It being a brief Canadian summer, I haven’t spent much time on the Internet lately. My Twitter timeline is barren; my blogging has fallen by the wayside. Who has time to peruse blogs and comment forums when the beautiful weather is so fleeting? Now that I’ve made my online rounds, it appears that I missed the rise of a very important virtual movement, and you may have missed it, too.
Women Against Feminism, though now a year old, has gained traction in recent weeks. For BuzzFeed followers, it culminated in “
14 Women Say Why They Don’t Need Feminism
,” a compilation of images from the Women Against Feminism Facebook page depicting mainly millennial females with handwritten messages denouncing feminism. (Yikes!) Here’s why the following 14 Women Against Feminism statements are so misguided.
#1 I don’t need feminism because I can take responsibility for my actions. I believe in real equality. I am not a victim. I respect men and don’t need to belittle them to empower myself. It has turned from a rights movement to a sexist, corrupt, hateful organization. This is what an antifeminist looks like.
Firstly, feminism is defined as equality of the sexes, so this self-professed antifeminist is actually a feminist! Now, I assume what she is referring to in regards to “responsibility” is the false assumption that feminists made up inequality as an excuse as to why women have fewer opportunities than men. To dismiss inequality as something that died with suffrage is misguided. That’s like saying that racism ended when slavery was abolished, which we know to not be true. And, while I’m a feminist, I’m not hateful toward men—I only challenge those who don’t support gender equality.
#2 I need feminism because a boy said something mean and sexist to me, and, rather than tell him to F*CK OFF, I prefer to play the victim and write laws and social policy that punishes anyone who might offend me.
I’m all for calling out sexist remarks (see above). Unfortunately, movements like Women Against Feminism promote the idea that those who do condemn such comments are trolls.
#3 I don’t need feminism because… I respect ALL humans, not just one gender.
Whether feminists respect both genders or not, that doesn’t negate the positive force feminism has been throughout our history. However, I—and probably 99 percent of feminists—respect all humans, too. On the flipside, 100 percent of misogynists respect only half of all humans. I think we have them beat!
#4 I do not need feminism because I do not need a “leg up” to succeed. I am equal in America: I can vote. I receive equal pay. I can get an equal education. I can run for office. I refuse to join a hate movement.
You have the ability to (and therefore can) do all those things, but will you in the face of inequality? You might, might not. Only time will tell, since you’ve yet to hit the glass ceiling, young millennial. If you do realize your full earning potential later in life, it’s because of feminism. You’re welcome. Even in Canada, though, women, on average, make a fraction of what their male counterparts
earn on the job
—sometimes less than half, depending on the industry.
#5 I do not need feminism because: I am an adult who is capable of taking responsibility for myself and my actions. I define myself and drive my value by my own standards. I don’t need to be “empowered.” I am not a target for violence and there is no war against me. I respect men. I refuse to demonize them and blame them for my problems.
As a feminist, I’ve never attempted to empower women. In fact, I reject that brand of neofeminism made popular by highly sexualized celebrities like
. Not all women have been subjected to physical violence at the hands of a man (or a woman), but a startling proportion of us have. According to Statistics Canada, one in four Canadian girls will be sexually abused before the age of 18, compared to one in eight boys.
#6 I don’t need feminism because I support equality and because feminists take liberties to speak (scream/bitch) for “all women” in matters I don’t support, like the systematic oppression of men and their rights. Victimizing women and making us seem gulliable [sic] and feeble minded, instead of the sensual, sexy, strong women some of us still are!
Let’s get one thing straight: Men are not and have never been oppressed as a collective. And while this antifeminist says she supports equality, she describes us as “sensual” and “sexy,” rather than powerful, intelligent, independent or successful. Need I say more?
#7 I don’t need feminism in my life, only equality. I do not want to be part of a social movement that labels me as a “misogynist” and a “bitch” because I disagree with their views.
#8 I don’t need feminism because society does not objectify me, feminists are the ones that tell me that! Do I look oppressed?
Somehow I doubt there’s a single woman on this planet who hasn’t been objectified on some level. That being said, should one have slipped through the cracks, one can’t deny that female models and actresses as a whole are consistently objectified by media. If you still don’t believe me, watch this video:
#9 I need feminism to tell me that victimhood is better than empowerment.
I’m not quite sure why the word
keeps coming up. I certainly hope it’s not in reference to rape survivors. Feminism isn’t an excuse. Feminists don't shrug their shoulders when they fail and say, “Hey, we’re disadvantaged.” Feminism is a call to action so that society can one day reach true equality.
#10 I don’t need feminism because: I don’t need to demonize men. I don’t want anything that makes playing the victim “empowering.” Being a woman is not a disadvantage. Respecting my husband as the man in our marriage does not make me less of a woman!
A feminist would suggest you respect your husband as an equal in your marriage. Does that not sound fair?
#11 I don’t need feminism because I believe in quality, not entitlements and supremacy.
#12 I don’t need feminism b/c I don’t choose to ignore the fact men have issues too!
To this #NotAllMen supporter I say, please view this
#13 I don’t need feminism because I am NOT a victim.
I’m not a lesbian, but I need to live in a world where marriage is available to all. Inequality for some is inequality for all.
#14 I don’t need feminism because the men in my life care about and respect me! (Yeah… they do exist!)
If the men in your life care about and respect you, they’re feminists, too.
Photo courtesy of UN Women