Catherine Young in Bitchmedia:
For as long as feminism has existed, feminists have been accused of hating men. Pleas for equal rights, franchise, and financial independence have been met with not just ardent and sometimes violent opposition, but the persistent, insidious untruth that feminists desire nothing more than to emasculate and eradicate the male sex and “take over.” While hating men isn’t a core tenet of feminist ideology, a curious trend has taken hold online over the past couple years: ironic misandry. Women attach #KillAllMen and #BanMen hashtags to news stories of male-perpetrated violence against women or legislation sponsored by male politicians designed to cut back on women’s rights. From the celebration of “Gleeful Mobs of Women Murdering Men in Western Art History” by the Toast to the bracelets proclaiming that “All Men Must Die” and mugs filled with “Male Tears” for sale on Etsy, the idea of telegraphing male hatred in public as a performance has really caught on. The thinking seems to be this: If men continue to insist that striving for gender equality is the same as hating them, why not lean into it?
In a Vice essay titled “The Year in Male Tears,” writer Chelsea Summers defined modern misandry not as a hatred of men, but as “a seething rage against patriarchal power” and declared 2014 “the year misandry became chic.” It was the year feminists agreed that “dick is abundant and low value” and that male tears made the best moisturizer. In 2015, #GiveYourMoneyToWomen emerged and grew in strength and visibility. In a piece titled “Give Your Money to Women: The End Game of Capitalism,” feminist activists Lauren Chief Elk, Yoeshin Lourdes, and Bardot Smith described the radical hashtag and movement as a “theory and practical framework of gender justice.” In short, gymtw is centered around the idea that women deserve to be directly compensated by men for the emotional labor they provide. “gymtw is a decolonial effort,” Chief Elk said in a 2016 tweet, and “Friday is payday.” Even celebrities got in on the fun. Gifs of Nicki Minaj cutting a banana in half in her “Anaconda” video were remixed with glitter “misandry” signs, and in her music video for “Bitch Better Have My Money,” Rihanna kidnapped and dismembered the trifling accountant who stole her money, then bathed in his blood. Misandry has gone mainstream, and unfortunately the irony seems to be lost on men. For the first time, the primary drivers of conversations around misandry are, in fact, the very feminists long-accused of not-so-secretly wanting to do away with men.