Social media and strange bedfellows: #WomenAgainstFeminism, meet @NoToFeminism


Social media — the battle ground for all causes, all opinions and all debates that must be heard. In the last few weeks, a number of women have come out to take a stand against feminism and the hashtag WomenAgainstFeminism (WAF) was born.

I first noticed the “movement”, if we want to call it that, on Buzzfeed. The site featured posts from 14 women who publicly stated that they were against feminism for various reasons. One woman said she could think for herself, another said she respected all genders and one said she was an adult able to take personal responsibility. All these posts from women around the world were published on a Facebook Page dedicated to standing against feminism.

The Facebook page with its 20 000 odd likes, the Twitter account and accompanying Tumblr site all state that the “movement” is about “women’s voices against modern feminism and its toxic culture”. What began very quietly late last year on Tumblr and found its way to Facebook earlier this yes is becoming the topic of many media conversations.

In a piece entitled, You Don’t Hate Feminism. You Just Don’t Understand It, Daily Beast’s Emily Shire criticised the “movement” for being misguided in its understanding of what feminism actually is.

“There is no question that Women Against Feminism is utterly and completely misguided in its understanding of what feminism is. But they aren’t only the ones. Feminism gets a bad rap, and people perceive the movement as meaning something very narrow and specific—and negative,” she writes.

In WAF’s defense, it does state that its campaign is against modern feminism and “its culture”. A number (not all) of the post from the women who are proudly standing against feminism are actually in support of what could be described as feminist ideals: gender agnostic equality and self thought.

Time for the social media stand off

Women against feminism could have been a tiny blimp in our radar and no one aside from those interested would have been any the wiser, but Buzzfeed just had to get involved. So a cat meme was born, because when you’re on the internet, the last word really does go to a cat. However it seems this time the cats are being pushed aside for one very clever parody account.

Meet @NoToFeminism, whose Twitter bio reads: “lol feminsim no thanks”. The account is taking on Women against feminism from a different angle. Its hilarious use of unique spelling and grammar and very interesting logic makes it a rather entertaining follow.

In the hilarity of the tweets, the tweeter behind the account, through spelling mistakes and grammar errors reminds us of the many struggles and injustices women all over the world face. This account will get many retweets and it will incite some chuckles both online and off, but does it solve the real problem?

In her piece, Shire explains that feminists needn’t take on Women Against Feminists as opposition, but should rather look at it more constructively.

Women Against Feminism and like-minded opponents try to distort the meaning of feminism by saddling the movement with unnecessary, limiting prerequisites. Feminists, we shouldn’t bite at their baiting. Instead, we should use Women Against Feminism constructively, but not as a legitimate criticism (which it is certainly not). It is a wakeup call for how poorly misunderstand our movement is.

In all honesty, you have to ask yourself, are these women really against feminism? Or are they just against what they see as feminism? Social media and the constant debates and backlashes around feminism makes the topic constant and an easy target for critics.

It’s hard to really pin down what modern feminism is because people do and will continue to ask what the next big battle is. Is it navigating between the manifestos and the intellectual thoughts?

Truth be told, there will always be people using social media for one thing or another (it is their right as humans to express themselves) and the more attention we give it (I see the irony) the more we turn those things into movement.



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