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Feminism is misandry

(27 Posts)
ToffeeForEveryone Sun 12-Mar-17 16:14:40

New guy at work has recently joined our small all female team. At a recent team lunch conversation drifted and he was shocked to hear that we all would describe ourselves as feminists. Apparently he has never met a woman before who sees feminism as anything other than radical right wing man hating, and no woman he knows would associate themselves with that ...

He's sent a link to an article which describes misandry as being a fundamental adjunct to feminism - that hatred of men has always been part of feminist agenda.

I'm torn between not being able to let this lie and wondering where to start!

He is generally a nice guy, although has said a few "red flag" comments (women taking breaks for childcare not entitled to equal pay, for example) that have given me pause. He comes across as clueless rather than malicious - he said himself he is only starting to think about feminism because now he has a daughter.

Any suggestions on how to respond?

LottieDoubtie Sun 12-Mar-17 16:16:38

Either laugh in his face or tell him his views are so offensive so as to not be worth discussing until he is better educated.

Whatever you do don't engage with a long drawn out debate with him. It's. what. He. Wants.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Sun 12-Mar-17 16:18:00

Is he more senior, the same grade or less senior to you? If more senior, I would be speaking to either someone in HR or a manager to express your concerns..if the same grade or less senior I would directly challenge his views in a calm way using examples of what he has said and how it has made you feel. He is either clueless or deliberately trying to cause friction. I wouldn't let it go, in the same way that any inappropriate language should be challenged.

ChuckDaffodils Sun 12-Mar-17 16:18:21

What was the link? I'd probably start with that.

he said himself he is only starting to think about feminism because now he has a daughter. is his daughter a right wing man hater then? Or does he want her to have the same chances as if she were a boy? Because that is essentially Feminism in a nutshell.

FlickingVees Sun 12-Mar-17 16:20:15

Feminism is the outrageous belief that men and women are equal, and should be treated equally. That's all.

Mathena Sun 12-Mar-17 16:21:59

So perpetuating the species is a woman's responsibility solely???

DJBaggySmalls Sun 12-Mar-17 16:22:55

He's an MRA. Good luck with his escalating negging comments about your outsider views, and dont engage.

annandale Sun 12-Mar-17 16:25:18

You do what you would do with any colleague; you work with them based on what they do, and challenge opinions in a positive way.

I actually don't care very much what people think if it doesn't affect their actions - that's the point of having the Sex Discrimination Act etc. In practice, it is quite difficult to separate your opinions from your actions so I would be reasonably vigilant - if he manages a pregnant colleague, I would warn her to have all her ducks in a row regarding her rights before she informs him she is pregnant, and to consider HR support in the meeting. Really the most positive thing you can do is to express your own opinions positively and definitely not report him to HR for expressing a personal opinion about a legal policy to which there is no current threat.

ChocChocPorridge Sun 12-Mar-17 16:52:50

I actually don't care very much what people think if it doesn't affect their actions

The trouble is that it always does. Just look at the google hiring bias talks and training to see how insidious it is.

The problem is, that it's hard for some men to realise that feminism is only about them tangentially, because they are a member of society, they're so used to being centred in everything.

Like the idea that me saying to DS2 that I love him doesn't affect DS1 at all, but he'll still demand that I confirm that I love him too - because he doesn't want to be left out. Men feel like that about feminism, confused that the women who are supposed to be looking after them are thinking about things without them being involved.

ToffeeForEveryone Sun 12-Mar-17 17:11:09

Yeah I'm not about to report him to HR, I don't think it warrants that. Also our manager was copied in on his email (we are the same grade).

What's an MRA? I don't think he is intentionally stirring, he seems genuinely unaware that anything he has said is controversial.

I was going to email back but on reflection I might just have a word when I go in next week.

annandale Sun 12-Mar-17 17:13:28

I would have a look at the email policy and perhaps have a chat with your manager.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 12-Mar-17 17:20:44

Leave politics and religion out of work, dont get involved.
An MRA is a Male rights Activist and they are the only group to push the 'feminsim is misandry' line.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Sun 12-Mar-17 17:30:44

MRA = Men's Rights Activists, Toffee.

Regarding feminism, I'd recommend you tackle it from the other end, as it were. Feminism exists not because we hate men but because, going by the evidence, they hate us. It's not feminists - or any woman - committing sex and violent crime against men, is it? When a woman is the victim of an attack her assailant is nearly always male.

But it extends further than that. The
overwhelming preponderance of men at the top of most social structures, from the judiciary to industry to politics, tells women that the system is rigged against them. It's not necessarily conscious: institutional racism and sexism happen because those who recruit and promote favour people like themselves - male, white and, even now, often public school educated. Again, it's not feminists who cause the injustice. If men didn't disadvantage women there wouldn't be any need for feminism.

I think that's the line I'd take.

PerspicaciaTick Sun 12-Mar-17 17:38:25

Perhaps, instead of him telling women what he thinks feminism is, he should have the humility to ask the women around him why they think feminsim is important (and listen to their answers).

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3S1t57hF2k

And ask him to look at this article - it may chime with his becoming a father to a daughter (N.B. it is an article in the notoriously left-wing, liberal Telegraph).

www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/laura-bates-why-every-girl-needs-a-feminist-dad/

MercyMyJewels Sun 12-Mar-17 17:43:36

He's either an MRA or a doeball. Either way, be cautious around him

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 12-Mar-17 17:44:18

He's sent a link to his female colleagues claiming that their stated political leanings mean they hate men?

I'd actually start by checking your email and intranet policy and I would be very careful about replying to him on email. The faux-innocence thing troubles me... in my old work you couldn't use the company's systems to spread political information - I don't want you to end up on a disciplinary!

MercyMyJewels Sun 12-Mar-17 17:45:07

Doughball. Wtf is with me today?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 12-Mar-17 18:02:35

You do what you would do with any colleague; you work with them based on what they do, and challenge opinions in a positive way

You do not get to dictate to or challenge co-workers' opinions just because you disagree with them. If he is doing his job and not behaving in an inappropriate manner in the workplace the opinions he expressed over lunch are nothing to do with the OP.

I was going to email back but on reflection I might just have a word when I go in next week.

With whom about what? The article on misandry? I recommend you delete the article- your company email addresses are for work purposes. He should not have used it but unless the article was offensive (and disagreeing with you is not offensive) this is not a work issue.

TheMysteriousJackelope Sun 12-Mar-17 18:11:51

I would not get intentionally get into a discussion with him about it, particularly not on email. He is new, you don't know if he is merely unthinking, or a troll who enjoys saying provocative stuff to get a rise out of his co-workers so he can create a bunch of drama and trouble for them. If he raises it again you can either say 'I am not going to discuss this with you, how is it going with X work related thing?' or flick it back to him by asking 'Why is wanting women to have the same educational, voting, and work opportunities as men man-hating?' and leave it to him to justify his beliefs. Personally I wouldn't as it would be a tedious, time consuming, and I suspect stupid, discussion.

It is a concern because if he is promoted to a managerial position his views could effect how he distributes pay rises and promotions among his male and female employees. Hopefully your manager has noted his attitude and will flag it if he moves up the company.

ToffeeForEveryone Sun 12-Mar-17 18:37:56

I meant have a word with him. To be clear, I have no intention to raise this formally nor do I think it would be appropriate to do so. Some of his comments have been genuinely surprising / shocking, as I've never heard similar in a work setting, but come across as more ignorant than offensive.

His email was inviting comment and the reactive part of me thinks that if he can put that in writing, not writing back is running scared - but you have convinced me a cautious approach is probably wiser.

Using email for non-work conversation doesn't breach the email policy, but I did feel that moving on from casual conversation to email was an escalation that shouldn't go unchallenged.

Gingernaut Sun 12-Mar-17 18:45:29

He's sent a link to an article which describes misandry as being a fundamental adjunct to feminism - that hatred of men has always been part of feminist agenda.

Report him for inappropriate use of the email system.

If he says anything, report him for harassment.

He would if the positions were reversed.

Beachcomber Sun 12-Mar-17 19:03:53

I wouldn't do anything other than reply (copying in your manager) to the email by simply saying "do not send me non work emails at work. Thank you"

Don't engage. It's giving him attention he doesn't deserve and he won't engage in good faith. He will enjoy wasting your time and treating female oppression like a 6th form debating exercise.

If he really cares there's a whole internet out there for him to get busy on his own culture and education rather than wasting his female work colleagues time and energy.

He sounds like a dick.

Pawpainting Sun 12-Mar-17 19:48:50

Yep, definitely an MRA. I'd avoid him or if that's not possible, don't discuss anything non work related with him. He is trying to bait you into getting into a debate with him so he can "put you in your place".

How new is he? If he's already acting like this I can't see his employment in your department being very pleasant for his female colleagues confused

Xenophile Mon 13-Mar-17 16:39:49

The dude's an MRA, they tend to be lost causes. Just don't engage with him any more than you have to and certainly not over feminism.

If you really feel you can't let it go, then have a word with him, but I can almost guarantee you that he will just be a dick about it all.

IAmAmy Mon 13-Mar-17 17:22:29

You do not get to dictate to or challenge co-workers' opinions just because you disagree with them.

But Lass that's what he's doing. He's acting appalled because the women he works with are feminists and sending them articles suggesting they're "misandrists". Hardly professional or decent behaviour towards colleagues.

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