‘Women Against Feminism’ is a bewildering new phenomenon that has recently swept Tumblr. The hash tag unites an assortment of overwhelmingly white, grammatically and linguistically challenged women who have taken to social media, adorned with placards, to explain why feminism is irrelevant to them.
Poor spelling and misplaced apostrophes aside, what is most startling about this collection of selfies is that these women do not actually know what feminism is. By definition, feminism espouses the social, political and economic equality between men and women – nothing more, nothing less.
The anonymous creator of the ‘Women Against Feminism’ Tumblr has listed some intriguing explanations for her adoption of ‘anti-feminism’. Despite what those opinionated feminists may tell you, equal rights exist right now, she insists:
‘Feminists are the only people who lose their minds with rage when you tell them that women already have the same exact rights as men. That’s not good enough. They want more. They desperately want to be victims. They want a privileged social position’.
Who would have thought that women would want to enjoy a privileged social position, much like the one that men have enjoyed for thousands of years! The list goes on in an increasingly incredulous fashion. According to the Women Against Feminism movement, feminism is a ‘helpless victim cult’ that endeavours to censor free speech and promote inequality, and is discriminatory because ‘fem’ refers to women. The hashtag argues there is no ‘patriarchy because a real patriarchy would not allow women to vote, divorce, go to college, have a career, live single, get abortions’.
Feminists, the Tumblr author claims, are hypocrites because they preach against slut shaming yet take to the streets and happily call themselves sluts. Not only that, but they police other women and inflate statistics about rape, which perpetuates the myth that we live in a culture that ‘teaches men to rape’. Feminists use abortion as a symbol of empowerment, she concludes, saying, ‘I don’t agree that I need to have my baby scraped out of my uterus in order to feel empowered’.
Despite being devoid of logic and accuracy, the ‘Women Against Feminism’ Tumblr has resonated with an increasing number of women who are readily jumping on the bandwagon. It may just be that this hashtag is an example of feminist backlash at work. Susan Faludi argued in Backlash in the early 90s that,
‘The anti-feminist backlash has been set off not by women’s achievement of full equality but by the increased possibility that they might win it. It is a pre-emptive strike that stops women long before they reach the finish line’.
Many of the women featured on the blog say that because they personally have not experienced sexism, it’s therefore not an issue. Yet just because sexism and gender specific discrimination hasn’t happened to these women, doesn’t mean it is not a problem, and for proof, one need not look any further than the wildly popular website Everyday Sexism.
Created by journalist Laura Bates, who was fed up with experiencing sexism, the Everyday Sexism website and Twitter account was established to encourage women to share their stories. The website has attracted over 10,000 first-hand accounts from women around the world and the corresponding hash tag regularly trends on Twitter. The sheer popularity of the project demonstrates that contrary to the claims of ‘Women Against Feminism’, gender discrimination still occurs and patriarchy is alive and kicking.
It remains to be seen whether the women of ‘Women Against Feminism’ have been brainwashed or are just ignorant to the pervasive sexism that is going on around the world. What this Tumblr does do successfully is demonstrate how necessary feminism still is today.
Despite this worrying trend, a small beacon of hope has emerged in the form of ‘Confused Cats Against Feminism.’ Sometimes you can’t fight fire with fire. But you can fight it with cats.