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Feminist/Gender Theory, Pop Culture, Society and Politics

A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism.’

Imagine this:

The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.

Your world is full of freedom and possibility.

Then you pick up a newspaper or go online. You read about angry women ranting about sexism and inequality. You see phrases like ‘rape-culture’ and ‘slut-shaming.’ You furrow your brow and think to yourself: ‘What are they so angry about? There is no such thing as sexism anymore.’

Now imagine this:

The year is 2013. You are a 25 year-old Pakistani woman. A few months ago, you married the man you love. A man you choose for yourself. You are also pregnant with his child. You see your life stretching out before you, filled with hope and happiness. Suddenly, you and your husband are dragged away from each other. You are both beaten with bricks and batons. You can’t fight back. You can’t escape. No one comes to help you. Through your fading vision, you look up, and look into the eyes of one of your assailants: into the eyes of your father.

The year is 2013. You are a 23 year-old Indian woman. You are a physiotherapy student with a promising career ahead of you. You are sitting on a private bus travelling home alone on a warm December evening. You gaze out of the window as the buildings of New Dheli rush past you and feel content. Suddenly, a blunt force hits the back of your head and you fall to the floor of the bus. A group of strange men are standing over you. They bring the metal bar down on you again and again and again until all you can taste is the blood filling up your mouth. You pray that you will die soon. And you do, but not then. You are raped, beaten, and tortured over and over again. Death is slow and agonising.

The year is 2014. You are a 13 year-old girl from Niger. You no longer live there though. You are now living in the neighbouring country Nigeria, sitting alone in small room on a small bed in a small apartment high above the city of Kano. You are not allowed to leave. Your stomach is swollen from the unwanted life growing inside of it. You had no choice. The father is a man in his 40s. He is a businessman. He has bought you as his wife. You were a penniless, uneducated girl when he came for you. You don’t know of any life you could have had. Neither did your family: just one less mouth for them to feed. You still have the body of a child, and it’s straining under the pressure from the one inside of you. You feel like you’re about to be split in two. You don’t wonder if you will survive the birth. A part of you doesn’t want to.

These are fictionalised accounts of real events that have happened to real women living in our world today. They follow the past 250 years of women and men campaigning for women to be given equal rights to men to prevent these kinds of injustices and abuses on the grounds of gender taking place. Over the course of this time, campaigners – Feminists, both female and male – have been locked up, beaten, tortured, and even killed, in the pursuit of equality. They did this with pen and ink and print; they did this with their voices; they did this with their bodies; they did this with art and music; they did in courts of law and halls and houses of government that they fought be to allowed into.

They did this so that women would no longer been seen as property, livestock, breeding machines, sex objects, punching bags, or infantile morons. They did this not just for themselves, but also for their daughters, and their daughters, and their daughters for generations to come. They did this for women they would never meet – women who lived across countries, across vast oceans, across the entire globe, and even across time.

They did this so that women like me – a white Western woman – could attend school and university; to learn to read, write, and think critically; to gain a degree; to get a job and be paid an equal salary to a man in the same position; and to sit here with my own computer and type all of this.

Feminism is a movement for freedom, equality, choice, love, compassion, respect, solidarity, and education. We may argue, we may disagree, we may struggle to understand the choices and perspectives of others sometimes, but these core beliefs of the movement have never changed, and they never will.

That is why I am a Feminist.

If you feel that you have so far lived your life unaffected by even the mildest form of sexism – anything from feeling uncomfortable when a man catcalls you in the street, to feeling scared walking home alone at night in a secluded area – and are treated with love and respect by every man in your life, then to you I say: I’m glad for you. If you don’t think you need feminism, then that is a victory for the movement. You have fulfilled all those dreams that every suffragette being force-fed in prison and every ‘witch’ burnt at the stake dreamed you would one day.

But perhaps take a second to consider the life of the Pakistani woman who was beaten to death by her own family for marrying a man of her choosing. Or the life of the Indian woman who was raped, beaten, and murdered on a bus by a gang of men. Or the life of the little girl in Niger who was sold to a man more than twice her own age and forced to carry a baby that may kill her to deliver. Do they still need feminism?

And perhaps take a second to consider this too: Even in our liberal, Western world, why do women still only fill 24% of senior management jobs? Why are more women than men domestically abused or even killed every week at the hands of their male partner or ex-partner? Why is there still a pay gap (in the UK specifically) of 15% for women doing the same jobs and working the same hours as men?

And what about on a cultural level? Have you ever noticed how comedy panel shows usually only have one female panellist compared to 4-5 male ones? That almost every dieting product on the market is solely aimed at women? How a lot of newspapers and advertising campaigns will use a sexualised or pornographic image of a woman to sell news or products that have nothing to do with sex?

Or perhaps on a personal level: Do you choose to wear certain clothes because you want to or because you feel ‘unfeminine’ if you don’t? Do you choose to cover yourself up because you want to or because you feel ashamed or intimidated by a man looking at your body? Do you shave your legs and underarm hair because you want to or because you will look ‘ugly’ if you don’t? Did you parents dress you in pink as a baby because they liked the colour or because you were born a girl? Do you want to have children because you want to or because you are a woman?

When you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, do you see yourself through your own eyes, or through the eyes of the men that will look at you when you walk out the door?

The fact is, like it or not, you still live a world where gender matters. Where gender controls not just the entire course of your life – but the lives of women all over the world. Every second, a child will be born female in a country where she will persecuted for this random biological occurrence for the rest of her life. So before you hold up your anti-Feminist placard proudly and smile at your own sense of empowerment, think not what Feminism can do for you, but what it can do for that one girl. She needs someone to stand up for her. That someone could be you.

UPDATE: Click here to read my follow up to this article: ‘Equalism: The Feminist Alternative?’


This is a response to ‘Women Against Feminism’ groups on Tumblr and Facebook.

The stories of the women mentioned in this post were sourced from these sites:

http://feminist.org/blog/index.php/2014/05/29/pakistani-woman-stoned-to-death-for-marrying-a-man-of-her-own-choosing/

http://feminist.org/blog/index.php/2013/01/02/indias-tipping-point-death-of-rape-victim-sparks-global-outrage/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-27619295

Other facts and statistics were sourced from here:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/international-womens-day-2014-the-shocking-statistics-that-show-why-it-is-still-so-important-9177211.html

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1,400 thoughts on “A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism.’

  1. Beautifully written article …. Can’t avoid but looking at some of the comments and while there are loads of amazing ones appreciating this piece, there are still ones who jump the guns and jump to wrong conclusions and misunderstand what you are saying.. Well done again on the great article.

  2. 300bpm says:

    Again . . . I will say that IDEOLOGICAL FEMINISN, in its formal sense in western culture, is far, far too leftist for most American women.

    Feminists keep getting that answer, but they don’t like it, so they keep asking the same question over and over, hoping they’ll hear something else.

    YOU’RE NOT GONNA GET A DIFERENT ANSWER!!

    Cut back on the Marxist critical theory, cull the socialist whackos from your movement, and you WILL attract more American women.

    That’ll be hard to do, since the intellectual leaders of contemporary ideological feminism are LETISTS FIRST, FEMINISTS SECOND.

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  4. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking
    through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

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  6. Reblogged this on Jumbleskine and commented:
    This is the first post I reblog.
    I wanted to talk about feminism, what it is and why I am a feminist, for a long time, but this post explains perfectly what I wanted to say.
    There are other things not included here, but that will be another post.

    – Are you a feminist?
    -Aren’t you?

    • 300bpm says:

      Second and Third Wave Feminism – as an intellectual movement – is too rife with psycho Marxist BS for the majority of American women.

      It’s also rife with hypocrisy. Gloria Steinem calling for the end of ‘patriarchal capitalism’ while being paid piles of money for speaking engagements; Hollywood personalities lecturing us about ‘women’s rights’ while GLORIFYING violence against women via the crap they call ‘entertainment'; I could go on and on . . .

      Instead of asking the same question over and over again in hopes that you’ll get the answer you WANT TO HEAR, get rid of the Marxist critical theory and come back down to earth.

      Then you’ll attract more women.

  7. The Lone Wulf says:

    Because these women disagree with the very misandrist attitude of what passes for Feminism in America, Canada, Great Britain, et al., and honestly feel that they “Don’t Need Feminism” (while adamantly being for full gender equality, with 20% of people polled are claiming feminists while 80% want or feel that we have equality of sexes (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/16/feminism-poll_n_3094917.html)), they’re wrong because of a half-dozen Female Gender Study-cooked talking points that I could easily dispel via links to non-feminism-backed articles, massively-sourced studies, and collective information gathering done by law enforcement, reputable business management sources, respected financial experts, peer-reviewed doctorate papers, et cetera?
    You, like many “Feminists” miss the mark entirely. Instead of looking at what these women are saying about it and trying to understand the why and how, you try to find some way to bull them back into the herd, either by shaming (which I’m going to, sadly, put most of this article into), accusation of anti-feminism (I have been Anti-Feminist yet still a Humanist for more than 18 years.), “internalized misogyny,” rape-apologist, closet sexism, micro-aggressions, triggering, and whatever else is currently being hurled around the Twittersphere and blogosphere, or blanket-capturing: “If you’re for gender equality then you’re a feminist!” But we’re not because that is no longer what Feminism is about. Even the name itself, “Feminism,” shows sexism by claiming a slant that only benefits women.
    I would like you, if you possibly can, to try an experiment. For about a week, pretend that the dictionary/Wikipedia definition of “Feminism” is absent and you have to determine what feminism is purely by what you see in the available media. Watch the videos, read the article from a neutral stance. What do you find? Often times it’ll be angry, violent, overly-aggressive women who insult men and anyone not specifically in the pocket of Feminism and doing it all in the name of “Feminism.” You find “Big Red” claiming, much like any dictator, that if men would just get out of the way of Feminists that they would solve all of the problems while patently ignoring any injustice against men and in fact lauding the fact that 4 out of 5 suicides are committed by men. You will find the “facts” and statements put forward by “Feminists” (even in your own post, sadly enough) are debunked time after time after time after time, yet they still use these same gross exaggerations or outright lies to push for legislation that is aimed squarely at taking away the rights of men, specifically referencing “Yes means Yes” legislation that strips men (and only men) of the right of Due Process under the false assumptions that only men can be aggressors and women never lie about rape. You will find lauded Feminist leaders’ works that state that we should reduce male population to less than 10% of the population, only picking the best stock to be kept “Underground and in cages” and held purely for breeding, or worse, a nihilistic version that ultimately ends the human race and potentially all life on Earth by terminating ALL males. You’ll find articles about all the ills of the world and how they’re caused by men yet manage to completely ignore female leaders of the exact same evils as well as the male victims of said violence by not announcing them as men but, instead, as the non-descript term of “People.” You’ll find an article about a woman who chose to have an abortion *strictly because the fetus was shown to be male* and do so under the banner of “Feminism,” who then can’t understand why people have an issue with it, even going so far to claim that it’s purely because she’s a woman. You’ll find a woman who aggressively assaults a few young men simply for PEACEFULLY protesting against abortion, using a continuous slew of sexist and mostly Feminist insults, and it’s all caught on video. And so on and so forth.
    You’ll find all of this and then most likely still call yourself “Feminist” afterwards, even after seeing the unfortunately-pervasive aggression of the so-called movement and those who call themselves Feminists and how truly anti-male, sexist, and misandric they are or have become. And you’ll do it because you’ve been led to believe that it is such a noble pursuit mostly due to the ultimately exaggerated injustices of the past, regardless of evidence that goes to claim that while women could not vote, they also could not be taxed for their income (because they could have jobs and their pay was theirs and theirs alone with no responsibility to the family or home), could own property, could file for divorce, could do much of what a man could, they just simply weren’t expected or culturally required to do so. You’ll claim that you’re doing all of this for the women around the world who somehow need feminism even when their own people are happy to tell you why they feel that they don’t need it. Yet, while doing so, what exactly are you doing to improve the lives of these people? Writing a blog to “respond” about a growing number of women (and men) who do not agree with your view of Feminism.

    Now, after having written all this, I do want to say that I found your writing to be very well done. I am not here to bash you or your opinion, as much as it may seem. I am simply here to be a voice of polite opposition, to show the other side of it that you have, perhaps inadvertently, managed to not show in your blog post. I would also like to say that I hope you continue to be the writer you are here because you have a very clear talent for it. I would also like to suggest the likes of Girl Writes What (Karen Staughan: https://www.youtube.com/user/girlwriteswhat/videos) to understand more about the “Women Against Feminism” movement and Anti-Feminism as a whole as she says it far better than I ever could — and she’s a woman to boot.

    Be well! I hope you’ve had a most pleasant day.

  8. 300bpm says:

    @The Lone Wulf:

    Sounds like you’re as sick as I am of all these people who absolutely KNOW what’s going on inside my head. As if THEY have some magic ability that the rest of us don’t have.

    ‘internalized misogyny’

    ‘All men are a little sexist.’

    Etc, etc.

    This is the same lefty concept as ‘unconscious racism.’ It’s complete BULL___T. It’s subjective, po-mo nonsense that people pull out of thin air for PROPAGANDA PURPOSES. It’s not even an ARGUMENT; it’s a mere assertion. What matters in this world is HOW I ACT TOWARDS OTHERS. What’s going on inside my head is anyone’s guess unless I TELL THEM.

    NO ONE has a magical ability to suss out what’s going on in another person’s head. And NO ONE has a right to make unsubstantiated claims to that effect because they’re women, or they’re black, or they’re whatever. And NO ONE has a ‘right’ to make such claims because they come from an ‘official’ victim group.

    What’s really going on here is that via claims like ‘internalized misogyny’ or ‘unconscious racism,’ what liberal/leftist ideologues are attempting to do is characterize their opponents as ‘wrong’ or ‘misguided’ from the gate. It’s an attempt to silence debate BEFORE IT EVEN HAPPENS. Think about it; if I suffer from ‘internalized misogyny,’ then how can I possibly be right? Everything I believe MUST BE tainted by misogyny . . . therefore, not only is everything I say disqualified, I don’t even have a RIGHT to say anything.

    Edward Said did this with his book “Orientalism.’ His assertion (I won’t do it justice by calling it a ‘theory’) was that westerners are so tainted by their own ‘cultural hegemony,’ they are unable to make objective criticisms about other cultures. Hence, any criticism about another culture by westerners is ‘illegitimate.’

    Where do you think contemporary western feminists get their thinking from? Look to lefty, po-mo authors like Said. Look to Foucault. Look to Marcuse. It’s all about DE-LEGITIMIZING your opponent before the debate even starts. It’s INTELLECTUAL FASCISM.

  9. There’s a problem with this article. You describe women in white, middle class environments advocating feminism in that environment, and people wondering why? You then go on to describe horrors in a totally different environment. So are you saying that “white middle class feminism”, which advocates for women’s rights by talking about rape-culture, wage gap problems, etc, is the same as the feminism we need in India and Pakistan?

    I really can’t grasp this article because you’re talking about two entirely different things. You might as well be saying that we should be fighting for gay rights because white Rhinos are becoming extinct. 2 problems which have nothing to do with each other.

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  11. Peter A. Storm says:

    I would say that you give feminists a good name, but at this point this is not quite as applicable as I would like it to be – or simply put, it’s too late already. Let me elaborate.

    First, let us begin through defining my views. I am a liberal conservative atheist agnostic. I added all these adjectives to underline the fact that I might not be the “typical con” you might imagine and I strongly distance myself from most of people widely thought to be or calling themselves “conservatives”, as I consider them phony cynics or fools, seeking to excuse their hatred, wrath and selfishness.

    True conservative approach is to – most importantly – understand, accept and teach the Eternal Laws of Nature, which arrange the way our universe, our kind and our world will head, then to respect and preserve traditions, virtues, cultures, values and religions of respective societies, while finally also standing for rational thought, encouraging peaceful solutions if possible, protecting the liberties, perspectives and equal “starting” rights of an individual – which is opposed by modern attempts to adjust the world to humanly and subjective ideas of “what would be good” through establishing and execution of laws.

    I’d like to say that I’m still a strong critic of religion influence over state, especially in a formalized way, but as long as these people can only speak – but have no legal advantage – it is in your business to be an assertive enough person to deal with that, as there is no freedom without responsibility.

    Society is quite unification-loving by it’s nature, we won’t change this – but we cannot allow the law and government to artificially stand by only one side of the so many existing. If you are a minority, you always have to deal with majority and everyone is in a minority in at least a few aspects of life. The stranger you are, the better you should learn to cope with being the odd one. This IS some sort of “oppression”, but then again, as a conservative, I always view oppression against myself as an opportunity to learn countering attacks and to strengthen my will, because I grew to understand that certain harmful unpleasant mechanisms in the world will:
    1. Give you means of emerging wiser from a given experience.
    2. Not change anyway – at least not without time needed for natural evolution. Being a good person and trying to spread beliefs that I deem constructive is the best I can do to “hasten” or “give direction” to the course of things, while trying to fix the reality through excessive propaganda always does more harm than good.

    Having that said, I must admit that if all feminists were like you describe, I’d have a much better opinion on the whole movement. Now, especially in the first world, it seems more like a collective of anti-adapted to life, special-snowflake people – who just happen to be females – always trying to play the victim card because they don’t understand how to take advantages and avoid drawbacks of intrinsic aspects of their own – complete or apparent – gender. Furthermore, I’m worried that most of feminist movements support the idea of state intervention and the phenomenon I earlier criticized: the modern-day “fix it with a bill” delusion. Other than that, in my opinion, the whole movement itself is quite corrupted by hatred, frustration, authoritarian mentality, victim complex and egocentism – even if that is just a vocal minority, it is still of grand influence on the reputation of all.

    If you seek for a movement that truly supports equality and freedom, head for equalism. It is supporting equal rights of all and worldwide, while dynamically keeping an eye on respect for tradition AND remembering that sometimes it’s not as obvious as it seems: we face many situations where eg. men are treated unjust or where white people experience repercussions solely for the colour of their skin.
    It is still an approach that is a tad different from egalitarianism – I like to say that it’s the conservative’s counterpart of egalitarianism and I’m convinced that every self-respecting, rational and serious conservative has equalist views, even if they don’t name it this way, or they don’t label their views at all.
    The main difference is that we don’t deny or oppose the existence of a naturally-emerged elite (not a law-enforced, artificial “elite”, thus the plight for equality in law), it even further endorses it, seeing “joining the elite” as a grand, motivating goal for skilled and free individuals, which is a drive of humanity’s progress.

    Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

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  14. KL says:

    Strange how women like you do not think about why men are the overwhelming majority of victims in work related accidents and deaths…and not to mention Western men (American specifically) are still subject to genital mutilation (circumcision).

    You are right, there are certain parts in this world that women are oppressed and Women Against Feminism, if you actually cared to read the cards held up by these women instead of writing this knee jerk response of a diatribe, pointed out that Feminism in the Western World is no longer about equality and opportunity and freedom of choice. They are against the misandry that have permeated the movement.

    I bet you and the critics of Women Against Feminism never did took the time to read what these women have written,have you? Otherwise, spent this article actually refuting what they said.

    But you couldn’t.

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