People holding hands

Why I’m Not An Anti-Feminist

Oh boy, someone pulled the controversy alarm.

Listen, I figure I may as well get this out here once and for all: I don’t like feminism. In fact, I’ve got a lot of issues with it. I see it in action today, in the news, on the web, and it makes my blood boil. But I’m not an anti-feminist. “WHY?!” some of you may think, considering what I just said.

Good question! Allow me to elaborate.

Once upon a time, I was a feminist. I was taught, as I’m sure most if not all of you have been, that feminism was the movement for equality for everyone—but mainly women. I was taught that it was hard to be a girl, and that in the past it was hard to be a girl, and feminism was the liberator that would set us all free. Through education and kindness, the world would be a better place for all. That sounds awesome. And you know what? Those who taught me that honestly followed that example. They were kind, understanding. They wished to educate others that maybe, just maybe, what they are doing is making some people uncomfortable and to reflect on their actions (something we should all do from time to time, but I digress). They were good people who volunteered, made donations to worthy gender-neutral causes.

From these examples, of course I was a feminist. I wanted to help make the world a fair place with sunshine and rainbows and kittens. I wanted, and still want, to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the world. I saw feminism as the way to do that. For a long time, I just assumed that if you wanted there to be equality, you’d be a feminist. It made sense, right? Feminist = equality = desire for equality = feminist. Except then I got older and my idea of feminism started to warp into something rather disturbing. I saw posters talking about how you shouldn’t judge someone by how they dressed, yet to dress THIS way means you are objectifying yourself. But … wait, I thought, that makes no sense, doesn’t that mean it DOES matter what you wear? All right, let’s try something else: Women are paid 77 cents for the same job a man does! Oh my gosh, that’s horri— wait. The law says equal pay for equal work. There must be a lot of business owners in jail… No, that isn’t the case. Wait, what is going on?

You can see the gradual dissection of what I was taught, had experienced, and what was reality. Things got steadily worse as I got more and more confused. You need to hold open doors for women, as it is polite, but you are sexist at the same time. Ladies, you can do whatever you want! But if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you are belittling yourself. If you go into the workforce, you will be treated badly by all the nasty men. You should know how to defend yourself. But no one should teach you because that insinuates that if something bad happens to you, it is YOUR fault.

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO THEN?!

I had far more questions than answers. Being in university at the time of this cognitive dissonance, I found the solution: education. School was the sacred treasure trove of knowledge, there must be something here that will explain these contradictions. So logically I took women’s studies along with my horticulture, expansive psychology courses … genetics … I like learning, okay?

And I did learn. Oh boy, did I ever learn. Plants are amazing, the human mind is a brilliant and ever unique a machine, and feminism is a mess.

I will not downplay the role that the suffragist movement had in establishing women in Canada as persons. I won’t ever downplay the fight to give us the right to vote (even though most men couldn’t vote, as you had to either serve in the military and own land, but ANYWAYS).

Feminism is somewhat of an offshoot of that original fight, or at least that’s the way I and others see it. But from then on, it has been a constant fight not against oppression but against itself. Those guys aren’t REAL feminists, says one camp, while they themselves are being accused of being the pretenders by ANOTHER group who claims to be the real feminists. As Karen Straughan so eloquently stated, You gotta own your shit and no one was or is willing to clean up the mess.

I left feminism embarrassed, angry, and disgusted. Twice a week, for fifteen weeks, I was told that I had my rights fought for by feminists and that we were oppressed as women. That we were all racists, that men were horrible, and the government paid a substantial amount more in women’s health care because they wanted to control our wombs to create more workers for the state.

The disbelief in my colleagues’ eyes, open mouths, and eye-rolling showed that many of them felt the same way I did: what Kool-Aid did we drink for so long, and why do I feel so sick?

Some of them were all for it, of course. When I stood up saying that the government should care about issues that affect everyone, like cancer, one simply said, “Ovarian cancer.” I clenched my fist, as my grandmother was a survivor, though another form of cancer took her from us many years later, rest in peace. I held my composure, despite a nerve being struck. I glared and slowly said, “Depression.” “Postpartum,” she quipped back. I got up and left.

I wrote my paper on how men suffer from sexism and got docked marks for being “too harsh.” My facts? Solid. My formatting? Brilliant. But I was harsh.

Yeah. I was learning a lot, all right.

It got worse from there, what with the rise of Tumblr feminists, SJWs, and the expanding extreme political correctness. I was sick of it.

Some have said that I need to look up what “feminism” is in the dictionary when I presented my findings and what they were teaching IN UNIVERSITY of all places. My response was/is simple, and I urge you to try it. Look up “communism.” No, I’ll save you the brain power. Ahem … Communism: “Advocacy of a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community” (Dictionary.com).

Doesn’t that sound nice: everyone shares, no classes, all equal? Why don’t you then look at it in practice in Soviet Russia?

What is described in theory does not transcribe to reality. And the reality of modern feminism is pointing fingers at anyone who disagrees with it and calling it names, an angry mob mentality with the sensitivity of a raw, exposed nerve dipped in salt water. Something I want nothing to do with.

And the crazy thing is, that despite all this, despite the recent events of bringing a man to tears over a SHIRT, despite biting the head of anyone who dares question their own attire (BECAUSE WE’RE WOMEN, IT’S DIFFERENT, OBVIOUSLY. IT’S EQUALITY IF WE APPLY IT TO ONE GROUP AND NOT THE OTHER, RIGHT? MATH IS HARD):

I’m not anti-feminist.

The reason? There are still people out there, good people, who truly wish for equality. They see the suicide rates of men and the mental illness and assault men experience and think, “My god, this is wrong, we need to do something about this.” They see women forcing other women to endure female genital mutilation in other countries, have girls dragged off the street and horrifically abused because of what they wear and think, “This is abhorrent, we must act.” They see both sides of the coin and embrace it, both sides, A = A, Men = Women. Different, but equal, with their own unique problems that need addressing. And they call themselves feminists, despite the modern-day party line being … well, hilarious, frankly. But you know what? If you are fighting the good fight, I don’t care what you call yourself. If you are a decent human being, who truly wishes for equality, who is reasonable, who can have a discussion without pointing fingers or hurling baseless accusations just to win an argument (or ad hominems, for those who like the technical jargon), then you are an ally in my eyes. You, and all those who call themselves feminist, are the reason I am not anti-feminist. You are the reason I dislike feminism but not all who use its title. I may not share that name anymore, but we agree in fighting for the same cause: making this world a better place, for everyone, regardless of what shirt you decide to wear to the party.

#AllForEquality

Kelsey J. F.

Kelsey J. F.

The resident moderate of the group, Kelsey acts as Badger Air Support, dropping in to write, reply to emails and help out how she can. A non-feminist and equalist, she lends her voice to all in need regardless of who they are. She is a business major in advanced accounting and administration and has studied for several years high level psychology. She is also a massive nerd and loves puppies. When not studying or badgering about, she enjoys writing, gaming, hanging with friends and cooking. She is best waifu. Science has proven this.
Kelsey J. F.

Latest posts by Kelsey J. F. (see all)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

Published by

Kelsey J. F.

The resident moderate of the group, Kelsey acts as Badger Air Support, dropping in to write, reply to emails and help out how she can. A non-feminist and equalist, she lends her voice to all in need regardless of who they are. She is a business major in advanced accounting and administration and has studied for several years high level psychology. She is also a massive nerd and loves puppies. When not studying or badgering about, she enjoys writing, gaming, hanging with friends and cooking. She is best waifu. Science has proven this.

  • Michael Spence

    I can’t decide what to make of this article. I wasn’t sure where you were going until the last paragraph. You seem to be defining, “anti-feminist” as, “anti-women-who-call-themselves-feminists-even-if-that-label-isn’t-particularly-accurate” as opposed to, “being opposed to the ideology that promotes demonic male hyperagency and angelic female hypoagency”. (thus being both misogynistic and misandristic)

    On the one hand, I feel that this is inaccurate, but on the other hand i do feel that it may be time to start reaching out to moderate, “book club” feminists, but do we really have to sacrifice the truth to do so?

    • KikiSpaghetti

      The issue is that, by name, anti-feminist is that; anti people who call themselves feminist as it is ASSUMED they hold said aspects of an ideology. While my interpretation of what it means to be anti-feminist may be somewhat inaccurate, I feel that by strict, technical definition, it isn’t fair to those who call themselves something and act in a way that isn’t typical i.e. doesn’t hold patriarchy theory, the idea of women as perpetual victims, etc. There needs to be no sacrificing of truth, only the presentation of it in a civil, non-confrontational manner. The truth is, the ideology is often used in a toxic manner, but not all who are called feminists are toxic themselves. ’tis all I meant.

      • http://francisdroy.wordpress.com Francis Roy

        The issue is that, by name, anti-feminist is that; anti people who call themselves feminist

        No, it’s a vagary of language, a verbal short hand. Would you say that “I am anti-Feminism?” But you aren’t. You may oppose Feminism. You may say “I oppose the ideology of Feminism,” which I frequently do, but it’s a bit long-winded. I’m sure that someone who is better trained in grammar than myself could put their finger on the precise term.

        as it is ASSUMED they hold said aspects of an ideology

        And what distinguishes a Feminist from a non-Feminist if not adhering to the core concepts?

        I feel that by strict, technical definition, it isn’t fair to those who call themselves something and act in a way that isn’t typical

        If they do not adhere to Feminist tenets, then, they are not Feminist, therefor it cannot be unfair to them. See how the errors are piling up thanks to the shifting-sand definition?

        The truth is, the ideology is often used in a toxic manner, but not all who are called feminists are toxic themselves.

        The ideology is toxic, and cannot be used in any other manner than by its nature.

        Please answer the two following questions:

        “Do you believe that women as a class are institutionally subjugated and/or oppressed?”

        If so,

        “Do you believe that this oppression is perpetuated by men?”

        If you believe the first, you are a Feminist. If the second, you are a Radical Feminist.

        That you may be polite in claiming that women are oppressed doesn’t make you correct, and should you point the finger to men as oppressors, even if in a charitable “but not all men” way, then you behave in a toxic manner by accepting, speaking out on, and perpetuating falsehoods.

        If you do not believe either of the above, you are at a minimum a non-Feminist. If you decry the core tenets and all that is built upon them, you are an Anti-Feminist.

        I’ll be interested in hearing your answers.

        • Badger Writes

          Greetings, Francis. I will indeed answer your questions.
          1. Maybe.
          2. Maybe.

          These may seem like cheap answers, but they aren’t. It depends on the situation on whether or not women are oppressed. In some villages, yes. In others, no. In some cultures? Yes, in others, no. In most all of these, both men AND women are oppressed and in turn, oppress one another, sometimes more vehemently than others.

          I am not polite nor am I cruel in saying that in some cases, women ARE oppressed. The issue is? So are men, often times. As Erin Pizzey says, it is not a gendered issue, but one that is cyclical and ingrained. While her statement relates to domestic violence, it could easily be said for other instances of violence and other forms of oppression.

          My literal definition, and I did say this previously, anti-feminist implies to be against those who are feminists. Feminists are those who follow feminism, which is a right mess. Some follow the rules of egalitarian, but call themselves feminists. Others are full on “MYSOGGYKNEES” and “ERMAGERD, PATRIURCHEE”. It is like saying you are anti Christian when really you only have gripes with Catholics (which is another can of worms). While I understand you mean you are against the core tenants of feminism when you say anti-feminist, by strict literal translation, it is the people you have a gripe with. And many, I’m sure, you would, as would I. I also am of the mind, and I love this quote, that the only thing in pigeon holes is pigeon shit. So, no, I am not an anti-feminist. I am not anti anyone, safe for anti-stupid and anti-cruelty. And while many feminists sadly, ARE, I won’t dub all who fall under that umbrella that. It is like calling all MRA’s and the like bitter, angry white men. Are there a lot of them? Yes, but not all. It is simply a matter of experience and interpretation.

          Not all men are monsters, and not all feminists are lunatic fringe dwellers (though many of the latter are). Generalizations are dangerous, friend. History has shown this. Psychology has studied and proven this. It is why I am very careful with my general wordings and dealing in absolutes. So you may take this apart (and I’m sure you will; you seem like a rather observant, intelligent fellow and while I am smart, often leave myself open in rather unclever ways), and that is just fine with me, but I will never, ever EVER call myself anything that I truly am not. And while I decry the tenets of modern day feminism, I won’t necessarily do the same to those who hold them. I have had many a talk with those who DO hold those ideas, and with evidence and calm discussion, show them the error of it. I give them a chance, as I would expect, nay, hope, others would give me. Sure, it may make me look naive. Maybe I am. But you would be surprised how effective killing with kindness can be. (Not on the internet, though. I’ll be the first to say that is likely not going to work. But take the high road anyways, and they do the work of showing that they’re an asshole for you. Just watch the show. Grab some popcorn. I’ll share.)

          So I hope this wasn’t too rambly and gave you a better idea of where I’m coming from. I get your points, and they are very good. But I am simply non-feminist, as I don’t identify with the term. And anti is, to me, a little too literal in regards to individuals. It doesn’t sit well with me. I think I have enough right to say that much.

          • http://francisdroy.wordpress.com Francis Roy

            If I may, I’d like to rephrase your intention, as I understand it to be, and you can correct me if I’m wrong.

            “I repudiate the political ideology of Feminism, and the choices of those who adhere to it, and respect people who choose to be fair and impartial to all, despite their misuse of the term, or misunderstanding of its full meaning and implications.”

            Yae or nay?

            If yes, I’ll let the rest slide, as it could become pedantic, and I’m not in a particularly pedantic mood at the moment. If not, give me until Wednesday.

          • KikiSpaghetti

            Very yae, good sir. I love your language! I’m guessing you’ve written a thesis statement or two, eh? That was so eloquent, my word. Far better then my gushing…or at the very least, shorter and more refined.

          • http://francisdroy.wordpress.com Francis Roy

            My training consisted of debating Feminists. Seriously.

      • UniQueLyEviL

        Fucking. THANK. YOU.

        This anti-feminist bullshit is getting ridiculous, and I’m getting sick of having to deal with people’s presumptuous BULLSHIT every time I mention I’m a feminist, or speak up for feminism.

        I’m not going to stop referring to myself as a feminist, and I’ve been amazed as of late how much controversy it’s been starting, despite the fact that I always have been. People I’ve known for years are starting to give me shit for being the SAME PERSON I’VE BEEN THE ENTIRE TIME THEY’VE KNOWN ME over this anti-feminist bullshit!

        I’m sticking with the term and the history it carries. I do so as a means of respect for the people, men and women
        throughout history that worked and still work towards equality.
        The fact that it was called feminism in the first place due to necessity and it has never been about taking rights away from anyone.

        I’m a feminist, egalitarian and a humanist and much more.

        When
        I tell people I’m a feminist, they shouldn’t automatically make all
        these assumptions about me hating men whom I consider sub-human and not
        caring about the things that effect them in society. I would have never
        been attracted to feminism in teh first place if it were about anything
        of that nature.

        I’m
        not going to allow people to drag the name of feminism through the mud
        though, they’re losing focus on what it’s supposed to be and always has
        been about because of stupid assholes.

        It
        hasn’t lost it’s meaning. The people leaving a bad taste in people’s
        mouths aren’t even the majority. Which is why I’m speaking up on it
        more. I didn’t realize how serious the rhetoric and discussion was
        getting until recently, despite paying attention to the growing number
        of anti-feminists. I’ve noticed that instead, people who once identified
        as feminist are stepping away from the terminology and the real meaning
        and history of it because insignificant radicals are tarnishing the
        general movements message.

        Knowing
        I’m not one of the people giving feminism a bad name, and still
        identify proudly as a feminist is the very reason I can’t step away from
        the label. It’d be a tragedy. Feminism has accomplished so much
        throughout history. It can’t go down like that.

        I was very surprised to find this on this website.

        Thank you so much, Kiki for being a fucking fresh breeze in a chorus of angry flatulence. ..

        • Honey Badger Brigade

          I prefer to judge people by their behaviours so if you identify as a feminist and challenge every time feminism reduces women down to victims thus slicing away their personhood and awareness of the consequences of their won actions, fine.

          You just have a lot of work cut out for you challenging the systemic misogyny in feminism.

  • http://francisdroy.wordpress.com Francis Roy

    The reason? There are still people out there, good people, who truly
    wish for equality. […] They see both sides of the coin
    and embrace it, both sides, A = A, Men = Women. Different, but equal,
    with their own unique problems that need addressing. And they call
    themselves feminists, despite the modern-day party line being … well,
    hilarious, frankly. But you know what? If you are fighting the good
    fight, I don’t care what you call yourself.

    This isn’t good reasoning. That some people are fair-minded and impartial, yet call themselves Feminist, doesn’t entail that the core concepts of Feminism are valid. The root idea of Feminism is “Women are institutionally subjugated and/or oppressed.”

    Is this correct? No? Then all that is built upon this is false, as it serves only to illustrate or elucidate a false core concept.

    Let’s add the Radical Feminism variant that is prevalent: “by men.”

    Is this correct? No? Then all that is built upon this is false, as it serves only to illustrate or elucidate a false core concept.

    People like to claim that Feminism represents some form of “equality.” Why is equality important? Because it is designed to serve to support and obfuscate the central tenet: “Women are institutionally subjugated and/or oppressed.” “By men.”

    Further, the term “equality” is bandied about, usually without answering a simple question “Equality of what?”

    Of opportunities? Outcomes? Pay? Ownership of spotted puppies? Let us ignore the precise details and simply hand-wave “equality,” because it would ruin the sound-bite.

    The reason that I am an anti-Feminist is because I stand against the political ideology whose core tenets are demonstrably false, whose presentation is propagandist, whose constantly shifting ideology presents a one-sided point of view that builds resentment and fear, and whose adherents cynically use these emotions to manipulate the public, government and the media to promote even more of the same, leading to a very natural hatred. If you’re oppressed, it’s right to hate the oppressor, no? It is natural, and human, and if you don’t believe in some vague hand-wave of equality, without looking at both sides, and without asking if the core tenets are true, it only make sense to resent, hate and act upon these feelings.

    And yet there are people who work at being fair, impartial and decent. That they call themselves Feminist does not make of Feminism a good thing, it makes the proponent uneducated to the matter.

  • Andrejovich Dietrich

    Feminazis, Nazis…

    At least Nazis only wanted to eradicate 5% of their population.

  • Dion Potter

    I agree with the article and disagree with most of the comments here. It’s about the spirit, not necessarily about the name you put on it. I don’t care what you call yourself, what’s matters is what you think about equality, and more importantly, how you act.