Feminists: Present yourself as a female and nothing else, and that is how you will be treated

I have to hand it to the feminists – they certainly are making things happen. Web giants such as Facebook and Twitter are (or will be very shortly by the looks of it) changing their policies, in the UK government policy is being changed, important issues regarding social media and harassment are finally being dealt with. As I have mentioned before, all these issues are concerned with what should and shouldn’t be possible to do on the internet and that is a debate we need to have. However, what frightens me terribly is the fact that all these things are being done in accordance with the feminist agenda, and in some cases feminists are even dictating the changes altogether.

I find this incredibly disturbing – the entire new feminist wave is based on the idea of the ‘patriarchy’ and the fact that women have such a ‘long way to go’. I have no problem with people expressing these ideas, but the issue for me is that they are not a foregone conclusion – exactly who has proven that there is a ‘war on women’? Nobody! And yet this is being discussed as an absolute fact and allowed to dictate the agenda and actions of both commercial entities and government.

What we have here are a group of women who present themselves and their achievements solely on the basis of their gender. People like Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Catlin Moran etc. do what they do specifically as women. This strikes me as contradictory anyway, since the whole point of feminism is that gender shouldn’t be a massive factor in what someone can or can’t achieve, but the point here is that they, their purposes and agenda are overtly feminist and call attention to their gender.

And then we have the trolls. Trolls are people who get a kick out of saying the worst possible thing at the worst possible moment. This is an appalling, upsetting and immature thing to, but, once it has already become someone’s objective, what is the worst thing you can possibly say to a woman directly involved in the present day feminist wave? I’ll rape you. So that is what they said. Someone in the Times last Wednesday described their tactics as ‘classic trolling behaviour’, so its not as if this practice was invented to attack this particular group of women. Once again, I am not saying that this behaviour should not be stopped, simply that it is not evidence of a ‘war on women’.

When you couple this behaviour with the present atmosphere in which sexism has become the default explanation for any unpleasant behaviour or social problem, suddenly you get people taking the threats of trolls seriously. I believe that there is a very valid parallel to be drawn with the accusatory atmosphere that led to the Salem Witch trials – anything odd or unpleasant was immediately attributed to witchcraft – with disastrous consequences. Society and the media, wild with feminist frenzy, observe anything that might cause a woman distress and then constructs a narrative which attributes it to misogyny.

When trolls leave disgusting comments, say, after a child has died pretending to be that child telling its parents it is alive, we are rightly shocked. But do we construe from this a parent/child hating culture in which there is a war on the family? Do we decide that as a society we lack sympathy for the bereaved? Of course not! Disgusting comments that have been made to the editors of GQ Magazine about their One Direction covers have failed to offend anyone, as do graphic and vitriolic comments about Conservative politicians, yet these are not being construed as evidence that society is totally unbalanced.

I am sick of listening to people like Mary Beard on Woman’s Hour talking about how much ‘courage’ it takes for any female to speak in public. There is a huge amount of women out there who talk about themselves, how they approach life and everything they do from the stand point of their gender. How do these ppeople expect the idiots out there to react? There are loads of women with a public profile who do not receive graphic messages about what men think of their vaginas, and that’s probably because they are getting on with an honest day’s work rather than asking for a medal for being a woman. And what is the best thing to do if someone sends you an obscene message? Of course, if you believe there is a genuine threat then you need to inform the police, but is the best thing to do really to give these people huge amounts of publicity while at the same time giving other people obscene ideas? The trolls who recently targeted feminists have made headline news and will be remembered for it for a long time. Probably exactly the result they were looking for. And what do the targeted women get out of the publicity that it generated? Vindication of their cause.

I am sure that I will be accused of wanting women to suffer in silence after what I have written above; not at all. Both the authorities and Twitter/Facebook should be able to instantly suspend and take action against people who create obscene material without the media having to get involved, and the fact that this is changing is good. I am just appalled that feminism is the only force that seems to have the power to make things happen – and that they are essentially happening because of an ideology which takes everything as evidence of its own righteousness and that threatens to demonise anyone who dares to question its supremacy. Not to mention the fact that for abuse or threats against women to be taken more seriously than the terror that faces any other group is sexist and unfair in the extreme.

What would I have these vocal feminists do differently? Well, for a start stop making a career out of your gender when your philosophy is supposed to be about men and women being the same. Maybe go out and do something worthy of getting a your own face on a banknote rather than spend your life campaigning for positive discrimination. Perhaps you could take a leaf out of the book of Susie Wolff, who despite having experienced people thinking she might not be able to become a Formula 1 Driver because she’s a woman very proudly states “I’m not going to play the card ‘I’m a girl so give me the car I’m fast enough’”.

I have seen people responding to the targeted feminists with messages of support. Of course, I have no problem with this – when someone has said hurtful things to you support from others really makes a difference. But some of these are really quite telling of what is actually going on here. Many of them praise these women for being ‘brave’ in the face of abuse. OK, even if we assume that society is so biased against women that becoming a women’s rights activist is in itself incredibly frightening and dangerous, surely once you have already become an activist these kinds of messages are exactly what you want to stand up against and exactly the kind of evidence you want that you are right. These women are all about bringing so-called sexism to the public eye, so what do you expect them to do? Quietly report it to the police and then drum up no public support at all. Oh, and nobody supports these women, do they? One of the most worrying comments I read involved someone saying that one of these women should keep fighting because ‘you have helped me feel so much less alone’. How are 52% of the world’s population supposed to be alone? Reading this you’d think we were all locked in cupboards! Has this woman turned on a TV, opened a newspaper or looked at the internet recently? How can she not see that anyone who doesn’t support feminism is being laughed out of the room? If they think they are alone maybe they should try being one of the people who doesn’t think feminism is the answer for a while.

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About femalefedupwithfeminism

I am a very proud non feminist female. I believe that women and men are equally valid as people and I don't think women need an 'ism' to prove this. I don't believe in the 'patriarchy'. I don't believe that it is harder to be a woman than to be a man. I don't believe that everything that is gender specific is automatically sexist. I do not hate or wish harm to anyone; I simply believe that there is a more mature and constructive way of dealing with many of the problems faced by both men and women in today's confusing and changing world than applying what is essentially a fundamentalist ideology to every aspect of society and culture.
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20 Responses to Feminists: Present yourself as a female and nothing else, and that is how you will be treated

  1. David M. Green says:

    I tend to be a skeptic when it comes to claims made by feminists and require hard evidence and not just their say so. Since feminists have a well known history of making things up though self fulfilling studies designed to get the desired result, taking stats out of context and out right fabrication.

  2. This stuff is so scary, the fact all these things are getting co-opted by feminism, and its endless ‘victim-hood’. What made you as a girl decide feminism is a sham?

    • Hi Erudite Knight – sorry it’s taken me a while to respond. Haven’t been in front of a computer very much! For me it was the being told that I wasn’t equal! The fact that the way feminism is pitched takes for granted that the default state of a human being is not to believe that women are just as valid as men, and that feminism is what one declares when one has rejected that. It makes so many assumptions and I see it as philosophically invalid!

  3. wtfwtf13 says:

    ” How can she not see that anyone who doesn’t support feminism is being laughed out of the room? ”

    To me this is the most worrying part ,it points to a bankruptcy of the intellect of the lay public.
    The tyrannical hold that pop culture has over people’s minds is frightening.We all seem to have our own personal holy cows.
    Feminism is the new religion on the block.

  4. anonymous says:

    David M Green, that’s such a moronic thing to say. Really now.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading this entry, and while I don’t agree with everything you’ve said, I do agree with you that “balance” and “perspective” are grossly amiss with modern-day BRITISH feminists. I am a feminist, or would certainly classify myself as one, but I also believe that women have the right to pose on Page 3 if they so choose and would certainly never wish to ban it. “Freedom” is key here – the freedom to choose.

    I am also American and have noticed that “feminist ideology” in the UK has become a left-wing media agenda, and doesn’t always have a basis in fact. Yours is a far more liberal society than much of my own: the fact that women don’t have to fight for the right to terminate a pregnancy, if they so choose. Marital law here is stacked VERY HEAVILY in favour of women. Believe me, I know – I am the former wife of a Briton. Family law is also stacked VERY HEAVILY in favour of women here. Believe me, I know – I am the mother of a British child from a British man.

    I also DO NOT support censorship. The US censors lots of things, all the damn time: the Harry Potter series has been banned from many libraries in religious states. Many states have removed Darwin’s Theory from the curriculum and replaced it with Creationism. For a country that bangs on about being “A Free Country” we are considerably less free than many of the very countries we condemn for crimes against humanity.

    The thing about this issue that upsets me most, and makes me feel very very worried, is that the perpetrators are young men – not losers like Levi Bellfield, sat in a bedset, watching porn and wanking all day, but young, educated boys – boys who are educated here, from good schools, raised in modern Britain. And they are displaying a level of misogyny that worries me. That’s the biggest issue for me: the threat of ‘rape’ – the single most violating act of control and humiliation acted upon a person. The utter contempt of that suggestion should not be taken lightly – even in cyberspace.

    • Many thanks for your post – although I don’t have a problem with calling someone a moron if you want to I would prefer if you stated the exact logic behind it. I really want my blog to be somewhere that people use logic and separate fact from opinion. I’m not saying I’m not prone to bias myself by any means!

      I really appreciate everything you have said and love the fact that there are so many points we agree on. I also fully agree that people sending awful messages is a problem and needs to be dealt with, however I think that the term ‘misogyny’ is being thrown around an awful lot these days and is not always being used for situation in which men necessarily hate women. I know the revulsion at a person who has committed a sex offense is very high, but just because someone has committed a sex offense/harassment against another person does not necessarily mean that they hate that person’s entire gender. It doesn’t even mean that they hate that person – a sexual offense might be committed because someone feels angry for example. That doesn’t make it right of course, but it’s a subtlety that I think is being overlooked here.

      • anonymous says:

        I didn’t call David M Green, personally, a moron. I said his comment is a moronic thing to say:

        Since feminists have a well known history of making things up though self fulfilling studies designed to get the desired result, taking stats out of context and out right fabrication.

        It’s as moronic as saying: “Priests have a well known history of sodomising children…”

    • I think David made a good point and that it was not moronic. Having read books written by Christina H Sommers, Renee Denfeld and Erin Pizzey there is a lot of dodgy stats and advocacy research arising from feminist literature. Men are in more danger of being victims of violent crimes than women. Domestic violence is not a gender issue and wife on husband violence is about the same level as husband on wife violence; statistics which are ignored. Erin Pizzey was the subject of death threats by other feminists when she told some simple facts about domestic violence. What would she know? She only started the world’s first women’s refuge and spent years involved in the field.

      The worrying thing about the Twitter troll moral panic is the automatic labeling of men, all men as potential misogynists and rapists. Some of the comments about men I have read in other fora if made about Jews, Asians or Africans would cause an absolute outrage.

  5. anonymous says:

    I think you’re arguing semantics about the term misogyny and its use. In a civilised society, we abide by certain inalienable social mores, regardless of culture or gender: we don’t spray paint a swastika on a Jewish person’s home; we don’t burn a cross on a black man’s front lawn; we don’t threaten a woman with rape.

    • innegative says:

      It is a semantic question though when you accuse a troll of misogyny. You can say “it’s an uncivilised and unpleasant thing to say to a woman”, but from that, you can’t conclude “he hates women” or even that particular woman. He may be baiting a feminist with incendiary symbols and have no emotional attachment to anything other than the outrage.

      Feminists don’t argue “X is a terrible thing to say to another human being”, which is reasonable. They say “they are misogynists and prove the patriarchy and therefore prove the symbolic value of our own identity politics”. To pervert Descartes: ‘Trolls type therefore we are.’

      Another thing to ponder on is the extent to which the assumption of binary sex identities and a ‘war on women’ creates the war. If you have a vociferous and vocal group committed to the idea that there is definitely a war against women, the consequence is surely to make a war against men. Certainly, you get the impression reading the comments that a lot of men feel under attack by this kind of language and so the language creates its own counter-conflict and again proves the feminist’s position by creating a war that needn’t have been fought. Much of the problem is the assumption that there are ‘men’ and ‘women’ – all men have penises, but not all men are trolls. All trolls are annoying, but not all trolls use images of rape. Etc. You can make the same case for sex assaults – not all are hate-based. Binary systems make for terrible filters through which to perceive reality. Each person is their own unique case and any worthwhile feminism would try to acknowledge and converse with this fact..

      • Thanks for posting innegative – you make a lot of points I would have made here myself. From my own stand point semantics is a really important issue in my criticism – I genuinely believe that the term feminism (as opposed to just using the word equality) has contributed a lot to the fact that this whole issue has become so fraught in many ways.

  6. Hey there, I’m a feminist, by which I mean I have an academic interest in gender and consider it separate from biological sex, and I have an interest in misogyny and where it comes from and little interest in answering that question too quickly or categorically, and I have an interest in women’s rights and women’s well-being – well, everyone’s well-being, really. We’re in agreement about one crucial thing, this wave of feminism sweeping the media now is destructive and worrying. My heart sinks every time I see women saying the social media is teaching them so much about “rape culture”. I’m actually pretty horrified to see them getting their way so much lately, by which I mean the anti-pornography legislation, the fact that Kat Banyard seems to be getting her way regarding lads’ mags, and so on. And, above this, the fact that they’re insisting they speak for “women” in general (they don’t, plenty of women feel like you do), that it’s important for as many women as possible to identify as feminist (that’s bullshit, what anyone identifies as is totally irrelevant), and the sheer degree of “no brainers”, like they don’t even want to consider thinking about things before condemning them.
    They treat women who won’t call themselves feminists like idiots or traitors. They call for the boycott of female popstars who won’t call themselves feminist. They problematise primarily things that women enjoy, in terms of pop culture and so on. They claim everything for their particularly victorian brand of “feminism”. They browbeat reluctant celebrities into calling themselves feminists. Their explanations for everything are hasty and lazy.
    And, David M. Green has a point, their “findings” should not be taken as information or at face value, because they mainly conduct their “research” on stuff they can’t bear to look at. There’s something to be said for State censorship, like the British Board of Film Censorship – they pay groups of trained people to view a movie or look at a videogame and decide if it’s suitable for a twelve-year-old. When you’re looking at a feminist appraisal of a pop culture artefact, you’re looking at a damsel in distress shrieking at a horrible thing she just saw that she wants to go away. I suppose where we differ is that I think this is at least partly linked to sex inequality – the fact that certain people – unimportant that they’re women – are marginalised and have little access to the means to conduct any meaningful analysis. Feminists have never been equipped for this. Whenever they’ve come close, it’s come to nothing. What we’re looking at now is barely even feminism, it’s some horrible victorian hysteria that has taken the name so it can dispose of it. When Kat Banyard says things like “I’m going to take this revolution and finish it” – this is what she means. At least, I think this is a more plausible explanation than feminism being some sort of force or conspiracy that’s conniving to obtain privileges for women or something of the sort, which is mostly what I’ve seen from MRAs and frankly it doesn’t convince me.

    Anyway – we agree that the current wave of feminism is destructive and that it’s a heartbreaking thing to watch as well as pretty infuriating. Now, is there anything we can do about it other than blog and define ourselves against them? Because it’s all very well to agree but it doesn’t do very much.

    • Wow! Thanks so much for a great reply. Actually there are a couple of ideas I’m thinking about/working on about how to ‘do’ something – which I’m hoping to blog about soon! This blog itself was my first step but I agree its unlikely to change that many opinions. I’d love to chat about this – perhaps over email? I’m not really going to be available over the weekend but any time next week would be great!

    • Some feminists will describe themselves as not “that sort of feminist” or describe other feminists as not being “real feminists”. I have heard a lot of Christians talk about the more worrying fundamentalist Christians in the same way..Ditto with Marxists and Muslims. There are equity feminists just as there are moderate Christians but they have no real influence. Politicians do not shake at the knees in their presence.as they do in the presence of fundamentalist Christians of gender feminists. I think feminism is too tainted by all the negatives of what feminism has become for any reasonable person to associate with the word. I think feminism has become an embarrassment to the left where my political sympathies lie.

      • swampcapybara says:

        I take it this is meant for me? If so, I didn’t describe myself as “not that sort of feminist”, because what we’re seeing in the media right now (and, heck, in government legislation in the UK at least) isn’t feminism, it has the name, but it’s basically conservatism, it has the trappings of conservatism, it uses the same hysterical tabloid language as the Daily Mail. It’s not on the left – I’ve met much hostility towards working-class people in the feminist movement, if not outright bigotry against them. What you’re looking at there has nothing in common with first or second wave feminism. It emerged from the internet and from such websites as TV Tropes and, when confronted with second or first wave feminism, it tends not to like it. It’s thoroughly revisionist about stuff like riot grrrl as well.

        I had come to the same conclusion, actually, that feminism had been thoroughly co-opted and, well, for want of a better word, raped – robbed of all value. Certainly, it’s interesting that I called myself “feminist” here. I feel it is true, but at the same time, as I said, the identity is totally irrelevant – and I don’t identify as feminist, because that would be placing my identity above feminism. Looking at essays like The Personal is Political by Carol Hanisch, you get the distinct impression the identity was a hindrance to them more than anything, because she describes the work they’re doing with some enthusiasm, but everything to do with the identity seems like a red herring. That’s the trouble with organised activism of any kind that is organised for the sake of identifying as activists, it’s very artificial and you end up wondering what the heck to do, and I’m sure going round the corner and trying to ban the panty shop seems like the natural thing to do sometimes. Whatever – as I said, I’d come to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth keeping the word “feminism”. But, this was after being directly involved in UK feminist activism, with the emotional toll it takes on just about everyone involved. You hear the word “feminism” so many times a day, it starts to lose its meaning.

        Having left the UK, and no longer being involved in any feminist movement, I have a bit more perspective – and this stuff we’re deploring (which is I think the only thing we agree with) originates mostly on the internet, it’s mostly bloggers and really a handful of very influential activists and writers. It’s nothing. It has extremely little to do with academic feminism or actual women’s rights activism. I’m from France, I don’t see why I should reject the legacy of Simone de Beauvoir just because a handful of very sheltered but very rich young ladies in the UK have become afraid of booby pictures and consequently think there is a ‘war on women’.

  7. swampcapybara says:

    sure feel free to drop me an email at the address I used to leave the comment!

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