Bad Feminism

“Pop-feminism,” as a movement, valorises feelings above reason, cynicism above hope. It has regressed to a point where anything at all, no matter how irrational or how narcissistic, can be celebrated as ‘feminist’. Articles such as: I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorryor How Accepting Leggings as Pants Made Me a Better Feminist are shared wide and far on social media as feminist political statements.

Anyone can identify as a “feminist”. Even men who openly admit to domestic violence, such as Hugo Schwyzer. There are no boundaries, no benchmarks and no standards to which feminism will hold itself accountable.

It was not meant to be like this. In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft published The Vindication of the Rights of Women. Her basic hypothesis was that women are capable of reason; just as men are. Yet because women are denied a rigorous education, this capability is rarely expressed.

Wollstonecraft’s achievement was to extend Enlightenment principles to women. Women were rational. Women were not innately ignorant, or naive, but socialised to be that way because their educations were neglected. She wrote that the more educated women became, the better off society would be.

Yet, despite the gains women have made in public life, the model of female empowerment held up by the media, today, is pop-feminism. In magazines and online news-sites, feminism and fashion intermingle. Humanities graduates, who specialize in snark, but not much else, now claim to speak on all women’s behalf.

In 1797, Thomas Gisborne wrote An Enquiry into the Duties of the Female SexStating the case for women to be confined to the home, he argued: The science of legislation, of jurisprudence, of political economy; the conduct of government in all its executive functions; the abstruse researches of erudition … the knowledge indispensable in the wide field of commercial enterprise … these, and other studies, pursuits and occupations, assigned chiefly or entirely to men, demand the efforts of a mind endued with the powers of close and comprehensive reasoning, and of intense and continued application. [emphasis mine].

Fast forward to 2014, and in the pages of ‘proudly female biased’ online news-sites, beauty is showcased over technology and business. Instead of evidence-based feminism, we get anecdote and science denialism.

In December last year, pop-feminist Amanda Marcotte, wrote a piece titled Are Men Hard-Wired to Show Off Around Women? written in response to a Wall Street Journal article about the Cheerleader Effect (the tendency of men to modify their behaviour in the presence of women). Typical of a pop-feminist anti-science piece, Marcotte provides zero links to any of the studies discussed.

Like most pop-feminists, she builds a murky picture of a body of “studies” with dubious outcomes and a sinister premise. We never found out the titles of the studies, authors, or journals from which they are sourced. She writes, “no doubt the data is accurate, but it does not follow that it’s necessarily hard-wired.

After a quick perusal of the studies (some of which can be found here, here and here) I found that the term “hard-wired” is absent from all of them; as one would expect. Psychologists tend not to talk about the brain’s wiring; that’s what neuroscientists do. Psychologists look at function. Neuroscientists look at structure. Despite this ignorance, Marcotte has the gall to “debunk” an entire body of scientific work. Work, it seems, she may not have even read. Work, she has also hidden from the reader.

Almost every time a pop-feminist critiques science or a scientific study, their argument is built on a strawman. In general, pop-feminists misrepresent published scientific work without providing links to primary sources. Pop-feminist articles (found here and here) are generally put-together wholly from second-hand material – stories about studies – not the studies themselves. Not only is this bad feminist critique; it is bad journalism.

It is ironic that in 2014, the women who confirm Thomas Gisborne’s eighteenth century sentiments are feminists who enjoy the most media privilege. (Academics in gender tucked away in universities all over the world, have used close application to develop nuanced ideas). Pop-feminists have not.

And it is sad that we have reached a point where to criticise anything labelled as “feminist” is to invite a slur on one’s character. Slurs of  “sexism” are ubiquitous. Any disagreement – no matter how sensible – is “trolling,” “abuse” a “backlash” or a “silencing”. Women like me, who simply call for feminism to rediscover Enlightenment principles, are labelled “female misogynists” on Twitter. But the slurs really must stop. Writers who wear their ignorance as a badge of honour are not models of empowerment. News outlets should not have to disrespect women’s intelligence to make their platforms viable.

Women should be respected for the originality of their thought – regardless of their conformity to media-sanctioned ideologies. And the feminist label should not protect ill-conceived ideas with impunity.

Mary-Wollstonecraft-002

115 Comments

  1. ambroseanthonythompson

    I think this was proven the other day when the normal paparazzi questions the are blasted onto women were asked of a male actor who thought the questions so insane he swore. Women aren’t a different species of human.

  2. fireandair

    The most poisonous part of pop feminism to me is that it all seems to boil down to, “I want equality for me and my friends, but not for that bitch over there.” And aren’t we all “that bitch over there” to someone?

    Those idiot pop feminists, or whatever the hell they call themselves, have no idea how to disagree with other women in a civilized fashion. She’s either one of their clique or else it’s time-on-target, and they will unleash a hate-filled torrent of pure sexism. Ever heard a black politician from one side call another on the other side a “n*gger?” Of course not, and you never will. Black people are smart enough to know that that word lobbed against ANY black person damages all black people, whatever their political affiliation.

    And yet c*nt and wh*re are routinely slapped on women by women on the other side of any political fence. And watching them raise their voices when cute boys are around, so that the boys will hear them do it, is utterly sickening.

    Pop feminism is about equality for the speaker and her friends, and not at all for anyone else. They simply don’t seem to grasp that, like polio, sexism must be stamped out no matter who is in the cross-hairs, including women they don’t like. And that there are ways to disagree with a woman in a civilized and non-sexist fashion.

    Yet they think that that’s “going easy” on her
    “because she’s a woman,” which for some reason is the thing they fear being accused of more than anything. If they aren’t ripping that other bitch on the wrong side of the fence into bloody bits in the most sexist way possible, they are “going easy” on her. It’s insane. They have no clue how to deal with women outside their clique in a civilized way.

    People often say that if women were in charge of the world, there would be no war. Bullshit. Every war would last a total of two weeks, and all would culminate in a nuclear exchange.

    If you haven’t guessed by now, I am disgusted and depressed with the current state of feminism. Until “feminists” can learn, for example, to disagree with Sarah Palin’s pro-life stance with the same reasonable tone of voice that they would use for the equally pro-life Liberal Dream Boyfriend Jimmy Carter, we will get NOWHERE. Until “feminists” understand that the pro-choice, pro-gay, global-warming-is-real person who is making this comment can simultaneously:

    1) disagree with someone like Palin deeply, and yet
    2) refuse to engage in an orgy of c*nt and wh*re-laden language in saying so

    we will get precisely nowhere.

    1. Healing Slowly

      I nearly stood up and applauded as I read this comment. As a logical, intelligent and articulate woman, I’m often astounded by the sheer levels of ignorance that abounds in what I call extreme feminism. I call females who are extreme feminists, feminazis, because that is how they come across to me. They are militant in their ways, but they can produce no reasonable justification for behaving that way. Not only are these feminazis attacking other women, they’re emasculating men at every turn. The sad part about this, is that it’s been going on so long, that men are starting to emasculate themselves, in the hope that they will be able to get a woman. I’m sorry, but I much prefer my men to be masculine, just like I prefer women to be feminine. The differences between the genders aren’t something to be ashamed of. They should be celebrated, because they are the cornerstones of the survival and propagation of the human species.

    2. Robert

      Ever heard a black politician from one side call another on the other side a “n*gger?” Of course not, and you never will. Black people are smart enough to know that that word lobbed against ANY black person damages all black people, whatever their political affiliation.

      Yes, actually, I have. “Uncle Tom”, “House n***er”, “race traitor” and worse are generally thrown about as insults against black politicians who dare to disagree with the liberal orthodoxy. Just look at the vitriol spewed at Clarance Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, or any other conservative black politician. This is common in identity politics. Any rejection of one part of the dogma, no matter how well reasoned, is considered rejection of all of it, and for that the apostate must pay.

  3. kaiteking

    Great post! It isn’t just in the feminist arena that “activists” are using vague “studies” to prove their point. It blows my mind that people don’t understand (or care about) the importance of a simple little thing we learned about in high school, aka work cited. To be an expert of any subject all you have to do is post it to the internet – regardless of any real credibility. I see this happening in relation to medicine all the time. Medical journals and university studies are completely ignored in favor of whatever opinion the hottest celebrity is touting on social media.

  4. clearhaven

    This!!!!! God bless you for this post! Do you know how angry I get when a woman posts nude pics of herself on social media and then labels it as feminine empowerment?! How is that empowering when she is using it to get the attention of men? Thank you really, for bringing this up.

  5. Sandra Rawrs

    Thank you, finally someone says it! It bothers me that women like Lily Allen are heralded as feminists although they display little understanding of the concepts at hand. They give the entire movement a bad name.

  6. navigator1965

    The only criticism that I can make of this fine post is that it does not reflect the deeply entrenched influence of if not control over important aspects of society, which varied to some degree amongst the English speaking nations.

    The irrational behaviour of “pop” feminists (a.k.a. radical, ideological, gender, and gynocentric) can only be rationally explained via a forthcoming theory of gender narcissism.

  7. robinobishop

    Agreed, The problem is that feminism has moved beyond its core goal (equal pay and opportunity in the workplace) without finishing the job. Now that we are in the third wave of feminism, N.O.W. specifically rejects a central goal of focus. The Third Wave chooses not to have a structured or specific definition of feminism because many feel it is best to challenge the universal belief of what femininity is by embracing transgender and gender non conforming youth.

    1. Spinning For Difficulty

      I think the feminist movement (and those who can benefit from its existence) choose not to have a ‘structured or specific definition’ because all the specific and legitimate goals of feminism have been already been achieved (equal rights in law etc) and the movement does not want to admit these successes and be forced to admit that feminism is no longer needed.

      Instead, those who profit from feminism (well funded feminist groups, feminist speakers and authors, the ever growing state etc) want to perpetuate feminism as a movement – now based on slogans rather than clearly defined principles – and and use it to line their own pockets and implement their own agendas.

      So the problem is what issues can feminism tackle now that equality has been achieved in all key areas?

      This is why feminism now claims to be fighting for ‘equality for all’ (an extremely vague cause which nobody can argue with!). Feminism has even opened its doors to men now and is basically claiming that you are a human being and if you want society to be better than it is you are a feminist.

      Feminism is infiltrating every other social/ political movement and recruiting people there, and it is also going to groups like the LGBT ‘community’ and offering to help them in return for their support of feminism.

      If I’m making modern feminism seem like a cancer spreading throughout society that’s because it is.

      Now that we have achieved equal (often more than equal) rights and privileges there is no logical / factual grounds to still claim women are oppressed by society – and so feminists in their desperation now depict rational and fact-based criticism of feminist theory as a form of oppression itself.

      1. susanbjourney

        The goal of feminism has ALWAYS been: to liberate females from male oppression under patriarchy. Women are still being raped by males at a rate of 95% female victims to 5% male victims and 98% male perps to 2% female perps. Women are still in a tiny minority of leadership positions, e.g. there has never in 235+ years been a female President or Vice President of the United States. Women and girls are still subjected to alarming rates of domestic violence by male perps. Claiming that feminism is “over” now because it is “no longer needed” is utterly ignorant and frankly more than a little delusional. Women in Saudi Arabia still can’t even drive, much less say no when their husband wants to marry off their eight or nine-year-old daughter to a man in his 50’s. Women in Sudan are still having their external reproductive organs cut off with dirty broken glass. Women all over the Muslim world are still being brainwashed into thinking that it would be “immodest” and “shameful” for them to go outside and move their bodies in the fresh air without a black cloth sack covering them from head to toe. Women and girls from Bucharest to Hamburg to Hong Kong to Seattle to Mexico City are still being trafficked for rape for $$$ by criminal cartels. Feminism will be “done” when women as a class (especially girls) world-wide are no longer subjected to patriarchal oppression by males as a class.

    2. rabidya

      Feminism isn’t about equality. It’s about women’s liberation from men and patriarchy. Equal pay and opportunity in the workplace, while it is STILL a goal, was never the core goal. Also, what’s wrong with gender non-conformance?

  8. Eric

    Claire,

    Your premise is wrong. You’re judging pop feminism by a standard of critical, reasoned public discourse. Convincing people thoughtfully on the merits is not their intent. Their intent is propaganda, not consent. They’re trying to impose their preferred values as norms, stigmatize conflicting values, and disqualify proponents of politically incorrect ideas.

    The holders of political power are operating in accord with the pop feminists, so the practical incentives weigh toward propaganda over reason.

  9. Still Pool Monk

    I was going to write something with my WordPress app, but touched Reader and lost an hour!

    Great post; I really enjoyed reading it. I tend to chuck labels and ask anyone using one what they actually mean. Everything has become so complex, but the search for meaning brings wonderful closeness and understanding, don’t you think?

    Incidentally, when I’ve asked most of my women friends what they think of feminism the response has often been a smile and a shrug. ツ

  10. muffyyy420

    Reblogged this on Modern Mommy and commented:
    As a student of gender at a post-secondary institution, we mainly studied feminism with regards to social construction of the gender. That is how we as females identify and learn our gender as women. It takes into the consideration that one can be born biologically male or female, but identify with the other “assigned” gender. Since our studies mainly focuessed on that theme of femenism I unfortunately never studied the link between Wolltonecraft’s work ad pop-feminism as you call.
    Personally I am appaulled that fashion and feminism share such a comfortable bond now. Why is it that all women care to voice their opinions about is clothing, make-up or hair styles.
    Mary Wollstonecraft’s opinion was that women were capable of reason just as men are. Is it possible that even given the power of reason we still fall back into our assigned gender roles? Those same roles we’ve been ingrained with since birth?

    Why is it that we, as feminists, can’t simply respect the fact that being a feminist is about being pro-choice. We are about fighting for women to have the right to choose their own destiny.

    1. Nergal

      “Why is it that all women care to voice their opinions about is clothing, make-up or hair styles.
      Mary Wollstonecraft’s opinion was that women were capable of reason just as men are. Is it possible that even given the power of reason we still fall back into our assigned gender roles? Those same roles we’ve been ingrained with since birth?”

      Because “gender”, as you call it, doesn’t exist. That is, the idea that one can be born with female genitalia and still be a man, is not only false, but very nearly psychotic. The reason women prefer hair,make-up, and fashion to mathematics and logic is because the only biological purpose of a woman is to give birth to children. Fashion facilitates this. You are not being psychologically programmed from birth, like a fleshy robot,by ANYBODY. That idea is STUPID.

      People are a total of their environment,which has little impact on their actions and capabilities, and their biology, which has a lot of impact on their actions and capabilities. If you think that I am wrong, simply try to convince anyone that their own feces is as good a snack as strawberry shortcake.

      You cannot do it. People evolved over millions of years to avoid their own feces because those who didn’t…DIED from infectious diseases.

      Similarly, those women who pursued the feminist lifestyle when mankind was evolving… DIED without producing many, or any, children.

      There are SOME women who are capable of reason,like men are, these women are statistical outliers.Freak mutations.There are some women who are capable of powerlifting on par with juvenile males. Same difference. Statistical outliers. Most of the world of men will forever be off-limits to women,not because men are oppressing you, but simply because YOU CAN’T HANDLE IT.

      “Why is it that we, as feminists, can’t simply respect the fact that being a feminist is about being pro-choice. We are about fighting for women to have the right to choose their own destiny.”

      You remind me of the People’s Front of Judea, fighting the Roman imperialist oppressors for a man’s right to have babies.

      That’s you feminists.

      You’re not fighting The Patriarchy. As usual, you’re fighting another woman. Mother Nature. And Mother Nature is not a feminist.

      1. susanbjourney

        “Most of the world of men will forever be off-limits to women, not because men are oppressing you, but simply because YOU CAN’T HANDLE IT.”

        Thanks for the belly laugh!

        (Misogynist chest-thumpers are good for something after all: laughs!)

  11. neptune's Aura Astrology

    Personally i prefer the Pop Feminism to the Women are always victims and never perpetrator feminism – to me that is more harmful, it ignores the fact that women can be and are violent, that domestic abuse is domestic abuse no matter what sex perpetrates it and worse of all portrayal of women as weak defenseless victims reliant on their support, disables women it does not empower them.

    1. susanbjourney

      According to the FBI uniform crime statistics, 95% of rape victims are female and 98% of rapists are male. While recognizing that 5% of rape victims are male and 2% of rapists are female is appropriate, reality-based thinking, the whole “women are just as violent as men” meme is utter balderdash. Flinging it around simply obfuscates reality and makes it that much harder for us to solve problems and end the epidemic of sexual violence perpetrated against females by males within patriarchal cultures.

      1. neptune's Aura Astrology

        Rape is not the only violence and figures of women as abusers are often low because of the myth that women are maternal often men on the recieving end of domestic abuse from women are not taken seriously when it is reported. Children sexually abused by women also have a history of not being believed. To be counted in figures you need to be believed. Equality means equality we are equally capable of both good and bad!

    2. susanbjourney

      “Equality means equality” – yes, but it does not mean vapid promotion of false equivalencies and wishful thinking. Your post reminds me of the whole “all lesbians must use dental dams or else they’ll spread AIDS far and wide, because: equality” warning women got in the 1980’s. Ooops. ONE proven case of lesbian-to-lesbian transmission of AIDS in decades? Yeah, I guess HIV is not an MRA fringe group member – it doesn’t understand “equality” the way you do.

      1. neptune's Aura Astrology

        Yeah its vapid and ignorant to claim that daughters who are sexually abused by their mothers are ignored because they fit the wrong stereotype of abuse. It ignorant to claim that there are no shelters for abused husbands. I’ve never made the above claims because one they’d be wrong two I’m not ignorant or uneducated. Because I’m educated and not American I don’t indulge in fantasies where the rights and protection of children are less important than those of an adult.

  12. Spinning For Difficulty

    @ susanbjourney (there was no reply button)

    “…The goal of feminism has ALWAYS been: to liberate females from male oppression under patriarchy…”

    Patriarchy theory proposes men deliberately and successfully oppressed women (their mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends etc) and created a society to benefit men at the expense of women. By definition it defines men as sociopaths. Not only is patriarchy theory an embarrassingly over simplistic theory with no evidence to back it up (and mountains of evidence to refute it), it is also hugely insulting to both men and women – defining men as sociopaths and rapists and women as weak, stupid, victims.

    Do you think it was a coincidence that women only started to desire working outside the home AFTER the workplace environment had become a largely indoor, non-manual, safe, comfortable, centrally heated, mechanised environment?

    Do you honestly believe women desperately wanted to exchange places with men working down mines, ploughing fields (although plenty of women did that too), fish in the freezing seas in open wooden sailing boats without GPS or proper waterproof clothing, or building roads by hand?

    Do you believe it was men’s ‘privilege’ to break their backs doing manual labour as most men have had to do throughout history? Would YOU have traded places with a male coal miner or a worker in a shipyard two hundred years ago….. or a road builder or stone mason 500 years ago?

    Or would you have chosen to stay at home and look after the household – which was hard graft enough before all those evil patriarchal men had invented all of the labour saving devices we are so privileged to have today?

    Women as a group have never been oppressed by men as a group… instead men AND women AND children AND animals were all oppressed by harsh living conditions, lack of technology and the ruling classes made up of men AND women (kings and queens).

    Feminism and its ‘patriarchy theory’ is basically a bunch of miserable women claiming a monopoly on suffering and being a victim (“poor me” syndrome), while blaming men for every real or imaginary problem in their lives and teaching their sons that they are genetically programmed to be rapists – which is a form of child abuse!

    Were the millions of men (and boys) sent out to die in the trenches privileged? The men who built the maintain sewage system? The men who do the majority of shitty jobs in society? 94% of workplace deaths are men – is that a privilege?

    Where are these privileged men? Do tell.

    “….Women are still being raped by males at a rate of 95% female victims to 5% male victims and 98% male perps to 2% female perps..”

    Utter rubbish. The figures for rape and domestic abuse victims are both split roughly 50/ 50. Some studies now put male rape above female rape in the US. Where on earth did you get your figures from? Are you aware some studies now classify drunken sex as rape for a woman… but ‘made to penetrate’ for a men is NOT classed as rape? You see it’s all about depicting women as victims in order to get free stuff and special treatment.

    If feminists really wanted to stop rape they would condemn the hitting of children. 99.9999% of rapists and will have been hit as a child. Even today 90% of mothers admit to hitting their children. Feminists can go on TV and talk about hitting their children and this is socially acceptable. Can you imagine men talking about hitting their girlfriends on TV?!

    “….Women are still in a tiny minority of leadership positions, e.g. there has never in 235+ years been a female President or Vice President of the United States….”

    Presidents are not ‘leaders’ they are violent rulers. The majority of voters are women. Feminists love to use the violence of the state to get special treatment and ‘free stuff’ (resources extracted from the general population at gunpoint). The state is the ultimate ‘alpha male’ and feminists feed it. The state loves feminism because the more men are driven out of the home, out of children’s lives and out of society as a whole the more the state can take the place of men… except that men WORK and produce things of VALUE to society and for their families…. whereas the state produces nothing of value and VIOLENTLY STEALS all the wealth it redistributes to feminists. Feminism replaces partnerships with loving men (boyfriends, husbands) with partnerships with violent rulers (welfare dependent single moms). No group in society does more to encourage a ‘patriarchal’ society than the feminist movement.

    “.. Women and girls are still subjected to alarming rates of domestic violence by male perps….”

    Domestic abuse is split 50/ 50 between men and women. Again, where on earth are you getting your ‘facts’ from?

    Men are much more likely to be the victim of assault in public. The majority of child abuse is perpetrated by women.

    “…. Claiming that feminism is “over” now because it is “no longer needed” is utterly ignorant and frankly more than a little delusional…..”

    The only legitimate cause feminism can have is equal rights. Men and women have equal rights by law in almost all areas. The law is not always equal, but the inequalities benefit women just as much as they benefit men. The criminal court system, for example, gives enormous quantifiable privilege to women. Do feminists fight for equality in this area. No, of course they don’t. To do so would give equality to men, and feminists are not interested in equality for men, or children for that matter (otherwise they would condemn hitting them).

    “… Women in Saudi Arabia still can’t even drive, much less say no when their husband wants to marry off their eight or nine-year-old daughter to a man in his 50′s. Women in Sudan are still having their external reproductive organs cut off with dirty broken glass. Women all over the Muslim world are still being brainwashed into thinking that it would be “immodest” and “shameful” for them to go outside and move their bodies in the fresh air without a black cloth sack covering them from head to toe. Women and girls from Bucharest to Hamburg to Hong Kong to Seattle to Mexico City are still being trafficked for rape for $$$ by criminal cartels….”

    These are all issues specific to other cultures. They have nothing to do with feminism in the west, nor does it justify feminist patriarchy theory. If you want to campaign for any of these issues, go for it. But let’s take female genital mutilation. If you try to stop that you will be fighting against just as many women as men, and probably far more women than men. If women opposed the practice it would not happen.

    NEWSFLASH: women can be just as backward, mean, barbaric, savage and primitive as men. As a mother, could YOU allow your newborn baby girl or boy to be genitally mutilated? I would happily whack someone in the face to stop them from violently assaulting my baby. So I’m sorry to have to inform you that men and women are EQUALLY responsible for such barbaric practices.

    But according to feminist theory women are poor, innocent, weak, ‘acted upon’, fragile, victims… and only men are capable of doing harm in society. That’s rubbish.

    “…. Feminism will be “done” when women as a class (especially girls) world-wide are no longer subjected to patriarchal oppression by males as a class…..”

    That is soooooooooooooooo offensive. Feminism has brainwashed you into viewing men as oppressors. As a result you now have lost the capacity to feel empathy towards men. And that means you can no longer see men as victims, which means you cannot even see your own discriminatory and hateful attitudes against men as discriminatory and hateful.

    Let’s swap ‘men’ for ‘blacks’ and expose just how full of hate feminism has made you. You might want to sit down for this…..

    What you are effectively doing is looking at crime figures, ignoring all the crimes committed by whites, and only recognising the crimes that are committed by blacks. Even if a crime is committed jointly by blacks and whites you only define the blacks as criminals. Then as if that wasn’t bad enough, you are labelling ALL blacks as criminals, even if they have never committed a crime. Then you are constructing a narrative where blacks as a ‘class’ oppress whites as a ‘class’ by committing crimes against them. And having defined blacks as the oppressive criminal class you feel justified and even proud to discriminate against blacks, because in your mind it is not discrimination, it is self defence.

    When you swap ‘men’ for ‘blacks’ your views are exposed as hideously racist and offensive. This proves how feminism is just another an ideology of hate, disguising itself under a fraudulent threat narrative.

    In times of black slavery black people were dehumanised so that we’d feel no empathy towards them – they were called savages, criminals and rapists…… just like men are today.

    Threat Narrative Tropes

    Please stop spreading ignorance and hate. Thanks.

  13. allthedots

    I admit to being a “pop-culture feminist”, but I really like this article! The worst part is that that mainstream media exploits this watered down ‘pop feminism’ as a representative image for all feminists, making it another dimension for ridiculing women (in the form of straw feminist characters, along with the dumb blonde and mean chick and so on.)

    1. allthedots

      That being said, every social/political movement should be criticized and revised at all times. I support the feminists efforts to provide women with voting rights and access to education, but value claims should always be evaluated.

  14. specificnorthwest

    Agreed. I hate the crap thats circulating around facebook that just trashes men in the name of feminism. No one understands feminism is about reaching equality. Not about women competing with men or vice versa.

  15. Norman Doering (@DoeringNorman)

    I agree with what you are saying. Do you have blog posts where you name the other pop feminists, beyond just Amanda Marcotte, instead of talking about them generally?

    I can name some others I think dangerous:

    Gail Dines (she lies about the pornography men watch)
    Anita Sarkeesian (she lies about video games young men play)
    Catharine MacKinnon (feminist legal scholar)

    I’d like to compile a list and compare their tactics. A demonization of men is common.

  16. beelzibubbles

    Only upper class white women didn’t have to work. Working was not some glorious privilege afforded to anyone with a certain set of genitals, it was hard, it was dirty and it was dangerous. The proportion of men who had any amount of power was less than 1%, the rest were far from being privileged oppressors. They were working down mines, in factories, in the streets, building the houses with many of the lower class women toiling alongside them just wishing they were “oppressed” like the poor upper class white women. Men were being shamed by suffragettes (who didn’t want lower class or non-white women to vote) into being slaughtered in wars they had no choice in, they had no vote and when they did earn it with their service (which some women did as well), women had no such obligation and still don’t.
    Women could always own property but when they married it would become the “family” property. Women had the right to their own earnings while her husband was obligated to support her and ensure that she never had to spend her own money on her own or her children’s upkeep, if she did he had to reimburse her or go to prison. What was hers was hers and what was his was theirs.
    What I dislike about all feminism (aside from the obvious man hating or ~patriarchy~ bullshit they invented in the last few decades and now history is being seen through that lens) is just how in denial they are that women have ever achieved a single damned thing in the entire history of the world before feminism came along and declared women existed. Queens were powerless oppressed victims, female scientists must have really been men because women were never educated (and governesses never existed either, obviously), those female doctors must have just dived in with their surgical blades and got consistently lucky, the ladies and their servants were somehow of equal status, and so on and on and on. In theatre, breaches roles were taken more seriously than drag roles. A drag king could be taken seriously while a drag queen was always comedic. Some claim this was because women emulating their superiors was good while men sinking to the level of women was bad. But consider this, if a slave emulated his master what would become of him? Would he be celebrated or severely punished?
    Feminism denies women’s power that they’ve always had. Queens had the power to grant women whatever they wanted if they saw fit, but the women did not want it. Women had major influence, they were never obligated to almost certain death in someone else’s wars, it has long been recognised (well, before the suppression of certain aspects of history but I live near a library of historical archives so yay) that wives of male leaders would have a lot of say in the decisions their husband made. Many would even seduce an enemy or potential ally, with or without her husband’s knowledge, for information, blackmail or in exchange for something. They knew exactly what they had and how to use it.
    We have an awesome history in our own right, why soil it with such demeaning and infantalising nonsense? We can be “strong and independent” or we can be a pampered and protected victim class, we can’t be both.

  17. Steersman

    Great looking post which I’ll have to delve into a little later in more depth. But I thought I’d respond to your “no boundaries, no benchmarks” with something from one of my fave books, Philip Wylie’s Generation of Vipers (highly recommended). He’s referring to Christianity, particularly the dogmatic & narrow-minded versions (which seems to encompass most of the 38,000 branches), but it seems rather analogous to modern day “feminism”:

    You have considered this [USA] a Christian nation, all your life. Our constitution implies as much. But a minute’s thought might have shown you years ago – decades ago – that the United States of America was not in any real sense a Christian nation at all. Numerically? Less than half the people had even a nominal church membership. There goes your sacred majority. Dogmatically? Those who belonged to churches belonged to so many different faiths at swords points with each other on matters of creed and technique that even the definition of Christianity crumples to absurdity. You laughed over the medieval theologians who argued about the number of angels who could dance on a pin-point – and then deliberated petulantly on whether or not proper baptism consisted of a sprinkling with Holy Water, a complete immersion in a small swimming pool with the preacher in rubber boots, or a mere symbolic laying on of a minister’s hand wet in something that came unblessed out of a faucet. …. Religion in our Christian land was mostly puerile fiddle-faddle before science kicked it apart. [pgs 9,10; my emphasis]

  18. Gary

    Excellent article, couldn’t have said it better myself.
    As soon as I saw a woman come forward at one of these social justice conferences and say that science and logic are white male supremacist concepts (and see her get applause), I knew this movement was fucked.
    The other day, I genuinely found myself thinking “oh well, when social liberals buckle under their own inability to create moral principles, at least we’ll be able to ally with the crazy christians. They’re bat shit crazy but at least they still actually believe in something.”
    That’s some dark shit!

  19. Tarrou

    Sorry ladies, feminism is a poisoned well. Forty years of solipsism, misandry, silliness and partisan hackery have made the label toxic. If you stand for equality before the law for all people, regardless of race or sex, there’s humanism. Feminism is the fancy name for the hatred of men, the self-victimization of women, the exploitation and abuse of children, the denial of science, and the destruction of the family unit. And more of us learn that every day.

    The label has outlived its usefulness, it is time to let it go. Today, I react the same to feminists as I would to someone proudly proclaiming their KKK affiliation. You can claim it’s all really about equality, but your compatriots have given the lie to that protestation. Feminism is hate. Nothing more, nothing less.

  20. wittewbit

    This is very interesting. “Modern day feminists” have given a bad look on what feminism originally derived from, and it’s disheartening. The worst, I believe, is when self proclaimed “feminists” of modern day continually post offensive content via social media clearly targeting males. You clearly have the right ideas. Thank you, for being one of few modern-day feminists with original and true feministic ideals.

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