Meet the self-professed misandrists on Twitter, the women who’ve got it all figured out

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Meet the self-professed misandrists on Twitter, the women who’ve got it all figured out

It’s a rhetorical tool, you fucking tools

The trope of the "man-hating feminist" is a common one, and the idea that fighting for women's rights means you despise every single man has been used against the feminist movement almost since its inception.

Nowadays, most high-profile feminists don't even need to state the obvious — that they don't have a vendetta against every single male-identifying human being — when they talk about their feminism.

But on certain corners of the internet, you can still find women who identify themselves as feminists and "misandrists," or those who profess a "hatred of men." babe reached out to a few of these women and talked about why — and if — they actually hate an entire gender, and what it means to perform misandry online.

First of all, #NotAllMen

Every woman I spoke with emphasized that when they say they hate men, they don't necessarily mean you or your dad or Jack from accounting. First and foremost, they mean the fucking patriarchy.

"I don’t hate all men," said Missy, who tweets under @missykaybm. "Thirty seconds on my TL will tell you that I regularly interact with male friends online and that I’m happily married to a man."

But just because the women we spoke to have personal relationships with men — who doesn't, on some level? — doesn't mean that all men, or men as a collective, should be immune from criticism. "Misogyny is a disease, especially in the worlds I move in (sports & nerdery)," Missy said. "And far too often, it goes unchecked."

Others pointed out the false equivalence that some people draw between misogyny and misandry.

"Misogyny is the entrenched degradation and disdain for women and femininity which kills literally millions of girls and women every year," said Sally, who tweets under @sallystrange. "Misandry is what feminists get accused of when they question allowing that state of affairs to continue."

They know they're not always going to be taken seriously — and they don't always want to be

When Nel (who chose not to include her Twitter handle in this article) first became a feminist, she went out of her way to avoid criticizing or stereotyping men. But she didn't see the same respect for her identity or beliefs from her opponents.

"While I did everything in my power to accommodate the feelings of men and debated politely, I found that the courtesy was often not returned and empathy for women was scarce," Nel said. So she started being blunt about her feelings towards men.

"I have received a few threats, mostly from very young men and boys," she said. "I have also received words of understanding and kind thanks from strangers who were not able, or did not feel free, to state their own feelings and experiences when interacting with men."

Sally, who has "misandry aficionada" in her Twitter bio, said for her, it's more of an in-joke than anything else.

"Misandry is a satirical response to being told it's impossible to ask men to rape less because men are inherently incapable of doing so for some vague biological reason," she said. "It's a joke that you wouldn't necessarily get unless you've been presenting as a feminist online (at least) for a while."

They're usually not talking to men anyway

"Embracing misandry has been liberating for me because it helped me embrace my anger and not try to hide it so much anymore," Sally said. "It scares people, sometimes, yes, but that's OK. Others get inspired and encouraged."

The women I spoke to said that, for them, talking about misandry helped create context and room for other women, and non-men in general, to share their own experiences.

"What I want is to create a space that puts women & non-men first. I want to raise those voices above the dominant echo-chamber of male thought," Missy said. "Women contact me when they’re harassed online, and I’ve outed abusers and pushed them to deactivate their accounts. If I can make my small space safer for women, any blowback I get is worth it."

Visibility is important, according to these women, and anti-male sentiments are often made invisible.

"I don't usually trash men just for the sake of it, I just want women and other minorities to know that the bullshit they suffered is common, said Xiomera, who tweets under @siltha. "I want to make that bullshit open and visible, so women and minorities are more empowered to stop those kind of behaviors and not blame themselves about it."

So men, change your behavior, but don't take it so personally

If you're a man who sees someone talking about hating men, I can understand the knee-jerk response — "Not me! Don't discriminate!"

But at the end of the day, it isn't about men as individuals — it's about the space they take up, the pain they cause and the women they're silencing while they do it.

"When I read an article were a black woman is explaining trash white women do, I don't put my focus on 'Oh, you are insulting me, #notAllWhiteWomen,'" Xiomera said. "I put the focus on what shit I might be doing without realizing that is hurting this person so bad that she needs to express it."

Because these women are not going to stop tweeting about misandry until they see a shift away from everyday acceptance of misogyny.

"The backlash has always existed whenever we challenge the status quo and will continue to exist," Nel said. "Regardless of if the feminist is polite and loves men, living up to most of society's standards, or if they're angry 'man haters'."

Sometimes, you've gotta be a little rude to make yourself heard and affect change.

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