Please don’t call me a feminist

As someone who was a teenage Daria lover this was the first thing that came to mind when I heard the lovely Ms Watson’s speech. Many thanks to @ouroborosidiots for making the clip for me; my technological ability reflects the fact that I’m an oppressed victim of the patriarchy.

Most of Emma Watson’s speech was irritating. Not that that’s a problem; if people want to ‘galvanise’ males by inviting them to sign up for phenomenally stupid initiatives which won’t do anything but make pop feminists feel a bit better about themselves then who am I to stand in their way. However, what really really annoyed me was the passive aggressive digs at those who choose not to identify as feminists. While she states ‘it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it’, she still makes a point of defining those who believe in ‘equality’ as ‘inadvertent feminists’. In her examples of such people she included those who don’t love their children less if they happen to be girls, and those who don’t assume women will go ‘less far’ because they might have a child. So what she’s really saying is ‘you might not think you’re a feminist, but if you’re a decent human being you are one anyway.’ No nod whatsoever to the fact that there may be different interpretations of what ‘equality’ means or the extent to which these interpretations should be enforced. No acknowledgement that there’s a difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.

And why do they need an ‘ism’ for what they do if all it means is someone who does not discriminate against women? I often say this to people who call me stupid or ignorant for not being a feminist:

Look up what an ‘ism’ is. If you think we need one of these to think of women as people, then you’re the one with the problem.

Do we need ‘isms’ to denote treating any other group of people well? How about: Personism, childism, peopleofcolourism? When it comes to prejudice an ‘ism’ usually refers to the bad thing; we have terms that we apply to those who are doing something we all know is wrong: ageism, sexism, racism so we can describe those things when we see them. We don’t have or need a set of ideological labels to which we must all subscribe before it’s possible to be viewed as a good person.

Many people do not identify as feminist because while they agree with the ‘dictionary definition’ they feel ‘the battle has been won’, at least in the West. However, for me it’s the dictionary definition that’s the most problematic thing about it. To declare that an ‘ism’ (an ideology) which focuses on only one gender should be synonymous with thinking that men and women should be treated as equally valid human beings is, to me, totally offensive because it implies that ordinary people need to opt into a movement or set of beliefs to view women as people. The idea that women can only be ‘equal’ if people opt into an ideology is also, in my opinion, a philosophically self defeating argument.

If you interview the general public in most western countries, most people agree that they support equal rights and standing for both genders, but a much smaller number identify as feminists. I believe people sense that the movement is based on ideology that interprets history and society in a particular way and choose to reject the label. The great irony here? If feminists really cared about the dictionary definition and nothing else, this wouldn’t bother them in the slightest. They wouldn’t care about the label if people accepted the basic principle. But they do care – and it’s because the ideology matters more to them than women ever will. For the term ‘feminist’ to mean what they want it to mean, one has to accept the theory that the balance of power has historically been shifted so far against women’s interests that an ideology is necessary to redress the balance – I believe that definitions ought to include this nuance; it is a perfectly arguable position and if people want to believe it I will defend their right to do so. But it is theory, not fact. Every branch of feminism is based in some way on the theory of patriarchal oppression – and feminists need to be honest about that.

Feminists seem to just want everyone to accept their label because it’s about ‘equality’. But then you hear a lot of those same people seemingly contradicting themselves by saying things like ‘well it isn’t feminism if it doesn’t include blah blah blah’, or ‘if they said blah blah blah they’re doing feminism wrong’, ‘my feminism this, my feminism that’. My reply to these people is that nobody put them in charge of deciding what feminism is, or who is and is not a ‘real’ feminist. Well, if every feminist gets to define the ideology and movement for herself/himself then I get to do the same – and reject it.

So, Emma, I’ll be the one to decide whether I’m a feminist, thank you very much. You do think women should have the right to define themselves, don’t you?

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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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24 Responses to Please don’t call me a feminist

  1. Tarnished says:

    Great post. I couldn’t agree more. I wrote about this before the whole “Emma’s speech” thing happened, but it’s no less true.

    https://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/egalitarian-does-not-mean-misogynist/

    One of the main issues I take against the ideology of feminism (and hence, a reason I could never identify as a feminist) is the core belief that women are oppressed…and are always more oppressed than men. Point out areas in society where men have it worse or just as bad, and you’ll be:

    A. told that you’re incorrect.
    B. informed that while individual men have had to deal with X it’s not as harmful as when it happens to a woman.
    C. that any report or survey, even ones done by the government or publicly funded organizations, that contradicts what they say is a result of patriarchal thinking.
    D. asked to stop “disrupting the conversation” or “taking the focus off of women”.

    Not to keep giving you links, but I spoke about that over at my place too. Don’t worry…I’ll return the favor.
    http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/a-poem-for-mgtows/

    • Hi! So sorry for taking ages to reply but things have been so mental for me! Please always post links of your stuff – it’s great reading about how many people feel the same way as I do and want to stand up about it!

  2. Pingback: A Poem For MGTOWs | Tarnished Sophia

  3. VR Kaine says:

    What I find particularly interesting is the attempts by the “radicals” to make their fringe numbers appear larger via sweeping generalizations and auto-inclusions, either positive or negative. Examples: “If you’re for equal rights for women, then you’re a feminist” on the positive side or “If you’re not a feminist, then you’re a bigot” (Gloria Alred) on the negative side.

    I may agree with a particular point within a fraction of the cause, or even a particular member of a cause’s views, but that doesn’t automatically mean I back an entire cause. Here, I believe, is a fundamental flaw in their movement – they make a cheap and underhanded attempt at inclusion yet through their actions end up further alienating not only men but women from their cause.

    In their world there seems to be no way that a woman can be strong and independent without them also being brainwashed as well. It’s as though unless a woman buys into the ridiculous notion that western women are helpless and perpetual/eternal victims without these feminist anarchists behind them, she isn’t even a “real” woman – just a trope, object, fool, imbecile, etc.

    To me, anyone truly free-thinking and independent isn’t a slave to ANY cause or “ism”, which is why it’s good to see posts like these. Congrats to the author. 🙂

    • Tarnished says:

      “It’s as though unless a woman buys into the ridiculous notion that western women are helpless and perpetual/eternal victims without these feminist anarchists behind them, she isn’t even a “real” woman – just a trope, object, fool, imbecile, etc.”

      ^^This^^

      I have actually had people tell me “Your beliefs make you a feminist, even if you reject the label.”
      Wtf? No…I actually don’t agree with a lot of feminist ideology, not just the name. That’s as stupid as saying “You may not believe in Jesus, the bible, or original sin…but don’t worry, I know you’re still a Christian.”

      • VR Kaine says:

        Haha! Basically “We’re going to include you as one of us no matter what, because our numbers need it.” Nice. Ever met a group so needy (or desperate?)

        Similarly, I got accused once of being a homophobe because I said I had no interest in seeing Brokeback Mountain when I was asked. “But it’s a love story”. Really? I had no interest in seeing The Notebook or Hope Floats or Eat, Pray, Love, either, but that didn’t matter. Ironically, little did they know I was actually an extra in Brokeback Mountain but that was beside the point – their trying to recruit me to their cause (which I was already in support of in the first place) actually caused me to distance myself from them like the friend who just started evangelically selling Amway.

        Anyways, just like Occupy I think the radical feminist movement (and hopefully the whiny MRA movement along with it) will more/less devour itself; one reason being that it’s already so self-absorbed and self-righteous. That, or it will work itself into such a dark corner of life with its commiserating and philosophizing that it will become either obscure or ridiculous, whichever comes first and again, just like Occupy. your thoughts?

        Great posts on your blog, btw. As mentioned, I enjoy talking with free-thinking individuals and you have a great writing style. I look forward to more posts. 🙂 Thanks for the dialogue here as well.

  4. caprizchka says:

    Beautifully written. Thank you!

  5. This is very well written and makes excellent points!
    I recently earned my MFA from the school of the art institute of Chicago. The institutionalized feminism that seemed to do nothing but convince rich white girls they are oppressed and thus justified to do and say anything they want (especially to males), became a final tipping point for me in terms of being somewhat indifferent, but mostly in favor of feminism, to being an anti-feminist. Early in trying to find like minded people, I came across your site and found it helpful and inspiring. Then I discovered the men’s rights movement and realized it is not on par with the KKK as I had been told.
    Eventually, through talking with male and female friends, I came to realize that, if the ideas expressed here and in the men’s rights movement could just get exposed to liberal young men and women, most of them actually end up agreeing.
    It seems that what puts people off is not the ideas per se, but the packaging of anything masculine or anti-feminist as being anti-woman, which of course it is not. Today it seems to young people that the only way to be pro-female and pro equality is to be a feminist. I think there should be another choice.
    With this in mind, about a week ago, I launched a website in hopes i could package these ideas in a way that is not threatening to liberal young men and women. It is called genderallies.org
    I mention this both because I think we could help promote each other on our sites (if you are at all interested) and also because, with your permission, I would like to publish some of your writings on my site. In particular I like this entry here. Feel free to check it out genderallies.org and to give a yay or nay. If your not interested, no hard feelings, I fully understand, but keep up the good work and thanks for your bravery and thoughtfulness!

    • Many thanks for your kind words – and I really like your blog!I do most of my stuff on there so will tweet your blog out – do you have a twitter handle I can include?

      While it’s sad that we have to do this it seems like there’s a new person wanting to speak out about this nonsense every day, and it’s really important to let others who disagree know they aren’t alone.

      Xx

  6. Cill says:

    Good article. Since you wrote it, barking-mad Feminism has become more shrill than ever. I marvel that Feminism is about to get away with yet another year of behaving like the criminally insane.

    • Thanks! I think they’ve already got to a stage where most normal people can see it’s nonsense but alas there’s very little space for that to be reported in the mainstream media. I’m sure they’ll do something so awful soon the tide will turn… but there’s so much media bias you never know how they’ll spin it.

      • omg! do you ever have THAT right!
        i’m a fellow brit that has moved to the u.s. and i have to tell you, the american mainstream media is every bit as bad as the BBC! in some ways, even worse! as are the u.s. feminists.
        i can’t count the number of times i have been accused of being a “traitor to the sisterhood”, or when online accused of being “a man posing as a woman”, simply because i refute militant feminist nonsense!
        and when i call any feminist out when they are rubbishing men, i am accused of being “masochistic” and “like being dominated by the “patriarchy” ” and other such stupidity.
        never did i think i would see a time that those who speak out for TRUE equality, would be seen as the “villains”. …but, here we are.
        it is all too clear that feminism has become the VERY THING it once opposed.
        susan b. anthony must be spinning in her grave…!

      • caprizchka says:

        I cannot resist responding to your comment, as a masochist, voluntarily submitting to “a patriarch.” It would seem to me that a woman who denies rationality, her biology, history, economics, mathematics, demographics, and the longings of her heart however is a bigger masochist than I. Submitting to propaganda and “the matriarchy” if it makes a woman happy is no business of mine; therefore, to what end is my own pursuit of happiness subject to their goon squad? Answer: Anyone who contradicts their narrative as to what all women want means that their power over womanhood is slipping. Horrors.

        My apologies if my existence in the blogosphere has inspired mean-spirited bullying against you. It would seem that the only “diversity” tolerated in female thought is within the MHRA. Best of luck to you.

      • oh, believe me. they are just bullies in and of themselves. they need no inspiration!
        but thank you.

        however i am saddened that the feminist movement, that i was once a part of, myself, has devolved to what it has.
        my fear is, that not only has it diminished men in the west, but that in time it will also diminish women’s credibility, as well. lying does that. it diminishes the credibility of the liar, as well as the people the liar claims to be lying in favor of.

  7. calumdarroch says:

    What a wonderfully written article! I wish I were as articulate! You managed to pretty much say everything I feel about this topic, and you get bonus points for Daria!

  8. Johnny Bitcoin says:

    I really enjoyed this post, please make a new one soon! Intelligent style of writing which i like, and i absolutely love the concepts. Kudos!

    p.s. I stumbled upon this, trying to find my feminist girlfriends feminist blog to read her latest post.
    Kind of ironic [:

    • Many thanks for your kind words – I will try to post again soon. I always think there are so many other people out there commenting on stuff that there’s no need for me to add my voice but this reminds me how important it is.

  9. ACGlasie says:

    Gosh, I wish I’d written this post. I just wrote about feminism recently.

    I was told once, by a feminist, that the reason they’re called “feminists” is because in feminism’s early stages (before it had actually been named “feminism”) a disgruntled male reporter called them feminists as a pejorative term. Now they simply embrace it.

    But I equally agree that it is absurd, that we need an ideology of “ism” to define what is right.

    https://adambombwriter.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/i-signed-a-ceasefire-with-feminism/

  10. Jennie says:

    Do you know that you make absolutely NO SENSE? I read your reasonings for not being a feminist, and they just didn’t make sense to me. But what DOES make sense is that you are a self-hating woman who absolutely kowtows to men. Of course they’ll support you for not being a feminist! Without feminists, us women would not have the freedoms that we do today. I bet your a Republican too, right? Well Republicans are extremely anti-woman, and want to take away all of our rights, and keep us barefoot and pregnant in the home! Can you understand this at all?? I really cannot say this more clearly..you are a MALE IDENTIFIED woman. That is the worst thing to be because you are essentially saying “I don’t like myself.” Anyways, try to do a little soul searching. There is no reason to put feminists down. We are trying to work to keep WOMEN free, to make us get treated like equals when it comes to men, and to make sure all women have a chance to live a happy, equal, individualistic life.

    • Care to give an example of an argument that makes no sense? Or care to provide the logic behind your decision that I’m a ‘male identified woman’? Not a US citizen so not Republican x

    • Tarnished says:

      I really cannot say this more clearly…you are a MALE IDENTIFIED woman. That is the worst thing to be because you are essentially saying “I don’t like myself.”

      As an actual female bodied person who has gender dysphoria (aka a male identified woman), I take offense to your assertion that I am “the worst thing to be”, as well as your shallow attempts at a false armchair diagnosis towards Fedup herself.

      First off, Fedup has never stated that she is trans or dysphoric and it’s hardly the place of a random online commenter to call her such. An actual health practitioner would not do this based on a blog post, simply because the testing and questions dictated by the DSM-5 regarding an accurate diagnosis is very thorough.

      Secondly, I will not speak for any other dysphoric men or women, but I absolutely do not “hate myself”. I know I am a good, kind-hearted, fair, and loving person. I volunteer at the SPCA, give to veteran’s and children’s charities, and am professional and productive in my career. I know myself to be a good friend and generous lover. In other words, I’ve no reason whatsoever to hate myself. Being gender dysphoric doesn’t mean what you think it means. Do I wish I had been born male? Yes. Does that mean I take my strong, able, non-medicated, female body for granted or that I loathe it? No, that would be harmful and ridiculous. If Fedup was a male identified woman, she would likely see the folly in self hate as well.

      Thirdly, saying that people who identify with the opposite gender are “the worst thing” just makes you sound like a bigot. I’m not saying you are one, since I don’t know you, but if you actually want to have a honest and productive conversation with anyone here, you might want to avoid sounding intolerant towards a froup of fellow human beings right out of the gate. I’m confident that murderers, rapists, child molesters, animal abusers, and terrorists are all far worse than merely being trans regardless, so your “point” is moot.

      Lastly, one can disagree with Feminism without wanting to keep women “barefoot and pregnant”. It’s not an all or nothing scenario. I myself am Egalitarian, neither Feminist nor Mascularist, but in between. I believe in equality of opportunity for all…women and men alike, of all ethnicities, abilities, and faiths. I do not ever wish to be married, nor do I ever want to be pregnant or have children. I am a Libertarian, and am proud to take part in voting and having a voice in my nation. I am a career”woman” and am glad to have a job that is mentally rewarding and allows me to live alone while paying my bills on time. I am grateful to the women and men of the past who helped to make my chosen lifestyle possible…but it would be foolish to claim every single one of them were Feminists, or even that the Feminism of today is also fighting for equality. It is fighting for equality of women alone (completely disregarding men/boys), and often with a disturbingly strong emphasis on Caucasian, middle to high class, able-bodied, non-trans, well educated women in particular. It is false to say that Feminism is the only ideology worth having, when it needs so much work to even live up to its own claims.

      You should refrain from spilling out opinions towards others that have no basis in fact, especially as a new guest on a blog. People are more willing to engage someone who is open to true discussion instead of using the comment box as a soapbox.

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