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To defeat sexism, men need to take a stand against other men

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I am a woman, but I am not a feminist. In fact, I dislike feminists.

Do not get me wrong, I am all for equal opportunities. But I am not expecting equal outcomes — at least not until the time men can bear children.

However, neither gender is superior to the other. We are different. And these differences must be respected.

In Japan the pressure to conform to traditional gender roles is very high. Sexism is the norm here. I have encountered everything from being ignored and interrupted in the middle of a sentence to hearing things such as “A ramen shop is no place for a woman” and cliches like “Women talk too much!” — from both Japanese and foreign men. My experiences are not unique; any woman in Japan can surely recall having been in a similar situation.

To be fair, sexism works both ways. Saying “A man ought to provide for his family” is as sexist as saying “A woman ought to stay at home and take care of her children and husband.” But women are subject to overt sexism much more often than men.

Sexist remarks and jokes against women degrade them, but they also serve additional purposes: to deepen the bonds between men and establish and defend their positions in male hierarchies.

In their social lives, men are constantly engaged in power games. They need to assert and reassert their masculinity, and sexism or discrimination against others is one way to achieve this. And in public, especially when other men are present, these behaviors become exacerbated — in front of an audience, the pressure to be a “real man” is higher. But the same pressure can be used to silence those few men who are openly sexist.

Recently I was at the center of two public displays of sexism. I was a target both times, and in one of these situations a man explicitly told me he was “bitching” about me because I was a woman, and that he would not say anything about guys because they are guys.

In the other case — an official meeting — a man interrupted me a number of times when I was answering his questions, ignored my comments and refused to listen to my motion at all. He never admitted that his behavior was related to my being female. However, his attitude toward the other members of our group, all male, was strikingly different.

I took a stand both times, but both men dismissed my complaints and accused me of being too sensitive and, on top of that, bitchy.

For those few men with highly sexist attitudes, women’s words do not matter much. As Janet Holmes, the author of “Women Talk Too Much,” says, men expect women “to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts.” When we talk, especially challenging their behavior and attitudes, those men perceive us as making too much of a fuss and too much noise.

Fortunately, the majority of men do not hold such overtly hostile sexist attitudes and do not support such attitudes openly. But most of the time they do not object to them either. And this is the real problem: By staying silent, they tacitly support the sexist behavior and help the sexist guy establish his authority. Anything said in private does not really matter as long as the original sexist comments are made in public. An audience is needed to play the power game.

This certainly holds true for the cases I was involved in. In both of the aforementioned incidents, the sexist behavior did not win the offender much support from his male peers. And both times, one of these peers decided to act — but with different outcomes.

In the first case the offender was talked to in private, but this had no effect at all. Afterwards, my defender claimed, “It’s not possible to change him. He will still be sexist.” At our next encounter, the sexist guy, true to form, was rude and dismissive. The only thing I could do to prevent further attacks was to avoid all contact with him.

In the second case my supporter confronted the sexist remarks and behavior in public, right after he noticed them. And it had an almost magical effect: The other members of the group backed him up and the sexism stopped. I had my happy ending.

In cases involving those few highly sexist men, just one other man’s voice has more power than the voices of hundreds of victims and any number of public awareness campaigns. And I want men to know that.

Foreign Agenda offers a forum for opinion about issues related to life in Japan. Your comments and ideas: community@japantimes.co.jp

  • Rebecca

    Ms. Garnova, I don’t appreciate the hypocrisy of condemning one form of bigotry, sexism, on the one hand, while practicing a different sort, feminist-ophobia, on the other. Feminism is a decentralized movement that can in no way be reduced to the definition “demanding equal outcomes.” This may be the preferred (mis)characterization of anti-feminists, but it in no way represents the diverse movement as a whole.

    The common denominator of all feminisms — for this is a more accurate way to describe the movement — is a humanist insistence on the importance of creating and expanding the range of capabilities among all people, without prejudice. If you’re against sexism, you’re a feminist — albeit not much of one if you are content to describe the sexes as “different” without:

    1) acknowledging the enormous range of differences among individuals within the genders and

    2) championing the right of male persons and female persons to make life choices based on individual preferences and aptitudes rather than on rigid gender stereotypes.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Well said. The vast majority of the time when I hear someone say, “I believe in the equality of the sexes, but I am not a feminist|” the next thing they do is trot out straw feminist stereotypes.

      • skillet

        I used to say I was a feminist. Until I took my first gender studies class. Never encountered such a celebration of bigotry against men. I do not trust the movement any more because of how they have gone a long way to robbing men of due process in rape charges on college campus. And how on California campuses, if two students have consensual sex drunk, then he can be charged with rape and she is considered a victim.The argument being that she was too drunk to consent. (Dudes, stay out of California. Nothing awaits you except drought and prison). In some parts of the USA, college campuses are becoming a hostile environment for men.

        I was a feminist until the modern 3rd wave feminists went crazy. The feminist argument is you should be a feminist if you support equality. But today, I do not hear any feminists saying we have to do something because only 39 percent of college degrees go to men. No, the effort is still on pushing for more “hyper equality” for women. Who under 30 years of age, earn more than men in the USA. Even so, I just read a feminist article yesterday on how we must stop pay discrimination against women. All the programs such as electrician and plumber boys used to enjoy have been defunded, downsized, or taken out of public schools in most states. They system favors girls.

        Just google, “No Boys Allowed” day. There was a university in Washington which had a special Saturday program for high schoolers to encourage girls to learn tech careers.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Sigh. There really, really needs to be a “bock MRA” function on here. A blockbot! Yeah, that’s the ticket…. ;)

      • Charles

        Yeah, let’s do away with freedom of speech so you don’t have to deal with an opinion that is different from your own.

      • blondein_tokyo

        That response makes absiluty no sense at all. Very, very, obviously, I’m willing to engage in discussions *even when I disagree* with the other person. Your comment serves no purpose other than trolling.

      • Charles

        blondein_tokyo’s original comment, before deleting it:
        “That
        response makes absiluty no sense at all. Very, very, obviously, I’m
        willing to engage in discussions *even when I disagree* with the other
        person.”

        No, this is not obvious.

        You asked for a “‘b[l]ock MRA’ function.” This makes it obvious to me that you are NOT willing to engage in discussions when you disagree with the other person.

        blondein_tokyo also wrote, and then deleted:
        “Your comment serves no purpose other than trolling.”

        Right back at you.

        We cannot read your mind. When you wrote “b[l]ock MRA function,” it was unclear whether you meant “block MRAs from your own personal computer screen” or “block MRAs from Disqus.” The latter would obviously be a severe repression of free speech. Perhaps if you had been more specific…

        But yeah, as for the former (“b[l]ock MRAs” from my personal computer screen), when you find a piece of software like that, please let me know. I’ve been searching for quite some time for a similar one, one which I could set up with keywords like “chauvinist pig,” “male privilege,” “the patriarchy,” and “rape culture.”

      • Rebecca

        That’s why I spoke of feminisms in the plural, skillet. I have questions and reservations regarding some of the issues you raised and plenty of others you didn’t. Does that make me any less of a feminist? Of course not.

        There’s more I could say if I had the time and inclination, but I’ll just add that the downsizing you spoke of has nothing to do with feminist educational agendas and everything to do with the nature of the US economy which, since the 1970s, has been de-industrializing and creating jobs predominantly in the service sector.

      • Rebecca

        I wonder if the anti-feminist canard that feminists are man-hating undesirables plays a role in *some* cases. A female writer who imagines herself addressing a male audience and who wants to project a self-image of attractiveness to men might well adopt an ingratiating tone: “I want to vent on the subject of sexism, but don’t take me for a humorless hag.”

        I may be wrong, but that’s exactly how Garnova’s commentary struck me when I read it — as Uncle Tom-ism.

    • blimp

      This is a bit of a childish argument, but it often seems that feminism and feminists have an exclusive right to the concept of “the importance of creating and expanding the range of capabilities among all people, without prejudice”, or however we would like to define it. Can’t I be a “malist” and still believe in and promote the above?

      • blondein_tokyo

        If you want to make a new word, then good luck in getting that to catch on! :)

      • Rebecca

        Feminism is not “exclusive”: it’s a branch of humanism.

        “Can’t I be a “malist” and still believe in and promote the above?”

        No, and here’s why. In a worldwide context in which male = the default gender, “mal*ism*” only perpetuates asymmetries in influence and power. You can be a humanist who takes a special interest in men’s issues. Indeed, some feminists take a special interest in causes affecting men (labor, education etc). But mal*ism* and femin*ism* are not equivalent. Femin*ism*(s) for the most part, seek a world in which individual potential is no longer constrained by socially constructed notions of what individual men and women can and ought to do with their lives. Can you identify a “mal*ism*” which takes that proposition as its foundation?

      • blimp

        So, and this was actually my point more than to create the word “mailst/malism”, Olga can stand for exactly what you said without calling herself a feminist, and perhaps I am allowed to do it too.

      • Rebecca

        As it happens, the word “masculinist” already exists; one meaning denotes a movement for men’s rights that is so lacking in coherence and sweep that it can’t even commit to human empowerment as a fundamental precept or articulate any fundamental precept for that matter.

        The bigger issue is not labels per se but what we mean by them and what we do with them. Garnova spreads bigotry about “feminists” (it’s okay to profess a dislike for *all* members of that widely disparate group, in her opinion), caricaturing “feminism” in a manner that pleases people who are hostile to the movement and its worldviews. That’s hardly a way of standing for the same things and there’s little in her commentary that tells me that we *do* stand for the same things.

        Garnova’s concern about sexism is narrowly interpersonal in scope. Sexist put-downs bother her and seemingly little else. This suggests to me a person who reacts but doesn’t reflect on the sources of sexism in language, culture and institutions. As I said, feminism is a diverse, decentralized movement but the “ism” should tell us one thing. In feminism, it’s not enough to react. One must reflect as well. Garnova gives no signs of having a Weltanschauung that could be usefully compared and contrasted with that of feminist worldviews.

      • Charles

        “As it happens, the word “masculinist” already exists; one meaning
        denotes a movement for men’s rights that is so lacking in coherence and
        sweep”

        Sounds like feminists.

        Both feminists and MRAs consist of individuals with extremely diverse beliefs that often conflict with those of the the other members.

        In feminism, the only “common denominator” is advocating for women’s issues. Individual feminists vary very widely in how this should be done, and what the ultimate goal should be. In the men’s rights movement, the only “common denominator” is advocating for men’s issues. Once again, individual MRAs vary very widely in how this should be done, and what the ultimate goal should be.

        Maybe instead of villifying MRAs and glorifying feminists, you should instead understand that both movements are essentially analogous to each other, just that one advocates for women, and the other advocates for men.

      • Sam Gilman

        I think what you say would be fair if the problems men and women face as men and women were straightforwardly solved through simple changes in the law, and if these problems were broadly analogous.

        However, there are structural and enculturated issues of inequality that hugely disproportionately affect women. Men’s rights activists tend to neglect that context, or outright deny it.

      • Rebecca

        I agree with Sam Gilman’s eloquent reply and won’t duplicate his remarks. But I will add to them.

        Generally speaking, feminism and masculinism are not
        comparable, although within their respective movements you will find individuals who resemble each other, at least superficially. Since you are so enamored of dictionary definitions, let’s begin with them. Merriam Webster defines feminism as:

        “the theory of the political, economic, and social
        equality of the sexes.” Conversely, it defines a “masculinist” as “an advocate of male superiority and dominance”. The Oxford English Dictionary regards
        masculinism as “Advocacy of the rights of men; adherence to or promotion of opinions, values, etc., regarded as typical of men; (more generally)
        anti-feminism, machismo.”

        So obviously, the differences between the two are more
        profound than simply advocating for different constituent groups. Why would you attempt to soft-pedal such glaring differences?

        If you are as supportive of equality as you claim to be, it
        makes more sense for you to take issue with masculinism. Yet your animus seems
        to be reserved for “some feminists.” Why is that? Could it be that the “ism” in feminism doesn’t bother you so much as female assertiveness itself, which you
        take as a personal affront? Would it be fair to say that you yourself support a backlash against feminism?

        I didn’t “vilify” MRAs in my remarks. But some feminists do. For example, feminist Michael Kimmel in his book “Angry White Men” writes: The angry white men of hate radio are today’s Elmer Gantrys of paranoid politics, sounding the alarm for subversive enemies who threaten to undermine our way of life, while becoming the very antidemocratic, antiegalitarian – indeed, anti-American zealots about whom they believe themselves to be waning” Typical MRA sentiment quoted by Mr. Kimmel includes the following: “We have nothing. Nothing. It’s all going to them… I mean a white guy has no chance for the job these days… It’s like completely upside down now.”

        Other feminists who decry MRAs include Mark Potok and Evelyn Schlatter of the Southern Poverty Law Center. (“Men’s Rights Movement Spreads
        False Claims about Women.” Look it up and see if you disagree with their claims.)

    • Charles

      You wrote:
      “The common denominator of all feminisms — for this is a more accurate
      way to describe the movement — is a humanist insistence on the
      importance of creating and expanding the range of capabilities among all
      people, without prejudice.”

      And my response to that is:
      Incorrect. The movement you just described is called “egalitarianism.”

      “Feminism” consists of two root words: femin-, and -ism. “Femin” means “women,” or “female.” “-ism” means “doctrine.” “Feminism” literally means “women’s doctrine.” Nowhere in that word is there a root that means “without prejudice” or “all people.”

      The “common denominator” of feminism is a focus on women’s issues.

      Some feminists are also egalitarians–they believe that by promoting women’s issues, women can become more equal to men in society. In many cases, their ultimate goals are quite reasonable: equality in voting, equal pay for equal work, etc.

      However, not all feminists are egalitarians.

      Please do not attempt to redefine the meaning of “feminism.” The word is based on ancient Latin and Greek roots with very clear meanings. There is no room for interpretation–“feminism” definitely means “women’s doctrine.”

      • Rebecca

        It’s absurdly dogmatic, ahistorical, and illogical to insist that contemporary movements are somehow beholden to literal translations of words derived from ancient languages. Contexts change over time and differ from place to place — and with them, the meaning of words. Some words even mean the opposite of what they once did. Even if one did hold the mistaken view that words are entirely fixed in meaning, one would still be left with the thorny problem of interpretation.

        And does it suffice to say that humanism means “human doctrine”? Whatever does it mean to define it that way?

        Your interpretation of feminism as “women’s doctrine” is as devoid of meaning as it is of common sense. For one thing, feminism has the potential to be as much “men’s doctrine” as women’s. (Many men, especially educated, liberal men, already consider themselves feminists.) Yet “women’s doctrine” falsely implies that women and men belong to wholly separate “cultures” with different belief systems. For another, feminism has been used to powerful effect by both male and female professionals to offer new perspectives on historiography, international relations theory, sociolinguistics, anthropology and much else. That is, it serves as a broadly analytical orientation that anyone can use and which doesn’t necessarily have a direct or specific impact on women’s interests. In fact, the goal of feminism is not to secure special privileges or power for women, but to deter the formation of ascriptive hierarchies of any kind. Third, and related to the first point, feminism cannot be conceived of as a mere lobbying effort on behalf of “women’s interests,” whatever these may be, since it strives for equal respect and opportunities for all genders. (Btw, in many cultures, there are more than two genders).

        Your interpretation of feminism is also flat wrong. Feminism is not a single doctrine but a collection of movements and ideologies. Regardless of their differences, feminists share a belief in equal rights and opportunities for all genders. This, of course, is precisely what aligns it with similar “isms” like humanism and egalitarianism.

  • nooyawka212

    Oh, really? Here’s a quote: “The common denominator of all feminisms … is a humanist insistence on the importance of creating and expanding the range of capabilities among all people, without prejudice.” Does that definition include child care?

    When people (usually mothers) advertise for domestic child care workers to care for children while mothers work at paid jobs they invariably ask for women. The idea that domestic child care workers can be men is taken either as a joke or an impossibility (men left alone with children will become sex abusers the skeptic say).

    The phrase “creating and expanding the range of capabilities among all people” in the real world usually means women getting soft white collar jobs, and rarely means men getting jobs or roles which in the far and near past have been filled by women…and rarely means expanding opportunities for dirty, nasty, dangerous, life-threatening jobs to women which in the near and far past were filled by men.

    • Charles

      As we both know, “feminism” means “women’s doctrine.” Rebecca is trying to redefine the word to be about “all people” and having equality “without prejudice,” but it is not working because the word is quite well-known and obviously contains the root word for “female.”

      By her logic, I ought to be able to walk into a gynecologist’s office
      and ask for Viagra, because I can safely ignore the “gyn(a)ec-” word root, and therefore “gynecologist” means “doctor who serves all
      people, without prejudice!”

      • Rebecca

        In the time it’s taken for you to post so many messages
        here, you could have actually looked up various dictionary definitions of feminism. This one is typical: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” If you’re as supportive of equal rights as you say you are, you, too, should be a feminist.

        By my logic, you would also do well to consult *actual
        dictionary definitions* of medical specialties before making an appointment with a medical specialist.

      • Charles

        Dictionary definitions are subject to the whims of the person who wrote them. Those people have their own biases and agendas. For words like “bird” or “refrigerator” this is not so much of a problem, and I generally trust those definitions. For something very controversial like feminism, I do not.

        For example, Merriam-Webster defines sexism as “unfair treatment of people because of their sex; especially : unfair treatment of women.”

        Notice the “especially : unfair treatment of women” part–it just states it like it’s something we all agree on, that women are treated “especially” unfairly under sexism. Not all of us agree with this statement.

        – Workplace
        deaths: Men are 92% of workplace deaths in the United States of America.
        Don’t believe me? Read this official document by the Bureau of Labor
        Statistics, page 8:
        http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0006.pdf


        Deaths by homicide: Despite the myth that women are more in danger than
        men, men are 77.8% of homicide victims. Don’t believe me? Would you
        believe the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime?
        http://www.unodc.org/gsh/en/data.html
        Click on “Percentage of male and female homicide victims, latest year.”


        Military Combat Casualties: During the Iraq War (I war I DID NOT
        support, but that does not mean these soldiers deserved to die), men
        were >97.5% of combat casualties. Don’t believe me? The Congressional
        Research Service has prepared a report. Go to page 22:
        http://www.unodc.org/gsh/en/data.html


        Homelessness: Single men make up 51% of the homeless population. And
        that’s not even counting married men or male children, who would
        definitely push that percentage up over 51%. Don’t believe me? Do you
        consider the National Coalition of the Homeless reputable enough?
        http://www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/facts/Whois.pdf
        Look on page 2.


        Suicides: Men are more than 3.9x as likely as women to commit suicide
        in the United States of America. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to–as
        long as you don’t think the World Health Organization is lying for the
        patriarchy:
        http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/unitstates.pdf


        The education gap: Women earn 57~58% of all bachelor’s degrees. Don’t
        believe me? Maybe the National Center for Education Statistics will
        convince you: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72

        Four
        of my above points are life-or-death issues. The feminists look at
        corporate boardrooms and complain about being unrepresented, or look at
        average yearly salaries and complain about being underpaid. Meanwhile,
        men are ACTUALLY DYING from various unnatural causes at a much higher
        rate than women.

        Basically, in conclusion:
        – Women are economically undervalued.
        – Men’s LIVES are undervalued.

        So yeah, I think both sexes (not just women) need some advocacy.

      • Rebecca

        Charles wrote: “Dictionary definitions are subject to the
        whims of the person who wrote them.”

        Not exactly. Lexicography is generally a collaborative enterprise. Now that doesn’t mean we should approach dictionary definitions uncritically – e.g. I believe widespread dictionary definitions of “misogyny” as “hatred of women” are out of step with case studies in multiple disciplines (anthropology, etc) – but when the vast majority of dictionary definitions are in accord with definitions provided by normative feminist works
        AND the uber-normative United Nations (Womens’ rights are human rights”) you ought to treat your own skepticism with a little more, er… skepticism. What normative statements about feminism are you filtering out? What marginal statements (by paranoid schizophrenics like Solanas, for example) are you magnifying? So an old folk saying applies here, the gist of which is: if one person says you’re drunk, you can reserve judgment. If two people say you’re drunk, it’s best to go home and sleep it off. Not just one, but the vast majority of dictionary definitions contradict your shallow (but ultimately agonistic*) definition of feminism as “women’s doctrine,” as do the preponderance of feminist works and institutional definitions of feminism.

        Charles wrote: “For something very controversial like
        feminism”

        You have yet to explain how gender equality (social,
        political and economic) is not controversial, but feminism is. And if a desire to dominate or obtain special advantages is the problem, how is it that you take special exception to feminism, for which the word “equality” is salient, but not to the MRAs, for which equality is NOT a salient common denominator?

        Charles wrote: “For example, Merriam-Webster defines sexism as “unfair
        treatment of people because of their sex; especially : unfair treatment of women.”
        Notice the “especially : unfair treatment of
        women” part–it just states it like it’s something we all agree on, that women are treated “especially” unfairly under sexism.”

        The first thing I notice is that you neglected to provide
        the full definition from Merriam-Webster.

        Here it is:

        “prejudice or discrimination
        based on sex; especially : discrimination against
        women
        : behavior,
        conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

        It’s very obvious to me why you left it out. For one thing, you’ve engaged in politically-motivated “spin”: you ARE a supporter of the MRAs (lol) and thus your aim is to air a laundry list of “grievances” that point to “unfairness”
        in society rather than to analyze the sources of sexism. For MRAs, it’s easier to feel aggrieved than it is to argue that disproportionate “woman power” is the source of this unfairness.

        Put another way, the application of that Merriam-Webster definition to men raises inconvenient questions for the MRAs. First, to what is systematic prejudice or discrimination generally connected? Answer: to power and authority. And where does power and authority generally reside? In institutions, language
        and culture. Historically and in our current era, which gender has exerted the preponderant influence on institutions, language and culture? The honest answer
        to that question leads directly to feminism as a corrective to gender inequality. It does not lead to “masculinism” or MRAs, for which equality is not an overarching, common goal.

        Indeed, some of the most ardent proponents of stereotypes are masculinists who lament the “pussification” of men and the “masculinization” of
        women. Again – no wonder you didn’t quote the full definition.

        Now what did I mean when I described your definition of
        feminism as “agonistic*”? As I believe I indicated some days ago, “woman’s doctrine” implies an exclusive focus on advocacy and implies the desirability of women seeking dominance or advantages over men. But in fact, feminism seeks the elimination of prejudice against both women and men. It’s the MRAs, as they push back against feminist discourse, which portray things in agonistic, mutually exclusive terms. Indeed, some of these masculinists can be compared to aggrieved whites who regard civil rights as rights for people of color and then ask, “where are white people’s rights?” A humanist sees civil rights as human rights. The non-humanist sees society in terms of a zero-sum, tit-for-tat contest for limited goods among exclusive groups.

        Any feminist, male or female, could take a look at any of
        the grievances you listed and approach them from a feminist standpoint, taking into consideration other “power” issues such as class, foreign policy,
        capitalism, gender expectations and the like. While I am strongly in favor of men (preferably feminist men :))
        taking an active interest in public policy issues of particular concern to men, I do not support whataboutism or an agonistic, binary worldview which ghettoizes women’s and men’s interests, downplays the individual irrespective of gender, and regards the genders (all three or four or five of them? lol) as fundamentally opposed to one another.

        And on a personal note, fwiw, the only one in my extended family who is in harm’s way (in Afghanistan) is my daughter. And she’s there by choice. You have feminism to thank for that.

      • Charles

        Your latest post: tl;dr (beyond the first paragraph, anyway–I got the gist from that). Time to go and do productive and/or fun things (arguing with a radical feminist is neither).

        By the way, voting up your own posts, real classy. You might want to try using an alternate account to do that, that way, it won’t be so obvious.

      • Rebecca

        Charles wrote: “Time to go and do productive and/or fun things (arguing with a radical feminist is neither.”

        Especially when you’re consistently on the losing end of the argument.
        Vaya con Dios, amigo. :)

      • skillet

        3rd wave feminism is evil.

  • Firas Kraïem

    This author rivalises with Teru Clavel in the rubbish department…

  • Rebecca

    Charles, you adamantly deny that feminism has the potential to be as much “men’s doctrine” as women’s. Yet the United Nations has declared
    that “womens’rights are human rights.”

    Go figure. Charles vs the UN.

    You seem to think that some men are motivated only by fear when they describe themselves as feminists. Given that these same men also oppose racism, would you care to speculate whether their egalitarian views on race are similarly motivated by fear?

    In fact, American public opinion polls show that equal percentages of men and women (roughly 80 percent) agree with the statement: “men and women should be social, political, and economic equals.” (The goal of feminism, not masculinism). Since the poll protects
    the anonymity of those surveyed, I doubt that the overwhelming majority of these men are motivated by fear.

    Just the opposite of what you said appears to be true. Many more men and women who endorse feminist aspirations and policies seem fearful of calling themselves feminists, In other words, they support feminism while eschewing the label. Feminism certainly does have a branding problem. Yet paradoxically, it is also perhaps the most successful social movement in human history.