One thing that has been weighing heavy on my mind is anti feminism between feminists.
A divided movement is no movement at all, but what is the movement? Who is a part of it? What are the goals?
Feminism is defined as the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
Equality. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. And yes, everyone is invited. Anyone who has ever been put down because of what they were born with is invited.
Why care about this now? Well it all started not too long ago while I was scrolling through social media. Which platform? I don’t remember, I frequent a lot of them inconsistently. It was months after the Women’s March inspired by Donald Trump’s acceptance into the office of President and a lot of women were both pissed and scared and the Women’s March was one of the results. They were given a hard time by a lot of people including other women: why?
There are a few different kinds of people who bashed this march:
- The people who believe feminism has accomplished all it was meant to
- the women who are embarrassed by association of the victim identity
- The people who believe all feminists are radical
- feminists who reject other feminists for “inauthenticity”
- the men who who wish to end it because they fear for their own place in society
- the women who enjoy being oppressed or don’t care
The first group merely disagrees that what contemporary feminism fights for is not worth fighting for. The fight is over; we can vote, own property, hold office, wear what we want, and own our bodies and reproduction (sort of). Women Against Feminism is a website for women who believe it is not what it used to be and are moving on.
The women who are embarrassed or irritated by the most recent wave are having a hard time with the label of “victim.” They find that the problem with identifying yourself as an oppressed group in need of attention and help shows that women are victims of a society that put them down, that they can’t do things without it seeming as if it’s more of an accomplishment for them because they still exist in a society where it’s more impressive that they climbed out of the box and into success and power. These women either rejected the term entirely of refer to themselves in a separate bracket. One example of rejecting the “victim” is Tomi Lahren’s Women’s Day segment on her old show Final Thoughts.
The third group exists. For every movement there will be radicals. I will not deny that there are radical feminists who truly believe all men should be shamed, blamed and are the only reason for rape culture. Anyone open to the idea of equality knows that both men and women are capable of violence and sexual assault. These women don’t really embody the idea of equality nor are they very helpful, but if every movement was defined by its radicals all would be ignored, discredited, or nullified.
The fourth group is varied as women seem to have differing ideas on what the feminist platform is. These arguments stem from the second wave where some women protested pornography as an extension of the male gaze and other supported it as a means of liberation and owning one’s own body. There are two I will address: those who reject others based on how they dress and those who reject others based on their association with a certain religion or ideology.
- Girly feminism- The male gaze has long been disputed as inescapable by environmental factors we are hardly conscious of. If you wish to read more about this, I recommend Mary Devereaux’s “Oppressive Texts, Resisting Readers and the Gendered Spectator.” Knowledge of the male gaze has not had much of an effect on fashion. Women continue to enjoy high heels, lipstick, push up bras, crop tops, low cut jeans and lingerie. Often I hear echoed both online and between my friends that we do not actually dress for men. We dress for ourselves more often than not because we enjoy how we look and some of those seemingly uncomfortable clothes are actually comfortable. Either way, feminists reject each other based on the fact that they enjoy skimpy clothes.
What they are forgetting is that equality is not about clothes. It’s not about how we decorate ourselves. It’s about equal opportunity and living inclusively of everyone.
2. The bipartisan political divide has separated marriages and relatives, so it’s not surprising to see that it has divided movements. Feminists are rejecting each other based on party platform and religious ideals. As Tomi Lahren is one of the most fierce feminists I’ve ever heard, so here’s another video that serves as a prime example: The first thirty seconds reveal her own struggles as a conservative woman in media and the backlash she reads every day for supporting the Republican Party and Donald Trump. It’s understandable that many women don’t understand her support as he has said many sexist things during his political career and before it. The problem with this is that her support of Trump does not make her less of a woman who enjoys her rights. She addresses this at Turning Point USA’s Young Women’s Leadership Summit. She is being boxed out of a movement that inherently calls for inclusion of all women based on her political ideology. It is also worth noting that she was fired from her job at The Blaze for voicing her opinion on women’s rights to their own body in reference to abortion. One of the most conservative women on television was fired for proclaiming a pro-choice stance.
This also relates to her rejecting contemporary feminists for being “victims.” Her belief that the government should not pay for birth control and tampons does not make her the devil, it makes her fiscally conservative. She continually receives backlash despite the fact that she knows there are more issues for women at hand such as the pay gap and rape culture because she believes women are being dragged into a narrative they did not decide, and isn’t choice part of what makes a woman free?
The other two groups are small,
“According to the survey, just 20 percent of Americans — including 23 percent of women and 16 percent of men — consider themselves feminists. Another 8 percent consider themselves anti-feminists, while 63 percent said they are neither. But asked if they believe that “men and women should be social, political, and economic equals,” 82 percent of the survey respondents said they did, and just 9 percent said they did not. Equal percentages of men and women said they agreed with that statement, along with 87 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents and 76 percent of Republicans.”
What’s the point of a equality if we continue to box each other in based on sound bytes and prejudice? Why bother being democratic and peaceful if we just wish to burn each other? The word is losing it’s meaning and lest anyone forget that feminism is and always will be a movement toward equality and equality includes those who do not share the same exact views as yourself; that is living hypocrisy.