What do you give up when you become a feminist? What do you gain?
When I “came out” as an atheist I forswore certain behaviors – I eschewed prayer because it seemed pointless to pray to a god I didn’t believe in. I don’t celebrate holidays – I work Christmas, Easter, and in fact, all days. I’m not perfect at this – around Thanksgiving and Christmas I do find that I take on a bit of the holiday cheer of the good folks around me and I use my entertainment venue to have potluck dinners for those orphaned adults who otherwise would have to spend the day alone. On the whole, though, I try to live my life in ways that are consistent with a naturalistic worldview that discounts the idea of supernatural hokum.
Likewise, when one becomes a Christian one is also expected to change – for example, one is expected to forswear/avoid sinning (or maybe, one tries to avoid sinning, or at least one pretends to feel bad about it after sinning). One eschews those behaviors sanctioned by the ten commandments, or the other ten commandments, or maybe even the other-other ten commandments. In any case, voluntarily joining a group usually means that one takes on certain markers of that group, and avoids other contrary markers. If I were to become, say, a Catholic priest it would undercut my status as an Atheist, just as a Catholic priest who openly exults in whoring, illegal drugs and marriage would find his ass up for defrocking at some point, one would hope.
Lately, the posts by the delightful and insightful women of the Tumblr Women Against Feminism, (WAF), and the counterclaims by feminists that the WAF don’t understand feminism, have led me to the question of just exactly what are the behaviors and markers of feminist women that set them apart from anti-feminist women? And indeed, do feminists actually practice the equality that they preach?
Her sign reads: “I don’t need feminism because they reject femininity but try to feminize men, and demand equality but ask for special treatment.”
1. Feminists value free stuff over “equality”. Although the idea of men providing for women violates the fundamentals of gender equality, feminists will happily shit all over equality for a free meal.
In a recent article in Bustle, Maria Yagoda writes approvingly that “I have a friend who, like me, is currently contending with this issue. She put it quite eloquently. ‘I think the reality is that I am totally a feminist — I just really, really like free stuff. And if culturally accepted double standards facilitate me receiving said free stuff, I’m probably just gonna roll with it.'”
So, this “friend”, like Yagoda herself, will happily act “ignorant” about her own feminist ideals in order to get the “special treatment” that the WAF are bright enough to discern is the true core of feminism – a greed that feminists cloak with appeals to “equality” and dictionaries.
Yagoda rationalizes her greed by claiming that she is entitled to free food because of the (totally debunked) wage gap – and Yagoda doesn’t carry the thought far enough to figure out that if feminists deserve free food, then the men providing that food deserve to be paid more than her so that they can afford to procure it. Duh.
To me, the only woman here ignorant of feminism is the feminist Maria Yagoda herself. Maybe that is too harsh, my calling her ignorant – she could just be a hypocrite or a liar,I guess.
Of course, the best-known recent feminist demander-of-free-stuff-&-equality-be-damned is the infamous slattern Sandra Fluke in her brazen quest for free birth control in lieu of personal vagina control. As with Yagoda, Fluke parrots the “equality” line but there is nothing equal about the special privilege of women getting free stuff from men.
Her sign reads: “Children are dying EVERY DAY because their parents can’t afford treatment. Tell me again about your Birth Control “Crisis” #Priorities #IDontNeedFeminism”.
2. Feminists value “choice” over equality, 3. Feminists value women making traditionally masculine choices over feminine choices, & 4. Feminists value deflecting blame onto men over just about everything.
I placed the discussion of these three markers together because feminists often confuse them and it is time that someone mansplained to feminists just how crazy it makes them look to everyone.
First, consider the question of personal grooming – while feminism hypothetically frowns on both the removal of body hair and the application of makeup as oppressive elements of a sexist, patriarchal society, these markers of liberation are not enforced systematically, or really, much at all.
A post on the blog The Belle Jar, entitled Shaving Your Legs Is Not Feminist (But You Can Still Be A Feminist And Shave), illustrates this conundrum nicely – shaving is a feminist sin but feminists still shave anyway. The excuses that relieve the feminist of any responsibility for following her own fucked up ideology might be the “sexist expectations of society” (who the fuck cares?) or maybe “internalized misogyny”, but the result is the same: the laudable goal of “equality” is smothered in the womb by deflecting equality into “choice”, and then, choice into “preferred choice” (a preferred choice is no choice at all), then preferred choices into actual choices, and then, the actual choices back into the blaming of society – a society controlled by the evil patriarchy of MEN.
This is a nuanced and convoluted trail that nevertheless the WAF grasp easily but the feminists are seemingly blinded to it by their own privileges. That’s why the WAF hold signs like this:
“I don’t need (modern) feminism because the world needs equality, not superiority. How would people react if ‘masculism’ became a thing? NOT WELL. Feminism isn’t about women’s rights anymore. It’s about protecting women no matter what, and making men appear to victimize us, and that isn’t right.”
Right on, you are, waif, and thank you for having the courage to speak out about it.
The Big, Fat, Ugly, Sweet Nothing
Even as feminists try to debunk WAF the feminists are inadvertently exposing their own uselessness – the WAF thrive without feminism because they can do everything feminists do without hating or blaming men for those times when they fall short of their goals. Even better, WAF can celebrate and enjoy their own lives whereas feminists are always looking for their next complaint.
A little searching and you can find feminist weddings (although weddings are sexist in feminist thought), feminist makeup, feminist porn, feminist Christianity, even feminist cupcakes – all the trappings of the patriarchy that feminists say they want to smash have been incorporated into the lives of feminists themselves. A nominal shell of feminism exists in those spaces because feminism has become nothing more than a wretched excuse for inept women to deflect personal blame for their uselessness onto others.
Even the “bra-burning” of feminism is a myth because that would require feminists to have to figure out how to make the patriarchal construct of “fire”, a difficult task that is also a threat to the safety of women.
Although, I admit, I am still looking for the WAF post that says something like “I don’t need feminism because I like my pretty bras too much to pretend to burn them.”
When the last mask is ripped off the last feminist, what will we find? A shaven, bloated tapeworm writhing in the sunlight and melting away into a gooey heap of nothingness.
At least nothing of worth will be wasted on that happy day.
All photos used in this article are from the Tumblr Women Against Feminism.