Why Are So Many Guys Online So Angry?

As a woman who spends a lot of time online, I’m often shocked at the sheer amount of hatred and fury I see coming from guys. Whether on social media or even in the comments section of news articles, so many men seem to have a lot of pent-up anger they just have to get out, and they end up directing it in every direction (often women’s). What’s up with that?

  1. Maybe men find it easier to express their anger. If you think about it, this doesn’t just happen online but it happens in real life too. Women who have learned to be polite and not throw a fit (that is, most of us) grow up to be women who won’t march into a place and lose their cool or punch someone’s lights out. Men, on the other hand, are often brought up differently, especially without the pressure to be “nice” or “ladylike.” (Ugh, don’t you hate the “ladylike” pressure?!) Sure, men experience pressure to hide their sadness and be a man, which is also unfair. But when they need to express anger, this can be a lot easier for them.
  2. Men seem to express “explosive” anger. Not only is expressing anger encouraged more in little boys than girls, anger is something that adult men experience more than women – and it’s explosive anger. Harvard researchers who studied anger found that explosive anger, which is out of proportion to the situation at hand, is twice as likely to occur in adult men. In addition, men are more likely to kill and be killed and to commit suicide.
  3. Why the rage against women? There are many guys online who moan about how women are all gold diggers/cheats/liars. This could come from their own issues, of course, but it’s unfair to blame every woman for what a few have done to them. It sometimes feels like there’s this belief that women are the enemy, and it’s scary.
  4. It’s insecure men who do this. Anyone who has so much anger and rage surely has other issues at play. As they say, anger could be hiding some other emotion, such as hurt. But why is this something that’s coming out against women in general, like in the form of an anti-feminist backlash? Because that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s scary to think that anti-feminist men get together and pull resources to fight against feminism, but that is what happens. One of the most disturbing things is that by doing this, they’re basically downplaying what issues and injustices women experience on a daily basis. Even though we’ve come so far, we’re still getting knocked down at every turn.
  5. It’s not anger, it’s hate. As Open Democracy quite perfectly points out, “We haven’t suggested that men shouldn’t be angry. But if anger is directed in an abusive and oppressive way toward women, rather than toward gender norms which impact both men and women, then it’s hateful, and not okay.” It’s not okay for a man to tell you that you’re a bitch because you’re a feminist or because you’re a woman. It’s not okay for men to be sexist or to claim that feminism is stupid or useless.
  6. These men don’t want to listen. The issue isn’t just that some men online are attacking women in the dating game, such as by claiming all women are toxic or stating that all their exes were crazy (whatever, dude). There’s something much deeper that’s at play. This involves how men want to complain about their own problems instead of considering what women are saying. There’s this rush to strip away what women are trying to express and to stall equality. It’s competitive BS. Men should embrace feminism instead of fight against it. What good would that do, anyway?
  7. Feminism is about equality. It’s not about competing against men. If that’s the assumption men are making, which is why they’re so angry, then they need to realize that they’re mistaken. Then maybe they’ll stop saying things like how the world needs a male movement or women are taking over too much. That’s just ridiculous.
  8. There’s a lot of misogyny in our society. Misogyny, or the hatred of women, is all around us. It’s not always easy to spot a guy who hates women as it can be a bit subtle at first. The guy might treat women differently when compared to men, such as in the workplace, or he might act cocky and controlling, and even compete against women. It’s a power trip, basically, and it’s happening all around us. You don’t have to search far to see it in all its nastiness on social media.
  9. In fact, it flares up on social media. While misogyny can sometimes seem subtle when it’s happening in real life, like the guy who shows signs of benign sexism, it seems to flare up on social media. One of the reasons for this is because it’s a lot easier to let loose from behind the comfort and protection of a screen. What cowards these men are!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.