“Misandry”—literally, the hatred of men—is an accusation that’s been flung at feminists since the dawn of the women’s movement: By empowering women, critics argue, feminists are really oppressing men. Now, feminists are ironically embracing the man-hating label: The ironic misandrist sips from a mug marked “MALE TEARS,” frosts her cakes with the phrase “KILL ALL MEN,” and affixes “MISANDRY” heart pins to her lapel. Ironic misandry is “a reductio ad absurdum,” explains Jess Zimmerman, an editor at Medium and the proud owner of a “MALE TEARS” mug. (“I drink them to increase my strength,” she notes.) “It’s inhabiting the most exaggerated, implausible distortion of your position, in order to show that it’s ridiculous.”
.. “The feminism they grew up with was the feminism of snarky blog posts, and this is a natural extension of that.”
.. So young feminists have taken to deploying the claim of “misandry” like a parlor game, competing to push the idea of a vast, anti-man conspiracy to its most gleefully absurd limits.
.. “I enjoy that it bothers the men who don’t get it,”
.. “It’s a good way to weed out cool dudes from the dumb bros.” As Zimmerman puts it: “The men who get annoyed by misandry jokes are in my experience universally brittle, insecure, humorless weenies with victim complexes,”
while the “many intelligent, warm, confident feminist men in my life … mostly get the joke immediately and play along. They’re not worried I actually want to milk them for their tears.”
.. It can be freeing, then, to instead adopt an ironic stance that allows women to identify against what they clearly are not:
.. it allows women to criticize “patriarchal ideals without also shitting on your fellow gal-identified types.”