While one popular celebrity feels anyone who isn’t feminist “is sexist,” plenty of people — a number of them women — are against the modern feminist movement, or what they feel it has become.
One woman shares her personal view on why she’s anti-feminist (page 5), and a well-known celebrity rejects the label altogether (page 4). Let’s look at the anti-feminism movement and what it truly entails.
There’s a coalition of women against feminism
The Women Against Feminism group, or the self-titled “open gender group,” provide a unique and alternative view of modern, fourth-wave feminism. “Whether you’re liberal-minded, conservative-minded, or not politically-minded at all … you’re welcome here. We’ve come together to discuss the many ways that feminism has had a negative affect on us, … as society as a whole,” their Facebook page reads.
Their goal? To involve as many women as possible to speak out about their experiences and heal what they call “the rift between the genders,” as well as break down any communication barriers between men and women.
Why they are against feminism
Their page clarifies: these women are primarily against “Feminist Patriarchy Theory,” or the idea that men and boys have “unearned privilege at the expense of women and girls.” The group’s view is that by taking this stance women characterize men’s work in a way that dismisses the sacrifices and suffering their sex has faced and silences them. These concepts of silencing and privilege are much of what the pillars of feminism are based upon.
The group’s views are controversial among self-described feminists as they call feminism in itself an act of “sexism.”
Why does anti-feminism exist?
The WAF group’s argument against feminism is just one example of an anti-feminist movement. Other anti-feminists, men and women both, argue that the wage gap is a myth. Those who support this belief often cite a Pew Research study claiming that women are more likely to take time off from work for personal or maternal reasons.
These studies may be invalid based on the working hours of those surveyed. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which studies and compares full-time employees’ salaries, found that there is a 20% wage gap between men and women in the U.S.
Actress Shailene Woodley has expressed views that align with the group
While Woodley may not be a Woman Against Feminism, she chooses to reject the word for a different reason: it’s a label. “The reason why I don’t like to say that I am a feminist or I am not a feminist is because to me it’s still a label. I do not want to be defined by one thing,” she said.
She asked why the world needs yet another label to divide us, and added that she finds ‘feminist’ to be a discriminatory word.
One woman’s case against conventional feminism
Author Jessica Crispin is, as Vox said, a feminist making “the case against feminism.” She believes that while making feminism a universal pursuit may look like the answer to gender discrimination, it actually progresses a process that she finds “detrimental to the feminist movement.”
“If women in power behave like men do, that is not a defeat of the patriarchy … That’s just patriarchy with women in it,” Crispin writes in her book, which we’ll discuss next.
Her book is titled ‘Why I am Not a Feminist’
Crispin’s case makes a fairly simplistic point: Somewhere along the line, feminism lost its political moorings, its backbone, and became too universal (and, she argues, unoriginal) in an effort to appeal to the masses.
Sean Illing, who interviewed Crispin for Vox, concluded that she feels feminism “became a catch-all term for self-empowerment, for individual achievement,” rather than the politically conscious and value-centric force it was intended to be. “I’m objecting to feminism as it currently exists in the mainstream,” she told Illing.
For more information on her story and the movement:
She is also the author of The Dead Ladies Project, published by The University of Chicago Press, and The Creative Tarot, published by Touchstone.
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