In conflicting news for incels, a large-scale psychology study has found that, contrary to the widespread stereotypes, being a feminist does not necessarily mean you want all men to be fired into space. Researchers found that feminists have a positive attitude towards men. They analyzed five different studies and compiled them into a meta-analysis, which was published in Psychology of Women quarterly ,. The researchers found that feminists have similar positive feelings towards men to non-feminists. They also found that people generally believe that feminists feel the complete opposite, in what the authors call the “misandry myth”.
Since the dawn of the feminist movement, those who advocate for the rights of women and push back against gender-based discrimination have often been subjected to accusations of being, essentially, angry, childless bloke-haters with too many cats. Despite numerous waves of the movement forcing major societal shifts for the betterment of women’s lives throughout history, these sorts of ridiculous mischaracterisations have been genuinely effective at stopping many women, and men, from backing it.
This new scientific study exposes the misandry myth as being clearly false. “Gender relations are being conducted in the shadow of a falsehood,” the study authors write, meaning “the present findings indicate that people are wrong to dismiss feminism on these grounds.”
“The present findings reveal that feminists’ attitudes toward men are broadly positive and broadly similar to other people’s attitudes toward men. They also reveal that people generally perceive the opposite to be true. In so doing, the present findings disconfirm a trope that deters women from feminism, and which is widely used to delegitimize it,” the authors write.
Feminism is on the rise among 18-24-year-olds in the UK, with 70 percent of women identifying as feminists. The US is seeing a rise, too, though the issue is more polarised, with many thinking it unfairly blames men for the challenges women face.
The research involved almost 10,000 participants across nine different countries, with respondents asked how much they agreed with statements like “men act like babies when they are sick” and “women seek to gain power by getting control over men”.
One study involved people from US, UK and Poland – all with different cultural contexts and varying levels of gender equality, according to the researchers. It revealed that feminists and non-feminists shared the same attitudes towards men, with the only difference being feminists were less benevolent towards men. The same study conducted in non-Western countries like China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan found that women there held similarly positive attitudes towards men.
This news should, the authors write, “contribute to theory, research, and public debates that put gender relations on a more rational and informed setting.” So there you have it: Feminists, it seems, are complex enough to maintain healthy positive relationships with their fathers, sons, husbands, partners and male friends, while maintaining a critical attitude towards ongoing gender inequality. Thank you, science.
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