Call Them Dissidents. But Don’t Call Them Feminists.
When someone declares themselves a dissident, they usually express their desire to challenge the status quo. They may disagree with the dominant ideology or find it problematic in some way. Dissidents can belong to any social group, including feminists. However, not all feminists identify as dissidents because they see themselves as part of a larger movement for women’s rights and gender equality.
In recent years, a subgroup of women has emerged, calling themselves “Women Against Feminism.” They reject the feminist label and criticize the mainstream feminist movement for perpetuating victimhood, man-hating, and oppression of men. They see themselves as independent thinkers who advocate for equal rights without relying on the feminist framework.
The Women Against Feminism movement started as an online campaign in 2013 when women began sharing photos with handwritten notes about why they don’t identify as feminists. The reasons vary from personal, such as “I love men,” to political, like “I don’t want big government telling me what to do.” Although it’s difficult to measure the size of the movement, its popularity on social media suggests that it has gained some traction.
It’s important to acknowledge that not all women share the same experiences or views regarding feminism. As a diverse movement, feminism encompasses different approaches and strategies to address gender inequality. However, it’s equally essential to question the motives and implications of those who reject the feminist label altogether.
On one hand, Women Against Feminism may provide a space for women to voice their grievances about feminism without fear of backlash or ridicule. Some women may feel excluded or marginalized within mainstream feminist circles, and Women Against Feminism may provide them with a sense of community and solidarity.
On the other hand, Women Against Feminism perpetuates damaging stereotypes about feminist goals and values. By rejecting the feminist label, they reinforce the idea that feminism is a monolithic movement that seeks to dominate men, undermine traditional gender roles, and promote abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. These stereotypes are not only inaccurate but also harmful to the progress of gender equality.
Moreover, Women Against Feminism overlooks the historical and ongoing struggles of women for equal rights and opportunities. Feminism has played a critical role in securing women’s right to vote, access to education and employment, and protection from sexual harassment and assault. Women Against Feminism may claim that they advocate for equal rights, but they fail to recognize that feminism has paved the way for many of the rights they enjoy today.
In conclusion, Women Against Feminism is not a dissident movement per se. They represent a small group of women who reject the feminist label and criticize the feminist movement for various reasons. While it’s essential to acknowledge their right to express their opinions and experiences, it’s equally crucial to question the implications of their rejection of feminism. At the heart of the matter, the fight for gender equality requires a collective effort, and feminism provides a robust analytical and practical framework to achieve that goal.