Woman against ‘Women Against Feminism’
I honestly dream of the day when I can, truly, say ‘I don’t need feminism anymore, sexism no longer exists’. As simple or as impossible as that sounds, some women feel they can say that now. What is this magnificent utopia you speak of!? I hear you ask. Well, unfortunately, you’ll need to put your passport away, because, it only exists in the world of interwebs.
The tumblr blog ‘womenagainstfeminism’ (yes, you read that correctly, women against feminism) has received a lot of attention recently, and even scored an article on TIME online. The format of these anti-feminist inclinations appears to be an echo of the pro-feminist blog ‘who needs feminism?’ which encourages submissions from people explaining why they need feminism, often in the form of photos with handwritten placards and messages. But, instead of confident women calling out sexist bullshit in their day to day lives, ‘womenagainstfeminism’ slates modern day feminism for calling all women ‘victims’ and calling all men ‘predators’.
Now, almost anyone I know who calls themselves a feminist, know full well that a woman is not defined by her oppression, nor is a man’s natural state that of a rapist. In fact you could take a lot of these ‘messages’ change ‘I don’t need feminism because…’ to ‘I do support feminism because…’ and the message would still make sense. It all seems like a vast case of ignorance and misunderstanding of the differences between feminism and misandry.
Something that really bothers me when reading through ‘waf’ is the use of the word ‘victim’. In this blog it’s used like a slur, there is nothing worse you can be, than a victim. Feminism isn’t in the business of calling everyone who identifies as a woman as a victim, there’s an unfortunate and long history of oppression and violence against women that we can’t just sweep under the rug. However, I feel it’s important to ask, what’s wrong with being a victim? The label of victim does not have to be synonymous with fragile or weak, I feel that it is the exact opposite. Victims of violence, rape, abuse – these people are survivors and some of the strongest people in existence. Is a victim the worst thing you can be?
The whole thing genuinely saddens me, to think that these women feel that feminism isn’t an important and vital part of their livelihood, that their everyday activities have not at some point been impacted by feminism. The fact that these women are even entitled a voice is because of their feminist ancestors, male and female, fighting with their bodies and minds to ensure that women were no longer viewed simply as property, to ensure they could stand up and vote and not be treated as second class citizens. Their sacrifices have enabled these women to live far more privileged lives than the generations before them. You simply cannot reject a movement that gave you your freedom to do so.
When you forget about your privilege, remember the 137,000 girls and young women living with the consequences of FGM in the UK, remember the girl who passed out at a party and was raped repeatedly only to find out after the evidence was posted online, remember every woman who has to work late shifts to support her self/family and walks to her car with her keys between her fingers ‘just in case’.
I dream of the day I can say ‘I don’t need feminism’.
But, it’s not today.