are perverts who 'objectify' and degrade women. This viewpoint is constantly pushed everywhere in the media. What does 'objectify' mean anyway? "To reduce a person to the status of a mere object to be used" - this word is thrown around far too much by feminists to accuse men of being perverted; I see it as the result of the highly negative portrayal of male heterosexuality that has been over-taking the Western world for decades. 

It has gotten so bad that studies have found most men would be extremely reluctant to help a lost child or woman in need of help for fear of being suspected as a pervert. Simply put, if a man looks at a woman that the woman doesn't find attractive then he is a pervert, but if she thinks he is good looking then he is flattering. Who is really being objectified in this case? As for women being used to sell things in the media, they are not being forced, it is their choice to show or to cover up their bodies. Plus there are many occasions where male bodies have been used to sell things targeted at females. 

4. Media portrayal "Women are always sexual objects in the media blah blah blah wah wah wah". All you have to do is look at films and stereotypical characters in programmes to see that the vast majority of the time the 'villain' is a male, the attractive 'victim' is the female and the sweet, lovable character is the (feminine) gay guy. In addition, there is a huge about of double-standards and hypocrisy in what is acceptable for men to be portrayed as verses women. For example, it is completely normal for men to be portrayed as dirty, lazy idiots (and often, animals) in adverts and programmes and for the woman to be the sensible one that is clean and pro-active. Examples below. 

Imagine if those adverts were switched around for the woman to look like an idiot? Feminists would be the first to complain and get these adverts banned. But if men are portrayed in this way, they are expected to not complain and if they do, they're told to quit winging and 'man-up', probably by feminists. If feminists truly wanted equality, they would be just as pissed off by these sorts of negative portrayals of a single gender. 

Also, imagine having an advertising campaign for men like the Dove one for natural beauty with a bunch of overweight men in boxers talking about body-confidence? It'd be laughable. But for women, it's encouraged and woe to the man that criticizes it. 

5. Violence towards men vs. towards women If a man hits a woman he's a swine and deserves punishment. If a woman hits a man, she was probably just defending herself and she should be congratulated. Violence is never right, for either gender but feminists don't care about violence towards men. And the reality is that violence towards men committed by women is not less prevalent than the other way around, but men are less likely to report it or to be visibly injured by it. Why does society accept women's violence?

6. Value Feminists might complain that women are objectified and degraded by men and that their value is based directly on the way they look but the value of men is related directly to how 'useful' they are in society and how much they are willing to put the female life ahead of theirs. Almost everyone in the world will have heard of the phrase 'women and children', in wars, accidents, emergencies and famine the life of the woman and the child automatically takes precedence over that of the man. What's more, men are expected to put the life of females before theirs, always, and the man that doesn't he is a worthless, selfish individual. By simply being a woman, you have more of a right to life than a man. Not convinced? Who would the majority of people save first from a burning building if there was a man and a woman trapped inside?

To conclude, feminism in somewhere like Afghanistan is great but in the West feminism is just a way to promote hateful degradation of masculinity and to forge yet another group of 'victims' to be positively discriminated and given special attention. Want to be treated like a man? Stop winging like a woman then. :)


nahyeLand said...

that's a great article mashallah. Loved it :)

StylishMuslimah said...

Thanks nahyeLand glad you like it :D x

L said...

Just gonna chip in on the pay gap thing - the pay gap isn't calculated by looking at the amount people earn over a lifetime. It refers to people doing the very same job, but men getting paid more to do it. Jobs are actually often advertised on a sliding scale (e.g. a job will be advertised as £20-25k), with the exact salary to be fixed once the person is hired "depending on experience" or other relatively subjective factors. That's where companies can get away with paying men more, even for doing the same job as another woman within the same organisation. The same goes for discretionary pay rises which are given - e.g. at my organisation, there is a rewards-based scheme where top performers each year receive a step increase in their salary grade. This is another way in which men can end up earning more than women in the same role. I'm not going to get into arguments of whether it's actually just that the men do have more experience/are performing better, because my point here isn't to argue with your article - I don't agree with all of it but I'm not one for internet debates! - I just wanted to clarify exactly what the pay gap is and how it comes to exist.

StylishMuslimah said...

L - Thanks for your comment. Even if this is so the pay gap is more complex than just saying that men earn more simply because society thinks they are better than women, as feminists like to claim. Women overall earn less because generally they take time off to look after children or sick parents, therefore don't gain as much experience as men and aren't able to climb up the career ladder in the same way men do. It's all about lifestyle choice, and the fact that women bare children and men don't. x

Beatriz said...

I think you need to reevaluate your definition of feminism and maybe look at the evolution of the concept. Defined it is the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Not man-bashing all of the time.
There is a pay gap in general, women do earn less than men but this is also relative to race/ethnicity. Perhaps not applicable to all professions but there is a pay gap based on gender. As for objectification, yes it definitely happens but not just to women. I think most feminists would argue that objectification of any person is not acceptable and that it also happens to men. It is also not another way of calling men perverts, perversion is different from objectification, I think it's dangerous to confuse one with the other. I definitely agree that the media helps perpetuate the objectification of women and vilification of men. I have to say I disagree with your idea that feminism = misandry. I would argue that feminism is an equalization of the genders, to be equal we have to respect ourselves as women but also be willing to give men the same in return. That means not asking them to be "strong" all of the time, to protect when it is our turn, and allow them to be vulnerable. Saying that as a feminist I hate men is upsetting because I am a huge fan of the opposite sex! I just want to be able to walk to the store without being called a whore because it’s 8pm and I’m alone. I just want to be able to not smile without being called a bitch for not smiling. And yes I agree women in the west have it much easier than those in more patriarchal eastern societies but it doesn't mean we should meekly accept half-assed respect.

StylishMuslimah said...

Beatriz: I see where you are coming from but I feel that the idea that you support equality for women and not for both genders is basically sexism. If masculism was supported by more men, women would say it's sexist. Same if a group of white people who felt they weren't being treated equally set up an organisation called "whiteism", evey non-white would call it racist and the group would probably be banned.

You may not bash men per se but by supporting equality for only the female gender, you are rejecting that men have their own difficulties and inequalities to deal with.

Karimah said...

I think you need to reevaluate what you think feminism is. I just read this really good article on everyday feminism and I encourage you to read it when you have the time. Here is the URL:


Even Islam is feminist if you research and learn more about it. I think your problem with feminism (like mine was) lies more with what is called Liberal Feminism which is the mainstream type and what most people are familiar with. I encourage you to look into radical feminism and you will see it is more in line with your beliefs just like I did.

StylishMuslimah said...

Karimah: Hey I'll look into it. I'm talking about mainstream feminism, which is what most feminists believe. x

UmmuMaryam said...

I liked it. Really:) thanks for this post

StylishMuslimah said...

UmmuMaryam: Glad you did, nice blog btw! :) x

Safyyah Muslimah said...

Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatuLlahi sis!
This needed to be said! I definitely agree with 100% of what you said! Ahhh *-*

StylishMuslimah said...

Thanks Safyyah!

Anonymous said...

I've followed your blog for years, but found this such a disappointing article - I think you do many women a disservice by posting such an ill-informed blog on feminism.

Your comment, " I'm talking about mainstream feminism, which is what most feminists believe." is really unfortunate. Feminists aren't a homogeneous group any more than Muslims, men, women or middle-class people are. There are rad-fems, liberal fems, first-, second- and third-wave fems - this is a movement with its own story, theories, history, strengths and weaknesses.

Every feminist I know recognises that men can do better than we currently socialise them to do - and it's in this part of feminism that you can find affinity with Islam. There's no need for cat-calling and street harassment, for example - men aren't animals. Same goes for rape, abuse, domestic violence; same for criticising boys for showing emotion.

I'd really encourage you to read up on feminism before posting on it again - I'm sure you'd ask the same of anyone wishing to post authoritatively on Islam, as well.

StylishMuslimah said...

The difference between Islam and feminism is that feminism holds a single, baseline belief that women do not have equal rights to men. In the West, I disagree with this and will argue it. The single baseline belief of Islam is that there is one God, something that could easily be disputed by an atheist without studying Islam in depth and learning about the different factions.

Domestic abuse, violence and rape affect all kinds of humans, and in Western countries is dealt with in the same way for men and women. Cat-calling? If feminists put their efforts into going on those topless parades to fight the massive injustice of cat-calling, this just proves that they aren't really at any injustice at all.

On another note, I'm glad and appreciate that you've been following my blog for so long :) x