I was recently told that I am not as much of a male-basher as my feminist ideology would purport me to be. A string of recent conversations, including this one, have gotten me thinking about what it means to call oneself a feminist. Especially as many feminist organizations now seek allies in men, I started wondering where the male-bashing behavior fits into the movement.
And it led me to the following anti-climactic epiphany: Feminism came after male-bashing, not the other way around.
The popular perception of being a feminist is that of being a man-hater, a male-basher, a generally bitter and vindictive-on-behalf-of-my-gender female. But feminism is a relatively modern phenomenon. Opposite sex-bashing, on the other hand, is not so new. The war of the sexes, so to speak, has been a coping mechanism for both women and men for... ever.
The guy you've been seeing ditched you for your cute neighbor? Bitch to the girls about how all men are jerks and only want one thing.
Your woman's not letting you catch the game tonight? Let your boys know that the old ball-and-chain is PMSing again.
It seems to me that there are many women and men out there who specifically shun the label of feminist and instead engage through male/female-bashing. I'm not saying that these categories are exclusive. But they're also definitely not the same thing.