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How to spot a fake feminist 101

by Kristina Livingston - Managing Editor
Wed, May 3rd 2017 02:25 pm
Photo taken from 9Gag

The world is filled with the dogma and efforts of feminism; however, as the movement continues to work toward progress, some use the guise of feminism to incite trust in women who use feminism to help themselves and other women genuinely.
Photo taken from 9Gag The world is filled with the dogma and efforts of feminism; however, as the movement continues to work toward progress, some use the guise of feminism to incite trust in women who use feminism to help themselves and other women genuinely.

It's your first day of college and you breathe a sigh of relief as you see everyone's backpacks sporting bright pink buttons proclaiming, "This is what a feminist looks like!" Here, allyship is exactly as you have learned it to be: minimal effort and being one of the cool liberal kids who is "down with whatever" but can't respect someone's identity when they're not present, as if it is their job. Sit back and relax as you occupy spaces you do not belong in.

According to The Harvard Crimson columnist Nian Hu's article, "Scared to Be a Feminist", bad allyship and fear dedicated to a cause hurts the people you initially set out to protect.

"Watered-down feminism that does not address structural power dynamics and intersectionality fails to have any real revolutionary potential," Hu said.

We all know the type to practice this feminism - it's the girl in your friend group who isn't aware gender equality goes deeper than the gendering of toys when she was young and it's the "woke" white boy you know who's still waiting for his certificate for not perpetuating violence against women yet fouls the air with misogynistic language against women he doesn't respect. The issue is, we all tout ourselves as untouchable saints, the one with the most genuine beliefs - but my purpose here is to argue that nearly all the men you know who will scoff and say, "of course men and women are equal" are just misogynists in feminists' clothing, as Kate S. of Everyday Feminism would say.

According to her article, "The Dangers of Dating Faux Feminist Men," we as women, even those of us who do not pursue relationships with men have such trouble surrounding ourselves with men who practice a feminist lifestyle rather than being satisfied with pretending they are, what can truly be said about the lack of understanding in the heterosexual world?

My issues with men who carry the feminist label and do not practice what they preach are as follows: for starters, they know misogyny isn't "cool" but it sure is when the woman in question is someone they don't respect; some just want to fit in and don't want potential hookups to distrust them as a person. In the end, are you parroting back what you learned in Sociology 101 because you believe it and want to change your behavior or do you just want girls to like you?

A feminist person, wherever they identify on the gender spectrum, or if they have a gender at all, should place women's and women-aligned individuals' voices above those of men, as they are valued to a lesser extent in most spaces. It is not too shocking, I suppose, that when the only cisgender man in my Feminist Theory class said he does not identify as a feminist because when he walks into a feminist space, he feels hated, that the mumbles throughout the room deemed him valid for such a stance.

It disgusts me to my very core that so often we are concerned with men's feelings in feminist spaces. I know there are many who will not agree with me but I cannot provide the emotional energy to care, as I am too worried about the girls and women I know whose primary sources of emotional, romantic and perhaps sexual support are statistically likely to murder them.

"For feminist women, dating men can feel like a lose-lose proposition," Katie S. writes in her article. "Either you settle for someone who invalidates your politics and therefore your personhood, or you gamble on a man who claims to support your cause, but may or may not actually give a sh*t."

College-aged men, I should not have to beg of you but the fact that women are afraid should be a wake-up call that you might need to change. We shouldn't have to ask to be listened to but please listen to us. Believe us. Look out for us. Don't underestimate us. Mold your feminist politics and then actually use them. Do not settle for a disguise.

If your girlfriend or any woman you know has expressed to you that she is passionate about the fact that she is unhappy with the fact that the government, as well as any person she may pass on the street, does not value her as a human being, lend your ear and learn something.

Girls: why are you so afraid to dedicate yourselves? Haven't you heard? Feminists aren't just fat, hairy lesbians anymore; you can be good-natured, skinny, practicing, hairless, heterosexual. It would take me much longer to touch on the exclusionary language every other feminist I know uses but I don't have time.

You shouldn't have to care about a feminist to be one. 

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