The concern about feminist "malebashing" is increasingly common, inside the university and out, but unfortunately, because of the emotions involved, most discussions of malebashing generate more confusion than understanding. When feminists say negative things about men, they often speak in anger and perhaps fear. When men respond, they are often angry, defensive, and perhaps hurt. While this confusion may be understandable, it is still counter-productive. The dialogue is plagued by a failure to answer with precision or rigor the most basic questions about this subject: What is "malebashing," i.e., illegitimate negative statements about men, and how is it different from legitimate negative statements about men? Are feminists in general or feminists of some particular kind necessarily committed to malebashing because of the assumptions of their own positions? This Article will attempt to address these questions, to consider the justifiability of negative statements about men within feminism. It is not, however, about the justifiability of feminism itself. We assume the general themes of feminism: women deserve equal status, rights, and opportunities; political activism may legitimately seek to advance the interests of women; and legal reform is one legitimate path to improve the lot of women. We do not mean to respond to global criticisms of the feminist project as a whole. We assess only the use, or abuse, of a particular rhetorical strategy within that project.
Susan H. Williams & David C. Williams,
A Feminist Theory of Malebashing,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol4/iss1/2