There is a new internet movement and it would make all the women that came before us turn in their graves. “Women Against Feminism” is a tumblr user that features images of women holding up signs stating why they don’t need feminism and they’re so cringeworthy they make watching bad stand-up seem tolerable. These women have absolutely no understanding of what feminism is. They’re apparently under the impression that feminism is for people who are “bitter and ugly inside and out“, want “special treatment”, “like to be victimized”, and “don’t enjoy sex”. At first glance, this complete misunderstanding of what feminism is might seem amusing, and quite frankly it’s so wrong that it would be laughable, if it wasn’t so deeply disturbing, and more prevalent than that website suggest.
I got attitude from all corners when I first moved to England. I used the word “feminist” about myself, and they way the other girls looked at me was comparable to how I imagine they’d look had I told them I had a lethal disease that was transferable through just breathing the same air I did. It didn’t surprise me. We’d just had a conversation about rape culture, and I’d explained how bad it was here and they all disagreed, apparently because where they were from (other places in England) it was “much worse”. Yet even being aware of rape culture as a concept, they neglected to see how prevalent it was all around them just because it was even more prevalent in other places, and they still vehemently insisted that they “didn’t need feminism”. At first I (silently) excused them because they were after all a few years younger than me. Then I realized that at their age I was very much aware of women’s rights and indeed considered myself a feminist, and changed my mind. Let’s do a social experiment, antifeminist women.
The Non-Femininst Women Experiment
In this experiment, we’re going to create our own country. These are the rules (if you’re a woman):
1. You’re not allowed to vote.
2. Most of you have to stay at home.
3. If you do work , don’t expect to earn more than 3/4 of what your male colleagues earn even if you do more than they do.
4. Kidding, you’re not going to be doing what men do – that’s men’s jobs and women can’t do them.
5. If you’re sexually harassed by your male employers, you have no rights. Just enjoy the attention.
6. If you’re married, you’re not allowed to refuse your husband sex. Just be glad he still wants to touch you.
7. Sexual liberation? Forget it.
8. No contraception.
9. No abortion.
10. You’re not allowed to wear a bikini.
11. In fact, you’re not allowed to wear anything deemed inappropriate by your husband or other male authority figures.
12. Yes, you should consider your husband a male authority figure.
13. Do you really want me to keep going?
In case you weren’t aware, this is what life looked like to women in a not-so-distant past. Those women got sick of it. Those women fought it. Those women were feminists, and it’s their legacy you’re tainting if you, as a woman, say that you don’t need feminism. It may be true that (in most countries) this is not what our lives look like anymore, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still battles to fight. Victim blaming in cases of sexual assault, salary differences between men and women, and indeed the competition, jealousy, and hatred between women, just to name a few. I believe the last one is one of the reasons women insist they “don’t need feminism”. We’ve been socially conditioned to believe that our worth is measured in how much male attention we can get and how much men like us, and what better way to make men like you, than to make sure they know you absolutely love them? If we can find worth within ourselves as the wonderful women we are, male attention and appreciation from desired individuals is something to be enjoyed, but having men constantly overstepping boundaries and then finding excuses for their behaviour and telling us we should just be happy that anyone desires us is rape culture. It’s oppressive, it’s anti-women, and it’s anti-feminist. Additionally, there are so many countries where women are still only a shadow of society, and while you might think you don’t need feminism, they still do.
If you want to read more about “Women Against Feminism” by people who are much more talented writers than I am, check out this article and this one that points out that apparently “Women Against Feminism” need men because jars. Let me just add, that feminism just means complete equality between the sexes, and therefore many, many wonderful men also identify as feminists. Feminism is not just for women, but – probably due to the “femi” in its title – people seem unable to grasp this concept. Do you believe that women and men are equally worthy? Then you are feminist.
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