Do women who define themselves as feminists hate men?

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While you're bound to find extremists in any belief system, by and large, feminists don't hate men—they hate patriarchy.

The difference between the two is very important. Men are, to put it simply, just a category of person. There's no inherent value to gender outside the context of what we impose on it. Patriarchy, on the other hand, is the name given to the many interconnected systems that have historically given men societal power over women. It imposes barriers, risks, and limitations on women that men don't have to contend with in many arenas of life. Sometimes those limitations are just annoying—like, for example, the fact that office buildings are usually calibrated for men's average body temperatures, so women are often cold. But sometimes it's much more serious. Women are, and have always been, much more likely to be killed at the hands of men than the other way around.

If someone hates men purely on the basis that they're men, that's a prejudice. If someone opposes patriarchy because they want to dismantle those limitations and create a level playing field that values women the way it values men, that's feminism.

It's also worth noting that not all feminists are women, and women aren't the only people who benefit from gender equity. Feminism by nature advocates that women are not a monolith and should not be treated as such, and by extension it says the same about men. All people—women, men, or non-binary—have their own wants, desires, needs, and motivations. What's traditionally "manly" may not feel authentic to a specific man, just as much as what's traditionally "womanly" might not feel authentic to a specific woman.

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