The Mutilation of Feminism This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 30, 2010
Most Americans that have not been hiding under a rock for the past century or so, have no doubt heard of feminists and the feminist movement. But what exactly is a feminist? A feminist is defined most commonly as one who believes that both sexes should be equal. That is all. However, feminism has been mutilated and thrown around until the original goal of feminists has been warped into something horrendous and barely recognizable. Being a feminist has become synonymous with being a whiny jerk. So how did feminism obtain such a poor reputation, and what does it mean today?

One of the reasons for the bad reputation of feminism is due to a number of anti-feminists. The famous televangelist Pat Robertson in 1992 wrote that, “It [feminism] is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.” Also speaking against women having equal rights is Peter Thiel (the CEO of PayPal) and even Sigmund Freud cautioned against women wishing equal rights. Now, surely, most people realize that women do not wish to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians, but some people do not. Also, while Sigmund Freud was a very intelligent man, he was not always correct.

However, another reason for feminism’s poor reputation is because of feminists themselves. Some feminists target other women, calling them anti-feminist when the women in question may or may not be. Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, has recently been a target. While this writer has her own opinions on the series and its shortcomings, she also does not believe Miss Meyer is an anti-feminist. Other women have also been accused such as the author Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Firstly, Stephenie Meyer has been criticized for her weak female characters, her ‘soccer mom’ status, and her motherly image; this all makes her an anti-feminist. While this writer will confess her dislike for Miss Meyer, she is not an anti-feminist. The character of Bella Swann may be weak in Meyer’s works, but this does not appear to be a conscious anti-feminist effort and more as Bella being poorly characterized. It should also be noted that some male characters, such as Edward Cullen, might also be viewed as shallow and even stereotypical. Also, there is no philosophy in feminism that says a woman cannot be a soccer mom or housewife if she wishes. In its purest definition, feminism is a choice, not an obligation. If a woman wishes to become a housewife or soccer mom, she should be able to without fear of criticism. Sadly, this fact has been overlooked by feminists for decades.

As an example, Betty Friedman, a leader of the feminist movement, was well known for her criticism of housewives and weak-willed women. Frank O’Connor once remarked that, “No man is as anti-feminist as a really feminine woman.” Mister O’Connor seems to be stating that feminine, elegant, and traditional women are all anti-feminists, and that is just not true.

A final cause for the distortion of the meaning of feminism is the attitudes from feminists, who claim men have no right to be feminists. This makes little sense. Many men see women as their equals and believe they should be equal under the law. Is it not a warped form of anti-feminism to tell men that they have no right to believe that both genders should have equal rights? There is no gender requirement for being a feminist.

In conclusion, feminism is a surprisingly common belief, and through the actions of feminists and anti-feminists, it has turned into something barely recognizable. Thus, my friends, man and woman, boy and girl, I encourage you to decide for yourselves which stance you take. Feminism should not be something to be ashamed of or something just for women. Only when everyone realizes that men and women are equal will the Battle of the Sexes finally end.

Join the Discussion

This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

Shelly-T said...
Jul. 29, 2010 at 11:07 am
I really liked this article, thanks for the encouragement! 
jdeluca said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 1:05 am

This article was very well written and really proves a point but for some reason it really made me angry (im a guy). I want equality between a woman and a man but in my school women are treated much better than men. In divorce cases most of the time the woman wins is a so called myth but i did some research and

gave a lot of information out although i could not find percentages women usually do win the custody cases u... (more »)

whispersofthenight said...
May 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm
Great article! I hate sexism, there's tons of it here
Annabelinda-Tsuki said...
May 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm
Wow, that's quite an amazing little article. And I didn't know those things about anti-feminism. That really is interesting. Granted, I can't say I liked Twilight (the plot was just a little too ridicules for me), but I agree with you. I wouldn't call Stephenie Meyer anti-feminism, just a poor writer when it comes to characters. Very interesting. Thanks so much for writing the article!
theblazingstar101 replied...
May 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Firstly, thanks, and to be quite honest, I despise Twilight. It's nice to meet another person who doesn't, too. Every time I mention I don't like Meyer's work, I feel like I'm at an AA meeting talking about my alcoholism or something.

As for your comment on her work, I agree completely. I was actually surprised when I learned people were calling her anti-feminist. She actually responded to the claim on her web site, in fact. And while I hated to admit it (because I also think Meyer is ... (more »)

toxic.monkey said...
May 12, 2010 at 10:53 am
I agree with you entirely!! I have a few friends who are "feminists" but really they seem to think that women are better than men... Still sexist. Good article!
theblazingstar101 replied...
May 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm
Ah, yes. I've known a few 'feminists' like that. What particularly annoys me is the women that are so horribly offended when a man holds the door open for them or calls them ma'am. What bothers me about the situation is that it's just being chivalrous and polite. Heck, I hold open doors for people, too, and I address men as 'Sir' and women as 'Ma'am'. That's just the way I was raised. A friend of mine, though, chewed this guy out because he was 'oppressing' her by opening a door for her. It's re... (more »)
Tomboy said...
May 12, 2010 at 10:17 am
im a total feminist and this helped me understand more of what that means.  thanx
theblazingstar101 replied...
May 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm
I'm glad to have helped. ;)
MikkiLee said...
May 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm
I loved your article- keep up the good work.
theblazingstar101 replied...
May 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm
Thank you; you're too kind. :)
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