I have always somewhat idealized feminists.
As a kid raised in a heavily religious environment, my mother was always something of a rebel against the narrow feminine roles that were prescribed by her particular brand of Christianity.
I remember experiencing a lot of confusion at that particular time of life: we were taught in church that women had to grow their hair long and wear “respectable” skirts (past the knee) while fulfilling their duties as child rearers and homemakers – all of which my mother did. But we were also taught that women weren’t allowed to speak in church or contribute to the church meetings, which my mother completely rebelled against.
At the start, I remember how outraged she was that women were not permitted to discuss the matters of the church with the men. She spoke with the other women about the issue of being ignored and unjustly dismissed, but they turned on her, supporting their preacher husbands dutifully instead. Enraged and feeling the bitterness of betrayal, she took up her impassioned qualms with the men, arguing that it wasn’t right for women to be shunned and excluded from active involvement in the church.
Well, she definitely made her point. But she also made enemies in the process, with some of the preachers coming over to our house later and biblically “rebuking” my mother for such impertinence. Ever since then I’ve sensed that my mother has held a secret resentment and bitterness towards this “spiritual family” for humiliating her and snuffing out her flame.
Although she wasn’t a perfect mother (what mother is?), I’ve always admired her feminist spirit – and this is perhaps why I’m so surprised to be writing this article.
Is Feminism Still Beneficial?
Since Mary Wollstonecraft’s publication, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” in 1792 to Naomi Wolf’s, “The Beauty Myth” in 1990, feminism has flourished and evolved in many different ways. While feminism in the early 1900’s meant gaining the freedom to vote, feminism in the 21st century means fighting for the right to abort unborn fetuses, gaining prominent political positions and striving to obtain gender equality in all areas of life.
While it is undeniable that feminism has brought many privileges, justices and freedoms for women all throughout the world, many women are beginning to question its true relevance to the modern, western, 21st century female. Rather than evolving into a supportive and balanced sisterhood, feminism appears to have evolved into a dogmatic, divisive and aggressively misandrist collective of females who are actually turning women against feminism.
Although I admire active forms of “feminism” against genuine abuse, exploitation and disempowerment, modern western feminism in particular seems to be shrouded in a passive-aggressive “all bark no bite” resentment that criticizes women for embracing their femininity, disdains them for using their sexuality and bullies them into feeling weak and oppressed for choosing to be housewives, caretakers and full time mothers. While I am neither for nor against feminism personally, I always find it valuable to question, analyze and assess such movements, looking closely at the other side of the equation to develop a more complex understanding.
If you would like to develop a realistic and balanced understanding of feminism, read through the rest of this article, but also take a look at my other article exploring the benefits of feminism. No movement after all is completely black or white.
26 Women Against Feminism
I stumble across a lot of interesting blogs and websites in my daily life as part of my work, and Women Against Feminism, a Tumblr microblog, was one that I was very happy to find. After asking the owner of the blog permission to re-post some of the publicly submitted pictures, I’ve selected some of the most thought-provoking arguments against feminism:
What is your opinion? Are these arguments reasonable, unreasonable, or something else altogether? Feel free to share your opinions below.
Thanks once again to Women Against Feminism for allowing me to republish these pictures.