Women Against Feminism: Misinformed & Missing the Point
August 26, 2014
When I first heard about the Facebook group “Women Against Feminism,” which actually originated from a very popular Tumblr site, I honestly thought it was a parody. As a self-identified feminist, I found it hard to believe that so many people—the page has over 18,000 “likes” at the time this was written, not even counting their Tumblr followers—could possibly hate a movement that has led to essentially half of the population gaining basic civil rights, inching us closer to total equality regardless of gender. Simply put, I was angry.
But when I did finally check out the Facebook page, my anger subsided and was replaced with…confusion. While many of the people on the page stated they are staunchly against “feminism,” for the most part they were supportive of the positive impact that feminism has had on their lives. It actually seems that they don’t know what feminism stands for. My friends, family and teachers have always shown me that being a feminist and supporting feminism isn’t about hating on stay-at-home moms or walking around without a bra. It’s the idea that people, regardless of their gender, should be respected and treated as equals.
Looking through some of the photos submitted by supporters of “Women Against Feminism,” some of the recurring messages are, “I don’t need feminism because I like being a mom and wife for my family” and “I don’t need feminism because I respect men” and “I don’t need feminism because it rejects femininity.” I believe that the vast majority of feminists do not truly believe that feminism means never being a mom or wife, not respecting men and never being feminine. It’s about making sure women have the choice to be a mother, have a career or have both, among other things. It’s about the social, political and economic equality of all people, regardless of their sex or gender.
The Facebook page has sparked a variety of conversations across the Internet, but a more constructive dialogue might be had in a sex ed classroom. Too often, gender studies issues such as gender identity, gender expression, sexism and equality are ignored for the usual abstinence and—if you’re lucky—condoms routine. With a sex ed teacher and textbook to help better define these issues, people would be able to talk about topics like feminism in a more informed way with a teacher to help guide the process. That way, debates on these important issues could be a lot more informed and productive. Hopefully then, by talking about feminism and gender roles in the broader context of other sex ed topics like healthy relationships and consent—which feminism supports and advocates for—more women (and men!) would actually be for feminism and not against it.