Why do I hate men today
"I hate men. Everyone, really? Yes all" : Why "everyone" says is correct, even if it is never true
How much potential for liberation is there in hatred? A lot for Pauline Harmange. The French author is currently causing a stir with her essay “I hate men”, in which she portrays non-violent hatred of men as an emancipatory struggle for freedom and the basis of a strong “sisterhood” among women. As if the title wasn't meaningful enough, she once again states unequivocally in the essay: “I hate men. Everyone, really? Yes all."
This went too far for an advisor to the French Ministry of Equality, he threatened to report charges of incitement to hatred. Harmange's pamphlet is discussed in a more harmless but similarly critical manner in the feature sections. Someone dares to put an entire gender under general suspicion! Because according to Harmange all men “derail” sooner or later. Even the supposedly good ones. Apart from the empirical evidence, general suspicions are considered a sociopolitical taboo. This applies to the left-wing autonomous “All Cops Are Bastards” as well as to right-wing national and xenophobic slogans.
The blanket criticism does not fit the pluralistic and liberal discourse, which is characterized by differentiation down to the smallest detail. Whoever generalizes discriminates. However, the all-round attack should not be viewed as intolerant or exclusionary; rather, it can help combat discrimination by calling into question power relations.
Not only Harmange, but also the German author Alice Hasters recently had to listen to the accusation of malicious generalization from the populist joker Dieter Nuhr. He accused Hasters of her book title “What white people do not want to hear about racism, but should know” was “racist” towards whites because they were accused of xenophobia due to the color of their skin. He thus provoked a classic perpetrator-victim reversal, which prompted Hasters to clarify: "All people are racially socialized", she wrote on Twitter and "White people are privileged by racism."
Neither Hasters nor Harmange want to provoke with generalizations or enemy images, but rather address systematic problems that require radical criticism. Not everyone is to blame here to the same extent, but responsibility does. In the course of #MeToo, for example, there were repeated reflexes “But not all men are bad”, as if empirical evidence had to be brought into the field.
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But, as Harmange explains, it's not about every single man, but about the “social group” and their privileges. Hasters is also not concerned with individual skin pigmentation, but with social constructs and power relations.
The supposed general suspicion here only ensures that everyone should question themselves and their own position in the social power gap: “Check your privilege.” Because you don't have to be an active part of discrimination to promote it anyway. Ignorance and silence are enough. Of course, such a general suspicion is also deliberately exaggerated, but not oppressive, but liberating for those who want to live in a liberal and equal society. Maybe not all, but many.
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