But I keep thinking back to that conversation, and so many like it that I've had over time. Something bothers me about the way I represent my feminism when I'm speaking to people I know to be conservative. Because aside from the fact that most feminists don't want to be men, and aside from the fact that most women I've met who say they want to be men hate other women and avoid becoming friends with them (I'm not talking about transgender folk - I'm talking about female misogynists). Aside from all that... I'm troubled by the antagonism with which a man would say "feminists are women who want to be men."
Why does the idea of women wanting to be men bother these men so much? If imitation is the best compliment, then shouldn't they feel flattered that people who were born with two X chromosomes want to act like those who were born with one Y and one X? And if men and women are equal (as these men always assure me they believe), then a woman entering their midst isn't about to degrade men, now is it? And, perhaps most importantly, if men don't have any privileges and in fact have it way harder than women (as these men also tend to assure me), then shouldn't they be happy to share their burden with these women-who-act-like-men?
And yet, some men (some people - women included) are not happy about it. I can only conclude that those people who feel angry or threatened by women who act like men or who want to be men don't really believe those things I mentioned above. In fact, I would even hypothesize that they see womanhood as degrading and women who try to "become men" as stealing something that is above womanhood. Something that needs to be guarded and protected in order for men to maintain some sort of privilege.