Twitter is a strange world. Don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of interesting viewpoints, and much to learn from each other, but there are a lot of people who exist only to troll others. There are also those who appear to teeter precariously on that line between proud, ignorant doofus and troll-they might not be dumb, but that’s not the point; they exist only to lower the level of discourse and to waste people’s time, energy, and patience. They jump out in front when there is an interesting conversation and insert drivel, bully others (“who said you could talk?”), name-call, and then wag their asses around doing a victory dance (“you lost!” when you had no idea you were in a race or competition or whatever it is you “lost”). It causes all involved to look at the pathetic class clown, for sure, but what does it accomplish other than to be pitied by the witnesses?
Maybe some of them are the Russian bots that need everyone to be incurious and gullible? These trolls and clowns we’re seeing all around us were probably always there, but social media gives them a stage. In my opinion, they’re squandering the attention, but then, I’m not proud of my ignorance. They remind us that in 2017 the world contains so many who, even when surrounded by opportunities for information, anything they could want to learn about, instead use their time in the spotlight to remind everyone that they’re ignorant and that it’s good to be ignorant. They’re putting a lot of effort into trying to convince everyone that it’s good to be dumb. These doofus/trolls could instead invest that time and energy into being less dumb. Onlookers and participants alike could easily lose faith in humans, in humanity. Perhaps that is the point.
I’m noticing that many of these trolls present as women. I have no idea if they really are, but they claim to be and also make proud claims of being Jesus’ favorite as well as huge supporters of the Sexual-Predator-In-Chief, veterans, and guns. They will often make some kind of reference to a white supremacist icon or saying (MAGA or Deus Vult, are common), and then they mention they’re proud to be from this state or that and that they’re an “anti-feminist.” You have to translate it all from symbols and strange capitalization and bad spelling, but it doesn’t take long to decipher once you’ve seen a hundred or so of these. And if you read or post at all on Twitter, you’ll see them. I’m a fairly new twit so these people still floor me. Still, I think a lot of them are real people, walking among us, in 2017.
Of all the weirdness here, today I am struggling with “anti-feminist.” You have to start somewhere, right?
I can sort of understand men choosing to be “anti-feminist.” I mean, obviously, they’re insecure, they’re lazy, probably have a minuscule penis (that they’re worried we’ll find out about), have a deep need to feel sure they are best, or at least “good enough,” and the only way to accomplish that is to hold others down/back so they don’t look quite so awful in comparison. Growing, making themselves into better people, would be silly since everything is a game and less for you means more for them, right? Besides, self-improvement and self-awareness are too hard; they are fond of bringing up “personal responsibility” though they cannot see and appreciate the irony of it in their own speech, much less in their own lives. If you want to see for yourself, try to talk seriously about health insurance/Medicare or gun safety with one. They’re lazy and want the easy route to ego boosting; it worked for their shitty dad and grandpa so why not? And if they should ever trick a woman into marrying them they like that her income will be low, holding the family back. (huh?!)
“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for child care, for social welfare, for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist’, I ask, ‘Why? What’s your problem?’” – Dale Spender
These women (we’ll assume for the sake of the post that they’re who they say they are) who claim to be anti-feminist aren’t saying, “oh, I’m not a feminist” as in the quote above. That would just mean perhaps they’ve not given it much thought or perhaps they don’t feel like everyone having equal rights and opportunities is worth going out of their way to achieve. It’s short-sighted, even a bit lazy, but not everyone is aware of what is happening in the world around them. Sometimes something has to happen to make them look up and look around. There’s a difference between “I’m not a feminist” and “I’m anti-feminist.”
These women I am seeing dancing around in their silly, ugly clown suits saying whatever ignorant thing that pops into their tiny brains are making a statement, “I am anti-feminist.” Again, I’m sure some of them are just trolls (lonely men and women) who don’t believe anything they say, who lie/blab for effect and attention, people who are useless to society. The female anti-feminists, though, are saying:
“I am less than men, therefore, all women are less than men.”
“Not only do I think my time and work are not worth what a man’s are, I think every woman’s time and work are worth less. I don’t care that we have trouble affording food and a roof over our heads since we are less.”
“I only vote so I can put in another ballot for whoever my husband wants me to vote for.”
“Since making decisions about my health and family planning is too hard for me I think all women should relinquish control of their own bodies to men/government.”
“My religion teaches that women obey men always and in all things, therefore, all women should live by the same rules I choose to.”
“I like that I have to struggle to survive, to keep my kids in daycare, that my work hours are terrible. I want to be sure all women have it especially hard like me.”
“The men in my life should have every right to beat me. Other women are beaten, too – God’s will or somesuch.”
“I manipulate people/use sex as a weapon/tie my worth to my looks, therefore, everyone does these things.”
These are the same women who, thanks to men and women fighting for them in the past, can vote, have credit cards, inherit, report violence against them, divorce. . . people might even believe them if they claim their partner is abusing them and/or their children. Feminists of all genders are still working on this one along with many other issues such as fighting a bill in Arkansas that requires a woman to contact her rapist before she terminates the pregnancy. Feminists also speak up against all the bills in this country that tell a woman which health decisions she can make with her doctor and which will require politician’s and/or their boss’ input. Seriously. Men don’t have any limitations on their health care decisions; only women do.
As an anti-feminist, you don’t have to vote or hold credit cards or inherit or anything else, but that’s your choice. Don’t act like I shouldn’t have those choices just because you don’t want them.
Look, anti-feminist, you think you’re an inferior being because you’ve no penis dangling between your legs? That’s between you and your therapist (community, spouse, church, whatever); I wish you well. I hope you get help. Truly, I do. Just leave the rest of us out of this. Most of us work at least full time. We support or help support families. Our time is valuable, as valuable as anyone else’s. We are valuable, as valuable as everyone else. We are perfectly capable of making intelligent decisions for ourselves and our families without your religion or the government intervening on our behalf. We are half the population, and we are just as important and contribute as much as the male half. Why shouldn’t our rights be recognized, too?
If we were asking for something crazy like dominion over men or something, then anti-feminists would have a point, but that is clearly not what we want. Hell, anti-feminists are supporting men having dominion over women as if that isn’t nuts. We simply want the same shot everyone else gets, the same tools available to us so we can work to achieve our goals, equal pay for our work and power over our own bodies. It’s good for society and for us, for our partners, families, and for our children when women can support themselves, when we can be responsible for ourselves. It doesn’t matter if everyone wants to take advantage of the opportunities; what matters is that the opportunities are there for everyone who does want them.
Those “anti-feminist” views, these people’s low opinions of themselves, should have no bearing on our lives, and yet they lobby their government representatives to continue to deny other people their rights. Do they not understand why they’re wrong and bad for the country? They should take low pay if they want. Let people treat them like shit. Hell, ask them to if that’s their thing, whatever, but leave us out of it. Just as these nuts are free to live by their religious ideas and teachings, or to not have a religion, other men, women, and our families don’t deserve and should not have to live their weird and destructive ideas. They are holding us all back.
Anti-feminists: Live your life, but leave the rest of us out of it.
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Link: “The Weird Familiarity of 100-Year-Old Feminism Memes” – by Adrienne LaFrance at The Atlantic from last year
Link: “The fall of Harvey Weinstein should be a moment to challenge extreme masculinity” – by Rebecca Solnit at The Guardian
Link: “Sessions Is Trying His Hardest to Gut Civil Rights Protections With ‘Religious Freedom’ Guidance” – by Caitlin Lowell at National Women’s Law Center
Link: Excuses, Excuses (first in the series) – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link: Nevertheless (second in the series) – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Link: Don’t Rape (third in the series) – by E. Brooks of Gray Matters
Umbrella postcard from The Atlantic: A postcard produced by the Artists’ Suffrage League, an advocacy group in Britain, in 1907. (Catherine H. Palczewski Postcard Archive / University of Northern Iowa)
Thelma and Louise: