World War F: The Written And Oral History Of Feminism And Their Feminazi Counterparts

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Imagine yourself in a world where you are seen as nothing but a tool. You are perceived as minute, unintelligent, and weak. You don’t have access to a college education, and therefore cannot get a high paying job. In the jobs you can get however, you get paid less than your colleagues, despite the fact that you work just as long and hard as they do. Whenever you speak out against this mistreatment, you are called stupid and ignorant.

All this injustice and mistreatment comes from something you cannot help; your gender. For the average woman in the early 20th century, this life was a reality. One day a few women were sick of the mistreatment, and decided to take a stand against it.  More and more people joined the cause, and things began to change, thus starting the feminist movement. Laws and philosophies began changing. As the times changed, so did the Feminists. They combated and ended every problem the female sex faced. In present day, the Feminist movement is still alive and breathing. With the modern Feminist however, came the radical left. These Feminists, dubbed Feminazis, believed in and spread a hateful, sexist rhetoric. With the internet, the Feminazi gained publicity. More and more people were exposed to the hateful rhetoric, and began further publicizing the Feminazi’s beliefs. In time, people began associating the radical beliefs of Feminazi’s with the beliefs of Feminists. Recently, said belief has exploded in popularity recently, and the numbers are quite disturbing. Youtube channels with thousands of followers posting anti-feminist rhetorics. The hashtag #Feminismiscancer has nearly 100,000 posts on Twitter. This belief is wrong as a Feminazi’s beliefs do not correlate with a true Feminist’s beliefs. An increasing amount of Americans have began to adopt the mindset that radical left ideology is synonymous to true Feminist beliefs, and this is a massive problem. 

In order to compare and contrast a Feminazi’s beliefs to a FemiUp until the 20th century, there was a great disparity in the treatment of men and women. Women were not allowed to vote, get access paying jobs, no access to a college education, and were paid significantly less than men. After living in a society in which women were unequal to men, a few women decided to take a stand. Feminism’s origins can be traced to two women; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan Brownell Anthony. These women were the masterminds behind the Seneca Falls Convention, which was momentous, for as the National Women’s History Project describes, “In the history of western civilization, no similar public meeting had ever been called.” There, Stanton and Anthony revealed their distaste for the unequal treatment of women.  At the convention, Stanton presented to the convention attendees the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions. This document took the tone of the Declaration of Independence, and demanded gender equality before the law. The document gained over 100 signatures. 

Many women began following the principles espoused by Anthony and Stanton, and were eager to begin fighting for change. One of the first problems these women wanted to solve was the issue of suffrage. During their time, all women in America were restricted from voting. The fight for suffrage became known as the First Wave of Feminism. Early Feminists (or suffragists) did their best to make their voices heard. They rallied, picketed in front of government buildings, and began writing articles in newspapers. The actions of the First Wavers were met with immense controversy and criticism because society saw men as the superior sex. The male majority saw the women’s suffrage movement as a challenge to their position in society. Protesters were often beaten, verbally abused, or even arrested. Nov. 14 was the turning point for Feminists and anti-protesters alike. Protester Alice Paul stood on a podium in front of the White House, and began burning President Woodrow Wilson’s speeches. She was arrested by police on the charge of “obstructing traffic”, and was sent to Occoquan Prison. There, Paul faced immense mistreatment from the prison staff. She started a hunger strike in protest, and was force fed. Eventually, word got out of her mistreatment, and Paul was freed. Finally in 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified, granting women the right to vote. The ratification of the vote was celebrated by women all around the country, and marked the end of the First Wave of Feminism. 

 With their newfound freedom, American women began further pushing the boundaries of their social enclosures during the 20s and 30s. They began wearing shorter and smaller clothes, began advertising, and some started smoking and drinking when prohibition was over. A few women were even elected to Congress. Female empowerment further surged through World War II. During the war, an increasing amount of women took up factory jobs as men were deployed. Nearly every American citizen contributed to the war effort, whether it be at home or in Europe and Asia. After the end of the war however, the heart of the Feminist movement started beating again. During the Baby Boom, signs of the old male dominant society started reappearing. More and more women committed their married lives to housework. Many newspaper articles and even some TV shows depicted women either cooking in the kitchen or cleaning the house. In 1963, Betty Friedan published a book called The Feminine Mystique, which became a bestseller, and revealed that many wedded women were dissatisfied with their lives at home and yet were uncomfortable questioning their roles as a wife. Friedan later went on to establish the National Organization for Women (NOW) along with 28 others to function as a civil rights organization for women. Friedan became its first president. The group is now one of the largest women's groups in the U.S. and pursues its goals through extensive legislative lobbying, litigation, and public demonstrations. The Second Wave continued on during the Vietnam War, with many Feminists joining the hippie movement. Men and Women alike also began protesting beauty pageants across America, slamming them for their treatment of women, comparing it to the treatment of cattle. Roe V. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling to legalize abortions is passed. Time Magazine also presented its title of “Person of the Year” to the American women. Military academies also began to accept female applicants. In the end, The Second Wave of Feminism not only terminated the philosophy of male dependence, but also further expanded the female boundaries. With the end of the Second Wave, Feminists had accomplished their goal of reshaping the women’s role in a nuclear household, and further equality in the workforce. 

Despite all the good caused by the Second Wave of Feminism, it still had a major flaw. All the benefits gained from the second wave were not passed on to women of minorities. For the black women. For the Hispanic women. For the Asian women. For the women of the LGBT community. To them, they never received the freedom nor attention given to the white upper-class women during the third wave. Therefore, the call for Feminism returned yet again, in what is known as the Third Wave of Feminism. Historians actually trace the beginning of the Third Wave to a female punk rock movement known as Riot Grrrl. According to Alison Piepmeier, a noted scholar and feminist, “Riot Grrrl formulated ‘a style, rhetoric, and iconography for [the young woman]’ that came to define Third-Wave Feminism, and that focused on the viewpoint of adolescent girls.” Many bands participating in the movement would often write songs about rape, patriarchy, sexuality, and female empowerment, started chapters, and supported and organized women in music. “In every form of media I see us/myself slapped, decapitated, laughed at, objectified, raped, trivialized, pushed, ignored, stereotyped, kicked, scorned, molested, silenced, invalidated, knifed, shot, choked, and killed.  I'm not a punching bag. I'm not a joke.” claims Kathleen Hanna, frontwoman of Bikini Kill. People of all races took to the music and to the media to share their thoughts. Later in 2004, the March For Women’s Lives occurred, protesting the Partial-Birth-Abortion Act. March organizers estimated that 1.15 million people participated, declaring it "the largest protest in U.S. history. By now, Feminists had accomplished their goal of including women of color into their fight for equality, and reclaimed derogatory terms. 

The Feminist Movement is still alive and beating today. This claim begs the question, is there still a need for Feminism, and what more problems to Feminists have to conquer? They had already succeeded in their attempts to give women suffrage, broken the stereotype of wives in a nuclear household, and took away the meaning from derogatory their derogatory terms, what problems were still plaguing the female sex? Now, Feminists took it upon themselves to preserve their accomplishments and continue the fight for equality for women all over the world. However, a few Feminists decided to take it upon themselves to find more obstacles in the way of total equality. They only saw one major obstacle in their way, and that obstacle was men. The reasoning of these radical Feminists became simple; become superior to men, and do this by any way possible. Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh coined the term “Feminazis” and gave the name to said radical Feminists. The introduction of internet during Third Wave Feminism did both wonders for the Feminist movement back then and blunders for the Feminazi. Through the power of the internet, the philosophies and actions of Feminists were able to be seen all around the world. It allowed those living in suppression and those living freely to understand the importance of equality. Men and women alike were able to join the Feminism movement, whether it be online or in person through the internet. Nowadays however, the Feminazi gained immense attention thanks to the internet The hashtag #masculinitysofragile on Twitter recently gained some popularity in 2015, its goal was to shame men based off the stereotype that men were always masculine. The hashtag only contained around 300 total posts, and gained small amounts of controversy on Twitter. However, the Feminazi gained the majority of their attention from Youtube. In 2016 a video on Youtube entitled MRAs and Feminists Arguing At U of T MRA Event gained mass attention . The video featured a woman named Chanty Binx shouting curses and aggressively arguing against men’s rights at a men’s rights event at the University of Toronto. Although the video was originally uploaded in 2013, the video spiked in popularity in 2015 and 2016. The video currently has one and a half million views, not counting the reposts of the video. People began dubbing Binx “Big Red”on the internet, as her hair was dyed red. Big Red’s face appeared in memes and posts on social media, unofficially making her face the staple of Feminazism. Videos of other radical Feminists cursing out men began surfacing on Youtube as well. A Youtube channel called Rekt Feminist Videos often stars Feminazis resembling Big Red (i.e. having dyed hair, or being overweight, etc.) protesting men’s rights and equality. The channel has over half a million subscribers. 

A Feminazi’s beliefs are wrong and hateful, but they only make up such a small percentage of the actual Feminist population, so why is their media glorification such a problem? The answer is the ignorance of the masses. Due to the Big Red video’s surge in popularity in 2016, people all around the world were exposed to a Feminazi’s beliefs. To most people, Binx’s claims were ignorant, bigoted, and hateful, yet at the same time utterly hilarious. Viewers took to the comment section to share their thoughts on the video, and Feminism in general. The Big Red video served as the catalyst for an imminent era of Anti-Feminist ignorance. Following suit, more “Feminist” videos similar to the Big Red video can be found all over Youtube, and all over other social media outlets. The Instagram hashtag #Feminismiscancer has garnered over 76,000 posts, with around one new post every thirty minutes. With the ever-increasing number of internet users, these false smearings of Feminists will only reach a larger audience. The erroneous assumption that every Feminist shares the same ideology of a Feminazi is wrong, and the amount of people not only exposed, but also believing said philosophy is increasing at alarming amounts. The doctrine that Feminism is synonymous to Feminazism is wrong, immoral, and ignorant.

In conclusion, there is an ever-increasing amount of Americans who have accepted that Feminists believe the divisive, sexist, and hateful rhetoric that a Feminazi believes. The beliefs of a Feminazi are far different than that of a Feminist. Not all Feminists are overweight, or dye their hair crazy colors. A true believer in equal rights for women stands for and will preserve the accomplishments of the First, Second, and Third waves of Feminism. A Feminist should and needs to be seen as someone who stands for, and also fights for the equality of women not only domestically, but worldwide. What will you do? Will you remain a zombie and stick with the belief of the masses and smear Feminists as men-hating, idiotic snowflakes? Or will you wake up, and accept the belief that not all supporters for gender equality believe the hateful rhetoric of the Radical Left?

Ethan Lam

 


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