A different title for this blog post could have been Why “Women Against Feminism” Makes Me Want To Scream, Escape to the Forest, and Live Out My Days as a Hermit but that seemed too long. Anyways.
Women Against Feminism. It is a Facebook page and Tumblr account that is quickly gaining more likes and follows on a daily basis, currently hovering around the 8,000 mark. Its goal? To perpetuate the negative stigma that is currently associated with the term feminism, and those that self identify as feminists. All feminists are man hating, no armpit shaving, bra burning, loud mouthed, victims of the “patriarchy” that currently controls the world we live in.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that, much like every other social or political ideology, there are extremists. That is just how the world works. Feminism is no exception to this rule. There are extremists, what the world has come to call “Femanazi’s” or “RadFem’s” that seemingly shout louder and stomp harder than the rest of us feminists. Unfortunately, at every opportunity to explain that those radicals are not part of the true movement, feminists like myself are always told that they represent the movement now, because we are not doing enough to quiet them. Well, excuse me for not barging into their homes and silencing them, whatever that means. But I will try to shout louder. That is what I am trying to do here, anyhow.
But it seems to me, and anyone else who is keeping score, that those of us who truly identify as feminists and support equal rights for everyone far outnumber the radicals in the movement. But more often than not, people are unwilling to pay attention to those attempting to make sense and push for change because they are distracted by those who are making a fuss over something completely ridiculous. Much like I have spent the past day looking at this stupid Facebook page – because it enrages me – people will pay attention to radicals.
My main issue with Women Against Feminism is their continued misconception of what feminism actually is. Enter the page and you are confronted with a host of pictures, most, if not all, in a “woman holds up piece of paper near face with scribble on it” fashion common amongst teenagers on the internet. Most of the signs say things like “I am not a victim,” “I am not objectified by our society,” or “I don’t need feminism because I love being a wife” and all that jazz. Which is cool. That’s great that you think those things. But you know what? I am a feminist, and never have I ever played the victim. Why? Because that is not what feminism is about. Can you be a victim? Absolutely. Much like someone that loses their home in a hurricane is a victim of that storm, someone can be a victim of rape or oppression. Does that mean every single woman on earth therefore is a victim? No. And you know what? Feminism and feminists do not claim this, either. (P.S., you can be a feminist and a wife. It’s not an either or situation.)
So when someone claims that feminism is an obsolete ideology because they themselves have never been oppressed, which is EXACTLY what is happening on this Facebook page, well, as you can imagine, it makes me want to do something like this:
Just because you yourself have never personally felt victimised or been marginalised for being a woman, does not mean that other women have not. And in case you want some examples, look outside of your own backyard. Look at other countries, and tell me that feminism is obsolete. Because, after all, feminism is about having choice. And women all over the world still don’t have that as an option.
But wait! Feminism is sexist! Because it is FEMinism. Amiright?
No. No you are not right. Feminism of course has the “fem” in it because women have been and continue to be marginalised all over the god damn planet, and if you for a second would like to argue, much like this Facebook page does, that that is not true, you need to take a moment, step back, and look the fuck around. I feel like I am beating a dead horse at this point, but seriously, just because you yourself have never personally felt oppressed as a woman or even as a person, for whatever reason, does not mean that something does not exist, or that someone, somewhere, does not need gender equality, racial equality, etc.
(Also, as an aside, enjoying sex doesn’t make me a feminist or a slut. It makes me human. And not cheating on my partner makes me a good person, not an anti-feminist. But according to this Facebook page and its followers, liking sex makes you a feminist? Can someone explain this to me? I am confused!)
I guess what really gets me about this page is that not only does it not understand what feminism is or what a feminist looks like, but that often people complain that they have been “repeatedly harassed” on the internet from so called feminists because of what they have said. Well, not that it makes it right, but, may I say on behalf of all netizens, welcome to the internet. I get harassed on an almost daily basis from people on the internet because I am a feminist, which is part of the reason I believe feminism still has a place even in Western society, where so many of these anti-feminists have said it is obsolete. Just by calling myself a feminist, I have opened myself up to attacks on the internet.
(My reaction when someone threatens me on the internet)
And that fucking sucks, and they are mean and hurtful, but you know what, it doesn’t mean that an ideology doesn’t need to exist just because you have been harassed on the web by someone that self identifies as a feminist, an MRA, a genie, whatever. If that were the case, for me, humans should not exist, because I am bombarded on Twitter daily by a whole slew of different people. You could say that you love puppies, and someone, somewhere, would call you a cat hater. Because people who have internet anonymity often suck. There. Now you know.
In conclusion, Women Against Feminism is ri-god-damn-diculous. Its followers claim to understand feminism; they don’t. They claim they are not victims; feminists never said they were. They claim there is no rape culture; there is, clearly they just don’t understand what it is. (See my blog about rape culture, yo.) They claim women are not oppressed; holy sweet mother of mercy would you just like to travel to a different country, like Saudi Arabia for example, for a day, JUST A DAY, and make that claim. They claim feminism is obsolete because we are equal to men; again, travel outside of your own backyard and look at what is happening. No, you know what, even in America when it comes to, oh lets say, the treatment of Women’s health, there’s an issue – stop ignoring it. Stop pretending like there is not a problem.
“I don’t need feminism because I am not marginalised or a victim.” Read as, I don’t need feminism because I have not personally been marginalised therefore no one has because apparently I am the centre of the universe, and the only person that matters.
By that logic, I have never felt like a victim of a racial hate crime. I guess racism doesn’t exist then, right? Right?! Racial equality is obsolete, right?