Old, busted: Feminism. New, hot: Misandry.

Old, busted: Feminism. New, hot: Misandry.

[Ed. – Inanity, inanity. All is inanity.  Bonus observation:  imagine being so young that the “feminism you grew up with was the feminism of snarky blog posts.”  Talk about feminists who never had to trudge uphill both ways barefoot in the snow for their feminism.]

On its most basic level, ironic misandry functions like a stuck-out tongue pointed at a playground bully: When men’s rights activists hurled insults at feminist writer Jessica Valenti on Twitter last month, she posted a picture of herself grinning in an “I BATHE IN MALE TEARS” T-shirt, and dedicated the message to the “misogynist whiners.” But ironic misandry is more than just a sarcastic retort to the haters; it’s an in-joke that like-minded feminists tell even when their critics aren’t looking, as a way to build solidarity within the group. “A lot of young feminists who I follow on Instagram and love this s*** are teenagers,” Valenti says. (Search the tag #maletears and you’ll find dozens of young women—and a few young men—posed with a novelty mug.) “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. When the Atlantic’s CityLab reported that “every American killed by lightning so far this year has been male,” Twitter feminists joked that institutionalized misandry was to blame.  Zimmerman riffed on the meme in a post on the Hairpin, reframing lightning as the misandrist sorcery of a feminist “witch cabal,” and imagining future natural disasters that the witches would inflict upon men. (Headlines include “Fedoras Recalled Due to Spontaneous Combustion” and “Mysterious Vocal Cord Stenosis Continues to Afflict Male Pundits”).  [Ed. – OK, so these gals aren’t actually funny.] …

“I enjoy that it bothers the men who don’t get it,” one Misandrist Book Club member told me. “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.”

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