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Why Women are Against Feminism

By Azriel ReShel on Friday June 23rd, 2017

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It's Not for the Reasons You Might Think

Increasingly women are declaring themselves against feminism. From popular groups like the nearly 50,000 strong Women Against Feminism social media movement, to the many women who didn’t support the women’s march earlier this year, women are turning their backs on feminism.

According to one survey, only 20 percent of women in the US consider themselves feminists. Why? Because women are seeing the feminist movement as angry and blaming men for women’s challenges. In another New York Times survey, results showed that only 18 percent of Americans consider themselves feminists, however, 85 percent claimed they believe in ‘equality for women’. Considering that believing in equality for women makes you a feminist, this is interesting, if not a little disturbing, especially in the light of increased violence against women. But what is most mystifying is the vitriol anti-feminist women are spouting towards feminists.

Yes, women are against feminism, but not for the reasons we would think.

The misinterpretation of FeminismMany women see the feminist movement as angry and blaming men.

1. Women Are Against Feminism Because We’ve Settled

We’ve settled for the status quo. Perhaps we’re too tired to fight for more, exhausted from doing the lion’s share of domestic chores, working hard for less pay, single parenting, and juggling the monolithic demands put on us. So, we’ve settled. For lower salaries, for partners who don’t make the grade, for passionless lives, for less money for the same work. We don’t expect more from our sons, or male partners, or society, yet make excessive demands on ourselves. We are still caught in the programming of being the perfect, beautiful, successful, feminine, mother and/or career woman. And, more than ever, women are burning out with the crazy demands we pile on ourselves or allow society to place on us.

We’ve settled because we haven’t broken through the glass ceilings in ourselves. We’ve settled because we haven’t broken past the limitations we place on our own talents. We’ve settled because we don’t truly believe we deserve more.

2. Women Are Against Feminism Because We Victimise Ourselves

Women have been propping up men and male systems for centuries, in the shadows behind powerful men, having their talents unacknowledged or stifled while we are portrayed as less than men, and only good as sexual objects or mothers. Perhaps we’ve taken on some of this societal conditioning and this victimisation has become a well-trodden path in our own minds.

Ripples of changeBy stepping into our power, we can create ripples of change for future generations.

It’s time to take up our feminine power. To be feminine is to stand up for what is right. To be moved and to reach out and do something. To stop and help the homeless man in the street. To speak up for the unfair treatment of the underdog and to take a passionate stand for what we believe in. We are society’s conscience and the world needs us more than ever. We can be heard and create ripples of change.

Powerful women wear big girl panties – they are self-responsible, they call the shots in their own lives and take the fallout when they fail or make bad decisions. When you don’t objectify yourself and allow yourself to be objectified, especially sexually, you have agency, choice and power. Powerful women are unafraid of failure, being unpopular, of being vulnerable and taking the lonely road.

3. Women Are Against Feminism Because We Don’t Really Understand What it is

Feminism is the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. It is the idea that women should have the same rights and power as men. It is a movement that seeks to dismantle people being discriminated against for who they are; be it gay, a different race, transgender, disabled or female.

Feminism is the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexesFeminism is the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

Feminism is about equality. The reality today is that over half the world’s population of women are in a position of less power. This is just a fact. More women are subjugated to men; are abused and raped. We do live in a world that is dominated by the patriarchal values and where men are in power. When last did you see a parliament filled with women, or a boardroom bursting at the seams with female CEOs? We’d be naive and unintelligent if we were to say that there is equality in the world. There just isn’t. This doesn’t make men wrong. This makes the systems wrong. And it’s time for a change. We will all thrive when there is fairness and women have more power.

Feminists are fighting for a good life for everyone, men included. We want all people to be free to live happily in safety, free from violence or slavery, and to have choices, respect and equality.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence … If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled. – Emma Watson

Men are also imprisoned by gender stereotypesMen are also imprisoned by gender stereotypes.

4. Women Are Against Feminism Because We See a Skewed Version of Femininity

Women are against feminism because we want to be popular, seen as attractive, sexy and positive by men and society. It’s trendy to be ‘not a feminist’. It seems in today’s social media age, young women find it more important to be attractive to men than speak their mind or fight for what’s right. Feminism is perceived as something that is unfeminine, asexual and assigned to women who are aggressive, ugly and definitely single.

It’s time for the rise of feminine, powerful women – with all their feminine intuition, insight, softness, kindness, warmth, compassion, wisdom, power and strength fully realised. The world benefits when women are women. And women fighting other women are contributing to the separation they say feminism breeds.

We need to look to the amazing female feminist role models in the world today, like Malala Yousafzai, Jane Goodall, Emma Watson, Ellen Page, and so many others. The world needs this feminine power, not masculine women trying to fit into a patriarchal world. We need to bring feminine qualities to the corporate world, and feminine values to education, health and communities.

I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists … Maybe some women just don’t care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word? – Ellen Page

Femininity needs to be embracedWomen shouldn’t have to be masculine and fight their way into a patriarchal world.

5. Women Are Against Feminism Because We Haven’t Embraced True Sisterhood

Women around the globe are spruiking about the power of being in circle with their sisters and of standing strong together. Yet, some of these sisters are lobbying hatred at other women they’ve labelled as feminists. They’re criticising and shaming women who stand up for themselves and speak out about the issues facing all women, such as abuse, domestic violence, unequal pay, lack of choice, and unequal access to top positions.

Recently, my two oldest daughters, aged 12 and 13, were having a fight when one called the other fat, and the personal insults flew. I sat down with them and told them that as women, they are part of an ancient code that is in their DNA. While they have a familial bond, there is a bond that is so much more than that. The bonds of sisterhood. I told them, you are part of something far greater than yourselves and you must enter this sacred movement with gratitude, reverence and love. Your life will be rich with sisters, women who will be your friends, your support, those who understand you and love you. While men will also love and support you, you will need your sisters in life.

Perhaps it’s time to examine feminine values. To be a woman is to be inclusive, compassionate, strong and kind. Powerful women don’t criticise each other, compete, or tear each other down. They don’t screw each other’s partners. When women fight each other, everyone loses. We are the creators of life; we’re wild, magic beings of unfettered power, and it’s up to women to lead the way and hold up the torch of our highest self.

Femininity empowers us allThe inherent nature of Femininity is to empower one another.

6. Women Are Against Feminism Because We’re Afraid to Speak Up

Every nine seconds, a woman in the US is the victim of domestic violence. One in four women in America will experience domestic violence during their lifetime, and three women are murdered every day in the US by an intimate partner. In Australia, on average across 12 months, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner. Of all Australian women, 25 percent have experienced sexual violence by someone they know and a quarter of all Aussie women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner. And, females are five times more likely than men to require medical attention after being abused by a partner. If you’re not feeling motivated to stand up for equality for women after reading that, then I don’t what will motivate you to create a different world for yourself, your sisters and your own daughters.

Women are being killed for being women, and because men are using their physical strength to dominate and control. Men get abused and raped too, but mostly a man can walk down a street without fear of attack, or fearing for his safety in the way a woman does when down a dark street at dusk or in a bar full of drunk men. How many more women must die at the hands of domestic violence or abuse before we say: “That’s enough, no more.”

7. Women Are Against Feminism Because We Don’t See the Truth

We don’t see the extent of the abuse of our sisters. The families selling their daughters into sexual slavery in Asia, due to poverty. The young street girls being forced to satisfy white men in Thailand, or the girls married off to men old enough to be their grandfathers. We don’t see the women who are under their father or brother’s control and have absolutely no power over their lives. We are blind to the truth because we live selfish, privileged lives of excess in the West. Our sisters and brothers need us. Domestic violence is growing. While these are extreme cases of inequality, don’t think your own life situation is equal and that, as a woman, you are getting a fair deal.

The different faces of sexismSexism appears in many different ways, in different areas of the world.

While far less radical, but no less important, a friend who is buying a new home recently shared how she was being treated as a non-entity by the real estate agents, who focused solely on her husband and blatantly ignoring her presence. What is noteworthy here, is that firstly – these agents were women, and secondly – she is an accountant and the one who manages the family’s finances. It seems some women have adhered – consciously or unconsciously – with the patriarchy in dismissing women as inferior, or believe that women have very little power or say, so don’t bother with them.

The contribution made by women to society is grossly undervalued, so much so that women themselves don’t value what they do. How many mothers are asked what work they do, only to reply, “I don’t work, I’m just a mum.”  We do not value women in the same way we value men, and it’s become so ingrained in our consciousness that we don’t even realise we women are perpetuating this.

8. Women Are Against Feminism Until We Believe Something Different is Possible

The world cannot continue without the fullness of over half its people. Today, there is no other option but to be a feminist and to work for equality for all. The world needs you and we need everyone to be a feminist, if we are all to live a better life.

The revolution begins inside each one of usThe revolution begins inside each one of us, men and women.

The revolution begins inside each one of us. And it’s not a revolution of women. It’s a revolution of feminine values, awakening in both men and women. It’s time we believed we can be more than we are; that we demand more from others and the world. That we believe in a better future for all, and in the truth that we can create this future, together.

None of us are free until every last person is living in freedom, and feminism is about fighting for this liberty and each individual’s freedom to choose what’s right for him or her.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. – Nelson Mandela

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Azriel ReShel

Writer, Editor, Yoga Teacher & Healing Facilitator

 

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3 Responses to Why Women are Against Feminism

  1. I think one of the reasons why women do not want to be feminism is that in striving to have equal value with men, the feminists have lost identity. They have decided that equal value means the same, when being a woman is not the same as being a man. So women want to be different to men, and the more extreme feminist pushes aim for women to be the same as men – when they are not. (After all, if they were, why do men and women not compete in the same sports against one another?)
    Men do not aim to be equal to women. Most of them do not aspire to give birth, breastfeed or many other things that is a genetic possibility by being a woman. So why do some feminists aim to be the same as men?
    Additionally, I think this ‘equality’ push also erodes the identity of not just women, but young men. They are defined as a man in negative stereotypes, and almost none of the positive attributes. After all, feminism declares, being the breadwinner is not what being a man is about (and they’re right, by the way). However, to so many millions of adolescent teenagers in the world toda,y this begs the question – So if a strong career to support a family is NOT what a man is – what is? (There are good answers, but I won’t go there due to space).
    I completely concur that the push for equal value amongst men and women is something that is in desperate need in many countries of the world. Women are still in slavery and treated as chattel in far too many places in the world – and this is unspeakably wrong.
    However, in the confines of our safe first world society – there are other issues, like answering the questions “What does it mean to be a successful woman?” and “What does it mean to be a successful man?”
    Unfortunately too much of the feminist agenda has answered the “Successful woman” answer with “To be exactly the same as a successful man.” Which I would argue is the exact reason why women reject feminism.

    • I don’t think it’s exactly an issue of public debate as to what constitutes success for anyone, as surely this is an entirely personal judgement. Life is not lived from the successes we create by the feelings and experiences we have, of which a part “might” be success – however that’s defined.

      Frankly, this whole notion of success and failure is just more of the left brain, militaristic, dominating male-think that we’ve put up with for 10,000 years and which now needs to change in favour of female AND male thinking, and any other genders for that matter.

      I don’t see how asking for equality erodes anything. We should be asking a deeper question which is “who and what am I”. Because you are not your gender, nor even your personality most of which have been crafted in the class room of planet earth to help you survive, but are not who or what you actually are.

      Can we quit with the grandiose generalisations discussing women in the abstract as tho we are all identical please. Let’s get real. My career has suffered, my health has suffered and my finances have suffered because of subtle sexism in the workplace meaning I never advanced, despite being very capable, and I was marginalised and frozen out of team meetings.

      “Unfortunately too much of the feminist agenda has answered the “Successful woman” answer with “To be exactly the same as a successful man.” Which I would argue is the exact reason why women reject feminism.”

      I don’t agree. My experience is that being a feminist is used as yet another way to denigrate or put women down, and as women don’t want that to happen to them, they don’t overtly identify with the term. I’m not sure where it is, but there seems to be a school somewhere which all men attend in order to learn the skills of invalidating women, mocking them and generally manipulating them out of their points of view. I’m not saying they do it with malice aforethought or consciously, but most men will try to patronise their partner out of discussing whatever they don’t want to discuss or otherwise humiliating her for taking a stand on something.

      We all need to be retrained, and I suspect we will all become somewhat more androgynous. Femininity and masculinity, as they are portrayed in our society, are exaggerated stereotypes that ignore the inclinations of the individual and are mainly a role that we play, not a biological inevitability, although there is research that suggests gender differences that are nature rather than nurture.

      Far more to the point to say that each individual should be valued, nurtured and encouraged no matter their gender status.

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