“Modern feminism is either utterly confused or completely dishonest,” April Thompson said to me. April is a professional editor, blogger, and a homeschooling mother of four. I’ve known April for more than a few years now, and if there are two things I’ve learned about her, it’s that she’s a prime example of feminine strength, and that she’s not afraid of giving her blunt opinion.
“I’m told it’s foolish for any woman to say she’s not a feminist, but also that I can’t be a feminist if I’m pro-life,” she continued. “I’m told feminism is all about having the right to choose what we want to do want with our lives, yet my choice to stay home and raise and educate my own children is at best misguided and probably immoral. I’m told women are capable of having it all and doing it all, and yet the message of modern feminism is that women can’t succeed without the benevolent, omnipotent hand of government in every area of our lives.”
“Whatever feminism was, it’s a hot mess of illogical, authoritarian nonsense now,” she added.
April’s sentiment toward feminism would be considered bold by today’s socio-political standards, but as bold as it is, it’s actually quite common. For all the swelling in the ranks feminism likes to claim it has, I’ve noticed more women reject it than embrace it.
But why? The movement claims it’s fighting for women everywhere, so why wouldn’t women want to jump on the bandwagon? The answer is simple. It’s because feminism isn’t fighting for women, it’s fighting against the very essence and greatest aspect of women – femininity.
It’s something that women have experienced again and again during the third wave’s time in the spotlight. The qualities that women take pride in are consistently viewed as weak. Being a stay at home mom is looked down upon, and recognized as less important than having a career. They equate pleasing one’s husband or boyfriend as a form of subservience.
Lady-like behavior? Pshaw!
Promotion of chastity? Discussing the negatives of promiscuity? Slut shaming!
Today’s feminism is a far cry from the feminism of the past. Suffragettes proved that there was inherent strength in femininity. They refused to be victims, and fought for the equality they rightly deserved. They continue to be an inspiration to women everywhere today. However, the men and women who claim the mantle of their legacy – the third-wave feminist movement – share very little in common with their forebearers.
“Modern feminism is more about punishing men for being men than ensuring equality,” says writer Kemberlee Kaye. “Our foremothers would be horrified if they knew what these thin-skinned, men-hating, safe-space needing, trigger-warning wanting women passed off as feminism today.”
Indeed, today’s feminism relies chiefly on how good a victim its adherents can be. They often cite – usually false – statistics such as the gender pay gap, or the 1 in 5 college women will be raped myth as proof of how downtrodden they are. It makes a show of tilting at these windmills, with the four-armed monster being oppressive masculinity.
But while feminism fights an ongoing battle with their Saturday morning cartoon villain, the mustache-twisting Patriarchy, it cannot tolerate aspects of femininity like the examples I listed above, and quietly wages war against femininity as well. To the feminist, the feminine is weakness. It looks down on it, and it must be eliminated if it’s to win its fight against masculinity and become the dominant ideology.
You can see examples of this war on women by feminists everywhere. Kaley Cuoco rejected feminism, and claimed that she liked feeling like a housewife. It’s a sentiment shared by many women, but this was disgusting to feminists everywhere. They took to social media to voice their outrage, and wrote countless articles talking about how problematic her views are, or how she owes everything she is to feminism. Go ahead. Google it. The coverage went on for weeks.
If you’re a woman on social media who rejects feminism, such as the “Women Against Feminism” participants, the reactions by feminists to you are often condescending, and sometimes nasty.
“I’ve had many engagements with feminists. Few were civil,” says my friend and fellow EveryJoe writer, Liz Finnegan. “They typically address me after an opinion on, say, a hashtag that demonizes men, or a rebuttal to a claim I believe to be false. There is seldom an intellectual exchange of ideas. I’m usually accused of fishing for male attention, or having internalized misogyny, or of course, being uneducated. It gets exhausting, how predictable the responses are now. It’s as if the same thing, coming from a man, is ‘proof’ of whatever they’re claiming at the moment. Coming from me? I must be a traitor. There’s ‘no way’ that there can be any truth to my claims.”
Women defending femininity is abhorrent to feminists. It blames feminine “weakness” for enabling the masculine to achieve what it believes is power, not understanding that femininity holds massive amounts of power in our society already. It makes the mistake of assuming that masculine strength is the only true kind of strength, and that femininity can only be subject to it.
“Modern feminism has an obsession about equity of characteristics rather than equality of value. They make the faulty assumption that to have the same inherent value, two things must actually be the same,” says writer Virginia Kruta.
In other words, femininity is a different kind of strength. Where masculinity is dirty, physical, and often dangerous (dangerous, as I’ve discussed before, being a neutral quality that can be utilized for good or evil), femininity is beautiful, soft, and a haven. Masculinity shapes. Femininity grows. It’s different sides of the same coin that seek to achieve the same goals by different means. At the end of the day, the two are not the same, and feminists can’t stand this.
Femininity recognizes the fact that it lacks the strengths found in masculinity, but symbiotically, it inspires and grows strength within masculinity. Masculinity seeks femininity out in order to give that strength purpose. Even men who can’t bear the thought of being in a relationship crave their masculinity being validated by women, usually in the form of temporary conquest.
The point is, femininity is purpose. One of the largest driving forces in the world, it creates atmospheres so desirable that society will go to extraordinary lengths to attract and gain the creationary and refining strengths found in femininity. If that’s not power, I don’t know what is.
Feminists see this, however, as a form of dependence. They think that femininity cannot perform individually, and so they seek to break its partnership with masculinity. They want it to stand alone, as they believe masculinity does, and so attempt to redefine it by feminist standards.
“The end result is women trying to be more masculine, and when they ultimately fail – because, NEWSFLASH, women aren’t men – they try to force men to be less so in order to lower the bar,” says Kruta.
This just isn’t flying for most women. To them, their femininity is a point of pride. They love their husbands or boyfriends, and wish to please them, just as they wish to be pleased by them. They want their men to be masculine and strong. They want to be beautiful, and want to be wanted. They want to create, and have people take joy in their creation. They want to be inviting and included.
Feminism claims to be many of those things, but exhibits very little of it in its actions. It’s no wonder only 18% of people claim to be feminists. In fact, many women consider it to be kind of a joke. “I feel like feminism today is less about having political/social rights and is more about growing armpit hair and making a ‘statement’,” my friend Denise Riggin mentioned to me.
Femininity is precious to both men and women. Feminist attempts to bastardize it by attempting to suppress masculine traits within men, and add them to femininity to make more masculine women, thus in their mind, leveling the playing field. The problem is, this isn’t something humanity will tolerate by nature. Femininity cannot – and doesn’t wish to – define masculinity, but it does wish to culture its growth. Furthermore, masculinity can only be properly defined by the sex that best represents its aspects, and that’s men. Attempts at making it into something softer often creates useless men who don’t exhibit the tendencies and confidences women enjoy.
Likewise, femininity cannot have masculinity added to it. It is separate from masculinity despite its relationship with it. Nor should femininity be redefined, or “improved.” As I’ve stated before, femininity is a powerful driving force. It’s a necessity for civilization to grow and improve. Feminism takes it nowhere by attempting to make it what it isn’t, or ridicule and demean those women who exhibit its qualities. It especially does women no favors by making men more like women.
Ironically, feminism will ultimately be defeated by women. In some ways, I’m already starting to see it crumble beneath their high heels. Everyday I see more and more women standing up against feminism.
Furthermore, women will no longer allow feminism to make the claim that it speaks for them.
Feminism likes to say that if you believe in equality for women, you’re a feminist. If that was really the case, then more women wouldn’t be looking at feminism attempting to pervert its defining aspect, or tearing down their men, and responding with “No, I’m not.”
Women need femininity, not feminism. Masculinity needs femininity, but it doesn’t need to become it.
In talking with women about their views on feminism, I thought Shannon here summed it up very well, and I’ll finish with her quote.
“Feminism is rank hypocrisy. It has failed women in ways too numerous to count. The idea was to achieve equal opportunity: to have an equal voice in government, equal access to employment, and so on. Not necessarily equality of outcome, but of opportunity, which was achieved. But that wasn’t enough… feminists couldn’t be equal, they had to be superior, which is why I call it hypocritical. Feminists claimed men were sex-obsessed pigs, but sought to flaunt female sexuality as a form of ‘equality’, only this didn’t spare women from the objectification they complained about, but only exacerbated it. Then their own promiscuity led to pregnancy, and they claimed that men had no claim over their own offspring, and they adopted abortion as part of the new wave feminism. They set themselves over fathers and children to prove that they didn’t have to be mothers as a result of their own objectification and degradation against themselves. They simultaneously claim that they can do anything as well or better than men, then turn around and demand special conditions or standards and take it as discrimination if their demands aren’t met. For instance, by claiming some sort of right to hold a position that men hold, say in the military or as a first responder, but expecting to achieve that position by meeting lowered standards (and if you don’t lower the standards, they claim it’s deliberately to keep women out). Meanwhile, men are either fed up with being treated like dogs, or they’re more than willing to oblige with the hyper-sexualized feminist sex-as-liberation ploy, and then when men actually start meeting feminists on their terms, feminists scream about rape culture! There’s no winning with these women! All the while, holding doors and offering up seats and gestures of respect dry up because men are chided for being ‘patriarchal’. The only thing feminists have achieved is to browbeat men into behaving like boys, make ‘the working woman’ more a necessity than an option, and to slaughter generations of children (many of whom are female) all because they got on an ego trip but forgot to leave their victimhood behind.”
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Brandon Morse has been writing about politics and culture across many websites for the last six years, with a heavy emphasis on anti-authoritarianism. Aside from writing articles, he is also known for voice acting and authoring scripts. He is an avid gamer, dog person, and has a bad habit of making vague references to things no one has heard about or seen. Follow him at @TheBrandonMorse on Twitter.
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