Misandry, hostility toward men, is a reaction to misogyny and to the oppression of women throughout history, real or perceived. Radical feminism has spread extreme criticism of the male gender in popular culture, through literature, protests and public speeches. While feminism supports full equality between genders, radical feminism has emerged from the movement to proclaim female superiority and completely end the submissive role of women in society.
Through radical feminism, a movement that set out to bring both genders to the same level of influence and dignity has turned into a movement looking to establish a higher such level for women. This created male gender discrimination, or male sexism.
Julie M. Thompson, a feminist author, suggests that misandry is caused by envy of men. She references the term "penis envy," used by Sigmund Freud in his works on psychosexual development. However, this Freudian theory is highly controversial and criticized.
Anthropologist David Gilmore claims that misandry refers "not to the hatred of men as men, but to the hatred of men's traditional male role." However, radical feminists such as Marilyn French have repeatedly called men "the enemy" and have claimed that men hate women more than they know. Thus enthusiasts of the feminist cause have been led to believe that there needs to be a war between genders.