Some feminists do actually hate men. And if you're a man I think you just need to accept that.
So here is a feminist admitting that she belongs to what these days is termed a hate group (a hate movement?) and that the targets of this hatred should casually accept the situation.
What kind of a response did this get from her feminist sisters? The feedback was as follows:
Ariel: Bloody brilliant!
Mindy: Keep up the good work Kate.
Cristy: Great post Kate.
Dogpossum: I applaud the sentiments.
Janet: Right on, sister.
Lizzy: This is a fantastic post.
What could possibly twist the minds of these women so much that they would applaud an article which so casually discusses a feminist hatred of men?
It's notable that many of these women unquestioningly accept the ideas of patriarchy theory.
Patriarchy theory claims that society is organised on the basis of power and domination. Men are the dominant class and all aspects of society are designed to secure the subordination of women. There is no natural masculinity or femininity to explain the differing roles and behaviour of men and women. This too is a creation of the patriarchy designed to subordinate women, and must therefore be overthrown.
Imagine what it would be like to be a heterosexual woman who believed in this theory. You would be attracted sexually to the very group who were your oppressors. You would also have to question the expression of your own feminine identity. Talk about being conflicted!
Little wonder that "dogpossum" declares in the comments that:
Sometimes I think it would be easier to just become a lesbian separatist, and hate men.
The influence of patriarchy theory runs right through Kate's article. For instance, she justifies feminists hating men on the basis that it's harmless, as women like herself are powerless within a patriarchal system:
Even if I do hate men, so what? Do I have the power to do anything with my hypothetical burning hatred of human beings with penises? Nope ... I am a Man-Hater, in a world where the institutions of power favour the XY chromosome.
The problem is that reality doesn't fit the theory. Feminists have not been left as powerless oppressed women within a patriarchy. Quite the opposite, in fact. Ever since the mid-1800s, feminists have been granted a great deal of power in Western societies.
In Australia, feminists have secured a special office to help shape government policy; they have had university faculties established for them; they have been helped into political positions via a quota system within the ALP; and they have been helped into positions of influence in the professions via affirmative action policies.
In the 1980s and 90s, as many of us will recall, feminists were powerful enough to establish their own views as politically correct.
The fact that feminists have been so readily promoted within the power structure means not only that patriarchy theory itself is wrong, but that a feminist hatred of men is not to be taken lightly.
Kate also tries to justify a feminist hatred of men on the grounds that women are callously victimised within a patriarchal system. She writes that she is a man-hater in a world:
where women are regularly raped and abused and murdered, where child abuse is rampant, and where my gender guarantees I'll make less money than a male colleague.
Again, this fits the theory of patriarchy well (as it reinforces the idea of women as a subjugated class), but not reality. In the comments to her article, I pointed out that it's actually men who are more likely than women to be victims of violence and that women are more likely than men to abuse children.
There was much resistance to accepting these facts. I was told I was ignorant, incorrect, dishonest and a poor role model for men. But when I linked to some persuasive evidence the counter-argument changed. It was accepted that women did in fact abuse children more often than men, but this too was blamed on the patriarchy (for "making" women spend more time with children than men).
Here again you see the concern to fit reality into the theory rather than the other way around.
Finally, Kate tells us that she doesn't really hate men, but just masculinity:
You see, I don't really hate you, if you're a man. If I criticise 'masculinity' I'm not being critical of you as an individual ... I'm being critical of an idea, a performance, a culturally inscribed set of ideals about how 'men' should behave.
Once again, this fits in neatly with patriarchy theory. Patriarchy theory explains the traditional male role in society as being a result of an oppressive, illegitimate power system and not as a natural expression of masculine drives. So Kate is being perfectly orthodox in her feminism when she describes masculinity negatively as a mere "performance" or "culturally inscribed set of ideals" rather than as a true expression of men's nature.
But once again there are problems. First, science has now confirmed that gender is not just a social construct but is hard-wired into human biology. So Kate is forced to complicate matters by adding on as a kind of postscript that:
I'm not a complete moron and I do think there are differences in male and female behaviour that come down to chromosomes and hormones and suchlike.
So Kate is running with two competing views: first, that masculinity is simply a "performance" and, second, that masculinity has a natural basis in human biology.
There are other tensions produced by the patriarchy theory view of gender. On the one hand, women like Kate are duty bound to reject both masculinity and femininity as pillars of patriarchal dominance.
But where does this leave a heterosexual woman? How is she then to secure a sense of her own feminine identity and her attractiveness to men?
It seems to me that the more that such feminist women reject femininity in theory, the more that they attempt to bolster it in practice. How else can you explain the feminist craze for the most feminine of interests, such as knitting, sewing, decorating, flowers and kittens.
Kate herself lists her primary interest as knitting; Mindy makes quilts; Laura likes baking and kittens; and Janet likes to sew pink clothes for her daughter. Janet, in fact, runs one website about her passion for laundry and another about her love for motherhood, her daughter, flowers, gardens and sewing.
So we have this very odd situation. The feminists who are adamant in theory that there is no essential masculinity and femininity are in practice the best living proof of the existence of essential gender differences between men and women.
Heterosexual feminists have done themselves a disservice in accepting patriarchy theory so uncritically. It is a theory which can only leave such women deeply conflicted.
Patriarchy theory leaves women with a conflicted view of men as being loving fathers, husbands and sons but also a hateful enemy who subjugate women in every facet of their lives. It leads feminist women to see themselves as hard-pressed, powerless victims at a time when feminists hold considerable power within the institutions of society. It puts feminists who view gender difference primarily as a social construct on a collision course with modern science. And it creates a powerful conflict between the rejection of femininity as a tool of patriarchal domination and the expression by feminist women of their own feminine identity.
If feminist women suffer it is not at the hands of hard-working, masculine men but more as a consequence of what their own theory imposes on them.