Gender balance. Illustration from/Forbes

A backlash against feminists and women’s rights activism is a growing trend around the world. Although notable progress has been made towards equality and women are now professors, CEOs, heads of state, and stereotypes about women are changing, attacks against women human rights defenders, and the legal status of women’s rights are increasingly imperiling many countries.

As the world marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, beginning the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, there’s a growing call for trends in feminist mobilization to be reinforced to counter the anti-rights backlash. It is reported that most increasing cases of violence against women are growing from the perception that women’s improving status in society must be hurting men’s opportunities.

Opponents claim that men’s issues and concerns are routinely being ignored, and male health, homelessness, and suicide have been historically under-discussed and underfunded. This argument, it is said, is fueling the idea that more freedom for women means that men and women are battling for power. Personalities accused of fueling this perception are social media influencer American-British Andrew Tate, and conservative Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson.

The growing “us vs. them” perspective is said to be emerging in political debate when one group feels threatened by another, generally when the other group is attaining power and resources. Such perceived competition may be further heightened if it is considered to be zero-sum — that is when individuals believe that one group’s gain requires another group’s loss.

People who believe this may be motivated to reverse progress on gender equality, sometimes becoming perpetrators themselves. Activists are now calling for more education that aims at bringing an understanding that equality benefits everyone, not just women, and economic growth, better health outcomes, and a wider range of opportunities for the whole population. Also is another call to promote positive male role models who embody the message of equality and bridging the divide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *