Tag Archives: what feminism is not

What Feminism Is Not: Anti-Feminism

2 Nov

First, I have a little coming out to do: I’m a women’s studies major. Alright.

Today, in a class of mine that is mostly other seniors who are women’s studies majors, we did some small group work to discuss future employment with our degrees. One of the women brought up a friend of hers who just moved somewhere and is having a lot of trouble finding a job. This friend apparently took a good number of women’s studies classes as well. While talking on the phone, her friend said, “What do you think the women’s studies department would think of me being a Budweiser girl?”

One would hope that my classmate told her something like, “It sucks if that’s your only opportunity for income right now,” and try to help her find something else or what have you. Well, no, she didn’t say that. Instead, my classmate said something about how “feminism is all about not doing what is expected of you, and, you know, if you like wearing low-cut shirts and stuff, do it”. My classmate also told us how her idea of feminism has changed and that she now thinks you don’t have to do everything that feminism approves of (which appears to mean “what those hairy man-haters approve of”… strange since I’m pretty sure she calls herself a feminist too).

Now let’s take a moment to deconstruct the hell out of that: “Feminism is all about not doing what is expected of you”. Who is expecting you do something? What kind of power do they have to impose expectations upon you? What are these expectations? To my classmate, the problem is feminism imposing the expectation that one should not sexually objectify themselves. To me, the problem is patriarchy expecting that women should be sexually objectified (and happy about it) as a service to men .

Let’s do a super cool feminism 101 exercise. Shout out the answer when you know it. Who has more power to impose behavioral expectations upon women… is it feminism or patriarchy? That’s right… patriarchy! Good job! You win a free trip to Hagsville! You also get 100 ladypoints if you just actually shouted “patriarchy!” out loud.

Clearly though, my classmate seems to have a different understanding of things (i.e. reality). To her, it’s those feminists with all that political clout (ha!) telling her friend that it’s bad to wear low-cut shirts, therefore, her friend should rebel against feminists and their supposed expectations. Because that’s what feminism is all about… rebelling against feminism. Got it.

Actually, feminism is about ending male supremacy. Got it?

What Feminism is Not

10 Aug

(Alternate title: “What Feminism Should Not Be”.)

*sharing tips about how to lessen your gag reflex response when giving blow jobs

*buying things that “support breast cancer research” and are, undoubtedly, pink

*using the language of capitalism to describe women’s options under patriarchy (ex: “a woman’s choice to be a prostitute”)

*(while we’re at it) saying “I choose my choice” non-ironically

*upon being called out by a POC/WOC for displaying white privilege, you refuse to seriously consider their concerns

*attacking folks who call you out on your ableist language (remember, this post is being written by a “crazy” person!)

*seeing no or few problems with relationships or pornography based on sexualized power dynamics

*not finding it problematic that “rape fantasies” are appealing to some people

*denying internalized self-objectification; saying things like “I do it for myself”, regarding wearing makeup, dressing a certain way, etc

*thinking that the personal isn’t all that political

*jumping at the chance to interject, “BUT I LOVE MEN!” to avoid the man-hating feminazi stereotype

*99.8% of the content of all episodes of Sex & the City (this is a generous approximation)

*photos of baby animals (but they do help you deal with the above items being done in the name of feminism)