I’m troubled by my hatred of women

Dear Troubleshooter:

I am a man in my 20s. I keep stumbling in life, and I am troubled by my tendency to hate women.

My parents were constantly fighting, and separated when I was in fourth grade. I was bullied in junior high school, and my mother wouldn’t listen when I asked her if I could change schools.

I went to a public high school that used to be all female. There, I was bullied simply for being male, and I ended up leaving my kendo club. I failed the university entrance exam and entered a national university in the region. I couldn’t get a job offer from the company I wanted, so I became a local public servant.

My younger sister, who studied at a prestigious private girls’ school from junior high, looks down on me.

My girlfriend, who I came close to marrying, cheated on me. She ended up marrying that guy, and I did the relevant paperwork for her.

I feel good when I hear derogatory remarks about women, but at the same time, I am also aware that it is backward and socially unacceptable. I have mental health issues and am seeing a doctor regularly, but I can’t help but blame women for this too. What should I do?

— M

Dear Mr. M:

You have been treated badly by your mother, younger sister, classmates and girlfriend, and you have developed a strong hatred toward women. Your life must have been very difficult, but as I read your message, several questions came to my mind.

I suspect that it wasn’t just women who bullied you in junior high school. Weren’t there male members at the kendo club in high school? Your father, who separated with your mother, was of course a man. In this light, it seems that it wasn’t only women who treated you badly.

Nevertheless, you are focusing on the way women treated you. This may be because you have some expectations of women. It’s possible that you are hurt because your expectations were too high and now you are feeling disappointed.

I think many people would firstly be envious if they heard that you went from a public high school straight into a national university and became a local public servant.

There must have been things that did not go as expected, but that is life. If you try to look at the good and bad points of each person, including yourself, instead of thinking in terms of groups such as “women” or “public servants,” you may be able to see things differently.

— Yutaka Ono, psychiatrist