All feminists hate men like all libertarians hate the poor, it’s a stereotype and it’s just not true. Every movement has a minority (usually a very vocal one) that takes one aspect of the movement and cling to that as if it where all that matters. These are the libertarians that start to sound like they hate the poor, or the feminists that turn their feminism into a hatred of men. In reality the vast majority of feminists respect everyone (male, female, and those outside of the gender binary), in fact many feminists are men themselves. This is because, feminism isn’t just for women, it’s for everyone, and truth be told it’s also pretty darn libertarian.

Many of those that speak out against feminism focus on this vocal minority of feminists that say, at least on the surface, crazy things. On the farthest end of the spectrum are people like the Femintheist that advocates for a reduction of 90% of the male population, this position is absolutely crazy, and has nothing to do with feminism. There is also the case of the date rape detecting nail polish and other rape prevention methods being called part of rape culture, they claim that “instead of trying to mitigate the chance of rape you should teach men not to rape.”

At its core, this claim is correct; we should be working towards a world where women don’t need to worry about the possibility of rape (or that home owners don’t need to worry about the possibility of theft) and that should be the focus of activism and parenting (which is the reason that many feminists are also proponents of peaceful parenting). That said, this core idea is taken to the extreme where any pragmatic steps to prevent rape in the present are seen as promoting rape, and this claim is just absurd; and it’s not supported by the majority of feminists. Most feminists love the date rape detecting nail polish, and hold it up as a wonderful invention; it’s only that vocal minority that gets lost down the rabbit hole.

Anti-feminists will also point out statistics for sexual violence against men, child custody outcomes, or the fact that the vast majority of men that are raped don’t report it; and then they claim that feminists never talk about those statistics. This claim is just false, and strikes at a core misunderstanding of feminism; that it’s just for women. All of the statistics mentioned above, and many more showing the problems that men face, are a result of the super-macho, real men never cry, patriarchy. See the patriarchy that feminists are fighting against isn’t a stand in for all men, but for the idea that men must be a certain way which includes having power over women.

Patriarchy doesn’t just hurt women, it hurts men too. Why don’t most male rape victims report? Why are courts more likely to give custody to the women? Why do men take more dangerous jobs? It all goes back to the idea of the masculine, emotionless, man that the patriarchy imposes on us men to the point where we feel too ashamed to report or courts assume we are violent and shouldn’t be around children. Even the most common issue men face (in America at least) as children, circumcision, results for the idea that this is how previous generations did it and it’s something all men just have to do, regardless of the fact that circumcision can and does kill children every year. Fighting patriarchy is for all genders.

Sexual dimorphism (differences between sexes) is another issue where people on both sides take a small issue and blow it to immense proportions. I’ll grant that there are feminists that reject the idea of sexual dimorphism as a patriarchal plot; which is wrong, there are real differences between men and women; but anti-feminists often take this fact to the other extreme and (at least imply) that men are somehow better suited for work and reinforce the idea that women should just stay in the kitchen.

Both extremes are wrong; yes there is a difference between genders, but that it’s a small difference and it depends on the individual. A woman that has trained and worked out for years is going to be stronger and better at physical activity then me when I spend my free time writing articles instead of lifting weights. Sexual dimorphism is a fact, but it by no means defines who someone is and rarely limits what they can do (men can’t give birth, but other than that the field is wide open regardless of gender).

I’ll readily admit, that I used to see this vocal minority as the whole of feminism (it’s hard not to when they are the ones that are in our faces claiming to represent the whole movement) and I too thought feminism was a movement that, might have been great 30-40 years ago, but today it was only a bastardized shadow of its former self. But after I looked past the sensational, click bait, titles and worked with real, on the ground, feminists I quickly realized that they were good, kind people that just wanted to create a better world; and most surprising of all, I was a feminist too. Fighting against oppression (especially when it’s institutionalized) is the true core drive of feminism, and it also happens to be the core drive of libertarianism.

Which gets to my final point, anti-feminists (specifically in the liberty movement) have this false idea that feminism somehow equals statism, as if fighting oppression somehow begets instituting more oppression. Sure there are some feminists that want to fight the patriarchy through the apparatus of the State, but this has nothing to do with feminism and everything to do with the prevalence of the State and its supposed monopoly on social change (which is a whole other issue).

In fact at its most basic and purest form, feminism is as radically anarchistic as any an-cap or market anarchist, because it rejects oppression and patriarchy to the point where it should reject the greatest perpetrator of oppression, the Sate. Take away the State and the ideas of the patriarchy start to lose traction to the egalitarian forces of the market.

In the end, I don’t like anti-feminism. It’s misguided, ignores the majority of feminists in favor of the vocal minority, refuses to look in the mirror, and it’s proponents can’t seem to get past their rejection of the feminist straw man and look at the fact that they are really fighting for the same thing… an end to oppression in all its forms.