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Commentary Relays Edition

In defense of man: Has the hate men trend gone too far?  

A graphic depicting two men sitting on a bench chatting The phrase ‘I hate men’ has become synonymous with commonplace everyday language, but this writer doesn’t think it’s warranted, and we ought to retire the phrase right here and now. Graphic by Meghan Holloran | Photo Editor 

College is a long and arduous process of learning and becoming not just a better worker, but a better person. On my journey through this process, I’ve become more cognizant of what I say and how it affects other people. 

A phrase that I’ve become stuck on and find myself thinking about often is one that most people give little thought to when they say it. 

“I hate men.” 

Typically said in a disdainful tone after a man has done something rude or stupid in front of the speaker, the phrase has become a mainstay in our Gen Z vocabularies. The phrase and its variations are all rooted in people’s frustration with the patriarchy and its many manifestations in everyday life. 

Most of the time, when exclaiming, “I hate men” or, “Men suck,” I am trying to explain my anger towards only one person when I should be trying to justify my anger at the system or situation that I have experienced. This exclamation is not only useless but harmful to those it is aimed towards. Men are over three times more likely to commit suicide than women, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Of those men, less than half of them received some type of mental health care in the year leading up to their death. This is a silent pandemic that has affected men for decades. 

This isn’t to say that saying things like “I hate men” will lead to increased suicide, but as I’ve learned more this year, I’ve tried to use kinder and more compassionate language. 

Words carry weight. What we say and how we say it matters. Saying things with anger and malice — or even things that you may consider a joke — can have untold effects on someone. The effect that our words have on individual people has more of an impact on them than it does on the patriarchy. 

By tearing down individual men, you are not affecting the system that has put them in a position of power. Hurting someone else does not give you a better position in society, nor does it have a positive impact on the world. Instead of tearing down others, specifically men, it is better to shift away from using that harmful language. 

Saying, “I hate all men,” is as helpful as stating, “I hate people with brown hair.” Not only is it harmful, but it is ever so obvious that claiming to hate someone based on their gender is ridiculous. Hatred based on gender is bigotry. By saying the phrase, “I hate men,” you are claiming a hatred of someone based on a fact of their identity, exactly the same way bigots and misogynists have done for centuries. 

Instead of using this phrase to take out your frustrations with the patriarchy on an individual, find words or phrases that use less generalizing language. Don’t attack the person based on a singular part of their identity. 

Try airing your grievances through their actions or thought process. Or choose a phrase that doesn’t hurt the person based on their gender identity or demographics. 

By making small changes in your vocabulary, you can have a big impact — one that could improve the well-being of your friends and peers. By taking your frustrations out on the social systems in the world as opposed to your friends or people you dislike, you are helping to create a safer space for everyone. This, in time, will hopefully lead to a more equitable society for everyone. As we all try to make it through college, please be conscious of the language you use and how it can affect those around you.

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