We tend to hail Gen Z — the generation of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 — as faultlessly woke, a shining example of progressive values leading the charge to a better future. Unfortunately, it would seem even the wokest generation just can’t help but hold deeply problematic ideas about women. According to a new survey from UK anti-extremism charity HOPE not hate, half of Gen Z men believe feminism “has gone too far and makes it harder for men to succeed.”
The “Young People in the Time of COVID-19” report took the ideological temperature of young people in the UK amid the pandemic, surveying 2,076 16- to 24-year-olds on their beliefs and political leanings. The results suggest many young men see feminism as a threat, rejecting it as “an ideology that displaces men.” According to the survey, only 21 percent of male participants do not agree that feminism has gone too far, and one in five were found to have “negative views” about feminists.
The report authors attribute this troubling prevalence of anti-feminist sentiment to the rise of reactionary groups and ideologies like the mens’ rights movement and pick-up artist culture. According to the study’s authors, these groups and ideologies represent new tactics and connections that provide “a slip road to the far right, appealing to young men feeling emasculated in an age of changing social norms.”
Moreover, the report warns that anti-feminist attitudes may correspond with similarly negative sentiments against other minority groups:
While not all misogynists share racist views and not every white supremacist is a misogynist, our research has increasingly witnessed how online men’s rights and anti-feminist communities work to advance a racist political agenda. A backlash against feminism aligns male supremacy with white supremacy, as it plays on white male insecurities to push back against progressive values and increasingly liberal social norms.
Anyway, it seems those young men concerned that feminism has gone too far can rest assured misogyny is still alive and well.
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