Is it Feminism's Fault?


Facebook thinks it knows me. Because it knows I care about equality, it frequently pops stories about feminism into my feed. Stories like: 'Men are stupid; like women who are ‘effortlessly’ thin', written by Meghan Murphy (Founder of Feminist Current). Here's the thing Facebook, I am made up of more subtle stuff.  As much as I love equality I dislike being called an idiot, and if you don't have time to read Murphy's 1200+ words, here's the moral of the story: men are big dumb dumbies, and women? A lot of them are pretty stupid too.

In another Facebook find, 'Feminism is in danger of becoming toxic', Julie Bindel writes 'Instead of worrying about the Rosetta scientist wearing an ‘offensive’ shirt, or Dapper Laughs, or Julien Blanc, we should be tackling the root causes of inequality'. Don't have time to read that one either? Moral: a bunch of people are doing feminism wrong. Don't do it THAT way. Do it THIS way.

Despite cringing every time I come across any part of the 'Women Against Feminism' movement, when I hear feminists calling people stupid I kind of get it. When I hear feminists telling women they're doing feminism wrong, I don't have to wonder too much why anyone would reject modern feminism.

You mean I get to be stupid AND wrong?! Sign. Me. Up. 

In fairness, this isn't exclusively linked to feminism. In the food movement (or rather within the infinite variations of food movements within the food movement) there are plenty of 'smart(er)' people 'doing it right' and habitually remarking on just how stupid and wrong everybody else is. Environmentalists do it. Social activists do it. Parents get in on the righteousness action  all the time.

Is it feminism's fault? Of course not. Like any belief, movement or practice it is people at the core who are accountable. Feminism cannot be toxic, but people sure as hell can be.

What is more curious to me is this: being right and calling people stupid never seems to make anyone less... well, stupid, nor does calling people wrong seem to shift them too far from their stance. So why do we do it? Why do we engage in this practice of trying to insult others into believing what we believe when it (pretty obviously) doesn't work? No really, I'm asking.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

You may also enjoy 'It's All Feminism to Me' by Eleanor Thibeaux