Entitlement and Apathy, The Case of Women Against Feminism

women against feminism
Antifeminist? No, this is what a very very privileged girl looks like.

A few weeks ago, evidence that feminism had done it’s job came in the unlikeliest of forms, paradoxically when news of an antifeminist Facebook page called Women Against Feminism (with it’s spin-off on tumblr womenagainstfeminism), went viral. On it, followers submit photos of themselves holding up notes explaining why they don’t need feminism. These range from statements like “I don’t need feminism because I respect all humans not just one gender” to “I don’t need feminism because I’m not a manipulative idiot playing victim.” As the images posted to the timeline spread through social networks world-wide, people everywhere scratched their heads and wondered, where did we go wrong? The Tumblr and FB page spawned thousands of angry comments and parodies ridiculing the movement (like this and this for example) proving how right Henrik Ibsen was when he wrote, “To live is to war with trolls.”

Arguably (though they may hate to admit it) feminism’s greatest accomplishment is the fact that Women Against Feminism even exists. Its members are clearly a very lucky group of women that have never been burned by gender inequality in their lives, and so they assume that it isn’t real. They can work where they want, date whomever they want, they can wear what they want, vote for who they want, they have seemingly absolute freedom. In a world where seeing is believing, when there’s no visible sexism in one’s immediate social circle, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that equality has been achieved, over and done with. Once you accept that fallacy, then any politically active feminists out there are naturally going to look like they’re fanatically fighting imaginary dragons.

In one post a young woman holds up a note that reads, “I’m not a feminist because the men in my life care about and respect me.” Over and over again, they repeat “I am not a victim” and “the only people I’ve ever felt oppressed by are feminists.” How unbelievably lucky to live in a reality where the mere existence of an ideology founded on social and political equality is the only thing that has ever made you feel bad. But the more important point here is that not being a victim yourself, does not mean that there are no victims whatsoever. Just because you’ve never seen or experienced something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s like that epicly relevant Dr. Seuss quote, “I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we too should have rights.”

For the members of Women Against Feminism, it’s clearly difficult to reach beyond their own front yards and social circles and understand that somewhere far beyond what they can perceive with their own eyes and ears, gender equality remains one of the biggest issues facing humanity. In the words of John Lennon, “Living is easy with your eyes closed.” It’s sad to know that we can become so comfortably blind and wrapped up in our own safe and cozy lives that we struggle to see that the very rights and comforts Women Against Feminism cite as reasons they don’t need feminism anymore, are privileges not afforded equally to everyone – even within their own community.

women against feminism antifeminist

The big question becomes, when did feminism become a nuisance to regular people who are either ignorant of, or misinformed about the state of the world? And why did it become synonymous with hating men? Male or female, the concept of feminism is about giving equal rights to those who don’t actually have it. And we’re not talking about the right to dominate or emasculate men, which so many seem to believe, we’re talking about protection from violence, jurisdiction over one’s own body, and political autonomy. Stuff that no human (man or woman) should ever be deprived of.

And the biggest irony of all is that, in a sense, Women Against Feminism is right. They don’t need feminism because everything in their perfect lives is working just fine. The reason the world become so angry by their anti-feminist notes isn’t simply because they were based on an inaccurate definition of feminism, but because the whole thing was tantamount to gloating. What these women are doing is identical to what would happen if the world’s richest 1% came together to form a group called Rich People Against The Poor and started posting selfies about how society at large should get rid of all financial aid on the premise that they, being filthy rich, have no need for it. Except in this case, Women Against Feminism is filthy rich in social privileges. Aside from being ignorant, it’s totally tactless.

women against feminism
It would be difficult to look her in the eyes and say she doesn’t need feminism, or that she’s just playing victim. Her husband brutally cut her face because he felt her dowry was insufficient. Powerful image by Adrian Fisk

From their submissions, it’s clear that the women of Women Against Feminism are doing just fine, but for the rest of the world, until we get to a point when gender based violence is no longer killing more women each year than cancer (and war and car accidents for that matter), and when sexual violence against women is no longer an “epidemic” problem with 1 in 5 women sexually assaulted in the US alone, and when women are finally earning the same amount as men for doing the exact same jobs, the rest of us are going to continue to need someone to fight for women’s equality.

And though there are a number of radical feminist groups whose views can come across as hateful towards men, it would be a mistake to think that they represent all feminists. It’s the Fallacy of Exclusion, in which a trait seen in one group is viewed as exclusive to that group, allowing one small part speak for the whole. There are crazy fanatical people everywhere, in every group and organization, and it is unfortunate that these groups tend to be the loudest. Radicalization is not inherent to feminism, but inherent to being human, much like compassion, empathy and kindness are. All characteristics more worthy of our attention than hate, whether that hate is focused on feminists, antifeminists or just women in general. And therein lies the rub of the Women Against Feminism movement, it’s essentially about tearing something down instead of creating something positive. What good does it actually do, and who benefits? We can’t be sure, though who loses is painfully clear.

So no, Women Against Feminism, there is no hate here. In fact, we’re really happy for you. It must be really awesome not to need feminism. Our only hope is that one day, the rest of the world will be able to say the same.

 

Natalia Borecka

Natalia is the editor in chief and publisher of Lone Wolf Magazine. She founded the publication in 2012.

18 Comments
  1. Very well written, with a very balanced outlook. I completely agree with you. Women Against Feminism drives me mad; mainly because I find those who support it to be grossly misinformed. I agree that it is because of the feminist efforts made by previous generations that they now believe they themselves no longer need it. I cannot imagine a woman in today’s society wanting to go back to 1919 and accepting her “role” in the society.
    I’ve been studying third wave feminism a lot lately and I really wouldn’t be surprised if this WAF somehow falls under it. Irony!

    1. Talking about roles in sociotey, how many women were forced to go to war again?

      How many women serve equal jail sentances for the exact same crimes commited by men?

      1. Feminists care about these issues too. Feminists care very much about benevolent sexism. The issues you brought up are not feminism’s fault, but it is something that feminism hopes to fix.

        1. Dillon Mather says:

          You’re delusional. The point that the “women against femenism” is making is that femenists only care about issues concerning themselves. Women are taught not to blame themselves for their life’s own misfortune or own poor judgment (we are instructed to refer to this as “blaming the victim”), and the only people left to blame, if you won’t blame yourself, are the men. The reason women aren’t paid as much as men is not a patriarchal conspiracy. It’s because you don’t ask for more money. Men do.
          And we have to, cause our wife doesn’t work and just stays home and plays peek-a-boo. Instead of going to college or cultivating a career skill, she got married and became a mother. But, she had a great rack and I’m a dummy myself so I married her. Women rely on their body and baby making ability in society so much it becomes unconscious and self harming. Men don’t have this option. So we have to learn other ways to be competitive.
          Women aren’t represented in politics because they don’t want to become a career politician. She’d rather stay home and play peek-a-boo.
          If you have a co dependent personality. Don’t blame your partner if you find yourself in a co dependent relationship.
          No one takes advantage of you in life. You give it up to people. That’s what it means to play the victim. And that’s how femenism teaches women to react. “Life is too hard and it’s not my fault as an adult to look out for myself. Or learn to work within the system like everyone else has to. Also my privileges are negligible compared to the ways I’m oppressed.” And by the way, if you fall into the trap a man/patriarchy set for you. How can you not break the chain and teach your daughter to avoid it? Or organize with the other mothers and do something about it?
          Mother’s and grandmother’s know how women are treated in society, and if it was unfair, they did nothing to arm their children with defenses against the harshness of reality.
          As an adult it’s up to all of us to learn to defend ourselves against the harshness of reality. Men know this. Because when men cry and say they are being treated unfairly. No one cares. That’s where femenism fails. It’s one sided cherry picking, taking the good parts of being a man, and skipping the responsibilities. With no interest in seeing the world from any perspective other than one that serves yourself.
          The point that women have historically opted out of military service is a good point. Women seem happy to allow men to fight their battles for them. Actually all the most dangerous, competitive, stressful jobs have historically, and contemporaneously, been done by men. Including defending the patriarchal nation you live in. All the way back to prehistory. Men had to risk death hunting wooly mammoths. While women could kick it by the fire and play peek-a-boo.
          In fact. Women did organize to make life easier for the next generation. It’s femenism. Which started in the 20th century. After men killed all the wooly mammoths. And travelled across oceans. And built buildings with A/C. After we did all the heavy lifting, women decided they don’t want to play peek-a-boo anymore. They want a nice office job with AC and a young secretary too. But they still didn’t want to go to war. Or even actually do the job that builds those buildings. If it’s between that and being a mother, I’ll be a mother. Men don’t have such a choice.

  2. Living is easy with eyes closed, what a perfect quote for these women. Very well said Natalia. I can’t help but think they are parroting what they are hearing from men or the churches in their lives. Ignoring stats or watching the newsEvery night and thinking pretty thoughts gets them through their day I guess. I sincerely hope their bubble never bursts and they are forced to see the real world, as we must. How nice for them to live in blissful ignorance and oblivion. My husband often says, women are their own worst enemies and sadly he is right, sigh.

  3. When American white-girl feminists stop using phoney statistics, like 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted, generated by advocacy research designed by pseudo-academics in women’s studies departments, and starts advocating for women in real patriarchies, instead of creating fictitious narratives, like we live in a “rape culture” then maybe people would take your generally dishonest arguments more seriously.

    1. what planet are you from?

    2. If you weren’t throwing a little kiddy rant we might take you seriously. Also, show your stats please.

      1. As fun as it is telling someone you disagree with to show proof or stats, it’s a bit rude and pointless to do so in defense of an article that gave no supporting evidence for anything that was stated. I’d say do not pass go, but it seems you’re still playing snakes and ladders.

  4. As a man born in 1971, who grew up around feminist his entire life. I am glad i made it this far with that much self hate. I use to think i should castrate myself for how horrible i was for being a man. It is the invisible shift of compassion from all humans to just women that is the damage of feminism. Feminism is so very powerful, feminism is the largest and most effective non-violent revolution in human history. We in the west live in a feminist world despite the bad shit that still goes on. Open your mind to the idea that there might be small repurcussions on men, like feeling like they live in a world that hates them, i know i felt that all my life. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/15/suicide-silence-depressed-men?CMP=twt_gu

    1. Natalia Borecka says:

      Jamie, the difficulty with feminism comes from it’s ambiguity. It’s kind of like calling yourself “religious” – it’ll mean vastly different things to different people depending on their personality. Feminism is open to interpretation, and you can take it as far as you want. But at that point it becomes a personal crusade that has little to do with the movement at large. Feminists don’t hate men, they hate the politics surrounding women’s bodies.

    2. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s I can tell you the feminist movement was desperately needed. I endured assgrabbing, breastsqueezing, unwanted kisses, etc. just to keep my waitress job. When I stopped going along to get along, I was fired when some trumped up work related offenses were hurled at me, including missing money which the manager himself was taking. I watched girls get fired for the same accusation. Missing money. They got tired of the game too. Pay is still unequal in many work environments, and more sickening acts of violence seem to be escalating towards women in third world countries. Look at what happens to the women in the military, and on college campuses. I like men. I don’t like what some of them do.

  5. A very biased, very shallow, and very misguided view of the entire Women Against Feminism movement. For one thing, there is no, absolutely no comparison between the feminists of the modern west and the feminists of the first wave. The current generation is just a bunch of fear mongering, hate inciting bigots who act like things are worse than ever for women in the west, when in fact they are better than they have ever been. They complain about elitist causes like corporate CEOs, school dress codes, pay differencea between multi-millionares, and Robin Thicke. They care nothing for the troubles of women in the third world. Those women are just a marketing scheme, a campaign slogan to press their own elitist, and sexist, personal agendas. If you really think those women are the reason Women Against Feminism is ALLOWED to exist, then you are sadly mistaken. Women Against Feminism was started because of feminists like those, and if the first wave feminists knew what modern feminists did in their names, they would absolutely disgusted.

    So your first premise is entirely inaccurate. Feminism is not the reason why such a movement is allowed to exist, but rather the work of dedicated, balanced, passionate, and loving individuals who cared more about society as a whole than they did about some stupid, gender based label. No one ever said that those women were not virtually 100% responsible for the advances women made, but don’t you dare take the credit for their works when the works of your own movement is pitiful at best.

    The second premise of which you completely misunderstand is that Women Against Feminism don’t care for women in the third world. You would be wrong. Human rights activists, people who care for all human beings and don’t divide them by petty difference such as GENDER, are the ones doing the most for those women. Not feminists. Many Women Against Feminism are human rights advocates. They are against feminism because feminism chooses to draw dividers and battle lines between the human populace when it sorts out issues, and then feminism concentrates solely on negative energy, namely anger and hate. “Scream, smash, and fight back against the patriarchy!” Directionless anger, and it is directionless given that no one can even pinpoint or quantify what or who the patriarchy actually is, is so much easier than support and love. Those women don’t need your voices screamed in the face of some rich white male tens of thousands miles away. They need shelter, food, water, medical attention, and asylum, things of which your movement is incapable of providing. You mistake a loathing of gender separation for apathy, and that’s just petty. Women Against Feminism choose to look beyond simple gender boundaries, a claim feminism used to champion, but now feminism is defined by gender boundaries. Why else would it label anything and everything under gender specific terms like “feminism” and “patriarchy”?

    Women Against Feminism are against you because you’ve become what you hate. You’re the sexist ones now. You’re the bigots. You’re the ignorant ones. You’re enforcing gender roles(on men). You’re bullying opponents and critics into silence. You’re screaming, shouting, and spewing hate, and you’re the patriarchy. This much is evident in how little you even try to understand Women Against Feminism. Dig a little deeper and you might find that Women Against Feminism and the feminists of old aren’t so different. They’re concerned with what’s right, not a stupid label.

  6. It’s a difficult situation here. I think the first picture (dichotomy) sums up a lot of people’s feelings (my own at times) quite well. Feminism is about addressing gender inequality, and largely seems to centre around men as privileged and women as lacking, and sometimes men as perpetrator and women as victim. Whilst both statements are quite relevant to developing countries (in terms of both privilege and violence), I don’t feel they are representative of the complexities in developed nations. In the west, men certainly do not have it all. Many of their advantages are arguably annulled by maladaptive societal expectations and downright poor role models, which would lead to increased rates of

    1. Incarceration (men 10 times more likely than women)
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4125.0main+features5210Jan%202013
    2. Suicide (men 3 to 4 times as likely as women)
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by+Subject/4125.0~Jan+2012~Main+Features~Suicides~3240
    3. Workplace Deaths (95% were men. Though it was only 111 that died, you get the idea. You could probably expand this to incorporate industrial accidents that resulted in permanent and significant disability)
    http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features20Jun+2011
    4. Physical Assault (6.5% men vs. 4.8% women, and further down it says women are more likely to report crime than men)
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4125.0main+features5120Jan%202013

    and so on….
    This is not in anyway meant to detract from or overlook the massive inequality AGAINST women when it comes to sexual assault, sexual harassment, pay inequalities and so on. These are serious matters. And I also acknowledge we (i.e. the west) come from a pretty recent dark past that was deeply misogynistic. But things have changed. Being a man is no longer in any way, shape or form a guarantee for significant or even noticeable advantage. The Atlantic said it best when describing the current state of patriarchy as hollow:

    “The hollow patriarchy keeps women from power and confounds male identity. (The average working-class guy has the strange experience of belonging to a gender that is railed against for having a lock on power, even as he has none of it.)”
    http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/the-masculine-mystique/309401/?single_page=true

    So, things have changed. They have become more complicated and moved far beyond the old dichotomies. But I don’t see that reflected in most feminist discourse. They seem stuck in the old dichotomies, and the disadvantage of being male is notably lacking in feminist critique.

    Personally, I feel it’s time for a more global look at what’s going wrong. Something that incorporates all genders. And while we’re at it, what about class/race/(dis)ability? Humanism is a much more inclusive movement, and one that I would be very happy to actively join in with.

    I do agree with the notion that ‘feminism’ has become quite ambiguous, and not all who would claim to be feminists are truly feminist.
    Kurt

  7. Naturally you nor did any of those commenting actually look beyond the surface and decided to make assumptions. If you actually took the time to you will indeed find many of the women at WAF HAVE been victims of sexism. They do not, as you ignorantly assume, have a perfect existence.
    I laughed out of my chair when you put the picture of the disfigured Indian girl. You see, many women in third world countries, you know, where women are really being institutionally oppressed, where women are REAL victims, and not bawling crybabies over things such as being said hi to by a man or a man wearing a tacky shirt, actually OPPOSE feminism on the BASIS they are fighting for HUMAN rights! So much for the repetitive bleating that “it’s so obvious feminism is for equality of all genders”.
    Malala (who has never identified herself as a feminist – only privileged comfort feminists like you have)took a bullet in her head fighting the very real fight for girls to be allowed to receive an education. What have you and the other feminists here ever done to substantively improve human conditions abroad – what have you done besides cry on the internet?

    1. Metaphone says:

      You spared me a comment, pal. How come there are so many feminists thinking other people’s sufferings are also about them, while in fact they’re just spoiled brats that are living in a world that’s too nice to them. Everything feminism in the first world focuses about is a bubble.

  8. Maybe it would be more pertinent to interview some of these WAFs instead of making assumptions about there lives. Get a true perspective please and then write an article.

  9. Melanie Pack says:

    Feminism- Men=Women
    Not feminism- men <Women
    If your against feminism, it would be hypocritical to vote, divorce an abusive husband, and yo want it to go back to how it was before Feminism.
    So obviously women who are against feminism don't know what they are talking about

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