That's right. Lots of people (both male and female) cannot tell the difference between a feminist man and a misogynist man. There are at least two kinds of sexism. Hostile sexism (HS) is active hostility to, and hatred of women. Benevolent sexism (BS for short) is patronizing towards women, it treats women as fragile, child-like, and innocent. These two types of sexism are not mutually exclusive, people with high levels of HS tend to be full of BS as well (and yes, benevolent sexism was given its name specifically so it could be abbreviated as "BS"). So you'd naturally expect feminist men who rejected BS to be regarded as upstanding people, while sexist men who endorsed BS to be derided and suspected of being misogynist. Sadly, this is not the case. In her study "Lay misperceptions of the relationship between men's benevolent and hostile sexism," Amy Yeung found that men who rejected benevolent sexism were usually considered to be misogynist, while men who endorsed it were regarded as having positive attitudes towards women. The only exception was when the men explicitly and repeated stated that their rejection of BS was motivated by feminist principles. In that case they were perceived significantly less negatively, but still negatively. This misperception only applied to men, women who rejected BS were correctly regarded as feminist, and women who endorsed it were correctly viewed as sexist. Similarly, Rudman and Fetterolf, in their study "How accurate are metaperceptions of sexism? Evidence for the illusion of antagonism between hostile and benevolent sexism" found that most people did not realize that Hostile Sexism and Benevolent Sexism were two sides of the same coin, and assumed that men who displayed BS attitudes towards women would not display HS attitudes as well. Bohner, Alborn, and Steiner did a similar study indicating women did not realize BS was a form of sexism and rated benevolent sexist men as more attractive than nonsexist men. I think this explains a lot. If people think that it's misogynist to not put a woman on a pedestal and not treat her as fragile and delicate, then the more successful feminism is, the less successful it will appear. If men are taught that it's good to treat women and men equally, and then act on that belief, society will appear more and more misogynist, since most people believe that treating men and women equally is a sign of misogyny. This also means we need to be on the lookout for Benevolent Sexism that is disguised as feminism. If someone says that a man is being sexist because they fail to treat women as emotionally fragile, child-like, pure, etc., that person needs to be called out on it.