Half of young men believe that feminism has “gone too far and makes it harder for men to succeed”, according to a new report from anti-extremism charity HOPE not hate.
The “Young People in the Time of COVID-19” report, released today, surveyed 2,076 16 to 24-year-olds on their ideological beliefs during the pandemic. It found that only 21 percent of male participants do not agree that feminism has gone too far. Only 39 percent believe it is a more dangerous time to be a woman than a man in Britain today, while nearly one in five hold “negative” views about feminists.
HOPE not hate links this anti-feminist sentiment among men in the younger millennial and Generation Z demographic with far-right ideology. The report warns: “Men’s rights and anti-feminism are increasingly become a slip road to the far right, appealing to young men feeling emasculated in an age of changing social norms.”
Sam Smethers, chief executive of feminist charity The Fawcett Society told VICE News: “This data is consistent with previous Fawcett research which found that there is a significant proportion of young men who feel threatened by feminism and also that younger men are more likely than older men to describe themselves as feminists, so opinion is polarised.”
"This explains the high levels of misogyny, abuse, casualised violence and objectification women experience every day,” Smethers added. “We need a step change in men's attitudes if we are going to reverse it."
Joe Levenson, director of communications and campaigns at feminist charity Young Women’s Trust, told VICE News says many young women still face issues of sexism: “Our own polling at the end of last year found that nearly 70 percent of young women aged 18 to 24 call themselves feminist, and say that sexism is a major problem in the UK.”
Alongside feminism, HOPE not hate’s report detailed the pessimism Gen Z feels in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost half (44 percent) say that mental health is the biggest issue they face today, while 55 percent feel that the pandemic has reduced their options for the future.