Me no gusta feminism
I used to be a feminist, back when I got into pro-life stuff and discovered pro-life feminists and their advocacy.
But, shortly after the birth of my first daughter, I decided to drop the label. It was months in the making, as the decision came about after being exposed to many issues I discovered within the movement.
Note that this is not any kind of attack on people who find that their use of the word “feminist” best describes and helps their cause. More power to you. But I am not you, and I have different ideals and standards when it comes to political movements. I am hoping that by sharing this – as terse as this will come off at times – feminists can get a better idea of why the whole world isn’t jumping onto the bandwagon.
Use it to improve your feminist work, to point out toxic behavior in fellow activists, think I am out of my mind and think I am wrong, whatever: I don’t care. I am just grateful that someone can listen patiently.
So what is up with my disapproval of feminism?:
1) Feminism is incoherent and unstable.
Look up the definition of feminism and you get the vague explanation of how it’s about women’s equal rights/welfare. Even in the earliest days, women activists had differing ideals concerning womanhood, equality, justice, and how to achieve it all. How you define fighting for women’s rights is all dependent on what you think is best for the gender. This can range from keeping them inside all day guarded by family to enforcing the independent working woman ideal.
“But that’s not REAL feminism!!!” is often cried out when these differing actions/opinions are pointed out, and it is a pointless accusation. Feminism is what you make of it! Literally anyone can be a feminist.
There is no central leader, only leaders of various, independent feminist groups big or small; there is no central manifesto, only early writings that may or may not be looked upon, and opinionated works of different feminist philosophers; and most importantly, every individual woman will have her own unique outlook to the welfare of her sex and for her own life.
I can’t get behind a mish mash of ideas. Nor can I pretend that I am speaking for ALL women when we are all so different from one another. I need something solid, sturdy, and with a strong, unshakable foundation. Feminism just doesn’t have that.
2) It has a shady past that I can’t get over: and yes, that includes the first/second wave feminists.
First wave: benefited largely upper class white women; anti-Catholic sentiments among some prominent figures; demanded equal rights but not equal responsibility (ex: getting the right to vote but not being required to sign up for the draft); some protesters WERE violent, if I remember correctly; they also played a large role in the medicalization of birth which involved smearing campaigns against midwives, sending many women to hospitals where they were treated terribly; this same smear campaign also lead to lower income women having difficulty affording prenatal care as the more affordable homebirth midwives were made illegal. Some also were apparently hypocritical even then, as is evidenced by the famous GK Chesterton quote: “It [feminism] is mixed up with a muddled idea that
women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they
help their husbands.“
Second wave: Bought into the deliberate lies about mass deaths from “back alley abortions”; lied about Jane Roe and TO her in Roe vs Wade to legalize it; the lawyer downright calling Jane Roe white trash and ignorant; were convinced that they needed birth control to be dispensed everywhere, and didn’t seem to care very much that birth control had been tested on poor, POC women and that it would discriminate against women who wanted more than one or two kids/wanted to breastfeed while working; attacked religious faiths for “sexist practices” such as veiling and lied to women of faith about their religion to convince them to protest it; I could go on because I find out more all the time but I can stop.
third wave: I don’t even have to list here. Y’all know what I am talking about. While more religious/conservative feminists have popped up, they still buy into the myth of a patriarchy and many still talk over legitimate men’s issues, or even outright mock it. Or mock people who are more conservative/religiously devout. (Looking at you, New Wave Feminists :))) )
3) The members are dangerously guillable and buy into sexist/bigoted ideals far too easily.
A lot of this ties into the last point. Feminism easily falls for the latest so-called progressive ideals without thinking how it actually affects them and others in the following generations. (Thanks for the shitty state of women’s health care!) They do not thoroughly question anything, leading to blind acceptance of any misleading factoid that shows them how oppressed they are.
The biggest example of this, for me personally, is the outright acceptance of birth control. While some feminists are questioning it these days because of its adverse affects on women’s rights, health, and its sexist/racist undertones, many still try to tout it as some kind of Savior for Womankind. The health risks and social ramifications be damned: gimme my consequence free sex!!! Because men can get sex without pregnancy so this makes us “equal” somehow!!!
And then they try to make it sound like it’s the only way to space babies and allows women to work, but never considered other more natural options that don’t shut down our fertility and do a better job of respecting women’s rights (hint hint, NFP). And the ramifications of the hook up culture? Feminists demanded that women have the right to sleep around “just like men”, and then scrambled around to come up with overly-complicated consent etiquette when they realized women were being used and even raped.
4) No, feminism doesn’t care about men. It never did and it doesn’t have to!
Christina Hoff Summers is the closest I can think of a feminist who points out men’s issues, but I haven’t heard of her trying anything to change it either other than talking about it.
Things like circumcision, male abuse, male assault, workplace deaths, and more are brushed under the rug. Try and bring men’s issues to the table at your next feminist meeting, and see how far it takes you: and all without mentioning “toxic masculinity” or “it doesn’t happen as much with men as with women”.
There is nothing wrong with having a movement focused on only one part of the human race: but it is damning to use that label, focus only on one group of people, and then pretend you speak for ALL humans.
Feminism was never meant to be a human rights movement, only a women’s rights movement. There is no shame in that. Yet they continue to act as if its the end all be all of any advocacy group ever.
This may naturally lead into intersectional feminism, which jumps into other movements such as LGBTQ, childwelfare, etc. But it only shows how feminism MUST take a legit issue and twist it around to make it about women or the patriarchy. It’s ineffective and even back-peddles progress.
5) Feminism acts like it has the monopoly on women’s rights and that I owe it my “allegiance”.
It doesn’t. It never has. I am living proof of it. For the past three years since I have dropped the label, I am still passionate about how NFP can further women’s welfare in health and relationships, and beyond. It has even led me to issues such as birthing rights, issues of working mothers, and more!
But more importantly, it opened the door to issues faced by men, and children of both genders. I even gained a newer perspective on unique issues such as gender dysphoria and racism. When I took a step back and realized that the issues were just a shitty culture from the result of many different actions/people and not necessarily one power group, I gained a much more wholesome view of humanity and its downfalls. We’re in this together as a species!
Yet, I only learned all of this outside of feminism’s rose colored glasses. Leaving feminism freed me to truly understand all this. Maybe it was different for other women, but for me and others like me, it’s very enlightening.
6) There really isn’t a patriarchy.
idk what to put here. I never felt the overbearingness of man push me down, and I’m not going to ignore my personal experience and that of my own female family members for the sake of an accepted theory of feminism. There are certainly sexist attitudes still hanging around, but hardly because of patriarchy (in fact, I would blame mainstream feminism for parts of that, see points #2 and #3). That, and this deadbeat patriarchy theory de-legitimizes the very real issues and their source problems that men face in society.
7) Much of feminism is inherently anti-Catholic.
Y’all know I am not perfect when it comes to being Catholic, but I would rather walk through the Amazon jungle barefoot than walk with a movement that has never liked nor respected the Church since its earliest developments in the early 20th Century. (This includes lowering the role and importance of Mother Mary because of her Perpetual Virginity being “offensive” to women. :))) )
Even with some Catholics saying they are feminist because of their beliefs, I know too well that being “feminist” is not a core tenet of Catholicism. That’s just an unnecessary add on. Not to mention, the Church has been very woman-friendly since, idk, the time of Jesus? So it’s not like throwing on a political label is really improving that.
(This doesn’t mean there aren’t issues to be discussed within the Church concerning womanhood in the past or present: only that I feel feminism is an intrusion that is unnecessary at best, and blinding to the mission of the Church at worse, and the mission being: spreading the Gospels to lost souls).
Also, there is no use ignoring that a grand majority of feminists today - as well as the loudest ones - simply support practices and ideals that go against Church Teaching. You can try and “take back feminism” if you wish, but it was never “ours” to begin with, nor will Catholicism improve this unbalanced movement by inserting rosaries and “girl power” saints.
Western women face legitimate issues in our society and I am all for tackling them!
We may not be “oppressed” as angry Anti-SJWs claim, but there is still so much improvement to be made. Things like childcare and work, abortion, healthcare, etc are hot topics for a reason. They affect ME and MY DAUGHTERS as much as any woman. I am going to be a part of the solution as much as I can be! I am sure that other active women, feminist or not, understand how I find these things important.
But I can not stand by a philosophy that is jumbled up, toxic, hypocritical, lacking sense, and downplaying or denying the very real issues that the other gender face. The majority are against my ideals/way of making things work and I don’t want any part of it.
Good has come from feminism in various ways but that doesn’t change that it has done plenty of bad that I am not comfortable with. And because it’s had issues from the very beginning, there really isn’t an “original” feminism that we can revert to: it’s always had problems and will continue to have them.
If you’re feminist then have fun with that, but I ask that you consider these points whenever you question people like me for not wanting to join in. Not all of us are hateful anti-feminist narks who think western women live life in a dreamland. We just don’t like many parts and histories of the feminist movement.
Thanks for taking the time to read, it really does mean a lot.