Written by Andrew Wilson
Phone in hand, I scrolled downwards. Oh, look, Limmy’s playing Counter-Strike again. Downwards… Oh, look at that, The Guardian tweeted an article about Israel. Downwards… Oh, wow… *random twitter account* retweeted “being a feminist just screams ‘I’m either a lesbian or a virgin’”. I stopped scrolling downwards. I glanced over the tweets replies, checking for the possibility that this was in fact an elaborate ruse. No sarcasm was detected. She was serious. She was super cereal.
I took a deep breath. I couldn’t just let this tweet pass by, could I? I had to take a stand. I had to get the Braveheart war paint on. Although I’m not one for confrontation, even on the internet, I decided I would confront the tweeter in question. To my surprise, the tweeter was a woman. Dum, dum, dum. To paraphrase a long exchange, I pointed out that although I was neither a lesbian, nor a virgin, nor a virgin lesbian, I still identified as a feminist. This confused her greatly and I received a comment about my leather jacket and perceived lack of sex life, rather than a reply regarding the topic at hand. The ensuing conversation focused on her implied use of homophobia as an insult. It went round in circles. I attacked, alongside others, and she attempted to defend. She even used the ever classic “my best friend’s gay, so I can’t be homophobic”. Seriously.
I wallowed in despair, floundering in the ignorance she shat into my mentions. I didn’t even have the time to discuss her anti-feminist views – something that I do not doubt would have produced some interesting responses. Although she did mention sending feminists to an isolated place where they could burn their bras. Nevertheless, I’m sure many of you are questioning the significance of a single tweet. You see, although many of you may have crossed paths with this breed, this was my first encounter with a woman anti-feminist.
A woman anti-feminist. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But they do exist and they do make you want to jump of your local bridge. It seems so unconceivable that some women want to prevent the equal rights of, well, fellow women. Although, they don’t see it this way. They see feminism as an embodiment of misandry – no matter how many times you show them the definition of feminism. They believe that the equality of the sexes has been achieved and that feminism is now an attempt of women to supersede the rights of men.
A recurring theme of anti-feminists is that as they have not experienced prejudice, they assume all women have also not experienced discrimination due to their sex. The mind-set of a woman anti-feminist is fuelled by ignorance. The mind-set of the woman anti-feminist is selfishness personified. The mind-set of the woman anti-feminist is quite frankly – Mr Shankly – fucking preposterous. As preposterous as the idea of anti-feminism may seem, it’s the woman endorsed brand of anti-feminism that stings the most.
Anti-feminist men come in all shapes and sizes, but by and large they are the most privileged group in our society. Trust me, as a white, middle class male, I would know. Feminism is a direct threat to the privilege of this group and although this is no excuse for opposing feminism, you can at least deduct where the opposition stems from. A privileged group will always have difficulty giving up their privilege.
The anti-feminist woman would rather live in comfort, experiencing little prejudice, than standing up for the women that do and will continue to experience sexism. The anti-feminist woman would rather pander to men’s wails of ‘misandry’ – see meninism – than a woman’s very real cries of misogyny. Presented with the opportunity to escape the repression of their sex, they would rather continue to seek the acceptance of their repressors.
Women anti-feminists might be confusing and frustrating, but they stand in the way of equality just as much as anti-feminist men. They may not believe it, but they support the continuation of a patriarchal society. They support oppression. They support repression. They support misogyny. And they are part of the problem.