By Sierra Rothermich
I’m going to ask you to do something difficult…
Something individuals rarely do, but it is of great importance…
Up for the challenge?
Try to understand a different perspective — look through the eyes of an anti-feminist.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is defined as “the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” However, some women don’t consider themselves feminists. In fact, there is a website called womenagainstfeminism.com dedicated to expressing anti-feminist views. According to a national survey by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, six in ten women and one third of men consider themselves a feminist or strong feminist. About seven in ten people said they thought the movement was empowering.
However, four in ten Americans said the movement is angry and unfairly blames men for women’s challenges. A writer on womenagainstfeminism.com explains, “modern-day feminism has taken a different path that I cannot relate to.”
So here is the challenge — Let’s try to understand this perspective. Take a moment with me to look through the eyes of an anti-feminist.
This anti-feminist writer says she agrees women should have the right to vote, the right to attend college, and the right to pursue a career with reasonable compensation. However, she feels American women take for granted all the privileges that we have inherited from people who started the fight for women’s voices to be heard. Women such as: Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
When considering the Women’s Rights Movement, she says, “What do you do when you have fought and won?” She justifies her views by pointing out that when a woman reports harassment, abuse, or rape, the man is usually guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of public opinion. She explains further that mothers are more likely to obtain child custody after a divorce. She believes women get a gift that men never will, which is being able to give birth to a life.
She says a quote that embodies her feelings towards this issue is…
“Our generation is becoming so busy trying to prove that women can do what men can do that women are losing their uniqueness. Women weren’t created to do everything a man can do. Women were created to do everything a man can’t do.”
She believes feminism doesn’t entail degrading men or complaining about them in order to make a point about how important women are. She writes, “The Women’s Rights Movement has taken an ugly turn in our society creating more of a divide amongst women and less of a unity of strong females. It is ‘Mean Girls’ at its finest.”
She says she feels a feminist cannot be conservative or pro-life, and must think that climate change is more important than national security. She believes her conservative Christian values make her less of a woman to feminists and causes her opinions to become invalidated.
She asserts, “So, now I happily refer to myself as the Anti-Feminist Feminist.”
What do you think?
Now that we’ve examined an anti-feminist’s view, lets understand some facts that support an opposing perspective. Without modern feminism would light have been shed on global gender inequality, domestic violence, and rape? The United States has had 45 male presidents and zero female presidents. So is there more work to be done by feminists?
According to the Huffington Post, one in four women will be victims of severe violence from an intimate partner. 70-percent of women worldwide will experience physical and/or sexual abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered, by current or ex- male partners, during that time was 11,766. That number is almost double the amount of casualties lost during war.
According to SheShouldRun, women make up 51-percent of America’s population, however, women only make up 20-percent of government. According to the Pew Research Center, it is estimated that it would take an extra 47 days of work for women to earn what men did in 2017. Based on these statistics, it appears there is still much more for modern feminists to fight for.
Yes, feminists from the past have paved the way for our brighter future. However, just because women’s circumstances were worst in the past, doesn’t mean women’s current issues are good.
Why stop and accept mediocre treatment when we can fight to achieve equality?
As NowToLove points out, the values of many first-wave feminists would actually undermine the rights we’re pushing for today. The anti-feminist writer acknowledged Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Be that as it may, Stanton fought to stop African American men from having the right to vote. Stanton claimed, “It was better for a black woman to be the slave of an educated white man, than of a degraded, ignorant black one.”
Modern feminists have brought global awareness to violence against women using the internet, social media platforms, and the #metoo movement.
Modern feminists have encouraged people to acknowledge “rape culture” and change our misogynistic social norms.
Modern feminists have fought to better the world.
“I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard… we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ―Malala Yousafzai