Research Proves What We've Said All Along: Feminists Don't Hate Men

One of the age-old stereotypes attached to feminists is the label of being "man-haters. Recent research published challenges this prevailing notion. The core objective of feminism remains steadfast – the pursuit of equality, not the denigration of men.

Ishika Thanvi
New Update
Photo: Young Feminist Europe

Photo: Young Feminist Europe

One of the age-old stereotypes attached to feminists is the label of being "man-haters." From the early days of the suffrage movement to the present, this term has been flung around as a taunt. Despite the efforts of feminists to dispel this stereotype, the notion persists, making it challenging for the movement to be taken seriously. Only about one in five women identify as feminists, according to a 2020 Pew Research poll, and this discrepancy is often attributed to the perception that feminism is synonymous with anti-male sentiments. 


However, recent research published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly challenges this prevailing notion, revealing that feminists do not, in fact, hate men.

Understanding The Flawed Equation of "Misandry"

The assertion that "misandry" is a pervasive issue among feminists is a claim that demands scrutiny. Often, the argument is built on the premise that mere insults directed at men are comparable to the life-threatening misogyny women face globally. This perspective, however, lacks logical grounding, as it fails to recognise the stark contrast between casual derogatory language and the severe threats and violence that women endure.

A Feminist Identity 

Despite the fundamental definition of feminism as advocating for gender equality, a mere 19% of women identify as feminists, as revealed by a 2020 Pew Research poll. The reluctance to embrace the feminist label is, in part, linked to the misperception that feminists harbour a deep-rooted hatred for men. The question we want to ask is: Why do so many women shy away from a movement that strives for equality?

Debunking the Myth: This Is What Research Says


Despite numerous allegations over the years claiming that feminists hate men, this recent research is the first to empirically investigate the veracity of such claims. Research published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly serves as a powerful rebuttal to the prevailing belief that feminists are misandrists. The study, spanning nine countries, discovered that feminists hold positive attitudes towards men, mirroring the views held by men themselves. Interestingly, feminists also perceived men and women as more similar than their non-feminist counterparts did. The results unequivocally debunk the myth that feminists are anti-male. The core objective of feminism remains steadfast – the pursuit of equality, not the denigration of men.

Internalized Stereotypes

Surprisingly, the study uncovered a paradox within feminist circles. Both feminists and non-feminists inaccurately believed that feminists harboured negative sentiments toward men. This internalized stereotype, perpetuated even among those advocating for gender equality, highlights the pervasive nature of the belief that feminists inherently dislike men.

Addressing the Root Cause

Researchers emphasize that dispelling the myth of feminists as man-haters is crucial to legitimizing the feminist movement. The study's authors express hope that their findings will help rectify the widespread misconception that has deterred women from openly aligning with feminism.

Historical Trends and Contemporary Impact


Linking advocates for gender equality with man-hating has historical roots, with suffragettes and feminists of the past facing criticism for supposed disdain for men. The 1990s saw the popularization of terms like "feminazis," further perpetuating the image of feminists as hostile towards men.

Impact on Feminist Unity

The persistent myth that feminists dislike men has had a profound impact on the unity of those advocating for gender equality. Accusations of being anti-male have hindered the ability to unify under a single label, making it more challenging for the movement to achieve its core goal of equality.

Moving Forward

As the research debunks the unfounded claims that feminists hate men, there is an opportunity for a paradigm shift. Understanding that the core aim of feminism is centred on achieving equality rather than harming men can pave the way for a more inclusive and united front. With this knowledge, perhaps more individuals will feel empowered to proudly identify with the term "feminist."

gender equality Feminist feminism and men misandry misogny